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The Planet Mars


Intelligent Life. Earth: Some would say. . . ; Mars: No, microbes at best ... Life on Mars ? The study of life on Mars is divided into 2 sections: ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Planet Mars

The Planet Mars
  • James McCarrie

Earth vs. Mars
  • Diameter
  • Earth 7,926 miles Mars 4,222 miles
  • Distance from Sun
  • Earth 1 Au Mars 1.381 1.666 Au
  • Cosmic Radiation
  • Earth Manageable (strong magnetic field)
  • Mars Problematic (weak magnetic field)
  • Air
  • Earth 76 Nitrogen, 21 Oxygen
  • Mars 95.3 Carbon Dioxide, 0.15 Oxygen

Earth vs. Mars
  • Satellites
  • Earth Moon Mars Phobos and Deimos
  • Tilt of Rotational Axis
  • Earth 23.5 degrees Mars 25 degrees
  • Day (Year)
  • Earth 23 hours 56 minutes (365 days)
  • Mars 24 hours 36 minutes (687 Earth-days or 670
  • Intelligent Life
  • Earth Some would say. . . Mars No, microbes
    at best

Formation of Mars
  • Mars formed from excess gas surrounding the
    recently formed Sun.
  • At this time, the high temperatures led to Mars
  • Heavy substances sank to form the Iron-Nickel
    core however, because of its small size, the
    mantle and crust consist much of heavy substances
    like metals.
  • Mars cooled down relatively quickly due to its
    small size and distance from the Sun
    consequently, the reduced time to separate light
    and heavy elements contributes to the lack of

The Surface
  • From a distance, Mars appears to be reddish with
    two white polar ice caps.
  • However, a closer look reveals that there are
    dark sports that seem to be green or blue.
  • The red is caused by the iron-oxide-rich dust and
  • The darker areas means that the proximity is more
    stony or rocky than the rest.

Mars Topography
  • Since there is no sea-level on Mars, the smooth
    mean area of Mars is used to construct a
    topographical map.
  • Since Mars does not have plate tectonics, the
    mantles liquid formed hot spots which release
    tension in the form of large volcanoes like
    Olympos Mons.
  • This proves the existence of a thick crust
    because a thinner one couldnt support the weight

Affecting the Surface
  • Wind and Sand Dust-storms relocate many
    particles that affect the surface, albedo, and
    thermal qualities of Mars.
  • Impact Craters Debris in space impact Mars to
    form circular craters on the surface.
  • Water There is water on Mars in the early stage
    of the planet, evidence points that running water
    may have been on Mars.

The Martian Atmosphere
  • The atmosphere is actually 95.3 carbon dioxide
    which was discovered by the Mariner probes in the
  • Traces of oxygen, carbon monoxide, and ozone have
    been discovered throughout the years.

Satellites Phobos Deimos
  • Phobos
  • Bigger and Inner satellite
  • 2.8 Mars radii away
  • Synchronous orbit
  • Surface dominated by impact craters
  • Deimos
  • Smaller and Outer satellite
  • 7 Mars radii away
  • Synchronous orbit
  • Lower impact crater density
  • Little known about this

Life on Mars ?
  • The study of life on Mars is divided into 2
  • Life moved there by future space explorers
  • Life indigenous to Mars
  • Lets look at indigenous life. . .

Life on Mars?
  • Two of the possible places where life on Mars may
  • Permafrost region beneath the surface
  • Polar Ice caps
  • Both places seem ideal for accumulated organic
  • Evidence on Earth comparable to the Martian
  • Bacteria live in the most dry and harshest
    weather present in Antarctica, even inside local
  • Although water cannot exist on the surface,
    evidence for an underground ocean may be able to
    sustain microbes like that present near the
    bottom of the Pacific Ocean.

  • On June 8, 2003, two rovers named Spirit and
    Opportunity were announced to be on their way to
    explore Mars.
  • There are two rovers because in that case of an
    accident (explosion, crash, or no communication),
    there is a better chance that at least one will
    be able to accomplish the mission of exploration.
  • If both rovers accomplish their missions, the
    rovers will geologically study different regions
    of Mars and relay the information to Earth.
  • Arrivals set for January 4, 2004 and January 25,

The Rovers Traveling
  • First, the rovers were protected by a protective
    case when attached to the rocket.
  • After the spacecraft is headed towards Mars, the
    rocket detaches.
  • The spacecraft has the ability to act as a
    protector and maneuver until it eventually lands
    on the Martian surface. The rover then will
    hopefully drive out of the spacecraft and explore
    the area.

The Martian Rovers
  • The Rovers have the ability to
  • take panoramic photos of the surface
  • rove up to 120 yards a day
  • classify rocks through the geologists tools
  • the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) that can dig into a
    rock so that its contents can be sampled.

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