Mars, the red planet, is the 4th and outermost of the terrestrial (solid) planets. Its surface is similar to that of the Moon and Earth. The surface is dominated by canyons – craters – lava plains and huge volcanoes, of which Olympus Mons, with its height of 25 km and a diameter of 6011 km, is the second largest mountain in our solar system. In comparison, Earth’s highest mountain is Mt. Everest, 8,848 km high!!!
About 1000 km from Olympus Mons the ridge Tharsis is 2000 km. long and 9 km. high with three large volcanoes: Arsia Mons – Pavonis Mons and Ascaeus Mons. Arsia Mons has been measured to be 27 kilometres high, surpassing Olympos Mons by 3 kilometres. All in all, a mountain range that can probably beat the Himalaya range, or for that matter the Great Wall of China. The great chasm of Valles Marineris stretches for 4000 kilometres or, like the United States, from coast to coast, is several hundred kilometres wide and up to 6 kilometres deep. Mars, like Earth, has ice caps at the poles. The surface has a characteristic red/brown colour due to its high contents of iron oxide compounds, hence the nickname the red planet.
- Average distance from the Sun: 227.94 million kilometres.
- Size: 6794 km.(diameter)
- Orbital period around the Sun: 686.9 days
- Mass: (kg.) 6.4191 x 1024
- Surface temperature: -40 – +27 degrees, at poles – 138 degrees
- Lengh of day: 24.62 hours
- Number of moons:2 – Phobos and Deimos
- Model: 227 metres (from the Sun)
- Model: 6.8 millimetres (diam.)