THINGS FACTS ABOUT MARS: EARTH'S MYSTERIOUS COUSIN
Added on: 29th Sep 2016
DEIMOS, THE SMALLER MARTIAN MOON
Deimos, the smaller moon, is so small that an astronaut on
Mars would see it as a full moon just about as brightly as we
see Venus in our night sky. Scientists are unsure whether
both these moons are captured asteroids or true moons.
Volume-wise, Mars is much smaller than Earth. Over six
whole Mars’ would be able to pack into our Earth.
Lower gravity on Mars means you would be able to hop
around much easier than on Earth. Its 62.5% less gravity
means 100 pounds on Earth are equivalent to
about 38 pounds on Mars.
IS THERE LIFE ON MARS?
The most well-known supporting evidence for life on
Mars refers to NASA experiments in 1996 on Martian
rocks which landed on Earth. Inside, the scientists
found complex organic molecules and fossilized
structures which resemble microbes we are
familiar with. Though these findings remain
controversial, scientists today generally believe life
did exist at some point on Mars (and may even
still exist today).
THE ONLY OTHER ICE-CAPPED PLANET
Besides our own planet, Mars is the only planet in the solar
system to have polar ice caps. The southern ice cap is
made of dry ice and is said to resemble freshly fallen snow.
THE MARTIAN GRAND CANYON
Mars’ equivalent of the Grand Canyon, the Noctis Labyrinthus
(“labyrinth of the night”) is a highly varied area filled with
Steep walled valleys and sloping canyons. Trapped between
two highly volatile, tectonically-active areas of the planet,
the area has been shaped by the stress of heat and water
over millions of years.
MARS' MOON ON A DESTRUCTION PATH
Human settlements on Mars could be threatened by Mars’
moon Phobos, thankfully not for tens of millions of years
though. Each orbit, Phobos is drawn closer to Mars by the
planet’s gravity. (It spirals inward at 6ft (1.8m) every 100 years.)
Many millennia in the future, the moon will likely crash into
Mars or break up above the planet’s surface, creating a ring.
FIRST HUMANS ON MARS
In a 2010 speech at Kennedy Space Centre, U.S. President
Barack Obama called for the Americans to land a manned
mission to Mars by the mid 2030’s, making it the most
ambitious Mars exploration plan by any country on record.