Trying to keep up with the conversation surrounding the Red Planet? Here are 10 surprising Mars facts you should know in order to sound smarter.
1Driving: if you driving 100 km/h in a car, it would take 271 years & 221 days to get to Mars from Earth — I don’t think you make it back in time for dinner.
2Canyons: Mars have the largest steep-walled canyons in the solar system called the Noctis Labyrinthus, and is roughly 13,000 feet deep — so that would be one nasty fall.
3Volcano: another one of Mars’ tourist attraction is the Olympus Mons, the largest volcano in the solar system — so if you ever visit Mars, this would be one of the sights to see.
4 Crust: Mars’ crust is thicker than Earth’s and is thought to be one piece. It has no tectonic plates unlike Earth’s crust which consists of several moving plates, which could lead to earthquakes.
5Temperature and atmosphere: there are a lot of unpleasant scenarios for somebody who takes off the helmet on Mars. First, Mars is usually prety cold. Its average temperature is -81° Fahrenheit.
Secondly, Mars, practically, has no atmosphere. It composed mostly of carbon dioxide 95%, much less than 3% nitrogen, 1.6% argon and a few other elements. However, scientists do believe that, in the future, Mars has the possibility to become a more habitable planet, able to create an atmosphere similar to the one we have here on Earth.
6Seasons: Mars, like Earth, also has Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn. This is due to the similarity of both planets’ tilt of the rotation of axes. Earth’s tilt is approximately 23.5°, just a fraction away from Mars’ which is 25°.
However, the difference is, since Mars takes twice as long as Earth to orbit the Sun, the seasons are twice as long.
7Winter: during this season, about 20% of the air freezes. This is not a surprise. In winter, near the poles, temperatures can get down to minus -125&Deg;C — so, for those of you who complain when it’s cold, you really don’t want to go to Mars. (Remember to take a warm blanket with you)
8Sandstorms: the largest and most violent dust storms in our solar system were recorded on Mars. These storms can develop in a matter of hours, often have a frenetic speeds, reaching up to 200 km/h.
They can last for weeks and can envelope the entire planet within a few days. This does not happen often, but when it happen, it could be so big that you could see it through an ordinary backyard telescope.
9Gravity: on Mars you’d experience 62.5% less gravity than you would on Earth. This means that, stand on Mars, you could jump three times as high.
10Craters: Mars has so many impact crater on its surface. The most famous, called the Borealis basin, is the largest visible impact crater ever found in the solar system.
This crater is so huge that it measures 10,600 km from end to end, covering up 40% of planet’ surface. Scientist believe that this could be the result of gigantic impact that happen when the solar system was still forming (at least 3.9 billion years ago). The impacting object must have been about 2,000 kilometers across — that’s larger than Pluto.
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