Mars is 142 million miles from the Sun and takes 687 Earth days to complete one orbit around the sun, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The average surface temperature on Mars is -81 degrees Fahrenheit, and the small red planet has a much weaker gravitational pull than that of Earth. Mars also has 15 percent of the volume of Earth.
According to Cornell University’s Mission to Mars, Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun in the solar system at 141.5 million miles away, just after Earth. A day on Mars is equivalent to 24 hours and almost 40 minutes, close to the 24 hours that make an Earth day. The wind on the planet is incredibly strong throughout the day, spiking up to 80 miles per hour. Weather on the planet exists in extremes, with extremely low and extremely high temperatures dependent upon the location on the planet.
Mars creates fascination for scientists because it is a former earth-like planet, according to Cornell University’s Mission to Mars. The inhospitable red planet has a history of flowing water, blue skies and a heavy atmosphere possible for containing life, explains Discovery. The Vallis Marineris on the Martian surface is longer than any valley on Earth.