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Image credit: NASA
 

Mars



Also Phobos, Deimos.

Fourth planet from the Sun, Mars is the third smallest planet in the solar system at a mean distance of 227 million km from the Sun. The Martian atmosphere is very thin, consisting mainly of carbon dioxide, nitrogen and argon. The planet has two moons, Deimos and Phobos which are thought to have been Asteroids captured by the planet's gravity. Deimos is only 12km across and Phobos is slightly larger at 21km across.

Mars has been the subject of a number of studies over the last few decades and has been the destination of several spacecraft. The surface of the planet is covered with large scale features indicative of there having been water on its surface at some point in the past. There is much debate over whether life could have existed on Mars and whether it even exists there today. Recently astronomers detected methane in the atmosphere suggesting that life may be producing it however this has yet to be confirmed.

Mars remains a popular destination for unmanned probes and it is hoped than one day soon a human will set foot on the surface.

Related entries: Deimos, Martian, Mercury, Neptune, Phobos, Pluto, Saturn, Uranus, Venus

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