Mars Characteristics

 v  Orbit and Rotation

Ø   Orbit: 687 days, Martian Year

¤Rotation: West to East (like Earth)

¤Solar Day: 24 hours 39 minutes 35 seconds

¤Tilted Axis(Obliquity): 25.19i
* Because of it's Obliquity, the sun hits Mars at widely different ranges during the year and as a result it has seasons like Earth.

v  Mass and Density

Ø  Mass: 7.08 X 1020 tons
(6.42 X 1020 Metric tons)

¤Density: 3.933 grams per cubic centimeter
*Earth is about 10 times as massive as Mars*It's Mass is roughly 70% of the density of Earth

v  Gravitational Force

Ø   Since Mars is smaller and less dense than Earth, the force that contributes to gravity is less and is only 38% of that on Earth

¤A Person standing on Mars would weight 62% less than that if they were on Earth

v  Physical Features

Ø   Scientists do not know much about the interior of Mars as of yet. There has been an idea of using seismometers, a network of motion sensors, to measure tiny movements of the surface and learn what lies beneath.

¤Four main sources of finding Information

calculations involving the planet's mass, density, gravity, and rotational properties
¤ knowledge of other planets
¤ analysis of Martian meteorites that fall to Earth
¤ data gathered by orbiting space probes

v  Crust

Ø   Thickness: 30 Miles
(50 Kilometers)
*Northern hemisphere lies at a lower elevation than the southern hemisphere

Composed of: Volcanic Rock- Basalt, Andesite (Northern Hemisphere)

v  Mantel

Ø   Composed of: Peridotite
Silicon, Oxygen, Iron, Magnesium, and the most abundant mineral is Olivine)

Source of Heat: Radioactive Decay
the breakup of the nuclei of atoms of elements
Examples: uranium, potassium, and thorium

Average Temperature: roughly 2700 degrees F
(1500 degrees C).

v  Core

Ø Composed of: Iron, Nickel, and Sulfer

¤ Radius of Core: 900 - 1,200 miles 
(1,500 - 2,000 Kilometers)

Form of Core: Solid
(Earth's is partially molten(melted))

Scientists suspect this because Mars does not have a magneticfield, an influence that magnetic object creates in the area surrounding it.

¤Motion within a planet's molten core makes the core a magnetic object and the motion occurs due to the planet's rotation.

¤ During Mars past, some of the planet's oldest rocks were formed in the presence of a strong magnetic field meaning, that Mars may have had a hotter interior and molten core a long time ago.