Fact and information about Mars Planet

Mars PlanetWe know that we have nine planets present in our solar system and the planet Mars is one of them which is in fourth place. The name is given after the Roman god of war. Due to the reddish appearance on its surface because of present of iron oxide it is also called as Red Planet. The mars planet comes after our Earth planet. It is a terrestrial planet which have thin atmosphere. The surface features of mars planet have reminiscent both of impact craters of moon and volcanoes, deserts, valley and the polar ice caps of the Earth. The rotational periods and the seasonal cycles of the Mars Planet is nearly similar to that of the Earth. The Mars planet is also a site of the Olympus Mons, highest known mountains within our solar system & of the Valles Marineris, largest canyon. 40% of the Mars Planet is covered by the smooth Borealis basin in Northern Hemisphere of the planet and may be the giant impact features.

Mars PlanetThere are many speculated about the presence of the water on the surface of Mars planet until the first flyby of Mars which was occurred in 1965 by the Mariner 4. It was based on observation of the periodic variations in the light & the dark patches, particularly in polar latitudes that appeared to be the seas and the continents; long, dark striations were interpreted by the some as the irrigation channels for the water. But later these straight lines features were explained as the optical illusion. Though the gMars Planeteological evidence gathered by the unmanned missions suggests that once the Mars Planet had large scale of water coverage on its surface. But in the year 2005 radar data revealed the presence of the large quantity of water ice at the pole of the Mars planet and at the mid latitudes. By the year 2007 March Mars rover spirit sampled the chemical compounds containing the water molecules. But the Phoenix landeer sampled directly sampled the water ice in the shallow Martian soil in 2008, July 31.

mars exploration roverPhobos and the Deims are the two moons of the Mars Planet which are small and in irregular shaped. This may be the captured asteroid which is similar to 5261 Eureka, a Martian Trojan asteroid. Currently the Mars Planet is host to the three functional orbiting spacecraft called Mars Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Mars Express. On surface Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity & its recently decommissioned twin, Sprit, along with the several other inert landers & the rovers; both successful and unsuccessful. By the year 2008 the Phoenix lander completed the mission on the surface of Mars Planet. According to the observation by the NASA’s now defunct Mars Global Surveyor shows the evidence that the part of the southern polar ice cap of Mars Planet have been receding.

The Mars Planet also can be seen from the Earth with our naked eye too. The apparent magnitudes of the Mars reaches -3.0 brightness surpassed only the planet Jupiter, Venus, moon and the Sun.

Physical characteristics of Mars Planet
Mars PlanetIf we see the physical characteristics of the Mars Planet than it is approximately half the radius of the planet Earth. It is less dense than our Earth which is about 15% of the volume of the earth and 11% of the mass. The surface area of the planet is only slightly less than the total are of the dry land of the earth. The planet is larger and is more massive than the Mercury Planet. The Mercury planet has higher density. This result in two planets having nearly identical gravitational pull at the surface of the planet; Mars planet is stronger by less than 1%. Planet Mars is roughly intermediate in the mass, size and the surface gravity between the Earth and the moon of the earth. The visualization of the red-orange appearance of the planet is due to the presence of iron (III) oxide which is commonly called hematite or rust. If we compare the Mars Planet with the Moon than the Moon is only about half the diameter of the planet where as the Planet Earth is twice. The Earth is about nine times massive than the Planet Mars and Moon is one ninth as massive.

Physical characteristics of Mars PlanetAccording to the orbital observations and the examinations of Martian meteorite collections it has been found that the surface of the Mars Planet appears to compose of the basalt. Some of the proof also suggests that the portion of Martian surface is rich in silica than the typical basalt which may be similar to the andesitic rock on the planet earth. The observation or the research also explained by the silica glass. It is also found that most of the surface of the planet is deeply covered by the finely grained dust of iron (III) oxide.

The observation also show that the part of the crust of the planet have been magnetized and the alternating polarity reversal of its dipole field have occurred in past; though the mars planet has not any proof of the current structured global magnetic field. Paleomagnetism of magnetically susceptible minerals has the properties which is very similar to alternating bands found on the floors of the oceans on the Earth. A theory which was published in 1999 and which is re-examined in 2005 October suggest that the bands demonstrate plate tectonic on the Mars planet before the four billion years ago, before planetary dynamo ceased to functions & the cause magnetic field of planet to fade away.

The current models of the mars planet interior imply the core region about 1480 kilometer in radius together with the primarily of iron about 14 to 17 % of sulfur. These iron sulfide cores present is partially fluid & have double the concentration of lighter elements than exist at the core of the Planet Earth. According to the study the core is surrounded by the silicate mantle which formed many of tectonic and the volcanic features on the planet which appears to be inactive in present days. If we see the average thickness of the crust of the planet than it is about 50 km with the maximum thickness of 125 km. The average crust of the Earth is about 40 km which is only 1/3 as thick as the crust of Mars planet.

Mars PlanetAccording to the study and theories, at the time of solar system formation, Mars was created out of protoplanetary disk which orbited the sun as the result of stochastic process of runaway accretion. According to the study it has been found that the mars planet has many distinctive chemicals features which is caused by its position in solar system.

Elements which have low boiling points such as chlorine, phosphorus and sulphur very common than in the earth. Probably due to the powerful solar wind during the young planet these elements may have removed from the areas which are very closer to the sun.

After the formation of the planets all were subjected to the Late Heavy Bombardment. As the result shows that the nearly about 60% of the planet shows impact recorded from that era. Rest of the surface of the planet may have probably underlined by huge collision basin in northern hemisphere of Mars Planet across 10600 km by 8500 km or we can say four times larger than the Aitken basin in the south pole of the earth’s moon. This is considered as one of the largest collision discovered up to now. This theory suggest that the planet Mars was hit by a heavenly body which had size about the size of the Pluto about four billion years ago from now. It is also thought that this result cause of the Martian hemispheric dichotomy, created the smooth Borealis basin which nearly cover the 40 percent of the planet.

soil structure of mars planetSoil structure of Mars planet
A voyager was send to the Mars Planet to study the surface of the planet the voyager was Phoenix Lander which sent the data and information about the Martian soil which has slightly alkaline together with the elements like sodium, magnesium, chloride and potassium. These are most essential nutrients for the development and growth of any plants; these nutrients are found in the gardens of the earth. According to the Lander the Martian soil has basic pH of 8.3 and may contains traces of salt perchlorate.

soil structure of mars planetThe most common thing across the Mars Planet is Streaks where new appears frequently on the steep slopes of craters, valleys & troughs. At first these streaks use to be dark in color and get lighter with the age. These streaks sometime use to start from small & tiny area and which gets spread out for hundreds of meter. It is seen to follow edges of the boulders & other barrier in their path. It is dark basic layers of the soil which is discovered after the mass of bright dust or dust devils. Here different theories and explanations have been given and some of which rivet water or the organism growth

Water on Mars Planetwater on mars planet
Entire scientist eyes are on water on mars planet. All scientists are searching for this result but according to the research it is found that liquid water cannot be exist on the surface of the Mars planet. This is due to the very low atmospheric pressure. However in the polar region the huge ice cap appears made from water. According to the research it is found that if the entire ice water is melted and changes in to water of south polar than this would be sufficient water to cover the whole planet surface making depth of 11 meters. The permafrost mantle stretches from pole to the latitude of 60 degree.
water on mars planet
It is thought that very large quantity of water ice are trapped below thick cryosphere of the planet Mars. The information and the data from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Mars Express show that the large quantity of water ice are present in both poles in 2005 July and at the mid latitudes in the year 2008 November but in the year 2008 July 32 the Phoenix Lander directly sampled the ice water in shallow Martian soil.

water on mars planetThe landform which is visible on the Mars Planet suggests that water has at least at times existed on the surface of the planet. Around in the 25 places the large linear swathes of scoured ground called outflow channel cut across the surface areas. It is also thought that the erosion record that happened during the catastrophic release of water from the subsurface aquifers, however some of this structures also been hypothesized to result from the action of lava or glaciers. It is thought that the youngest of this channel have made recently about few millions years ago. Somewhere else, the particularly on oldest areas on the surface of Martian, finer-scale, dendritic networks of the valleys are widening across the significant proportions of landscape. The main features of this valley & their distribution very strongly imply which they were craved by runoff resulting from the snow or rain fall in the early history of Mars planet. The subsurface water flows & ground water draining may play vital role in some networks but the precipitation was possibly the root cause of incision in almost in all cases.

In Mars planet we also can find number of features along crater & canyon walls which appear same to terrestrial gullies. Gullies tend to be in flat terrain of southern hemisphere and to the equator, all are pole ward of 30 degree latitude. Different authors have suggested that the formation process demands the involvement of water, possibly from ice melting. And most of other have dispute for the formations methods which is involve the carbon dioxide frost or movement of dry dusts. No partly tarnished (degraded) gullies have formed by the weathering & no places over (superimposed) impact crater have been observed, pointing that these are very young features and which may be possibly active even present days.

There are also different other geological features like deltas and alluvial fans preserved in the craters which are also argued very strongly for the warmer, moist state at some intervals in the earlier Mars planet history. This kind of conditions essentially requires the widespread presence of crater lakes across the huge proportion of surface, for which there are sedimentological, independent mineralogical and geomorphological proofs. Some of the authors also have argue that at the time in martian past, must of low northern plains of mars planet were covered with the true ocean hundreds of meter deep, however this remains notorious.

According to the study the water once had present on the surface of Planet Mars came from recognition of some particular minerals like as goethite and hematite, both of which in some time form in presence of water. It is also believed that ancient liquid water basins and flows have been annulled by the higher resolution studies by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Though, in the year 2004, an opportunity identifies the mineral jarosite. This formation is made in presence of acidic water which gives the evidence that once upon a time the water was existed in the Mars Planet.
Polar caps of mars planet.

Polar Caps of Mars Planet
Polar Caps of Mars PlanetNow lets discuss about polar caps of the mars planet. Mars planet has two polar ice caps. At the time of winter pole, it lies in the regular darkness, chilling the surface of the planet which causes 25 to 30 percent of the atmosphere to condense out into the thick slabs of CO2 ice which is also called dry ice. When the poles again faced to the sunlight than all the icy CO2 sublimes simply by creating gigantic winds which sweep off the poles as speed as 400 kilometer per hour. Due to such type of seasonal actions use to transport the huge amount of dust and water vapors, as similar as in the Earth frost & large cirrus clouds. Clouds formed by the water ice which were photographed by Opportunity rover in the year 2004.

It is considered that the both poles consist mostly of ice water. The freezing carbon dioxide accrues as the ting layer about one meter thick on northern cap in the northern winter, whereas the southern cap has permanent dry ice cover which is nearly about eight meter thick. The northern cap has diameter of nearly about 1000 km at the time of Northern Mars summer which contains about 106 million cubic kilometer of ice which if extend evenly on cap would be of 2 kilometer of thickness. This can be compare to the volume of 2.85 million cubic km for Greenland ice sheet. It is found that the southern polar cap has the diameter of about 350 kilometer and has thickness of 3 kilometer. It is also estimated that the total volume of ice in the southern polar cap plus the adjacent layered deposits has been estimated about 1.6 million cubic kilometer. The both southern and northern polar caps show the spiral trough which is assumed and believed that it is formed due to the differential solar heating, together with the condensation of water vapor & sublimation of ice. The development of spider like radial channels craved on 1 meter thick ice by the sunlight. After then sublimed CO2 & possibly water- increases the pressure in internal producing geyser like eruptions of cold fluid often mixed with the dark basaltic mud or sand. This procedure is fast, observed (practical) occurring in the space of few days, weeks or months, the growth rate rather strange in geology particularly for the Planet Mars.

Geography of Mars Planet
Geography of Mars PlanetTwo person named Johann Heinrich Madler and Wilhelm Beer were the first Aerographers for mapping the Moon and both of them began by establishing the most of surface features of mars planet were permanent & accurately determining the rotation of the planet period. In the year 1840, Madler drew the first map of the Mars combining the ten years of observations and research. Relatively than giving the names to different markings, Wilhelm Beer and Johann Heinrich Madler simply designated them with the letters; Meridian Bay (Sinus Meridiani) was thus feature “a”. Today the features on the Mars planet are named from the number of sources. Large albedo features retain many of older (ancient) names, but are frequently updated for reflecting the new knowledge of nature of features, e.g snow of Olympus (Olympica) has now become Olympus Mons or Mount Olympus.

Now let’s discuss about the geography of the Mars planet. As the surface of the mars planet is seen from earth has divided into two types of areas with conflicting albedo. It is said that the mars planet paler plains covered with the sand and dust rich in reddish iron oxides which once was thought of as Martian “Continents” and the name is given like Arabia Terra (the land of Arabia) or the Amazonis Planitia (Amazonian Plains). All the dark part and features were thought to be the sea so their names as Mare Erythraeum, Aurorae Sinus and Mare Sirenum. The dark region seen from the surface of the earth is given name as Syrtis Major Planum. The north polar ice caps which are permanent are named as Planum Boreum and the southern cap named as Planum Australe.

The equator of the Mars Planet is defined by its rotation but the location of Mars’s Prime Meridian was precise as the Earth, by the selection of an arbitrary point; Beer and Madler chose a line in the year 1830 for the first maps of the Planet Mars. Extensive images of Mars Planet were provided in the year 1972 after the spacecraft Mariner 9, small crater which is later called as Airy-0, placed in the Sinus Meridiani, was selected for the definition of 0.0 degree longitude to concur with the innovative selection.

Zero elevation surfaces or the mean gravity surface also had to be chosen because Mars Planet has no oceans present and no sea level. The zero altitude is classify by the height at which there is 610.5 Pa (6.105 mbar) of the atmospheric pressure. This pressure is corresponds to triple point of liquid water & which is nearly about 0.6 percent of the sea level surface pressure on the Earth (0.006 atm). Click Image Below To View Large And Better Quality
geography of mars planet
Impact topography of Mars Planet
If we talk about the dichotomy of Martian topography than it is found to be striking that means the northern plains is flatten by the lava flow contrast with southern highlands cratered & pitted by ancient impact. According to the research made in the year 2008; it has presented that the proof regarding the theory proposed in the year 1980 postulating that, nearly about the 4 billion years ago. According to the study it is found that the planet mars in the northern hemisphere was struck by an object which was the size of two thirds or one tenth of Moon. If it is validated, it would make Northern hemisphere of the planet Mars site of an impact crater 10600 kilometer long and by 8500 kilometer wide; or roughly we can say the are of Australia, Europe and Asia combined surpassing the south pole- Aitken basin as largest impact crater in our solar system.

According to the study it is found that about 43000 crater with a diameter of 5 km or greater than that have found on the planet. As the result we can say that Mars Planet is scarred by the numbers of impact craters. Hellas impact basin was confirmed as largest, the light Albedo feature clearly visible from our Earth. Due to the smaller in mass of the Mars planet heavenly object colliding probability with the planet is nearly about the half of our Earth. This is due to that Mars planet is very closer to the asteroid belt. Mars planet is also more likely to be struck by the short period comet that is those which lie within orbit of the planet Jupiter. As compared wit the moon there are also far fewer crater on the Mars planet because atmosphere of the planet provide the protection against the small meteors. There are also some of the craters which have morphology which suggests the ground became wet after meteor impacted.

Atmosphere of Mars Planet
According to the researchers it is said that the Mars planet has lost its magnetosphere before 4 billion years ago, therefore the solar wind interact directly with Martian ionosphere, lowering atmospheric density by stripping away atoms from outer layer. It is found that the ionized atmospheric particles trailing off into the space behind planet detected by Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Express and this atmospheric loss will be researched by the upcoming Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) orbiter. If we compare the atmosphere of Mars planet and our Earth than it is found to be little rarefied.
It is found that the atmospheric pressure on the surface ranges from low of 30 Pa on Olympus Mons to over 1155 Pa in Hellas Planitia with the mean pressure at surface level of 600 Pa. It is found that the highest atmospheric density on the Mars planet is equal to the density that is found 35 kilometer above the surface of the Earth. The Maximum surface pressure is only 0.6 % of that of our Earth i.e 101.3 kPa. It is found that the scale height of the atmosphere is about 10.8 kilometer which is higher than our Earth (6 km) due to Mars’s surface gravity is only 30% of the Earth’s, an effect offset by both lower temperature & 50% higher average molecular weight of Mars’ s atmosphere.

According to  the research made it is found that Mars planet consist of 95% of Carbon dioxide, 3% of Nitrogen, 1.6% of Argon and contains traces of water & oxygen. The atmosphere of the Mars planet is quite dusty which contain particulates about 1.5 ┬Ám in diameter which give Martian sky a tawny color when seen from the surface.While researching the Martian atmosphere it has been detected Methane with a mole fraction of about 30ppb; it occurs in the extended plumes & profiles imply that methane was released from the discrete region. In the midsummer of northern part it is found that the principal plume contained 19000 metric tons of methane with the estimated source strength of 0.6 kg per second. There may be two local sources region one is centered near  30° N, 260° W and another is at 0°, 310° W suggested the profiles. According to the study it is estimated that the mars planet use to produce 270 ton of methane per year. The life time of implied methane destruction is maximum about 4 Earth years and minimum about 0.6 Earth years. These types of speed turn over symbolize or indicate an active source of gas on the Mars planet. Cometary impacts, volcanic activities & presence of methanogenic microbial life in the planet forms are among possible sources. Non biological process called serpentinization use to produce the Methane involving water, carbon dioxide & mineral olivine which is known to be most common on the Mars Planet. By the research made by the Mars Express satellite uncertainly the Ammonia was also detected but with its relatively short life time but is not clear that what use to produce it; one of the possible source for its production is volcanic activity on the planet. The Ammonia isn’t stable on the planet which uses to break down after few hours.

mars planet surface, mars planet climate
Climate of Mars Planet
Out of all planets in our solar system we have not found any planets whose climatic condition is like our Earth or similar to our Earth but the Mars planet is one and only planet whose seasons are most Earth like due to the similar tilts of two planet’s rotational axes. Due to the greater distance from our Sun, the length of seasons in Martian surface is about twice of our Earth which leads to Martian year being about two Earth years long. If we see the surface temperatures of Mars planet than it vary from lows of about -143 Degree Celsius at the winter polar caps and to high up to 35 Degree Celsius in equatorial summer. This wide range difference of temperature is due to the thin atmosphere present in Mars planet which can’t store much solar heat, low atmospheric pressure & low thermal inertia of Martian soil. While comparing with the Earth, Mars planet is 1.52 times as far from the Sun, which in result in just 43percent of amount of sunlight. There would be one way where the season of Mars planet would be similar to like Earth if its orbit was similar to Earth because the axial tilt of the planet is similar to that of Earth. Somewhat the large eccentricity of Martian orbit has a major effect. While studying the Mars planet is it found that it is near perihelion when it is summer in southern hemisphere & winter in north. The planet will be in near aphelion when it is winter in south hemisphere & summer in north. This result and research suggest that the seasons in south hemisphere are more extreme & seasons in the north are milder than would otherwise be the case. The temperature can reach up to 30 Kelvins during summer than equivalent summer temperature in North part. In our solar system planets Mars has largest dust storms which can differ from a storm over a small area to gigantic storm which cover the entire planet. Generally these activities happen when the planet is closest to the Sun & have been shown to increase the global temperature.

orbit and rotation of mars planet
Orbit and Rotation of Mars Planet
Orbit and Rotation of Mars Planet:
Roughly the average distance of Mars planet from the sun is 230 million km (143 million miles or 1.5 AU) and the orbital period is about 687 Earth days. When we compare the solar day of Mars planet with our Earth than we can find slightly difference with the Earth that is it has solar day of 24 hours 39 minutes and 35.244 seconds. The Martian year is equal to 1 year 320 days and 18.2 hours or equal to 1.8809 Earth years. Due to the axial tilt of Mars planet which is 25.19 degrees, it has seasons like our Earth has. Planet Mars had pass an aphelion in the year 2010 March and its perihelion in 2011 March. Next aphelion was in February 2012 and next perihelion was in January 2013. Out of other planet in our solar system Mars planet has a relatively pronounced orbital eccentricity of about 0.09. Out of all planets in our solar system Mercury planet has shown greater eccentricity. According to research it is also found that in past Mars planet had more circular orbit than it presently has. While doing research on Mars Planet scientist had found during 1.35 million years ago at one point the planet has an eccentricity of roughly 0.002 which is very less than present has.  As comparison with the Earth the Mars Planet has cycle eccentricity is 96000 Earth years where as Earth’s cycle of 1000000 years. Due to the gravitational effect of other planets the orbit of planet has been getting slightly more eccentric for last 35000 years. Mars planet also has much longer cycle of eccentricity with period of 2.2 million Earth’s year & this overshadows 96000 year cycle in eccentricity graphs. According to research it is found that the closest distance between our Earth and the Mars planet will continue to mildly decrease for next 25000 years.

Search for life on Mars Planet:
Mars Viking ProbFrom the beginning, the scientist has been searching for the evidence of life on Mars planet but it is also known that for life on any planet, planet must be on habitable zone. According to the proof of past flow of water on mars planet shows the potentiality for habitability on the planet. Numbers of researches are on process on the surface of Martian and recently, the evidence also suggested that the water on Mars surface was may be too much salty and acidic for supporting the regular terrestrial life. To retain the water on liquid form the planet must have good heat transfer across its surface as well as good insulation against solar wind bombardment and sufficient atmospheric pressure but these things are lack on the surface of Mars planet, even the lack of magnetosphere and very thin atmosphere of the planet is challenge too. Mars is geologically dead nearly or totally, volcanic activities are totally end which has stopped the recycling of chemicals and minerals between the interior and surface of the planet. It is suggested that the Martian surface was once significantly more habitable than its today but it is still unknown that whether the living organism existed or not. In the mid 1970s The Viking Probes project was lunched to research about microorganisms on the surface and even the results were positive but some of the scientist had disputed the sign of life on mars planet showing that Viking might have detected the life on mars but tests were not such as sophisticated to detect the life on mars planet and these test might have killed the life form on the surface.

Read About: Search of Life on Mars Planet
Gravity on Mars Planet

Source: Wikipedia.org


KomodoTrip : make people travel in Adventure said...

a great findings and thanks to scientist that have let the human being learn more about life and more.....

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