Geography

Mars

Mars



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After Earth, Mars is the easiest planet to observe. Seen from Earth Mars looks like a red planet.

Its axis of rotation is very similar to that of our planet, 25.19º, which means it has seasons.

Unlike Mercury, which is too close to the sun for easy observation, and Venus, whose dense atmosphere and cloud cover block its surface, Mars is relatively close to Earth without being too close to the Sun.

It has a very thin atmosphere, which allows us to observe its surface with relative ease. The best time to look at Mars is when it is in opposition, that is, when the earth is between Mars and the sun.


Mars landscape

In addition to the characteristics of its 686.98-day orbit, the first data from Mars to be obtained from Earth observations dates back to 1659, when Christiaan Huygens, observing by telescope the movement of a large black spot on the planet called Greater Syrtis concluded that its rotation period was approximately 24 hours, very similar to that of Earth.

Until the 19th century In the twentieth century, much speculation has been raised about the possibility of intelligent life on Mars, although it was later recognized that telescope imagery had misled astronomers.

Later, in the era of space exploration, between 1964 and 1969, the Mariner 4, Mariner 6 and Mariner 7 made the first flights near the planet and got the first images of its surface.

These indicated a planet with moon-like aspects, with no evidence of life, and several craters, ancient volcanoes and canyons, meaning that at least part of its surface is quite old, dating back to the early days of the solar system, when the planets were subject to frequent meteorite collisions.