Focus on Mars – By Elizabeth Rose PIN 7430
Mars is known as the red planet – this colour is caused by the iron oxide on the surface of the planet in its soil.
It is the he fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet in the Solar System after Mercury.
The Romans named the planet after their god of war.
It has a thin atmosphere and is mostly composed of carbon dioxide.
The planet is one-sixth the size of Earth and estimated to be over 142 million miles from the sun.
It takes 24 hours, 37 mins and 22 seconds to rotate once on its axis hence this is a Mars day.
Mars does take twice the time the Earth takes to complete a full revolution around the sun.
It has its own weather pattern having seasonal changes and has polar ice caps.
On Mars the temperature is on average minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit. In winter near the poles it can go down to minus 195 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Earth has 21 per cent of oxygen Mars only has 0.13 per cent. It has 95.3 per cent of the gas carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
There is also nitrogen and argon and small amounts of water and methane.
Mars has the tallest mountain in the solar system called Olympus Mons. It s more than 21 km high and is about three times taller than Mount Everest and is more than 600 km in diameter.
Because of less gravity you would weigh less than twice your weight on Mars.
As the oxygen is so thin you would not be able to breath on Mars without a spacesuit and an oxygen cylinder.
The month of March is derived from the name Mars.
The first aircraft to reach Mars took 228 days to get there.
Mars can be spotted by the naked eye if conditions are right due to its reddish colour.