Image mars

Mars

Mars is the fourth planet in the Solar System. It is about 1,5 Astronomical Units, that is about 450 billion footsteps, from the Sun.

The figure reveals a very varied morphological surface. There are great craters due to meteoric impacts, but there are also mountains, valleys and some of the biggest volcanoes in the Solar System: the highest of all is MountOlympus, it is 26 kilometres high, about 3 times as tall as Everest, the tallest mountain on Earth!

The lower part of the figure highlights one of the two polar caps: the two polar caps, north and south, are alternately layered deposits of carbon dioxide and sand, their size is different and changes throughout the Martian seasons.

On Mars there are also some ancient dry river beds with evident signs of erosion which are believed to be about 4 billion years old.

Therefore, in the past it seems that there was a lot of liquid water on the planet, as confirmed by various pieces of evidence collected by the two American rovers Spirit and Opportunity and by the European probe, Mars Express. However it is not clear how much liquid water there was and whether it is still present somewhere on the desert surface.

Mars has two moons, Phobos and Deimos. The shape of Deimos is rather unusual, it isn’t spherical but more similar to the potato-shaped asteroids. The two moons are little rocky, desert-like bodies that orbit around the Sun, and are mostly situated between Mars and Jupiter. According to scientists, these two moons are actually two asteroids, that in a remote age, came too close to the planet. The force of attraction exerted by Mars diverted them from their original path and made them rotate around it, as they still do today.

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