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Let's Learn About Mars!

The red planet has interested people as a possible place for extra-terrestrial life for centuries now. It has loads of interesting geology, and its conditions could allow life to exist, although it wouldn’t be easy!

Exploring the Red Planet

We’ve been exploring Mars for more than 50 years, although it’s important to remember that about half of all the rockets we’ve sent there have crashed or failed. Even visiting one of the nearest planets is very difficult. One mission that survived and is still exploring Mars is NASA’s Curiosity rover.

Curiosity has travelled over a large area of the dusty, rocky surface of Mars. Below, you can see its view of an area called The Kimberley, and a video of Curiosity’s journey across Gale Crater.

Curiosity rover on Mars in May 2019. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

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Iguda’s Mars Fact File

*FUN FACT* – Dust storms on Mars sometimes cover the entire planet!

Position from the Sun

4th planet

Diameter

6780 km

Distance from The Sun

228,000,000 km

Day Length

24.6 hours

Year length

687 days

Number of moons

2

Surface temperature

-153 °C to 20 °C

Gravity

3.71 m/s²

Atmosphere

Carbon dioxide, nitrogen, argon

Close Approach!

Mars photographed in 2003, on its closest approach to Earth for 60,000 years!

To watch the orbiter Mars Odyssey’s “Live” view of the Martian surface, click below …

YOUR MISSION, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT …

YOUR MISSION, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT …

YOUR MISSION, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT …

YOUR MISSION, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT …

Canals on Mars?

One of the most obsessive astronomers was the American Percival Lowell. He spent many years studying Mars and wrote a number of books about the planet and about life on Mars. He was inspired in part by the observations of Italian astronomer, Giovanni Schiaparelli, who drew this map of canals on Mars in 1888.

Percival Lowell's Observatory

Lowell built an observatory in Arizona which is one of the most important historical observatories in the world – it’s where they discovered Pluto in 1930. In this photo from 1914, he is observing Venus.

Your Task

Imagine you are Percival Lowell in 1893 and write a diary about your thoughts about the canals and life on Mars and your idea to build an observatory to investigate further. You can research more information to help you write your diary entry by looking at these online resources:

– BONUS MISSION! –

– BONUS MISSION! –

– BONUS MISSION! –

– BONUS MISSION! –

Fairies on Mars?

In 1923, William Timlin, from Ashington in Northumberland, published The Ship that Sailed to Mars. It’s an incredible fantasy story, beautifully written and illustrated – “it is today one of the rarest, most original and beautiful children’s books of the 20th century” – the only book Timlin ever published.

Your Task

Write your own fantasy story about a journey to Mars, to meet the strange inhabitants there. Include drawings to illustrate your story.

– MISSION END –

– MISSION END –

– MISSION END –

– MISSION END –

Your Journey So Far …

Tanno and Iguda have explored these places up to now. You can go back and visit again by clicking below.

The Moon

Venus

Mercury

The Sun

Mars

Great to see you again, thank you for the visit! See you next time …

Tanno & Iguda