Mars Facts and Information


Mars is the fourth planet from the sun it is also known as the Red Planet due to its red dusty landscape. Named after the Roman god of war Mars is the last one of the inner planets.  It has two moons and takes 24 hours and 37 minutes to spin once on its axis. Mars is a rocky planet, this is referred to as a terrestrial planet. Over 40 spacecrafts have been launched to explore Mars but only around 16 have been successful.

Facts about Mars

  • Mars has two moons, Phobos & Deimos
  • The first spacecraft to flyby Mars was mariner 4 in 1965
  • Mars is home to the largest volcano in the solar system; Olympus Mons its base it 500km in diameter & is 24km high
  • Hellas Planitia is an impact crater located in the southern hemisphere, it is 2000 km in diameter and over 6 km deep
  • Mars is 35 million miles from earth
  • Mars is a dry planet but scientist believe it once had enough water to form oceans however they are currently unsure why this changed
  • Mars thin atmosphere consists mainly of carbon dioxide (95%)
  • Mars has permanent ice caps at the north and south poles like Earth but include dry ice (Co2)
  • Visible at night time Mars can be seen on a clear night with an unaided eye
  • The red colour is due to iron oxide, also known as rust
  • Although smaller Mars has around the same land mass as Earth due to Earths oceans
  • The seasons on Mars last twice as long as Earth

Moons of Mars

Mars has two moons, they are dark grey in colour and have large craters covering the surface. Unlike the Earth’s moon the two that orbit Mars are not spherical but resemble asteroids due to their elongated shape.  They are both smaller than Earth’s moon, Phobos being 22 km across while Deimos is only 13km. Phobos travels around Mars about three times a day while Deimos takes about 30 hours as it is further away.

Mars Data

  • Diameter (Km) 6792
  • Mass 639E21 kg
  • Density (Kg/m³) 3933
  • Temperature (°C) 0 to -100
  • Distance from sun (Km) 249 million
  • Rotation period 24.6 hours          
  • Length of Day 24.7 hours
  • Orbital period 687 days
  • Number of moons 2
  • Magnetic field No
  • Ring system No