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Harvey's Space Adventure: Mars

Click and drag to rotate the planet!

Source: NASA Visualization Technology Applications and Development (VTAD)

The next planet Harvey and his friends are learning about is one of the most interesting planets: our neighbor, Mars! You've probably heard some things about Mars, but are they true?

Here are some things we have learned about the planet Mars:

Mars is the fourth planet from the sun, Earth's neighbor on the side farther from the sun. (Venus is our neighbor on the side closer to the sun.)

Mercury is the smallest planet, but Mars comes in second. It's only about half the size of Earth!

A day on Mars is just over 24 hours, only a little bit longer than it is on Earth. But a year on Mars is almost twice as long as a year on Earth, at 687 Earth days.

Mars is a rocky planet with a solid surface that has been changed over time by volcanoes, winds, things crashing into it, and chemical reactions.

No one has ever visited Mars, but if we did we would have to wear a space suit! People can't breathe the air on Mars. The atmosphere is thin and made up of the wrong kinds of gases for our bodies.

Mars has two moons but no rings.

Mars is known as the Red Planet because iron minerals in its soil rust, making the soil and atmosphere look red.

Many space missions have visited Mars, but they have never had people on board.

Even though there have been a lot of books and movies about aliens from Mars, it is a planet that can't support life. Earth is the only planet that can, because God made it special!

Hubble Telescope Image of Mars

Source: NASA and the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI).

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