Mars is a fascinating planet that has captured the attention and imagination of people for centuries. Here are some interesting facts about Mars that you might enjoy learning:

Did you know Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and is often called the “Red Planet” because of its reddish appearance in the night sky? It gets reddish from iron oxide, also known as rust, covering much of its surface. So, I often refer to it as the ‘Rusty’ planet.

Ref: Marrs – Image Credit NASA

Mars is also known for its extreme climate. It has a thin atmosphere composed mainly of carbon dioxide, with traces of nitrogen and argon. The planet is known for its dust storms, which can cover the entire world and last for months.

The temperature range on Mars can vary widely, depending on the time of day and location on the planet. On average, the temperature on Mars ranges from  -63 degrees Celsius at the poles during winter to about 20 degrees Celsius at the equator during midday. However, temperatures can drop as low as -143 degrees Celsius at the poles during winter nights and reach a high of 35 degrees Celsius at the equator during the day. Overall, Mars is a very cold planet, with an average temperature of -63 degrees Celsius. It also can be very windy and has significant dust storms.

Photos of Mars showing effect of Dust Storms – mage Credit NASA

Despite its harsh environment, Mars has been a focus of exploration and study for many years. Many missions have been sent to Mars to study its surface, atmosphere, and geology. The first successful mission to Mars was NASA’s Mariner 4 in 1965. Since then, numerous missions have been launched from different countries, including the United States, UAE, Japan, the UK,  Russia, and China.

One of the most fascinating things about Mars is the possibility of finding evidence of life. Many scientists believe Mars was once a warmer and wetter planet, with conditions similar to Earth’s. If life ever existed on Mars, it could have left behind evidence that could be detected by rovers and other spacecraft.

NASA’s Mars rovers, including the Curiosity, Insight and Perseverance rovers, have been exploring the planet’s surface for many years, searching for evidence of past or present life. They have found evidence of ancient rivers and lakes, which suggest that liquid water may have once existed on the planet’s surface. ALso, my personal favourite is the Integrity Helicopter/Drone which has made 46 flights – the most recent being February 25th.

Using its WATSON camera, NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover took this selfie over a rock nicknamed “Rochette,” on Sept.10, 2021. – Image Credit: NASA
NASA_Ingenuity_total_track_Flight 46 – February 25 2023. Image Credit NASA

Another interesting fact about Mars is that it has the largest volcano in the solar system. Olympus Mons is a shield volcano about three times taller than Mount Everest. It covers an area about 1/3 the size of Australia.

Volcanos on Mars – Image Credit: NASA

Mars is also home to the longest canyon in the solar system. Valles Marineris is a system of canyons that runs along the planet’s equator for more than 4000 km. It is more than 10 times longer and five times deeper than the Grand Canyon.

In addition to its natural features, Mars has also been the subject of much speculation about the possibility of human colonization. Some scientists believe it may be possible to terraform Mars or modify its environment to make it more habitable for humans. This could involve releasing gases into the atmosphere to create a greenhouse effect or melting the planet’s ice caps to produce liquid water.

Overall, Mars is a fascinating planet that continues to capture our imagination and inspire scientific exploration. With new missions planned to explore its surface and search for evidence of life, we can expect to learn even more about this intriguing planet in the coming years.