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.Know More
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.Learn More
Because Mars with its famous red coloration is readily visible from Earth, it is unknown who first discovered it; NASA lists the planet as "known by the ancients." There are records of its existence as far back as ancient Egypt.Full Answer >
Nicknames for the eight planets in the solar system are Swift Planet for Mercury, Morning Star and Evening Star for Venus, Blue Planet for Earth, Red Planet for Mars, Giant Planet for Jupiter, Ringed Planet for Saturn, Ice Giant for Uranus and Big Blue Planet for Neptune. Pluto was once considered a planet and had the nickname Ice Planet, but it is now classified as a dwarf planet.Full Answer >
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.Full Answer >
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.Full Answer >