Introduction – Red Planet Day is celebrated annually on November 28 to honor the launch of a robotic interplanetary probe, Mariner 4 by the NASA and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in the year 1964. This spacecraft became the first spacecraft to fly past Mars and was designed for flying past planets. Mariner 4 spacecraft became the first mission to successfully take photos of Mars.
Mars is also called Red Planet due to the iron oxide or rust on the surface of this planet that gives a reddish appearance. The main purpose of this day is to spread awareness about Mars and the fascinating findings of this planet.
Important facts about Mars – There are several important facts about Mars are given below –
- You can watch easily Mars from Earth with the naked eye and its magnitude reaches 2.94.
- The reddish appearance of Mars is due to iron oxide or rust. Sometimes this planet also appears golden, greenish, and brown.
- Mars is similar as compared with Earth in several ways. The seasonal cycles and rotational periods of Mars are the same as the Earth.
- The red planet contains the largest dust storms in the solar system and can last for months that cover the whole planet.
- Researchers found evidence of a lake under the south polar ice cap of Mars in the year 2018.
- Mars has 2 moons that namely Phobos and Deimos as compared with Earth has only one moon. The two moons or natural satellites on Mars are discovered by Asaph Hall in the year 1877. The diameter of Phobos is about 14mi (22 kilometers), and Deimos is about 7.5mi (12 kilometers).
- The duration of days on Mars is 24 hours and 37 minutes and is longer than the Earth due to the orbit around the sun of Mars is larger than the Earth.
- Galileo Galilei is the first person to observe Mars with the help of a telescope in the year 1610.
- The red planet is the second-smallest planet in the solar system and is the fourth planet from the Sun.
- Mount Olympus is the highest mountain and the largest volcano on Mars in the solar system. It is about 600 km and 16 miles across the base that is 2.5 times the height of Mount Everest above the sea-level.