MARS

Easy to view -
 

Sun                Earth            
 

Weird Goings On


1877 - Schiaparelli - canali - channels lost in translation, so canals they became
1894 - Lowell
rich
loved the spot light
Flagstaff Observatory
19?? - Orson Wells

The Face on Mars


 

KEY POINTS


SIZE -  Small

6,800 km in diameter vs. Earth 12,800 km (rem - Mercury 4,800 km)
volume is 1/8 Earth
1/10 mass
gravity - .4 ( this is a real superhero planet)
density is low at 4 g/cm3 - this indicates a different composition
 

Rotation

- 24 hrs 37 min ~ Earth's
 

Revolution

- 23 Earth Months

Axis Tilt

- ~25o
 

ATMOSPHERE

- Thin -> 1% of Earth

Composition

90% CO2, O2, CO and H2O
will this support life ?
or why I'm smarter than Carl Sagan
 

The Weather (?)

Polar

(ice)

Caps

composition
winter mostly CO2 -> -190o F
summer mostly H2O -> 80oF

Dust Storms

elliptical orbit (5.5x ) leads to greater solar heating - high winds due to temperature differentials
 


 

Topography


Volcanic

Tharsis ridge (Bulge)

- 2,000 km long (~10% of circumference)
 

Olympus Mons - The Big One - 3D

600 km at base (width of Nebraska)
25 km high (Mauna Kea only 9 km from floor of Pacific)
65 km crater (Plymouth to Tilton)
an aside - the average elevation of the Bulge is 10 km


 

Shield Volcanoes

gentle slopes
no plate activity
 
 

Canyons


 

Valles Marineris

- a system of canyons
5,000 km long (25% of circumference)
7 km deep ( the top of Everest sticks out)
 

Channels

Dendritic (tree like) - evidence of streams


 
 

Water flow on Mars?
water in permafrost between mid latitudes and poles
 

impact melting features
 

SATELLITES

 

Phobos

27 km diameter
~ 8 hour revolution
 

Deimos

15 km diameter
~30 hour revolution

Locked in synchronous orbits - old
Much like a captured asteroids or a destroyed planetesimal