It is fascinating how people were always amazed by the sky, other planets, moons, and the whole universe. Before we got the advanced technology in the 20th century, people only used telescopes to observe the universe. Before the development of advanced telescopes that we have today, those models from the middle ages helped us to determine the most of planets in the Solar system, and take a closer look at the Moon.
The lack of knowledge and feel of amazement when it comes to the stars is the main reason why we can find so many stories about other planets and objects. The 19th and 20th centuries were especially popular when it comes to novels about this topic. Some of the most popular writers are Isaac Asimov, Arthur Clarke, Jules Verne, and more.
Also, some scientists made their versions of these novels, that was more about predictions about how it might look like to be on other planets. One of the best examples is the book The Sands of Mars, written by scientist Von Braun. You can check out carlkruse.org to read more about this book and famous scientists.
During the 20th century, we developed the technology that helped us to land on the Moon, and the advancements are progressing rapidly to this day. In the previous 30 years, there were several attempts to land a rover on Mars, and the first successful one was in 2004, and it managed to explore over 7 km of the area on this planet. Another successful mission is Opportunity, also from 2004.
The Curiosity that landed in 2012 is the best mission by now, and this rover is still exploring the Red Planet. We have learned so much about it, and some things are quite amazing. Here are some fascinating facts about this planet that you should know about.
1. There is Water Found On This Planet
For many scientists, evidence of water and its traces are the main signals that life was possible there as well. With observation made by satellites and examination of materials collected on Mars, it is clear that there was water there. Moreover, there are large deposits of ice on both poles. However, the main issue is a weak atmosphere that won’t keep the water in a liquid state.
2. It Had a Stronger Atmosphere
Further observation and videos took by rovers provide us with more details about the surface of Mars. There are signs on the surface that water was there in the liquid state millions or even billions of years ago. However, the influence of the Sun on the layers of the atmosphere was making it weaker over time and eventually so weak that it cannot prevent the evaporation of water and prevention of its circulation in nature.
3. Amazing Terrain
The size of the Red Plant is slightly more than 50% of Earth’s surface. However, it has over 60% weaker gravity, which allowed the forming of much taller structures than on Earth. The tallest mountain is the volcano Olympus Mons, with 25 km in height, which is three times taller than the highest point on our planet. Also, there are deep canyons and other interesting terrains.
4. It Has Two Moons
These moons are called Deimos and Phobos. The difference between our Moon and these objects is that they are much smaller and look more like asteroids. The most interesting fact is related to Phobos. This small object will eventually crash into Mars or explode in the atmosphere since it has a limited lifespan of around 40 million years.
5. There is Methane Found in the Atmosphere
A lot of experts in this field believe that traces of methane represents a sign that life was possible on some planet in the past. The main reason for that is that this gas is created as a result of biological activity. Scientists are actively working on the determination of sources of this gas on Mars and are only a result of geological activity, or it was habitable in the past.
6. Why is it Red?
The reason why it has this color is because of high levels of iron oxide on the surface. When it comes to the structure of the atmosphere, it is made mostly of carbon dioxide with argon and nitrogen. However, the main question is how it is possible to have oxidized iron at high levels on a planet without any traces of O2. That is another indication that there was oxygen there before.
7. There is a Plan to Colonize This Planet
The current weather on Mars is completely inhabitable, with an average temperature of under -63 degrees Celsius. However, the temperature on the equator line is around 20 degrees. Still, the air pressure is incredibly lower, while the composition of gases is quite different as well. Therefore, even if we manage to start to the process of oxidation, high levels of CO2, nitrogen, and argon will still make it unbreathable there.
Still, we can hear about various plans about sending a crew of people there who will live in special conditions. The most popular is the plan shared by Elon Musk, who is planning to send the first people on Mars in the next 5 years. When it comes to structures where people would live when they get there, the plan is to build special spheres where people will live without the fear that the outside temperatures or any other impacts would cause any danger. These spheres are going to be self-sustainable, and people will have the ability to grow plants, keep fresh water, supplies, and more.
The most amazing plan is to terraform this planet. According to some scientists, we should build the first facilities near the ice capes where people could collect the ice and use it like water. The main challenges are related to the soil and dealing with low air pressure.
There are also many other interesting facts about Mars. Also, NASA and other exploration missions are constantly working on discovering more about this planet, the potential to live there, the chances of terraforming it, and finding proof that there was life there in the past.