Mars

The Red Planet

The Red Planet

Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere,having surface features reminiscent both of the impact craters of the moon and the volcanoes, valleys, deserts, and polar ice caps of Earth.


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Mars Rover

The Mars rover Spirit sampled chemical compounds containing water molecules in March 2007.
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The Pheonix

The Pheonix lander directly sampled water ice in shallow Martain soil on July 31,2008.


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Soil

The Pheonix lander returned data showing Martain soil to be slightly alkaline and containing elements such as magnesium, sodium, potassium and chlorine.these nutrients are found in gardens on Earth, and are necessary for growth of plants.


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Atmosphere

Mars lost it's magnetosphere 4 billion years ago, so the solar wind interacts directly with the Martain ionosphere, lowering the atmospheric density by strippping away atoms from the outer layer.


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Hydrology

Liquid water cannot exist on the surface of Mars due to low atmospheric pressure, except at the lowest elevations for short periods.


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Moons

Mars has two moons, Phobos and Deimos, which are small and irregularly shaped.These may be captured asteroids, similar to 5261 Eureka, a Martain trojan asteroid.


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