Why is Mars also called the “Red Planet”?
Christine of Gelsenkirchen asks this question.
The surface of Mars is covered with a thin layer of reddish-brown dust, which gives Mars its reddish appearance.
The American probes Viking 1 and Viking 2 landed on Mars and took soil samples with forceps. Material analysis has shown that the Martian soil has a very high iron content. Dust gets its reddish-brown color from the iron oxide in it, which is rust.
Mars is nicknamed the “Red Planet” because of its red colour.
Mars – Red Planet
From a galactic point of view, Mars is our neighbor: in our solar system, it is “next to Earth“. For humans, however, it is still a long way off. Both the planets Mars and Earth revolve around the Sun.
But as they go around the Sun at different speeds, they keep moving away from each other. Even though they are closest, it is still 55 million kilometers.
By comparison: the Moon, which orbits Earth, is “only” 384,000 kilometers away from us.
Why is Mars called the “Red Planet”?
The planet is named after Mars, the Roman god of war. It is also called the “Red Planet“.
Its surface contains a lot of iron, more precisely iron oxide dust. When iron rusts, it turns red.
The fact is that Mars has a reddish shimmer, which can also be seen from Earth when looking at Mars in the night sky. Mars is the fourth planet – from the Sun – in our solar system.
It is about half the size of Earth. Unlike our planet, the Red Planet has a very thin atmosphere. Are there green men on Mars?
With special telescopes, people can see something on Mars for a long time. O
If course not super accurate, but some things like the south and north poles with “snow” and dark spots. Because these are always changing, we thought it might be plants and there was or still is life on Mars.
The thought of little green men still flashes in people’s minds. Journey to Mars?
How long does a mission to Mars last?
The flight time to Mars with the spacecraft we have today is about six to seven months – and that’s a long time ago. Even a radio message takes eleven minutes from Earth to Mars.
Therefore, it is difficult to maintain contact with the astronauts during a mission. Astronauts need to know how to help themselves on a mission to Mars and have strong nerves.
Mars is still too far away for more detailed investigation. But the goal becomes more concrete. Man has not reached the planet till date, but he has sent a probe.
They are small unmanned spacecraft that often look like satellites. In early 1965, “Mariner 4” took some photos of Mars as it flew and tested the air. After that, the probe flew there over and over again.
And because you can’t see everything clearly from space, some of them will soon descend. “Viking I” was the first in 1976. The “Martians” have yet to meet. Modern Mars Expedition
The NASA rover Perseverance
In March 2007, an international team of researchers found that the South Pole of Mars is covered by a huge layer of ice. A feeling: Ice is frozen water – and water is a prerequisite for life!
So there could be life on Mars. Images obtained from the probe also showed that there are craters and basins on Mars that once contained rivers or lakes.
The illustration shows the NASA rover “Perseverance” landing on Mars.
The Martian rover “Perseverance” was deposited gently on the surface of Mars using a crane.
Even if at least tiny creatures could have evolved on Mars, the probe is still looking for evidence. Today, research teams are deploying the Martian rovers, the actual robotic vehicles, on the planet.
The last model landed in February 2021. This is called “Pursity” which means “persistence“.
It weighs about 1,000 pounds and is the size of a small car. He’s got a whole lab on board, lots of cameras, and a robotic arm for digging. He is now in search of material for life in one of the “dry lakes”.
We can definitely wait for the results.
Live on Mars?
If people want to fly to Mars – maybe 10, 20, 30 years from now – they need a home there too. Research teams are already working on what such a house might look like and what you’d need to live on Mars.
Radio journalist Mikro Misha Droutz interviews Kristian Henik from the Center for Applied Space Technology and Microgravity at the University of Bremen.