Mars structure, description, atmosphere
An attentive observer, looking into the starry sky, can see a small reddish rounded spot. This is Mars
This object attracts attention with its mystery and unrelenting hope - to find the very "thread" that will reveal the great secrets of the Universe. Parameters of the planet The first known observations of the celestial neighbor were carried out at the time of the pharaohs in Egypt, one and a half thousand years before our era. Ancient astronomers managed to detect the "reverse" motion of the planet and determine its place in the sky between the Earth, the asteroid belt and Jupiter. Mars is one of the planets of the solar system, located in the fourth orbit, immediately after the Earth. Its dimensions are: radius - 3396 kilometers (53% of the radius of our planet); the length of the equator is 21344 km; surface area 144.37 million square kilometers (28.3% of the earth's surface). The mass of the Red Planet is 6.4171 × 1020 tons, which is equal to 10.7% of the Earth's matter. By its size, it is in seventh place among the satellites of our Luminary.
Mars revolves around the Sun in an elliptical orbit with a very significant eccentricity of 0.0934. That is why the distance between them changes by 42.6 million kilometers during the period of revolution. These heavenly bodies are now approaching, now moving away from each other.
A number of physical parameters The average density of the Martian soil is 3930 kg per cubic meter. This is less than the specific gravity of what is under our feet by 28.7%. The range of temperature fluctuations in the atmosphere of Mars reaches 188 ° C. Winter cold reaches -153 ° C; in summer, the surface can warm up, reaching + 35 ° C. A body in a state of free fall will experience an acceleration of 3.711 m / s per second, which equals 0.378 g. The planet's atmosphere is very rarefied, the magnetic field is weak. The axis of Mars is tilted at an angle of 25.2 degrees. Therefore, winter is replaced by spring, summer - autumn.

Due to the lack of a decent layer of the atmosphere, the surface of the planet following the Earth at the exit from the solar system, and therefore less heated, is strongly cooled. The average annual temperature ranges from: - 50 °; - 60 ° C. There are facts of warming up of the poles and the equator to + 35 ° C. But this does not change the overall meteorological picture.
Considering our space neighbor as a potential owner of living conditions, scientists have carefully studied its atmosphere. A lot of interesting things came to light. But, as is often the case in science, a number of optimistic forecasts had to be abandoned. And that's why. The planet's atmosphere is extremely rarefied - 1% of the Earth's atmospheric pressure. On our planet, in order to get Martian conditions (in terms of the force effect of the gas-air column), it is required to climb 35 kilometers. The gas shell of Mars is 95% carbon dioxide, but due to its thinness, the greenhouse effect is not observed on the planet. However, there is water. Although not liquid. Huge polar "caps" of H2O saturate the air with water vapor. Researchers are confident they will find "seas" inside the planet. Possibly even at shallow depths.

It is interesting that the thin layer of the Mars atmosphere determines quite terrestrial climatic conditions. There are also winds blowing and dust storms; there are fogs and terrible frosts (sometimes up to one and a half hundred degrees Celsius).
Billions of years ago, the planet was warm and humid. There were reservoirs that could well become a habitat for living beings. 4.2 billion years ago, for unknown reasons, Mars lost its magnetic field. The atmosphere leaked into outer space. It continues today. True, at a much lower rate - 100 grams per second. During solar storms, under the influence of solar wind streams, the process of gas layer loss increases significantly.

If there are no changes, then in a couple of billion years the atmosphere of our space neighbor will disappear. Surface of Mars For all the time of observations and practical studies of the surface of the Red Planet, a rich history has accumulated. It is worth stopping at its stages.

The most interesting thing is that the emergence of such geometric structures was explained by the intelligent engineering activities of aliens. "Active Martians use the melt water of the polar glaciers for their economic activities." Today, this statement only brings a smile, but then even venerable scientists shared a similar point of view.
An ordinary pile of stones, photographed by the Viking-1 station in 1976. Again, with a low optical resolution, complemented by a play of light gamut and a rich imagination of people who want to see traces of alien intelligence everywhere. Ice polar caps One of the facts of the similarity of physical and climatic processes occurring on Earth and Mars is the existence of ice "continents" in the polar regions.
The polar caps experience seasonal changes. If the North increases, then the South decreases and vice versa. The diameter of the stable part of the "headdress" of the North Pole reaches 1000 km. The thickness of the ice "crust" reaches 3.7 km. The maximum "run-up of the cap fields" reaches 50 degrees south or north latitude of Mars. Interestingly, the South Polar Cap begins to "smoke" when heated. In connection with the spring thaw, peculiar geysers appear, emitting flows of carbon dioxide into the planet's atmosphere along with sand, dust and dirt.

With the equipment of the process of studying the Martian surface with special equipment, the following evidence of the work of its water resources appears: Dry river channels. River channels protruding above the ground. River delta in the area of the Eberswalde crater, covering 115 km2. The channel length exceeds 60 km. Minerals formed by water. Ice deposits. Fresh traces of salt water leakage. Remains of a dry stream. Water-treated stones. A subglacial lake lying under a layer of ice, 1.5 km deep.

Mars got its name in honor of the Roman god of war, because of the red color. This shade really evokes associations of fierce battles and merciless battles. It is curious to trace how, and in whose honor, the planet was named in ancient times: Egypt - "Gor Dashr" (Horus Red). Jews - "Maadim" (blushing). Babylon - "Nergal" (god of evil and the underworld, the star of death). India - "Mangala" (god of war). Greece - "Ares" (god of war) or "Pyrois" (fire).
Iron oxide is responsible for the planet's reddish hue. Quite simply: rust, which makes up the bulk of the dust. It covers Mars with a layer from several millimeters to two meters (Tarsis Highlands). Iron oxide is lifted into the atmosphere with the help of winds creating ascending air currents. He can be seen from space. In fact, the surface of Mars has a full spectrum of colors: yellow, brown, golden, brown, red, green. It all depends on the chemical composition of the soil. Spectral analysis carried out by the equipment installed on the Mars Express interplanetary space station gave an exhaustive answer to the riddle that haunted the best minds of mankind for thousands of years.

The small size of Mars, a thin layer of the atmosphere, very weak pressure, together lead to the constant appearance of winds. The planet is continuously blown through by powerful currents flying at a speed reaching - 100 m / s. They reach their maximum in early summer, due to the huge temperature difference between the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Huge streams of dust, weakly contained by gravity, are drawn into the process of the occurrence of Martian storms. The power of the air vortices whirling on the surface of the astronomical neighbor exceeds all known limits. When viewed from space, only yellow clouds are visible, enveloping the entire planet. The lifespan of dust storms varies from 50 to 100 days. Sometimes, during the passage of perihelion (the point of the orbit closest to the Sun), the phenomenon takes on a global character. This happens much more often than expected. Once every 1.88 Earth year.
There is another interesting phenomenon that resembles an earthly tornado. Dust whirlwinds, otherwise called "dust devils". They are also towers of dust, carrying away the atmosphere with their vortex streams, and with it gases and water from the surface of Mars. The number of these vertically revolving streams is in the millions: one square kilometer of the area gives rise to a tornado every few seconds. Everything would be fine, but storms and tornadoes, due to the friction of dust, create discharges of static electricity, which negatively affects technical devices. During natural disasters, small grains of sand can penetrate into the equipment. They also close, "close up" the working surfaces of solar batteries and optical devices, thereby blocking the operation of research equipment. An interesting fact: the breakdown of the Opportunity rover, the search for which was finally stopped on February 13, 2019, was a loss for all mankind. Interest was fueled by the latest "dramatic message from the device" on social networks, in which he informs about the decrease in battery power and the oncoming darkness. The rover worked on the surface of Mars for 15 years, but the storm and cold made it impossible for him to get in touch. Martian Attractions Mars is rich in unique objects. Some of them are the only ones in the entire solar system. Future travelers will find something to see on the neighboring planet. Even a simple listing leaves a lasting impression.
By 2030 - 2033, the possibility of launching a spacecraft with a crew on board is being considered by such major players as: NASA USA, Roscosmos Russia, the European Space Agency. The United Arab Emirates is developing the Mars-2117 project - a kind of future colony of terrestrial aliens. A number of private organizations have interests in this field. Elon Musk, the founder of the SpaceX corporation, is especially active. He aggressively promotes his commercial projects, accompanied by financially promising considerations. There are many problems and difficulties, but the goals are incredibly tempting. Who doesn't want to be the first person to set foot on Mars! Recruitment for space crews is already underway. It is possible that one of the future astronauts will be able to repeat the "small step" of the famous Neil Armstrong.
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