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Short Facts about Mars!

- Mars is the fourth planet from the sun and has 2 moons, Deimos and Phobos.

- It is the most Earth-like planet in our solar system. It also is about half the size of Earth and has a dry, rocky surface and a very thin atmosphere.

- The surface of Mars is dry, rocky, and mostly covered with iron-rich dust.

- Scientists think that most of the water on Mars is frozen in the land (as permafrost) and frozen in the polar ice caps.

- G. Schiaparelli was an Italian astronomer who first mapped Mars (in 1877) and brought attention to the network of "canali" (Italian for canals or channels) on Mars. These "canals" were later found to be dry and not to be canal at all.

- Mars is about 4,222 miles (6790 km) in diameter. This is 53% (a little over half) of the diameter of the Earth.

- A 100-pound person on Mars would weigh 38 pounds.

- Each day on Mars takes 1.03 Earth days (24.6 hours). A year on Mars takes 687 Earth days; it takes this long for Mars to orbit the sun once.

- Mars is 1.524 times farther from than the sun than the Earth is. It averages 141.6 million miles (227.9 million km) from the sun. Its orbit is very elliptical; Mars has the highest orbital eccentricity of any planet in our Solar System except Pluto.

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