2. TOPICS TO BE DISCUSSED Basics Orbit Topography Climate Water Geological Periods Atmosphere Interior The 2 Moons of Mars Missions to Mars 3. BASICS Fourth planet from the sun. Named after the Roman God of Wars Called the RED PLANET because of the iron oxide (rust) in the surface. Earth is 9x bigger than Mars Apparent Magnitude: -3.0 to 1.6 4. ORBIT OF MARS Mars is 230 million km away from the sun. Mars solar day (sol) = 24 hours and 39 minutes Mars revolution = 687 earth days 5. MOONS OF MARS 6. MOONS OF MARS discovered in 1877 by Asaph Hall origin is possibly asteroid capture. named after Greek mythology characters Panic and Dread no total solar eclipses in Mars ; total lunar eclipses happen every night 7. ATMOSPHERE Consists of 95% carbon dioxide, 3% nitrogen, 1.6% argon and traces of oxygen and water No magnetosphere Extremely thin atmosphere 8. INTERIOR Core consists of iron + sulfur, partially fluid Mantle silicate Crust 50-125 km thick 9. TOPOGRAPHY Olympus Mons - Highest mountain in the solar system (27km height) Valles Marineris - Largest known canyon in the solar system (4000km long) 10. TOPOGRAPHY Borealis Basin - (northern hemisphere) covers 40% of the planet 11. TOPOGRAPHY Sinus Meridiani - Mars Prime Meridian Hellas Impact Basin - Biggest impact crater in Mars 12. WATER IN MARS Water was speculated to be once present in Mars, but today, water cannot exist due to low atmospheric pressure (except in low areas). 13. WATER IN MARS Signs of water once existing in the planet include: Its two permanent polar ice caps seem to be made of water. Geographical features that show water run-off or erosion. Detection of specific minerals that are only present in water. 14. CLIMATE 15. CLIMATE Largest dust storm in the solar system Mars seasons are most Earth-like among all planets in the solar system Temperature: -87C (winter) to -5C (summer) 16. GEOLOGICAL PERIODS Noachian Period named after Noachis Terra 4.5 3.5 billion years ago oldest surfaces of Mars were created in this period, like the Tharsis bulge Hesperian Period named after Hesperia Planum 3.5 to 2.9 billion years ago marked by the formation of extensive lava plains Amazonian Period named after Amazonis Planetia 2.9 billion years ago to present Olympus Mons formed during this period 17. EXPLORATION Active Martian probes as of 2011: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (2006) Mars Express (2003) Mars Odyssey (2001) Opportunity Rover (2004) 18. EXPLORATION Past Missions: Mariner 4 Mars 2 and 3 Viking Program Mars Pathfinder Sojourner Phoenix Mars Future Missions: Curiosity (2011) ExoMars (2018) 19. MAN ON MARS? 20. Q U E S T I O N S ?