Lesson Plan - Get It!
Did you know that Mars is the fourth planet from the sun and is often called the red planet? Why is it red? How odd!
Mars is called the red planet because the surface of it is covered in a mineral called iron oxide, which is red in color and makes the surface of Mars look red. Iron oxide is known to us as rust!
Mars is slightly more than half the size of Earth.
On Earth, we have gravity that keeps us from floating away, but on Mars, there is only 37% of the Earth's gravity. Therefore, if you jumped up on Mars, you would float super high!
Mars is a fascinating planet! Here are some basic facts about Earth's neighbor:
- The largest mountain in the solar system is on Mars and is named Olympus Mons.
- Mars has dust storms that last for months and cover the entire planet.
- Tiny pieces of Mars have fallen to Earth as meteorites.
- Mars was named for the Roman god of war.
- Mars has two moons.
- The temperature on Mars ranges from –225 degrees Fahrenheit to a balmy 70 degrees.
- There are signs of water on Mars, but it is most likely extremely salty, which keeps it from freezing or vaporizing.
- The air around Mars is mostly carbon dioxide, so humans cannot live there.
- Mars has some similarities to Earth, such as the polar ice caps.
- Both Earth and Mars have a north and a south pole that are frozen.
- The length of one day on Mars and Earth is almost exactly the same: one day on Earth is 24 hours and on Mars, it is 24 hours and 39 minutes.
- A year on Mars is 687 days, which is almost twice as long as a year on Earth.
- There are seasons on Mars, just like on Earth, except they last much longer and aren't quite the same.
- The average temperature on Mars during the summer is 23 degrees Fahrenheit!
- Unlike Earth, there is no protective layer of air around Mars to hold the heat from the sun, so the temperature change on Mars in quite big!
- During the winter months, it can drop to -225 degrees Fahrenheit!
For more information about Mars, watch All About Mars: Astronomy and Space for Kids - FreeSchool (below):
In the Got It? section, take a virtual trip to Mars and try out a universe of ideas from NASA!