For all the space fanatics out there! We have brought some lesser-known intriguing facts about Mars- the fourth planet of solar system.
Mars is the fourth planet in the solar system. It is also known as the second smallest planet in the solar system. It is named after the Roman God of war and is therefore known as “red planet”. It is a terrestrial planet in the solar system with an atmosphere composed of carbon dioxide. Different civilizations named it according to their interpretations. Chinese astronomers named it as a “The Fire Star”.
Most of us wonder that is it possible for us to go and reside on some other planet! Many of the scientists are indulged in trying to find out an evidence which can prove life on Mars.
Here are some interesting facts about the atmosphere of planet Mars which will amaze you:
The bright red color of the mars is due to the presence of iron-rich minerals in the regolith. According to the NASA, the iron oxide and the rust are responsible for the bright red color of the soil.
Olympus Mons, a shielded volcano is 21 kilometers in height and 600 kilometers in diameter making it one of the tallest mountain in the solar system. The evidence shows that lava flows out of this volcano. Therefore, NASA scientists believe that the volcano may still be in the active state.
It has been observed that Mars contains water in the form of polar ice caps. The first sign of the trickling water was observed on the surface of the crater by the images sent by the satellites. This water might be salty as it is restrained from evaporation or freezing.
In the past, the planet Mars was struck by the large asteroid. Debris formed due to the collision was thrown out in the space whereas some of them fell back on the planet itself. Most of the debris was orbiting in the space for millions of years and finally landed on the Earth. This helped scientists in studying about planet Mars before launching the space missions. The meteorite which landed on the Earth was found identical to the NASA’s Viking landers sampled from the red planet in 1970’s.
The scientists’ research and study claim that after 20-30 billion years, Mars’ largest moon Phobos will get destroyed by the gravitational forces resulting in the formation of the ring around the planet Mars just like some other planets in the solar system.
Mars has encountered the largest dust storm which lasts for months covering the planet Mars. It has been noticed that seasons are extreme on this planet because of its elongated orbit shape. Its orbital path is elongated than rest all other planets in the solar system.
If we first consider the closest point of the sun over the Martian southern hemisphere of the planet, it is observed that the southern hemisphere experiences short intense summer while the Northern hemisphere endures the cold winter. Now if we consider the farthest point, the Martian Northern Hemisphere leads toward the sun causing mild summer whereas winter on the southern side.
The atmosphere might have got dense in the past years. It is assumed that the sun’s energy striking the atmosphere has stripped the hydrogen, scattering its molecules in the space. This would lessen the Mars atmosphere in future.
The Mars has two moons out of which one is doomed. These moons resemble asteroids present in the solar system. It is believed that Mars gravitational forces have snatched the two asteroids in its orbit long ago. These are now considered as Mars moons known Phobos and Deimos. According to the scientists, the lifespan of Phobos is only 30 million years and after its completion, it will crash into the Mars surface due to the tidal energies.
Methane can be present in the atmosphere by the biological activities emitted by the microbes or the geological activities. Scientists are trying to figure out the reason behind the presence of methane in the atmosphere. There are a lot of fluctuations happening in the Mars atmosphere. We do not have any idea about the presence of methane and where it came from.
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