The red planet has captured our imagination for generations. While there is often lots of speculation about the “truth” surrounding the planet, there facts about Mars that have been proven are far more interesting. In fact, the following 25 facts are some of the most fascinating ones out there. This goes beyond the basics that Mars is the fourth planet from the sun in the solar system and after the Roman God of war.
1. Sunsets are Blue
While we see brilliant and fiery reds and oranges on Earth, the sunsets on Mars are a peaceful blue. As the light fades in the distance, it serves as a peaceful ending to the day. Think of this being similar to the early morning sun rising, just after the reds and yellows have passed.
2. One Way Ticket
In 2022, there is an expedition that will take a number of people to the red planet to live. It will take 7 months to get there and once they leave Earth… they will never return. So far, over 100,000 people have applied for the trip.
3. This Year is Dragging
4. Mount Everest the Molehill
While Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world, it isn’t the tallest in our universe. That honor belongs to a mountain on Mars. It’s high is 14 miles tall. Mount Everest in comparison is roughly five and a half miles tall.
5. Life on Mars?
There is a lot of speculation about the life on Mars. While that is still up for debate, there is artificial life on the planet. Currently, there are seven known robots on the planet scanning the terrain.
6. Color Me Surprised
7. Let Me Write You a Check for That
Think an expedition to Mars is out of your budget? The Indian Mars expedition actually cost less than Hollywood spent to make the movie Gravity. The cost of the mission was a cool $74 million dollars. Gravity cost $100 million dollars to produce. Of course, both pale in comparison to the $263.7 budget that John Carter had. Of course, unlike the bomb that John Carter was, the missions to Mars have proven to be profitable in terms of knowledge and renewed interest in the red planet.
8. It’s Your Birthday!
When NASA’s Curiosity Rover had officially spent its first year on Mars, the robot sang, “Happy Birthday” to itself. As future missions happen and in 2020, there will definitely be more there to help sing the song to the robot.
9. Make Sure You Pack Your Jacket
If you hate summer and the heat, Mars is the place for you! While you’re here, you can enjoy an average temperature of just -81 degrees Fahrenheit. To put that into comparison with Earth. The coldest recorded inhabited location ever was in Oymyakon, Russia. Here the freezing temperatures reached -52 degrees. The coldest spot in general is in Antarctica on the East Antarctic Plateau. Here is gets down to -133.6 degrees.
10. The Easiest Diet Ever
Hate how much you weigh on Earth? If you head over to Mars you are 60% lighter and that means you can look the same, but take pride in losing a bulk of that unwanted weight.
11. I Keep Running into You
It might surprise you that Mars is half the size of the Earth.
12. I Need Receipts for That
Back in 1997, three men in Yemen attempted to sue NASA for their trip to Mars. They claimed they had actually inherited the red planet from their ancestors nearly 3,000 years earlier.
13. Eat Your Greens
The soil composition on Mars might not be great for a lot of things. But if you took it back to Earth, you could use it to grow asparagus. The composite of the soil is ideal for growing this vegetable.
14. Let Me Google It
Wish you could see the planet from home? Then this is one of those cool facts about Mars you want to pay attention to. If you visit google.com/mars you’ll find infrared, visible, and elevation maps for the planet. One thing you won’t see is a bunch of people lined up in costumes as the Google van drives by.
15. I Love You to the Moons of Mars
Earth is the only planet with a single moon. Jupiter is home to 67 moons, Saturn has 62, and Uranus has 27. Over on Neptune, they see 14 moons at night, while Mars is home to two moons.
16. Finally a Good Use for Global Warming
While we know global warming is a concern on Earth, it can actually be a good thing on Mars. Scientists are exploring ways to add global warming to the planet. Their goal is to help raise temperatures so that human life can one day be sustained on the planet.
17. Take a Deep Breath
There was a time when Mars was full of oxygen. The problem is that was 4 billion years ago. Today, human life couldn’t survive on the planet due to the composition it currently has.
18. It’s True Enough
Despite there being no proven life on Mars, the planet still has it’s own flag. It was designed by an engineer at NASA. The flag is three solid bars of color. A cherry red, mint green, and blue.
19. I See It Now
Mars is one of only five planets you can see in the night sky with your naked eye from the Earth at night without the aid of a telescope. The others include Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, and Saturn.
20. Not Every Mission to Mars is a Success
Of the 40 missions to Mars, only 18 have been a success. The next anticipated mission is the NASA InSight robotic lander.
21. What’s that Tiny Speck in the Sky?
If you were to stand on the surface of Mars and look towards the sun, it would be vastly different than it is here on Earth. On the red planet, the sun appears roughly half the size it does on Earth. This leads to a cold winter and brief, yet slightly warmer summer season.
22. It’s Storming Out Here
Dust storms are a common occurrence on the red planet and this is one of those facts about mars that is interesting. Over the course of the year, the entire planet can be covered in a dust storm that goes on for months at a time.
23. The Martians Have Landed
Rocks from mars have actually been ejected into space and have hit the Earth. This galactic debris has been tested and it has allowed scientists to do some pretesting on the planet before the missions began to fly to the red planet.
24. Ice to Meet You
Mars is one of only two planets to have polar ice caps. The other is Earth. The two ice caps on Mars are known as Planum Australe and Planum Boreum. Both of these caps do have water beneath them. Which means that next to Earth, Mars could have the potential to house life one day.
25. It Must Be Your Magnetic Personality
While there is some belief that Mars had a magnetic field in it nearly 4 billion years ago, there is nothing there today. This suggests that Mercury has a molten core, like the Earth, that generates this magnetic field. It is fairly weak however at approximately only 1% of the Earth magnetism.
As you can see there are plenty of facts about Mars. While this doesn’t even begin to touch the wealth of information we have about the planet, it definitely is a great start for anyone looking to learn about it. Take the time to scan and memorize these facts and then continue your exploration about one of the most fascinating planets out there.