Mars is a planet that we still do not know much about but has always intrigued mankind. In the past it was seen as the place that Martians would come from to take over the Earth and other such science fiction tales. The fascination with the planet is definitely high at the moment. However, there are so many interesting things you may not have known about Mars.
This is our top 5 list of interesting facts about the planet Mars:
5. Phobos Will Crash Into It
Phobos is Mars’ innermost moon and also the largest one. It is the smallest of all the moons in our Solar System but one that has potential to cause problems for the planet. Phobos is orbiting really close to Mars and the gravitational force is pulling it closer. In around 10 million years the moon will crash right into the planet. Specialists say that when the planet reachs the altitude of 2,250 miles above Mars it will enter the Roche limit. Phobos will then break into many pieces that will rain down on the red planet.
4. Largest Mountain In Solar System
Those that thought the tallest mountains in the Solar System are found on Earth are mistaken. Olympus Mons is a huge shield volcano present on Mars. At a measurement, the height of the mountain is 22 kilometers. It is thus the tallest of all mountains found in our Solar System and it is around 3 times taller than Mount Everest. Olympus Mons appeared after the Amazonian period of the planet and astronomers have known about its existence ever since the late nineteenth century. You can find this volcano in the western hemisphere of the planet and it has 2 impact craters.
3. Mars Has No Atmosphere
This is quite difficult to explain. Mars’ atmosphere is highly similar to that of Venus. It is mostly made out of carbon dioxide but there are also traces of methane. This is what indicates life but there is also the possibility that it appears because of volcanic and hydrothermal activity. The pressure measured on the planet is 600 pascals, which is just around 0.6% of what you find on Earth at sea level and 0.0065% of what is present on Venus. The composition of the atmosphere can basically be considered as if it wasn’t there, being mostly dusty. That is why we see the light orange or brown color when looking at the planet.
2. Longest Canyon In The Solar System
The Grand Canyon is very small when compared to what Mars has to offer. We look at our canyon as a wonder of nature but what can we say about the red planet? Valles Marineris is currently the longest canyon in the solar system. It is an impressive 4000 kilometers long and has a depth of around 10 kilometers. The width of the canyon is of 200 kilometers. When compared to the Grand Canyon, Valles Marineris is around 5 times deeper and 10 times longer. If you ever visited the Grand Canyon, this should show you how impressive Valles Marineris is.
1. Mars Has Water
This is the number one in our top 5 interesting facts about Mars because of the simple reason that nobody actually expected it. However, water is not present as we usually think of it. The water present on Mars is almost always noticed as water ice. There are two Martian polar ice caps that are mostly made out of water ice. Water vapor is noticed in the atmosphere but in very small traces. You will not find a body of liquid water on Mars because planet conditions do not support liquid water’s long term existence