The red planet has captured our imagination for generations. While there is often lots of speculation about the “truth” surrounding the planet, there facts about Mars that have been proven are far more interesting. In fact, the following 25 Fun Facts About Mars For Kids are some of the most fascinating ones out there. This goes beyond the basics that Mars is the fourth planet from the sun in the solar system and after the Roman God of war.
Sunsets are Blue
While we see brilliant and fiery reds and oranges on Earth, the sunsets on Mars are a peaceful blue. As the light fades in the distance, it serves as a peaceful ending to the day.
Think of this being similar to the early morning sun rising, just after the reds and yellows have passed.It is a moment of serenity and awe as we reflect on the day that has passed and look forward to what lies ahead.
This is especially significant when considering the long days and nights on Mars. While the planet only rotates once every 24 hours, the length of a day and night can vary significantly depending on where you are on the planet.
At the equator, a day and night are each about 12 hours long. But at the poles, a day can last for 24 hours while a night can last for an entire Martian winter, which lasts for about 687 Earth days!
One Way Ticket
In 2030, there is an expedition that will take a number of people to the red planet to live. So far, over 100,000 people have applied for the trip. Will these people actually live on Mars and how will they survive?
The journey to Mars will take about seven months. The people who are chosen for the expedition will be put into hibernation for the majority of the trip. They will only be awoken when they are close to Mars.
The people who are selected for the trip will undergo intense training before they leave. They will need to learn how to live in very tight quarters and how to conserve resources. They will also need to be able to handle the psychological stress of being so far away from home.
When they arrive on Mars, they will need to immediately start setting up base camp. This will involve inflating Habitats that will serve as their homes for the next two years. They will also need to start growing food and producing water.
The first few months on Mars will be the most difficult as they adjust to the new environment. But after a while, they will hopefully settle into a routines and start to feel more at home. Who knows, maybe one day we will all be living on Mars!
This Year is Dragging
Think 365 days is a long time in a year? You might try one on Mars. The red planet makes a full rotation of the sun every 687 days, which is nearly two years here on Earth. So if you were to celebrate your birthday on Mars, it would come around only once every 1.88 years!
Not only is a year on Mars much longer than one on Earth, but the seasons are also much more extreme. Due to its elliptical orbit, Mars actually experiences less direct sunlight at certain times of the year.
This can result in some pretty extreme temperature changes, from the freezing cold winters at the poles to the scorching hot summers at the equator.
So if you’re looking for a planet to add some excitement to your calendar, Mars might be the place for you! Just be sure to pack your sunscreen and winter coat.
Mount Everest the Molehill
While Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world, it isn’t the tallest in our universe. That honor belongs to a mountain on Mars. It’s called Olympus Mons and it stands about 22 kilometers (14 miles) high. That’s nearly three times the height of Everest!
Olympus Mons is not only the tallest mountain in the solar system, but it is also one of the largest volcanoes in the solar system. It is so large that it can be seen from space with the naked eye.
The mountain is thought to be about 4 billion years old and is believed to be inactive at this time. However, it is possible that it could become active again in the future. If that happens, it would be a spectacular sight to see!
So if you’re ever feeling down about your own height, just remember that there’s always someone (or something) taller than you. In this case, it’s a mountain on Mars!
Life on Mars?
There is a lot of speculation about the life on Mars. While that is still up for debate, there is artificial life on the planet. Currently, there are seven known robots on the planet scanning the terrain.
There are many challenges that come with living on Mars. One of the biggest is the lack of water. Although there is ice on Mars, it is not easily accessible and it would be very difficult to melt and use for drinking water.
Another challenge is the lack of air. The atmosphere on Mars is only about 1% as thick as the atmosphere on Earth. This makes it difficult to breathe and also means that there is very little protection from the harsh UV radiation from the sun.
Lastly, the temperature on Mars can be extreme. In the winter, it can get as low as -140 degrees Fahrenheit (-60 degrees Celsius) and in the summer, it can get as high as 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius).
Despite the challenges, there are also many exciting aspects to living on Mars. For example, you would be one of the first people to live on another planet! And you would get to help in the exploration and understanding of an entirely new world.
So if you’re up for a challenge and excited by the prospect of adventure, then a life on Mars might be for you!
Do you think humans will ever live on Mars? Why or why not?
Color Me Surprised
Have you ever wondered how Mars got the nickname, the Red Planet?
The reason is that the planet is actually covered in rust. A thick collection of iron oxide covers the planet’s surface, giving it a reddish hue. Iron oxide is also responsible for the red color of many rocks and soils on Earth.
Mars is not the only red planet in our solar system, however. The planet Mercury is also covered in iron oxide and appears reddish when viewed from space.
So why is Mars redder than Mercury? It’s due to the different way that the planets formed. Mercury is much closer to the sun and was heated more during its formation. T
his caused the iron oxide on its surface to be vaporized. Mars, on the other hand, formed further from the sun and was not as hot. This allowed the iron oxide to remain on the planet’s surface, where it eventually built up over time.
Let Me Write You a Check for That
Think an expedition to Mars is out of your budget? The Indian Mars expedition actually cost less than Hollywood spent to make the movie Gravity. The cost of the mission was a cool $74 million dollars. Gravity cost $100 million dollars to produce.
Of course, both pale in comparison to the $263.7 budget that John Carter had. Of course, unlike the bomb that John Carter was, the missions to Mars have proven to be profitable in terms of knowledge and renewed interest in the red planet.
It’s Your Birthday!
When NASA’s Curiosity Rover had officially spent its first year on Mars, the robot sang, “Happy Birthday” to itself. The rover had landed on Mars on August 5, 2012.
This was a big accomplishment because it was the first time that any machine had sung on another planet!
Curiosity wasn’t the only one celebrating. Back on Earth, the team of scientists and engineers who worked on the project also held a birthday party. They shared cake and memories of the journey that had led to this special day.
The Curiosity Rover has continued to make many important discoveries since its first year on Mars. It has helped us to better understand the planet and how it might have once supported life.
Who knows, maybe one day humans will also be able to call Mars home. Wouldn’t that be an amazing birthday celebration?
Make Sure You Pack Your Jacket
If you hate summer and the heat, Mars is the place for you! While you’re here, you can enjoy an average temperature of just -81 degrees Fahrenheit. To put that into comparison with Earth. The coldest recorded inhabited location ever was in Oymyakon, Russia.
Here the freezing temperatures reached -52 degrees. The coldest spot in general is in Antarctica on the East Antarctic Plateau. Here is gets down to -133.6 degrees.
Those kinds of temps would make anyone want to pack their jackets!
So, while you might not need your bikini on Mars, you will definitely need some heavy-duty winter gear!
The Easiest Diet Ever
Hate how much you weigh on Earth? If you head over to Mars you are 60% lighter and that means you can look the same, but take pride in losing a bulk of that unwanted weight.
The reason you way less on Mars is because it’s gravity is only 38% of Earth’s.
So, for example, if you weigh 200 pounds on Earth, you would only weigh 76 pounds on Mars!
I Keep Running into You
It might surprise you that Mars is half the size of the Earth. Much smaller than what we would be used to but hey, at least you would need to travel as far to see those relatives you love so much!
Mars is the size of Africa and only has about 15% of the land that Earth does. You can make it around Mars in just six months, which is the length of one Martian year.
I Need Receipts for That
Back in 1997, three men in Yemen attempted to sue NASA for their trip to Mars. They claimed they had actually inherited the red planet from their ancestors nearly 3,000 years earlier.
The ancestors were said to be from a clan of Martians that had fled to Earth because of a war.
The court ruled against the men, but it’s an interesting story nonetheless!
The case was eventually dismissed but it goes to show that people have been fascinated by the idea of Mars for centuries!
Eat Your Greens
The soil composition on Mars might not be great for a lot of things. But if you took it back to Earth, you could use it to grow asparagus. The composite of the soil is ideal for growing this vegetable.
The asparagus wouldn’t look quite the same as what we’re used to seeing though. The plants would be smaller and the stalks would be thinner. But hey, a vegetable is a vegetable!
Let Me Google It
Wish you could see the planet from home? Then this is one of those cool facts about Mars you want to pay attention to. If you visit https://www.google.com/mars/ you’ll find infrared, visible, and elevation maps for the planet. One thing you won’t see is a bunch of people lined up in costumes as the Google van drives by.
I Love You to the Moons of Mars
Earth is the only planet with a single moon. Jupiter is home to 67 moons, Saturn has 62, and Uranus has 27. Over on Neptune, they see 14 moons at night, while Mars is home to two moons.
These are called Phobos and Deimos. Phobos is the bigger of the two and is about 14 miles (22 kilometers) wide. Deimos is much smaller, only about 8 miles (12 kilometers) wide.
These two moons are thought to be asteroids that were pulled into Mars’ orbit. They affect Mars’ tides, just like our moon affects the tides on Earth.
Finally a Good Use for Global Warming
While we know global warming is a concern on Earth, it can actually be a good thing on Mars. Scientists are exploring ways to add global warming to the planet. Their goal is to help raise temperatures so that human life can one day be sustained on the planet.
Take a Deep Breath
There was a time when Mars was full of oxygen. The problem is that was 4 billion years ago. Today, human life couldn’t survive on the planet due to the composition it currently has.
The air on Mars is made up of 95% carbon dioxide, 3% nitrogen, 1.6% argon, and only 0.2% oxygen. This means that the air is much thinner than what we breathe on Earth.
The atmospheric pressure on Mars is also only about a third of what it is here on Earth. So, if you were to stand on Mars, you would feel like you were floating!
The gravity on Mars is also weaker than the gravity on Earth. This is because Mars is a smaller planet. An object that weighs 100 pounds (45 kilograms) on Earth would only weigh 38 pounds (17 kilograms) on Mars!
Despite the challenges, Mars is still an intriguing planet with a lot to offer! Who knows, maybe one day we’ll be able to call it home.
It’s True Enough
Despite there being no proven human life on Mars, the planet still has it’s own flag. It was designed by an engineer at NASA. The flag is three solid bars of color. A cherry red, mint green, and blue.
I See It Now
Mars is one of only five planets you can see in the night sky with your naked eye from the Earth at night without the aid of a telescope. The others include Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, and Saturn.
Not Every Mission to Mars is a Success
Of the 40 missions to Mars, only 18 have been a success.
An anticipated mission was the NASA InSight lander, which launched in May of 2018.
This mission was focused on studying the interior of Mars. The InSight lander was equipped with a seismometer, which was used to measure Mars quakes. These measurements helped us learn more about the structure of the planet.
The InSight lander also has a heat flow probe. This probe will be used to measure the heat coming from Mars’ interior. By understanding the heat flow of the planet, we can learn more about its history and evolution.
In 2020 NASA launched the rover Perseverance to collect samples of Mars rocks and soil. The rover will also test technology that could be used for future human missions to Mars.
In 2026, NASA plans to launch another rover called the Mars Sample Return Lander. This rover will collect samples of Martian rock and soil and return them to Earth for further study.
These missions are just the beginning of our journey to Mars. Someday, we may even be able to call it home.
What’s that Tiny Speck in the Sky?
If you were to stand on the surface of Mars and look towards the sun, it would be vastly different than it is here on Earth. On the red planet, the sun appears roughly half the size it does on Earth. This leads to a cold winter and brief, yet slightly warmer summer season.
It’s Storming Out Here
Dust storms are a common occurrence on the red planet and this is one of those facts about mars that is interesting. Over the course of the year, the entire planet can be covered in a dust storm that goes on for months at a time.
The dust on Mars is very fine and when it gets kicked up into the air, it can cover the entire planet.
The Martians Have Landed
Rocks from mars have actually been ejected into space and have hit the Earth. This galactic debris has been tested and it has allowed scientists to do some pretesting on the planet before the missions began to fly to the red planet.
Ice to Meet You
Mars is one of only two planets to have polar ice caps. The other is Earth. The two ice caps on Mars are known as Planum Australe and Planum Boreum. Both of these caps do have water beneath them. Which means that next to Earth, Mars could have the potential to house life one day.
It Must Be Your Magnetic Personality
While there is some belief that Mars had a magnetic field in it nearly 4 billion years ago, there is nothing there today.
As you can see there are plenty of facts about Mars. While this doesn’t even begin to touch the wealth of information we have about the planet, it definitely is a great start for anyone looking to learn about it. Take the time to scan and memorize these facts and then continue your exploration about one of the most fascinating planets out there.