After Mercury, Venus and Earth in the solar system, Mars is located at the fourth position away from the sun. As one of the closest planets to Earth, scientists have developed a great interest on this planet. In fact, people find it highly interesting because of its unique composition, structure and characteristics. This growing interest has led to a number of explorations in an effort to find answers to some really good questions about the place. To know why the color of Mars is red, let’s take a closer look at the physical composition of this beautiful planet.
How Mars Got Its Reddish Appearance
Why is Mars red? According to scientists and experts, the main reason behind the reddish color of this planet is the rich presence of iron oxide. More popularly known as rust, the abundance of this element on the planet’s surface gives it a bright red-orange color, which can easily be seen even from the Earth. Because of this, people started to call it the red planet. With a magnitude measuring 2.9, this planet is definitely one of the brightest in the solar system behind Venus, the moon and the sun.
Besides color and appearance, this planet has other interesting characteristics. In terms of size, it is considerably smaller than the Earth. Likewise, it also has lower density compared to a much smaller planet like Mercury. In addition to iron oxide, other elements are also present on its surface including potassium, chloride and magnesium. Just like Earth, this planet also has sodium on its surface, which is a vital factor in the growth of living organisms.
Additional Details and Information
This planet has low atmospheric pressure. Liquid water is impossible to have under this kind of condition. Instead, there is water ice on the surface of this planet. Approximately four billions ago, many experts believe that it lost its magnetosphere. Small traces of oxygen as well as water can also be found here. More importantly, its major components are comprised of 3 percent of nitrogen, 95 percent of carbon dioxide and 1.6 percent argon.
Mars is a planet that is rich in methane within its atmosphere. Researchers and experts believe that the abundance of this element in the planet was caused by several factors such as volcanic activity and the impact of comets. The planet has two separate seasons, one of which is called aphelion while the other one goes by the name perihelion. Its orbital period is quite different at 687 days.