Diameter: 6,792 km
Mass: 0.107 Earths
Composition: Rocky: Silicates & metals
Atmosphere: Thin: Carbon dioxide & nitrogen
Surface Temperature: -87 to 20 °C
Year length: 686 Earth days
Day length: Approx 1 Earth day
- Mars is often referred to as the “red planet”, due to the iron oxide (rust) strewn across its surface.
- The red glimmer of Mars can be seen by the naked eye from Earth.
- The 22 km high Martian mountain Olympus Mons is the highest mountain known in the Solar System.
- The 4000 km long, 200 km wide and 7 km deep Martian canyon Valles
- Marineris is the largest canyon known in the Solar System.
- Mars is named after the Roman god of war.
- The spacecraft Mariner 4 completed the first successful flyby in 1965.
- Evidence gathered by Mars missions suggest that the planet may have once been covered in water. This was backed up by radar data collected in 2005, which revealed a large amount of water ice at both the poles. In addition, observations by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter revealed that water may flow freely on the surface during Mars’ warmer months.