Space Series- The Red Planet, Mars

Space Series- The Red Planet, Mars

Mars (Mars March ) is the fourth planet in distance from the sun in solar system neighbor outside of land classified planet and rocky, terrestrial planets group (Earthlike).

One of the explanations for his name in Mars brings the name back to the word “red”, which means red bull. The planet was named by its name as a red-to-red color, due to the high level of iron oxide dust on its surface and in its atmosphere. Therefore, also nicknamed the red planet. The other interpretation brings the word Mars back to the name of the Roman god of war, March.

Mars is about 6800 km in diameter, equal to the Earth’s radius and the second smallest planet after Mercury. Its area is estimated at a quarter of the land area. Mars rotates around the sun in an orbit that is about 228 million kilometers away, 1.5 times the distance between Earth’s orbit and the sun.

His Qumran, the first Demos called any horror in Greek and the second Lobos no fear.

Scientists believe that Mars contained water 3.8 billion years ago, making the hypothesis of life existence at least theoretically current. With mountains higher than their terrestrial counterparts and extended valleys. It has the largest volcano in the solar system called the Olympus Munz after the Mount Olympus.

Its maximum temperature is 27 ° C and its temperature is -33 ° C. Its atmosphere consists of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, argon, water vapor, and other gases. The Martian symbol of Mars is attention drawn in its red color

Mars may be according to the study of two American scientists just a planet of Jenin could not grow, having survived the many collisions between celestial bodies witnessed by the solar system at the beginning of its composition, which led to the inflation of most other planets. This explains the small size of Mars compared to Earth or Venus. The two scientists reached this conclusion after a survey of meteoric decay products in meteorites.

Mars is currently hosting five spacecraft that are still operating, three in orbit around the planet: Mars Odyssey, Mars Express and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, two on the planet, the Curiosity Rover and Opportunity, and there are spacecraft no longer functioning whether its mission is successful or not like a Phoenix vehicle Lander, which ended its mission in 2008.

Characteristics of the planet

Compared to the Earth, Mars has a quarter of the Earth’s surface area and a mass of ten Earth mass. The Martian air does not have the same density as the earth’s air. The atmospheric pressure on Mars is 0.75% of the Earth’s atmospheric pressure, so the mechanical sensors that the US space agency sent to Mars cover an airbag to absorb shock when it hits the surface of Mars. Mars air consists of 95% carbon dioxide, 3% nitrogen, 1.6% argon, and a fraction of oxygen and water. In 2000, the researchers found results suggesting life on Mars after examining parts of a meteorite found on the Antarctic continent whose origin was determined from Mars by comparing its mineral composition and the formation of rocks that were observed from Viking 1 and 2. Microscopic fossils in the meteorite. But the above-mentioned hypothesis remains controversial without a definite conclusion to the existence of a past life on Mars.

Mars is a rocky planet and most of its surface is red except for some darker spots because of the soil, rocks, and atmosphere of a low-density Mars. It is mainly composed of carbon dioxide, low amounts of water vapor and atmospheric pressure. Mars is very low and reaches 0.01 Earth’s atmosphere and Mars is colder than Earth. The year on Mars 687 days ground.

Internal structure

What happened to Mars is exactly what happened to the earth from differentiation or variation. The process is meant to differentiate the density and the components of each layer of the planet so that the heart or core of the planet is higher than the density. The current model of Mars has the following: The heart extends to a distance of 1794 ± 65 km and is mainly composed of iron, nickel, and sulfur by 16-17%. This iron-sulfate heart is partly liquid, with a concentration of twice the concentration of the lighter substances in the heart. This heart is surrounded by a mantle of silicates, which have many tectonic and volcanic features on the planet, but now appear latent. Along with silicon and oxygen, the most common elements in Mars’s crust are iron, aluminum, magnesium, aluminum, calcium, and potassium. The average thickness of the crust of Mars is 50 kilometers and the maximum height of 125 kilometers, while the Earth’s crust is 40 kilometers, and this thickness for the size of the Earth equivalent to one-third of the thickness of the crust of Mars relative to its size. It is planned that the INSET spacecraft will conduct a more accurate analysis of Mars during its mission in 2016 using a seismograph to determine a model of the planet’s internal structure.

the soil

The data from the Phoenix space probe showed that the Martian soil is slightly alkaline and contains substances such as magnesium, sodium, potassium, and chlorine. These nutrients are found in gardens on the ground and are essential for plant growth. Experiments conducted by the space probe showed that the Martian soil had a pH concentration of 8.3 and may contain traces of perchlorate salt. “We found mainly what they seem to be the properties or nutrients that support the potential of life, past, present or future,” said Sam Con Davis, chief specialist of the Fluid Chemistry Laboratory at Phoenix.


Water on the surface of Mars is often in the form of ice. The Arctic and Antarctic glaciers represent most of the ice on the surface. There is also some ice in the Martian crust. There is also a small percentage of water vapor in the planet’s atmosphere. But there is no liquid water on the surface of Mars at all. The presence of water in an icy image is due to the climatic conditions of Mars where very low temperatures lead to instant water freezing. However, studies have confirmed that the situation on Mars was very different from what it is now and may have been similar to the planet where liquid water was found in large areas of the surface of the planet is a problem of oceans such as now on the surface of the earth.

There is a lot of direct and indirect evidence on this theory, including spectral analyzes of the surface of Mars soil as well as polar ice sheets and also the presence of a lot of minerals in the crust Mars, whose existence was associated with the surface of the earth with water. Including Hematite Iron Oxide, Sulfate Sulfate, Goethite Goethite, and Phyllosilicate Silica compounds. Unmanned spacecraft and spacecraft have helped Mars to study the planet’s surface and analyze its soil and atmosphere. One of the vehicles helped by this is the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to accurately capture the surface of Mars and analyze the surface of the planet thanks to the HiRISE camera, as well as the crumbling volcanic craters, dry day streams, and glaciers. Gamma-ray spectroscopy also revealed ice under the surface of Mars. Also, radar studies have revealed the presence of pure ice in the formations believed to be ancient glaciers.


The top of the planet is from the plains of lava, and the giant volcanoes on the Tarsis plateau, the most famous of which is Olympus Moon, is undoubtedly the largest volcano in the solar system. The southern part of Mars has high elevations and appears to be Highlands triggered meteorites and meteors that hit those highlands. Mars plains cover dust and sand rich in the red iron oxide. Some areas of Mars sometimes cover a thin layer of water ice. While the poles cover thick layers of carbon dioxide and ice water. The highest peak in the solar system is the peak of the 25-km Olympus. As for the clumps, the red planet is characterized by the largest groove in the solar system and extends the grotto “Mariner Valley” to a distance of 4000 km, and a depth of up to 7 km.


It was the first news about the Mars atmosphere of the Mariner series, where it was confirmed that the planet had a very thin atmosphere up to 0.01 for the Earth’s atmosphere. This thin atmosphere of CO2 is mostly composed of 95% of its components.

The air components were then analyzed by the Viking 1 vehicle to arrive at its conclusion from the air composition, as in the table:

Subject The ratio %
CO 2 95.3
2 2.7
Ar 1.6
2 0.3
CO 0.07
2 O 0.03


Atmospheric pressure on the surface of the planet is close to 1/100 of atmospheric pressure at sea level. A very small amount of ozone has been touched up to a concentration of 0.03 parts / million molecule. But this focus does not protect against harmful UV rays.

We note from the table that the percentage of water vapor in the atmosphere is very small, making the atmosphere dry. But because of the coldness of the planet’s surface, this tiny amount of water vapor is sufficient to satisfy it. As the temperature drops below dew, the gases, especially CO2, begin to condense, freeze and fall on the planet’s surface.

Local storms have been observed on the surface, which are strong winds moving rapidly, dust clouds and cyclones that rotate on the surface and move the soil from one place to another. These winds on the planet have, as on Earth, a daily wind cycle and a seasonal cycle. Because the atmospheric density is 2% of the earth’s atmosphere density, the wind force must be about 7 to 8 times greater than that of the earth’s wind so that it can raise and withstand the dust and be stormy. The earth winds at 24 km / h These storms raise on Mars, we need winds of 180 kilometers per hour to make such storms.

This effect was called Eolian effect, relative to the Eolus. A clear indication of the impact of the wind is the sand dunes. Where the winds carry sand from the place and receive it elsewhere. The storm keeps its survival by turning solar energy into kinetic energy, absorbing energy from solar radiation, warming the atmosphere and increasing wind velocity. The planet has a yellowish jacket of storms. Without water, dust is washed from the air and remains stuck for several weeks before settling on the surface again. It is strange that these winds are blowing calmly and without voices, not the sound of stormy storms.

The orbit of the planet and its rotation

Mars is the fourth planet away from the sun. And the first planet has orbit outside the orbit of the Earth and away from the sun about 228 million km on average. The center is eccentric and is relatively large, indicating that its orbit is clearly elliptical where it is at a precipitous distance of 206 million km from the sun and at its peak reaches 249 million km from the sun. The amount of sunlight falling on its surface varies by up to 45% between the apogee and the perigee, ie, by 30 ° C and the subsequent changes in the planet’s climate between the two sites. The temperature varies between the winter and the summer between -144 ° and 27 ° C. On average, The temperature is about -23 to -55 ° C.

The planet cuts off this orbit in a time equivalent to 687 terrestrial days, and during its orbit, in this orbit, a number of phenomena occur, including coupling.

Mars Moons

The moons of Mars were discovered in 1877 by Asaph Hall and were named after the companions of the Greek god Ares. Both the Phobos and the Moon orbit the Red Planet. During the rotation, the same side of the Moon corresponds to the Red Planet just as the Moon displays the same side of the Earth.

The moon of Phobos

Phobos is a small irregular rock form no longer than 21 km (13 miles) and its orbit around Mars is 7.7 hours. The moon looks somewhat like a pyramid. It is shrouded by foot-sized shock nozzles. It is noted by the existence of striations and chains of small nozzles. The largest is called the Stickney, which is about 10 km (6 miles) wide. The Lobos orbits around Mars faster than Martian orbit around itself, leading to the rotation of the moon, Phobos, around Mars, diminishing day by day until it ends up crashing and then hitting the planet Mars.

Moon Demos

Demos is a satellite of Mars along the moon Phobos, a small irregular piece of rock no longer than 12 kilometers (7 miles) and orbiting Mars in 1.3 days. Beyond the Red Planet, Qatar is orbiting the moon. Demos looks somewhat hierarchical. It is shrouded by foot-sized shock nozzles.

Explore Mars

There are approximately 44 attempts to send spacecraft to the Red Planet by the United States, the Soviet Union, Europe, and Japan. About two-thirds of the spacecraft failed in its mission either on the ground, on its journey or on its landing on the surface of the Red Planet. One of the most successful attempts to Mars was the so-called Mariner, The Viking, Surveyor, Pathfinder, and Odyssey. The SURVIVOR captured images of the planet’s surface, giving scientists a perception of water, either on the surface or just below the surface of the planet. For Odyssey, it sent information to scientists on the ground that enabled scientists to conclude that there was frozen water beneath the planet’s surface in the region of 60 degrees south of the planet’s south pole.

In 2003, the European Space Agency (ESA) sent an orbital vehicle and a remote-controlled car. The first confirmed the existence of ice water and frozen carbon dioxide in the Antarctic region of the planet. It should be noted that the first to reach this information is the US space agency and the European vehicle confirmed the information. Attempts by the European agency failed to attempt to connect the car accompanying the spacecraft and officially announced the loss of the car in February of the same year. The US space agency carried two space vehicles, the time difference between the first and the second, three weeks. The American vehicles were able to send amazing images of the planet’s surface. The cars sent information to the scientists on the ground, confirming the presence of water on the red planet in the past.

Earth and Mars coupling

Earth passes between the sun and Mars every 27 months in an incident known as conjugation, in which case Mars and Earth are at one level with the sun. During this time the distance between Earth and Mars reaches its lowest value, and Mars looks like a bright disc larger than usual; which makes this time the best time to observe and observe its surface and climatic features.

The best conjugation time is approximately 15 to 17 years. The earth orbits the sun in an elliptical orbit, as is Mars, which is relatively more elliptical than the Earth’s orbit, as well as the speed of rotation of Mars and Earth around the sun.

The closest approach to Mars is from Earth in a period of up to several days after pairing. The distance between Earth and Mars varies between 55.63 million km and 100.8 million km. The best correlation occurs when the distance between Mars and Earth is less than 55.63 million km, which is between 15 and 17 years.

Water changed the history of Mars

NASA has published a report on the possible existence of groundwater on the surface of Mars, and for the existence of some minor scientific errors in what was published by many news agencies about the news NASA decided to conduct a press conference to scientists Michael C.Malin and Kenneth S. Edgett, the authors of the discovery on June 22 The paper will be published in Science Magazine June 30.

Scientists have been able to use images and data from NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor (MGS), which are conducting a ground survey of Mars, to recognize some of the elements that suggest existing sources of water on the surface of the Red Planet, Or close to the surface at close depths.

Mars is a desert planet that is unlikely to have water on its surface. Its average temperature is less than zero. Atmospheric pressure is three times the evaporative pressure of water, but in 1972 some evidence was shown that water could exist on the planet sometime in the past. (Billions of years). These images showed the effects of large flow channels, from which a network of small valleys sprang. Scientists asked a lot: Where could this water have gone?

Preparations to go on Mars

NASA announced on December 5, 2014, that it intends to conduct medical tests on an astronaut to examine long-term space travel conditions and their impact on humans. This is in addition to NASA’s tests of the Orion spacecraft prepared for that flight to Mars. NASA has chosen astronauts Scott Kelly and Mark Kelly, two twins, which will help to carry out medical and psychological tests to produce reliable results later on. Scott will be taken to Earth orbit on March 28, 2015 to stay in space for a full year, while his brother Mark will remain on the ground and undergo the same tests. He will be a test reference to identify the effects of space and gravity on the astronaut.

The advantage in the twin Scott and Mark is that they have the same genetic differentiation, which allows recognition of the effects of zero gravity on Scott for a year and compared them with the results of the tests on Mark, which will remain on the ground during the same period.

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