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Video:Planet Profile: Mars

with Nick Green

Learn all about the planet Mars and what is found there. Here, see helpful information about planet Mars.See Transcript

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Transcript:Planet Profile: Mars

How Was Mars Named?

Named for the Roman god of War, Mars probably got this name due to its red color. Mars is sometimes referred to as the Red Planet.

Facts About Mars

The density of Mars is about 30 percent less than that of Earth (3.94 grams per centimeter squared, compared to Earth's 5.52 grams per centimeter squared. Its core is probably similar to Earth's, mostly iron, with small amounts of nickel, but spacecraft mapping of its gravity field seem to indicate that its iron-rich core and mantle are a smaller portion of its volume than on Earth. Also, Mars' smaller magnetic field than Earth, indicates a solid, rather than liquid core.

The Atmosphere on Mars

Mars' atmosphere is 95 percent carbon dioxide, nearly 3 percent nitrogen, and nearly 2 percent argon with trace quantities of oxygen, carbon monoxide, water vapor, ozone, and other trace gases. The average temperature on Mars is about -67 degrees Fahrenheit. It can range from -207 degrees Fahrenheit at the winter pole to almost 80 degrees Fahrenheit on the day side during summer. Orbiting over 227 million kilometers (227,940,000 km) from Sun, the Martian year is nearly two Earth years, while a day on Mars is only about half an hour longer than Earth's. Mars has two tiny satellites which orbit very close to the surface. These are Phobos and Deimos.

Additional Information About Mars

  • Mars has a MEAN RADIUS of 3388.0 km
  • And a MASS of 0.108 times Earth’s mass
  • The red planet’s DENSITY is 3.94 grams per centimeter squared
  • and its GRAVITY is 0.380 times that of Earth
  • Its ORBIT PERIOD is 686.98 Earth days
  • And ROTATION PERIOD is 1.026 Earth days
  • SEMIMAJOR AXIS OF ORBIT of Mars is 1.524 au
  • And ECCENTRICITY OF ORBIT is 0.093


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