Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun in the Solar System. Named after the Roman god of war, Mars, it is often described as the “Red Planet” as the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance.Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thinatmosphere, having surface features reminiscent both of the impact craters of the Moon and the volcanoes, valleys, deserts, andpolar ice caps of Earth. The rotational period and seasonal cycles of Mars are likewise similar to those of Earth, as is the tilt that produces the seasons. Mars is the site of Olympus Mons, the highest known mountain within the Solar System, and of Valles Marineris, the largest canyon. The smooth Borealis basin in the northern hemisphere covers 40% of the planet and may be a giant impact feature.
Until the first successful flyby of Mars occurred in 1965, by Mariner 4, many speculated about the presence of liquid water on the planet’s surface. This was based on observed periodic variations in light and dark patches, particularly in the polar latitudes, which appeared to be seas and continents; long, dark striations were interpreted by some as irrigation channels for liquid water. These straight line features were later explained as optical illusions, though geological evidence gathered by unmanned missions suggest that Mars once had large-scale water coverage on its surface. In 2005, radar data revealed the presence of large quantities of water ice at the poles, and at mid-latitudes.The Mars rover Spirit sampled chemical compounds containing water molecules in March 2007. The Phoenix lander directly sampled water ice in shallow Martian soil on July 31, 2008. You can read more fascinating facts about the planet Mars here- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars
The geographic features of other planets are often captivating and enigmatic, and Mars’ Danielson crater is no exception to the rule. According to NASA, its wave-like layering is the result of periodic changes in climate related to changes in tilt of the planet.
- In Awe of God’s Creation PAGE (rodiagnusdei.wordpress.com)
- Moon near red planet Mars and star Regulus on April 30 (earthsky.org)
- Mars Rover Sees Its Shadow in Red Planet Crater (Photo) (space.com)
- Red planet turns blue in new Mars image – Sky News Australia (skynews.com.au)
- Martian impacts could have caused runaway greenhouse effect (wired.co.uk)