Saturday, December 3, 2011

Mars

 
Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun in the Solar System. The planet is named after the Roman god of war, Mars. It is often described as the "Red Planet", as the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance.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. The rotational period and seasonal cycles of Mars are likewise similar to those of Earth, as is the tilt that produces the seasons. Mars is the site of Olympus Mons, the highest known mountain within the Solar System, and of Valles Marineris, the largest canyon. The smooth Borealis basin in the northern hemisphere covers 40% of the planet and may be a giant impact feature.Mars can easily be seen from Earth with the naked eye. Its apparent magnitude reaches −3.0 a brightness surpassed only by Jupiter, Venus, the Moon, and the Sun. Optical ground based telescopes are typically limited to resolving features about 300 km (186 miles) across when Earth and Mars are closest, because of Earth's atmosphere.

Characteristics  of  Mars
1. Mass   : 6.24 x 1023 kg
2. Mean density  : 3.93 g/cm3
3. Equatorial gravity  : 372 cm/ s 
4. Rotational Period   : 24h 37min 22s
5. Orbital period         : 687 days
6. Mean distance from the Sun  : 228 million km 
7. Radius : 3,393 km


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