Mars is the fourth planet from the sun and also the seventh largest in the solar system. The month “March” was derived from its name. Mars has been known and observed since the ancient times. It is many times called the Red Planet. It is believed that people associated Mars’ red color with bloodshed and war; thus giving the reason behind its name. People have been studying this planet for centuries and have always been intrigued by Earth’s closest celestial neighbor.
In 877, Mars’ moons Phobos and Deimos were discovered by Asaph Hall. It wasn’t until 1965 though, that the first close up photos were taken when NASA sent the Mariner 4 to visit the Red Planet. These photographs were the world’s first pictures taken of a planet besides Earth. It wasn’t long after that, in 1976, that NASA sent space crafts to actually land on Mars. They sent two, the Viking 1 and 2. Next, in 1977, the first wheeled rover explored it. Many observations were made and valuable information was discovered, which only increased scientists’ curiosity about Mars and its past. Visits and studies starting in 2002 have been dedicated to analyzing the frozen water found on Mars. Strong evidence was found by the Mars Expedition Rovers that there was once liquid on its surface that probably formed the canals and canyons that have been observed. Many other studies and explorations have also been performed to determine its characteristics, interactions with the rest of the solar system, and possible life on the Red Planet.
Of the nine planets in the solar system, Mars is the seventh largest with a mass of 6.421x1023 kilograms, an average density of 3.95 gm/cm3, and an equatorial radius of 3,393 kilometers. “If the sun w...
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... its terrain. Mars is one of the most studied planets in the solar system, and the study of possible life on the planet is extensive. The research and interest is not yet over and there is still much to learn about Earth’s celestial neighbor.
Coffey, Jerry. universetoday.com. 5 June 2008. online. 22 April 2014.
—. universetoday.com. 4 June 2008. online. 23 April 2014.
Davis, Phil. nasa.gov. n.d. online. 22 April 2014.
nineplanets.org. n.d. online. 22 April 2014.
PlanetsoftheSolarSystem.net. planetsofthesolarsystem.net. n.d. online. 22 April 2014.
Redd, Nola Taylor. space.com. 12 March 2013. online. 22 April 2014.
The Moons of Mars. n.d. online. 10 April 2014.
ucls.uchicago.edu. n.d. online. 22 April 2014.
Vennerstrom, Susanne. space.dtu.dk. 11 July 2013. online. 22 April 2014.
Wall, Mike. space.com. 3 April 2014. online. 22 April 2014.
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