Mars is called the red planet because of the iron rich dust and rocks on its surface. It's named Mars after the Roman god of war. The Romans associated the red color with Mars, their god of war because of the red color which is associated with anger or blood. Mars' two moons are named after the Roman god's two sons.
Mars takes about two Earth years to orbit the Sun but its two moons rise and set about two times each time the planet rotates. Mars receives half the sunlight Earth does and the Sun appears lower in the sky than Earth.
Mars' temperatures range from -140 degrees Celsius to 20 degrees Celsius. a canyon on Mars could reach from New York to Las Angeles. Mars is covered in a dust that's closer to the consistency of flour than sand.
In August 2005 NASA launched the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and in 2006 it succefully went into orbit. It has the most powerful camera ever sent to another planet here's an example of a picture taken from the Orbiter.
The Mars Curiosity is another example of a succeful trip to Mars. The rover's mission was to find out more about the red planet's environment. It comes with a laser that can analyze the composition of objects that are smaller than a millimeter. it is the size of a small SUV. It has six wheels and a robotic arm. Here is a picture from the Curiosity.
Scientists have found information to support that Mars could've supported life. Scientists have found evidence that Mars had liqiud water and a thick atmosphere to nourish living organisms and block out harmful U.V. rays.
Mars does not possess these characteristics today but four billion years ago Mars did. What once was a lake now is a mountain. Mars also had a magnetic field. But scientists do not know if Mars had the qualities simultaneously or at different times.
Mars is a very interesting planet that had the qualities that Earth has billions of years ago. We learn more and more about mars every day. We have scientists piecing information together piece by piece.
Mars has so many interesting qualities from the color of the sand to the color of the sky. Mars is such an amazing planet one day people will walk on Mars and we will learn more about it.