Mars - Next Planet - Back to Planet Walk

    Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun, 414,000,000 miles away. Mars is one tenth the mass of the Earth, one half the diameter of the Earth, 4000 miles, and is the 7th largest planet. Mars' brightness and reddish color are due to
iron oxide dust in Martian the soil. Mars has a thin atmosphere, one hundredth of the Earth's. On the Earth, this is equivalent to the air pressure at an altitude of 20 miles above the surface, past the Ozone Layer. The Martian atmosphere is composed of carbon dioxide (95.3%), nitrogen (2.7%), argon (1.6%), and traces of other gasses.

    Before space craft from Earth visited Mars, it was thought that the surface of Mars was marked with straight lines, thousands of miles long. These "canals" were thought to have been built by inhabitants of Mars. We now know that these long straight lines are windblown dust streaks or other naturally occurring geological features, and there is no evidence yet that proves life exists or existed on Mars.

    The picture of Mars shown above is 100 times larger than the scale of the Planet Walk.  Courtesy NASA.
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