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Mars :: Planet Overview

NASA scientists celebrated the successful landing of the Phoenix Mars Lander on May 31, 2008! Get the 411 on our mysterious neighbor!

What's in a Name?

Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and was named after the Roman God of War. It is often referred to as the Red Planet because of the color it appears when viewed from earth. Many early civilizations associated Mars with its red color. Egyptians called it Her Descher which means The Red One.

All About Mars

People once thought that Mars was just like Earth but when astronomy became more advanced, we realized that isn't true. Mars is much smaller than Earth and is just the seventh largest planet. Mars has no water and is a very dry place. There are mountains and volcanoes but that's about it. Mars has two moons, Phobos and Deimos, named after the mythical horses that drew the War God's chariot. Deimos rises and sets twice a day. The two moons might actually be asteroids pulled in by Mars' gravity.

Mars has a volcano that's taller than any volcano on Earth. Olympus Mons is the tallest volcano in our solar system and is three times taller than Mt. Everest. Another interesting feature on Mars is the gigantic canyon, Vallis Marineris. This canyon is as long as the distance from New York to San Francisco.

Is There Life On the Red Planet?

Despite the fact that the word "Martian" comes from Mars, there is no life on Mars as far as we know. Scientists think that Mars once had water on it because of its physical geography (which has things that resemble riverbeds and canals). The Phoenix Mars Lander will hopefully end this mystery when it drills into the Red Planet to look for frozen water that may be below the surface.

Mars is a firey red colorMars is a firey red color

Fun Facts

  • Author Jonathan Swift gave reasonably accurate descriptions of Mar's two moons orbits in his book Gulliver's Travels. He did this about 150 years before either moon was discovered.
  • The average temperature on Mars is -63 C (-81 F). It can get as cold as -143 C (-220 F) and as hot as 20 C (68 F).
  • A day on Mars is 24 hours and 39 minutes which is very close to on Earth day.
  • A year on Mars is 685 Earth days.
  • The atmosphere of Mars is made of of mostly carbon dioxide.
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What is Your Favorite Space Movie?

  • Men In Black
  • Star Wars
  • War of the Worlds
  • Star Trek

General In The Forums

Fairkss
Explanation: Hoshi was best friends with the moon girl, Sina who secretly loved him but they drifted apart when Hoshi met Dimitre, a Russian boy. He hung out with Dimitre more and they both fell in love with each other. However, Sina was jealous and so she got Cira, the sun girl, who was in love with Dimitre to distract him and hang out with him. Dimitre was too kind to reject her so he just hung out with her. In the shadows, Sina was bullying and threatening Hoshi not to meet with Dimitre because if he did she would hurt Dimitre. One day Hoshi couldn't handle it and so he ran to find Dimitre after school. He saw Dimitre and went towards him only to get hit by a car. Dimitre saw Hoshi lying on the floor and rushed towards him and hugged him while Hoshi slowly died in his arms. Dimitre never got over his death after that point.
reply about 2 hours
Fairkss
There once was a boy named Hoshi. Just like his name his smile was as bright as the stars in the sky. One day he met another boy who's eyes were a mixture of the aqua ocean and green land, Earth. His name was Dimitre and he came from a far away land. They fell hard for each other. Their love stronger than anything in the galaxy. The star left the moon's side to join hands with the earth in their journey of love. But a girl carrying a name that meant the moon felt jealous. Jealous of the stars love for the Earth. She wanted to make it so that Hoshi could never meet Dimitre again, and with the help of another girl with her sun-kissed hair, the star could never see the Earth. The sun would blind the Earth so much that he couldn't see Hoshi who would shine brightly with teary eyes, and then when the sun would go to sleep so did the Earth, and only the stars would feel pain. Months went by and Hoshi's heart only broke harder and harder until a plan popped in his brain. The star, lost and all alone, cut off the wings that allowed him to shine and he fell out of the sky with hot fiery pain. Dimitre saw Hoshi in his hurt and painful state and embraced him. They could finally be together. Only for a brief moment, until Hoshi could feel himself slip into a deep sleep wrapped in Dimitre's arms. The star had gone out, and had left a gaping hole in the Earth's heart that could never be filled.
reply about 2 hours
nqme
nqme posted in Debating:
I appreciate it, but that doesn't help my conscience.  To me, you're practically saying "if one of us dies, that's okay because there are still plenty of other humans all around the world".  I don't put other animals above us, of course, but they still exist.  Anyway, good day.  Enjoy this egg's before  [s:p/1n9v] and after  [s:p/1n7e] because I'm not sure how to say "good day" without sounding sarcastic.
reply about 3 hours
Igiveuponthename
That's because of our own human nature. We often value ourselves more than anyone else. Everybody affects everybody indirectly. People value progress over everything. One day the world will come crashing down, and with this crumbling and twisted society with it. Want to make a difference? Well, it's not too late to start.
reply about 4 hours
Fairkss
Fairkss posted in Say Anything:
I really hate how society is built. I really hate how unaccepting people are and how we have gotten this far due to sacrifices and inflicting pain on others. Why do we do this to our own kind? ​We are just destroying ourselves because we are unable to understand why some people do what they do. Why can't we just accept people for how they are? They're heart and their soul. I know the world can't be perfect but honestly right now the world isn't okay. Of course I'm just a kid so whatever I say won't matter but anyways that's just what has been on my mind lately :)
reply about 4 hours