SciTech: Mars… Not the Chocolate but the Planet

Welcome back to SciTech – KISToday’s science and technology column! I’m sure you’ve had a relaxing summer and that you’re pumped up and ready for school again! Over the summer there have been some new revelations in terms of space discoveries… I will talk about those in this 2-part article. This is part 1 of the article and part 2 of the article will be out shortly.  If you’re ready, let’s dive into the article!

Mars – The Red Planet

Image result for mars

Everyone’s heard about Mars, the red planet smaller than Earth, that has been researched about intensively over the past decades. You could maybe even say it’s one of the planets scientists have researched the most about! Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun in the solar system. Mars is smaller than Earth but is also believed to be home to intelligent life forms.

Geographic Features

Image result for mars surface

Mars is well known for its rocky and solid surfaces that has been molded over time by volcanoes, wind, movements of the planet’s crust, and other reactions that occur on the planet’s surface. The following are some locations on Mars with unique geographic features:

 

Valles Marineris

Image result for valles marinerisThis is a split in the crust that runs along the equator of the planet with it being 4000 km long, 600 km wide, and 7 km deep.

 

Hellas BasinRelated image

In the southern hemisphere, Hellas Basin is a giant impact crater that has a diameter of 2300 km and a depth of 9 km.

 

Olympus MonsImage result for olympus mons

Olympus Mons is the tallest volcano on Mars and in the entire solar system. The volcano is 26 km taller than the plains surrounding it.

 

Water on Early Mars

Mars is home to some of the largest volcanoes and canyons in the solar system, and along with these geographical monuments come the evidence of calamitous floods that used to occur on early Mars.

Scientist believe that the large channels on the surface of the planet were carved by those floods. Crisscrossed valley networks are also suspected to be formed because of the floods. This led to the speculation that there used to be an ocean that took up most of the land in the northern hemisphere of Mars.

However, most of the evidence of water is more than 3.8 billion years old. Scientists believe that atmospheric gases and water has been lost to space or trapped somewhere underground on the planet.

Image result for valleys mars

 

To learn more about Mars, refer to the following:

https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/missions/mars-odyssey/in-depth/

https://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Mars_Express/Water_on_early_Mars

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-44952710

https://theplanets.org/mars/

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