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Facts, Fiction, and Modern Exploration of Planet Mars

Planet Mars (Hubble Telescope, NASA/ESA)The planet Mars, fourth from the Sun in our Solar System, has inspired human civilization since antiquity. Its name comes from the Roman god of war. It appears red in our night sky - and indeed is as red as it looks, with a covering of iron oxide over most of the planet.

Mars is about half the size of planet Earth with just over half its atmospheric pressure, about one and a half times as far from the Sun with a year nearly twice as long, and a day that is almost the same length. It has an average temperature of -63 degrees C. It has two moons, Phobos and Deimos, that look like asteroids.

One of the most fascinating questions about Mars is whether it has life. Many spacecraft have been sent to study the planet, including the rovers Spirit and Opportunity. In the articles below, learn more interesting facts about Mars as well as myths and fiction surrounding the Red Planet, and about our current space exploration missions.

Latest Articles on Mars
Will Mankind Make It to Mars?

The Red Planet has always been visible from Earth. It’s a tiny red speck in the sky that you can cover with your thumb, yet it remains millions of miles away. Mankind has had...

Are We Alone? How Water On Mars Can Help Us Find Out

The search for water on Mars has been a long one. It has taken us years to discover overwhelming evidence showing water flowing on the red planet. One challenge NASA has today, however...

Image Gallery - Images of Mars by NASA's Rover Opportunity

NASA's twin rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, were slated for a three month life. Both far exceeded that. Spirit is now dead but Opportunity continues its trek of exploration over...

The Fascinating Moons of Mars

How many moons does Mars have? Generally the answer to this query is a relatively simple one: two. While investigating these two satellites, speculation of sinister artificial...

Most Popular Articles on Mars
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    Interesting Facts About the Mars Rovers & Their Missions

    The Mars rover Sojourner and its newer replacements Spirit and Opportunity show that preliminary research on the red planet can be conducted very efficiently by robotic vehicles. These missions are relatively...

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    Similarities Between Terrestrial and Jovian Planets

    All the planets in the Solar System can be grouped into two categories - terrestrial and Jovian planets. This article details the similarities between these very different types of planets....

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    When the Asteroid Belt Was Discovered

    When was the asteroid belt first discovered? A number of different scientists and astronomers contributed to the understanding of what we now know as the asteroid belt. While some early researchers...

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    A Guide to the Inner Planets of Our Solar System

    Looking for information on the inner planets of our solar system? Which planets and what is their order from the Sun? Read on to find out about Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars....

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    The Folklore and Reality Behind the Next Planetary Alignment

    News of the next planet alignment seems to occur every few years. Each event comes with a slew of apocalyptic warnings from doomsayers, selling the pseudo-science of planetary alignments. Before the supposed...

More About Mars
About Canyons on Mars

The latest information on what made the canyons on Mars, the Grand Canyon compared to the Mars canyon Valles Marineris and the uncertain relationship between the canyons of Mars and...

Why Mars Appears Red in Color?

For centuries, Mars's bloody red appearance has always been associated with war, fire and destruction. But, have you ever wondered why Mars appears red in color? This article...