The planet Mars lies ahead...
Astronomers and science geeks have fantasized about the possibility of life on the planet Mars for many generations. It is in fact the most habitable of all the planets in our solar system, yet would still be an unfriendly place to live. Temperatures on Mars are well below freezing and the biting cold is often accompanied by harsh winds and sand storms.
Several space probes were sent to Mars to discover more about the planet. Scientists have determined that the Red color of the planet is a product of its iron-enriched clay surface.
Mars can be seen from Earth without modern technology. Its brightness is surpassed only by Venus, which makes our red neighbor a great candidate for night sky telescope observation!
What would be the best time to see the planet Mars in great detail? As with any of the planets, it will be most visible during an opposition, when the planet is closest to Earth. With a good telescope, you'll be able to see some of the planet's more interesting surface features: Volcanoes, lava plains, gigantic craters, and massive canyons!
Here are some additional facts about Mars:
*It is the 4th planet from the Sun.
*The planet is named after the Roman god of war.
*Evidence of erosion suggests that the planet used to have water, similar to Earth.
*Mars has two moons, Phobos and Deimos. These moons are oddly-shaped and scientists believe they were once asteroids that were captured by the planet's gravitational pull.
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