Red Planet Day 2023: How Did Mars Get Its Name, Ways It Is Different From Earth; Things To Know

Red Planet Day 2023: How Did Mars Get Its Name, Ways It Is Different From Earth; Things To Know

Mars, also called the Red Planet, is approximately 227,936,637 kilometres (141 million miles) from the sun and from Earth, it would take 300 days (about eight months) to reach there.

Aditi ThakurUpdated: Monday, November 27, 2023, 06:33 PM IST
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Mars is known as the Red Planet because its surface is coated in rusty red soil, rock and dust formed of iron oxide. | File

Red Planet Day is annually observed on November 28 to mark the launch of Mariner 4, the first aircraft to land on Mars in 1964. Scientists explain that Mars, also known as the Red Planet, is cold and a sandy desert. It is the fourth planet from the sun. Mars is approximately 227,936,637 kilometres (141 million miles) from the sun and from Earth, and it would take 300 days (about eight months) to reach it.

The Mariner 4 spacecraft was designed to collect data enabling planetary exploration and scientific observations of Mars. The spacecraft landed in 1964 and departed from the red planet a year later, on July 14, 1965. The spacecraft was deployed to Mars to aid in planetary exploration and near-term scientific investigations.

Here are some Mars-related FAQs

1) Is Mars still alive?

Mars, aka Red Planet, is not alive. The planet died four billion years ago when its core stopped functioning, its magnetic field weakened, and its auto sphere was eroded.

2) Why is Mars called the Red Planet?

Mars is known as the Red Planet because its surface is coated in rusty red soil, rock and dust formed of iron oxide.

3) How long is the day on Mars?

An entire day on Mars lasts 24 hours and 37 minutes.

4) Is it true that Mars has two moons?

Yes, the Red Planet has two moons, called Deimos and Phobos. They are named after the two horses that pull the chariot of the Roman god of war, Mars. They could be asteroids trapped by Mars' gravity, according to experts.

5) Mars is what kind of planet?

Mars is a terrestrial or stony (rocky) planet.

6) What differentiates Mars from Earth?

Mars is further from the sun and smaller than Earth, and it does not appear to be livable by life.

7) Is there life on Mars?

On Mars, there is no sign of life. However, it is the planet with the finest conditions for life, and experts believe there is potential for life under Mars' surface.

8) What is the most unanswered question about Mars?

Now we know that Mars was a habitable planet in the past; however, the most critical unanswered question about Mars is whether it ever housed life.

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