Mars is the 4th planet from the Sun in our Solar System, and has about half of Earth’s diameter. Named after the Roman god of war, Mars, it is often described as the “Red Planet” as the iron oxide or rust prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance. The rotational period and seasonal cycles of Mars are similar to those of Earth. A Martian year is equal to 1.8809 Earth years, or 1 year, 320 days, and 18.2 hours. Mars is the site of Olympus Mons, the highest known mountain within the Solar System, and of Valles Marineris, one of the largest canyons. Mars has two small moons, Phobos and Deimos.
Here are 11 of NASA’s most stunning images of Mars [Source]
- Mars’ Valles Marineris, taken by Viking 1 Orbiter in February 1980
- Sunset on Mars
- Sand dunes in Mars’ North pole
- Proctor Crater
- Russell Crater dune field, covered seasonally by carbon dioxide frost
- Sand dunes on the floor of a crater in Noachis Terra
- A small cone on the side of one of Mars’ giant shield volcanoes.
- A region of troughs named Nili Fossae
- West-facing side of an impact crater in the mid-latitudes of Mars’ northern hemisphere.
- A Bird’s-Eye View of Erebus Crater
- A promontory nicknamed Cape Verde jutting out from the walls of Victoria Crater