Q:

Why is Mars called "the Red Planet"?

A:

Quick Answer

Mars has been given the moniker "the Red Planet" because it has a bright red color. This reddish colors probably marks the areas that are like deserts on the Martian landscape; the grayish areas are the liquid parts.

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Why is Mars called "the Red Planet"?
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Full Answer

The element iron is behind the redness of the planet. On Earth, when iron rusts, it takes on an orange-red color. The same thing happens on Mars. When the iron on the Martian surface "rusts" or becomes oxidized, the result is an orange-reddish hue. When oxygen and iron meet, rust forms.

On Mars, the source of oxygen for oxidizing iron comes from carbon dioxide and water vapor. Both these molecules are abundant in the Martian atmosphere.

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Related Questions

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    How big is Mars?

    A:

    Mars is the second smallest planet in the solar system, with a diameter of just over 4,212 miles and a circumference of 13,256 miles. Its diameter is about 53 percent that of the Earth. Among the major planets, only Mercury is smaller.

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  • Q:

    How hot is Mars?

    A:

    The average temperature on Mars is -80 degrees Fahrenheit. A summer day near Mars' equator gets up to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, but dips to -100 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Winter temperatures at the Martian poles drop to 195 degrees Fahrenheit.

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    What are some facts about Mars?

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    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.

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  • Q:

    If you weighed 50kg on Earth, how much would you weigh on Mars?

    A:

    A person weighing 50kg (110lbs) on Earth would weigh 19kg (42 lbs) on Mars. This is because the gravitational force on Mars is only 38 percent that of the gravitational force on Earth.

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