Mars, the red planet, was named after this god of war. According to Roman myth, Mars rode on a chariot pulled by two horses named Phobos and Deimos (meaning fear and panic). The two small moons of Mars are named after these two mythical horses.
1. Mars is the fourth planet from the sun and is often referred to as the “Red Planet” due to its reddish appearance.
2. Mars is approximately half the size of Earth, with a diameter of 4,217 miles (6,779 kilometers).
3. Mars has a thin atmosphere that is mostly made up of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and argon.
4. Mars has two moons, Phobos and Deimos, which are thought to be asteroids that were captured by Mars’ gravity.
5. Mars is home to the largest volcano in the solar system, Olympus Mons. The volcano is about 16 miles (25 kilometers) tall and about 373 miles (600 kilometers) in diameter.
6. Mars also has the deepest canyon in the solar system, Valles Marineris. The canyon stretches for about 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometers) across the Martian surface.
7. Mars has a day that is just over 24 hours long. However, due to the planet’s elliptical orbit, a “day” on Mars actually lasts for 24 hours and 40 minutes.
8. A year on Mars lasts for 687 Earth days.
9. The average temperature on Mars is about -80 degrees Fahrenheit (-60 degrees Celsius). However, temperatures can range from as low as -195 degrees Fahrenheit (-125 degrees Celsius) at the poles to as high as 70 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) near the equator.
10. Mars has dust storms that can last for months and cover the entire planet. These storms are caused by strong winds that kick up dust from the Martian surface