www.whyville.net Jul 13, 2000 Weekly Issue

The Last Frontier: Mars

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The world's last frontier is space, the most outer reaches known to man. Now, each week for 9 more weeks, I will report on something of interest from the realms of space.

by Etrnl *
Space Explorer

The Last Frontier: Mars

For more about Mars, check out this page.

This week's topic is Mars. Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun, of course, but first, let's take a step back in history to see how Mars was named.

Mars, or Ares, is the god of War. Mars is known as the red planet. Since war brings red blood, it probably was how this planet was named.

Many spacecraft have gone to Mars. The first was Mariner 4 in the year 1965. Several others followed, including Mars 2, the first spacecraft to land on Mars, and the two Viking landers in 1976. Finally, the Mars Pathfinder reached Mars on July 4, 1997, the United States' independence day.

Mars is believed to have once had water. There are many canyons and erosion spaces that look like they could once could have been oceans or rivers. This indicates that at some time in the past there probably was water on the surface. Still, this was a very brief thing, and only existed about 4 billion years ago.

Now, Mars has a very thin atmosphere. It's made mostly of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, argon, traces of oxygen, and, of course, water.

Picture courtesy of Arizona SEDS

Mars is very closely associated with the possibility of life on other planets. Here is another picture you might find interesting.

This is supposedly a face on Mars, but who knows what it truly is?

Well, I hope that you have learned more about Mars.

As usual, if you have any questions, please feel free to Y-mail me @ Etrnl *.

Thanx, Etrnl *


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