Image: In this image we can see the snowy north pole of the planet Mars. This small planet only represents 0.0068% of the total mass of the planets of the solar system.
• The Red Planet: Mars is often called "the red planet" because of its characteristic color, due to the iron oxide present on its surface.
• Closest to Earth: Mars is the closest planet to Earth, with a minimum distance of about 56 million kilometers.
• A thin atmosphere: Mars has a very thin atmosphere, with atmospheric pressure about 1% that of Earth.
• Earth-like day and year: Mars has a day of about 24.6 hours and a year of about 687 Earth days.
• Two small moons: Mars has two small irregular moons, Phobos and Deimos, which are likely captured asteroids.
• Distinct seasons: Mars has distinct seasons due to the tilt of its axis of rotation, like Earth.
• The tallest mountain in our solar system: Mars is home to the tallest mountain in our solar system, Olympus Mons, which is about 22 kilometers tall.
• Spectacular valleys and canyons: Mars has spectacular valleys and canyons, the largest of which is the Valles Marineris canyon, which is approximately 4,000 kilometers long and up to 7 kilometers deep.
• Traces of Past Liquid Water: Exploration missions have revealed evidence of the past presence of liquid water on the surface of Mars, including rivers, lakes, and deltas.
On Mars, Mount Olympus is a shield volcano, the result of very fluid lava that erupted from the volcano's vents over a long period of time. Olympus Mons is the largest volcano in the solar system, it is perched on a vast plateau 25 km high, about three times the height of Everest. Learn more.
Definition of the word planet (August 24, 2006):
"A planet is a celestial body which is in orbit around the Sun, which has sufficient mass so that its gravity overcomes the cohesive forces of the solid body and maintains it in hydrostatic equilibrium (spherical shape), and which has eliminated any body moving in a near orbit".