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Exploration of Mars

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Exploration of Mars Why is Mars of such great interest, and what do we know about it? The study of Mars today Physical characteristics of Mars The varying distance of ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Date added: 2 July 2019
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Title: Exploration of Mars


1
Exploration of Mars
Why is Mars of such great interest, and what do
we know about it?
2
First the orbit a1.523 au, period 1.88 years
3
The study of Mars today
4
Physical characteristics of Mars
Radius 53 that of Earth (3397 km), mass is 11
percent that of Earth
5
The varying distance of Mars at opposition
6
Percival Lowell and the Canals of Mars
7
Earth-like attributes of Mars (leave out smaller
size of planet)
  • Polar caps at north and south poles, that change
    with the seasons
  • Rotation period of 24.6 hours
  • Obliquity of the ecliptic 25 degrees
  • In time of Lowell, apparent coming and going of
    features on Mars, perhaps indicating seasonal
    changes in vegetation

8
By the 1960s it was known that Lowells view of
an Earth-like Mars with higher life forms could
not be right the atmosphere on the surface of
Mars is about 0.7 the sea-level pressure on
Earth. Water cannot exist in liquid form under
those conditions. The average surface
temperature on Mars is also about 60 degrees
Centigrade below freezing (210K rather than 293K
in this room).
9
The atmosphere of Mars 95 CO2
10
Robotic Exploration of Mars
11
The exploration of Mars by spacecraft
  • Began in 1960
  • 37 missions attempted
  • 18 successful
  • First with results was US Mariner 4 in 1965
  • Mariner 4 gave us our first close-up view of Mars
  • Several other major ones since then (Mariner 9 in
    1971, Viking 1 and 2 in 1976, MER in 2004- present

12
Mariner 4, our first close view of the surface of
Mars
What does this mean?
13
The new era in Mars studies began in the 1970s
the Viking spacecraft
14
Orbiting spacecraft revealed more varied terrain,
e.g. Hebes Chasma
15
A summary of what we have learned from orbiting
spacecraft, 1971-present
16
Spacecraft finding 1 - the north-south asymmetry
17
(No Transcript)
18
Finding 2 The volcanos of Mars Olympus Mons
Notice smooth, uncratered Slopes of mountain
19
The size of Olympus Mons
20
The extent of Olympus Mons
21
Valles MarinerisGrand Canyon of Mars
22
Valles Marineris
23
Valles Marineristhe view of a future astronaut
24
More mysteries on Mars?
25
A better look at The Face
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