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Mars

Mars is the first planet outside the Earth's orbit, with a year 1.88 Earth years long. It has a very thin carbon dioxide atmosphere, and a mean surface temperature of a chilly -63°C.

Mars
    Vital statistics:
  • Mass: 6.4 x 1023 kg = 0.107 Earths/8.8 Moons
  • Diameter: 6779 km = 0.53 Earth's
  • Density: 3.93 tonnes/m3 = 0.713 Earth's density
  • Surface gravity: 3.7 m/s2 = 0.38g
  • Distance from Sun: 207 - 249 million km (227.9 Mkm semi-major axis) = 1.38 - 1.67 AU (Earth-Sun distances)
  • Period of orbit: 687.0 Earth days / 1.88 Julian years
  • Period of rotation: 1.03 Earth days (24.62 h)
  • No. of moons: 2
  • Atmosphere: 0.64 kPa (0.63% Earth's atmosphere), 96.0% CO2, 1.9% argon, 1.9% nitrogen, 0.15% O2, and trace gases, including 210 ppm (parts per million) water vapour.

Moons

Mars has two natural satellites, the small moons Phobos and Deimos.

Phobos, moon of Mars
Phobos, moon of Mars

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Great Scientists

Tycho Brahe

1546 - 1601

Tycho Brahe was a Danish astronomer, whose meticulous observations and ideas about the nature of planets, stars and comets, although erroneously accommodating rather than directly challenging the long-standing Aristotelian and Ptolemaic versions of the heavens, they were nevertheless an important contribution to the coming scientific revolution, and specifically enabled his assistant, Johannes Keppler, to derive his breakthrough laws of planetary motion.

Tycho Brahe
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