Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fascinating science facts about Mars

Mars has extremely low temperatures, and frequent out of this world dust storms that are the biggest in our Solar system.

Martian dust storms occur every two to four Mars years are so powerful that they can cover the whole planet with dust for months.

In winter, the temperatures at the Mars' poles can go down to -140°C (-220 degrees Fahrenheit), these temperatures are so called that even carbon dioxide freezes.

The most difficult problem to any future human mission to Mars is to ensure reliable radio communication because Sun often blocks communication between Earth and Mars.

Some scientists believe that groundwater had important role in shaping the martian surface.

Mars has about 15% of Earth's volume and 11% of the Earth's mass.

Most of the surface of Mars is composed primarily of basalt. Basalt is black and fine-grained extrusive volcanic rock.

Many recent studies believe that Mars was struck by a Pluto-sized body about four billion years ago. Direct result of this struck was Borealis basin that covers 40% of the planet.

Mars is rich in water ice, in fact NASA in 2007 stated that volume of water ice in the south polar ice cap, if melted, would be enough to cover the entire planetary surface to a depth of 11 meters.

Mars is full with craters, currently more than 43,000 craters with a diameter of 5 km or greater have been found.

Atmosphere on Mars contains traces of oxygen but the most dominant ingredient of Mars atmosphere is carbon dioxide (around 95 % share).

Many evidences have been gathered by scientists suggesting that the Mars was once significantly more habitable than it is today, but scientists are still far from answering whether living organisms ever existed on Mars or not.

The "Face on Mars" that has become pop culture icon was the result of the photograph taken by 1976 Viking 1 showing huge rock formation very similar to human face.