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Mars

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Title: Mars


1
Mars
2
Vital Statistics
  • R 3394 km
  • M 6.42 x 1023 kg
  • Rorbit 1.082 x 108 km
  • T 180-270º K
  • Eccentricity 0.093
  • Axial tilt 23.98 º
  • day 1.026 days
  • year 1.88 years
  • orbital inclination 1.85º
  • R 0.53 R?
  • M 0.11 M?
  • Rorbit 1.52 A.U.

3
A bit of background
  • The red planet
  • Known since prehistoric times
  • Lowell thought he saw canals, which led to LOTS
    of Sci-Fi
  • Roman god Mars was a god of agriculture before
    becoming associated with the Greek Ares (who was
    the god of War)

4
Claims to fame
  • Sports the largest volcano in the Solar System
  • Weve sent more landers to Mars than anywhere
    else in the Solar System
  • (Note Mars orbit is eccentric enough to affect
    its seasons.)

5
Probes Landers
  • Mars 2
  • Viking I and II
  • Mars Pathfinder (see replica upstairs)
  • Mars Expedition Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity
  • Many others

6
Probes Orbiters
  • Mariner 4
  • Mars Global Surveyor
  • Odyssey
  • Mars Express
  • Others

7
Mariner 4
  • Sister probe to Mariner 3, whose protective
    shield failed to eject
  • First probe to reach Mars - Flew by in 1965
  • Took 22 images of Martian surface
  • Found a cratered world with an atmosphere much
    thinner than previously thought object lesson
  • May have concluded the general change in SF from
    alians on Mars to dwellers on planets in other
    Star Systems

8
Mariner 4 images
The first closeup image ever taken of Mars
9
Mariner 4 images
10
Mariner 4 images
11
Viking I
12
Viking I and II
  • Each had both an orbiter and a lander
  • Arrived summer of 76
  • V. I showed that Mars sky is pinkish, not dark
    blue as was previously thought
  • V. I searched for micro-organisms - found?
  • V. I sent back great color panoramas
  • V. II seismometer worked, and recorded one
    marsquake

13
Viking pictures
First image that Viking I sent back (yes, thats
its foot
14
Viking pictures - Martian sunset
15
Viking pictures
This image was aquired at the Viking Lander 1
site.The large rock just left of the center is
about 2 m wide, and was named Big Joe by
Viking scientitsts. The top is covered with red
soil. The portions not covered with soil are
similar to basaltic rocks here on Earth.
16
Viking 1 landing site
This image was taken by the Mars Reconnaissance
Orbiter on Dec. 5, 2006.
17
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)
  • Goals Determine whether life ever arose on Mars,
    characterize climate of Mars, characterize
    geology of Mars, prepare for human exploration
  • Launched in 1995, now orbiting
  • Set the record for most data sent back in a
    single day

18
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)
19
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)
20
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)
Erosion has exposed light-toned, layered rocks on
the northern rim of Hellas Basin, the largest
impact crater on Mars. Details in the layering
seen in this image from the High-Resolution
Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) reveal
variations in brightness that may indicate
differing mineralogies.
21
Layers in Terby Crater
22
Mars Global Surveyor (MGS)
  • Launched Nov 1996
  • Went silent in Nov 2006 due to a battery failure
    (caused by a complex sequence of events)
  • Orbited 12 times per day

23
MGS
  • Monitored long-term cycles and variability of the
    martian atmosphere and volatile systems
  • Characterized the solid planet, including surface
    areas of geological importance and improvements
    in knowledge of internal structure
  • Support for future Mars missions, including
    landing site assessment, relaying data, etc.

24
MGS
25
MGS
Topographic depression eroded into layered rocks.
Erosion has revealed layers of different ages -
the oldest are at the
bottom of the depression. Within this depression
are two sets of alluvial - that is, water-lain -
sedimentary rock units that retain their original
shape, indicating how the sediments were
deposited long before the material became rock.
In these cases, the processes created fans of
debris with finger-like protrusions at the ends
and sides of the fans. Aslo preserved are the
channels through which water and sediment flowed.
26
MGS
27
Structure (?)
  • Dense core about 1700km in radius, molten rocky
    mantle somewhat denser that Earths then a thin
    crust (crust is 80 km thick in southern
    hemisphere, but only 35 km thick in north)
  • Lacks plate techtonics, so hot spots (and low
    surface gravity) make BIG volcanoes
  • No current tectonic activity, but there probably
    was in the past

28
Atmosphere
  • 95.3 CO2 (tiny amount compared to what it once
    had)
  • 2.7 N2
  • 1.6 Ar
  • traces of O2 (0.15) and water (0.03)

29
History
  • Was more like Earth
  • most of CO2 was absorbed into rocks, but since it
    has no plate techtonics, it cant recycle CO2
    back into its atmosphere (no greenhouse effect to
    keep it warm)
  • Had running water once, maybe its all below the
    surface now?
  • Probably had a large ocean
  • Northern hemisphere younger than southern

30
Ancient ocean?
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35
Inset is Grand Canyon, to scale
Valles Marineris - 4000km long, 7km deep, and 120
km wide
36
a) Crater on the moon - powder ejecta b) Crater
on Mars - liquid splosh
37
A network of valleys - water erosion feature
38
Our view has become better with time. a)
Ground-based view b) HST c) Viking image
39
A comparison with the Red River running from
Shreveport, LA, to the Mississippi. The
Martian channel is about 400 km long and 5 km
wide.
40
Gullies apparently formed by running water in
the recent past (MGS)
41
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45
Dust storm
46
a) As the Suns light reaches and heats the
canyon floor, it drives water vapor from the
surface. When this vapor comes in contact with
the coler air above the surface, it condenses
again, and a temporary water-ice fog results.
b) This is the 200-km-wide Lowell Crater, as
seen by MGS.
47
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48
Deimos (panic) Radius 11 km
49
Phobos (fear) Radius 9 km
50
Pathfinder 360º panorama
51
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