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51 Fun Mars Facts For Kids
Turn on a star gazer, and enjoy these Mars facts for kids.
It’s no surprise that many young children love learning about outer space, including the stars, sun and moon, and all of the planets. One of the most popular planets is Mars, and it holds a lot of mystery for both kids and adults alike.
You can often find kids engaging in pretend play that turns cardboard boxes into rocket ships or aluminum foil into space helmets. You can fuel their curiosity about Mars and other space-related topics through books, songs, and interactive play.
Interesting Mars Facts For Kids
The next time you’re talking about the solar system with your kids, share some of these fun Mars facts. They’re sure to pique children’s interest in the Red Planet.
- Earth’s moon can be seen from Mars throughout the different phases of the elliptical orbit.
- We call Mars the Red Planet for a reason — it’s red! But why? The red color is from large amounts of iron oxide covering the entire planet. It’s in all of the planet’s dirt and rocks. To put it another way, Mars is full of rust. That’s right — iron oxide is the same stuff that turns your metal furniture all rusty in your backyard.
- Thanks to all that rusty dust, the sky around Mars is also often red. You’ll often hear scientists comment that Mars has a red sky. Well, Mars also has a lot of dust storms — some of the biggest ones in the galaxy! So, when all of that red dust starts blowing around, it swirls up into the atmosphere around the planet, making Mars’s sky look red instead of blue like Earth’s.
- Interestingly enough, since it’s farther from the sun than Earth, the sun would seem smaller if you stood on Mars. It would look about half the size as what you see from Earth.
- Mars is named after the Roman god of war. Many Roman gods share names with the planets.
- Mars has weaker gravity than Earth. So if you were jumping rope on Mars, you could jump three times higher than when you’re on your school’s playground. Just think about how high a kangaroo would jump if it were on Mars!
- The first person to see Mars was Galileo Galilei in 1610 through his telescope.
- The robotic spacecraft, Viking 1, first landed on Mars in 1976.
- To date, there is no evidence of life on Mars.
Mars Number Facts
- The diameter of Mars is 4212.3 miles
- The average distance from Earth to Mars is 238.88 million miles.
- Mars is 141.6 million miles away from the sun.
- Mars is the fourth planet from the sun, which also makes it the fourth planet in our solar system.
- Mars is the second smallest planet and is smaller than Earth, about half the size, to be exact.
- A day on Mars is only a little bit longer than a day on Earth. But, one year on Mars is almost twice as long as one on Earth.
- It takes Mars about 687 days to circle the sun, compared to the 365 days that it takes Earth.
- Mars also has seasons like Earth, but the seasons last about double the time. Just imagine your summer vacation being twice as long!
- Spring is the longest season on Mars, lasting 194 days. The shortest season is Fall, lasting 142 days.
- Mars has a diameter of about 4.212 miles.
- Have you ever been to the Grand Canyon in Arizona? Well, Mars has a grand canyon too, but it’s a lot bigger, almost ten times bigger. It’s called Valles Mariners, and it is about 1,864 miles long, 375 miles wide, and roughly 5 miles deep.
- Mars is the 7th largest planet in the solar system.
- You would weigh about 38% less on Mars because Mars has less gravity than Earth. So, if you weigh 70 pounds on Earth, you would weigh about 44 pounds on Mars.
More Fun Facts About Mars
- The first spacecraft to land on Mars was the Viking 1.
- The northern side of Mars has flat plains caused from lava flows.
- The southern side of Mars has giant canyons.
- You already know that Earth has a moon. Well, Mars has two moons, and they have names. Mars’s moons are named Phobos and Deimos, and they’re shaped kind of like potatoes.
- Scientists believe that one day Phobos will crash into Mars. It might even create enough dust around the planet to give it a ring, like Saturn.
- For a long time, scientists believed Mars was all rocks, dust, and dirt. But, in 2018, through lots of research, scientists discovered that there might be a lake on Mars below the surface. They found clues beneath one of Mars’s polar ice caps.
- Mars has volcanoes, but they aren’t active. So, you won’t be hearing about any lava or erupting volcanoes on Mars anytime soon.
- Did you know there’s a mountain on Mars? It’s actually one of Mars’s dormant volcanoes, and it’s the largest in the solar system. It’s called Olympus Mons, and it’s almost three times higher than Earth’s tallest mountain, Mt. Everest. That means Olympus Mons stands nearly 80,000 feet tall!
- Mars has a very thin atmosphere made up mostly of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and argon gasses.
- Every now and then, you can see Mars with the naked eye. That means you can see the planet without a telescope!
Cool Facts About Mars
- The average temperature on Mars is 81 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit). That’s really cold! Think of it this way — on Earth, water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. You wouldn’t be able to wear enough coats and boots to stay warm.
- Recent studies discovered lots and lots of frozen water at Mars’s south pole.
- Mars is a lot colder than Earth because it’s farther from the sun. Plus, its thin atmosphere can’t hold onto heat very well.
- At night, the temperature on Mars can reach as low as 130 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit).
- The highest temperature on Mars is 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The lowest is minus 225 degrees.
- t’s so cold that any water found on the planet’s surface won’t be in liquid form but more of a watery ice.
Exciting Facts About Missions To Mars
- There have been 40 different missions to Mars. But, only 18 were a success.
- Mars is the most explored planet in our solar system.
- No humans have ever landed on Mars, but scientists have sent a few different types of spacecraft to the planet to help us learn more about it.
- The Soviet Union was the first to get a spacecraft on Mars, but the rover didn’t land; it crashed.
- The US had the first successful landing on Mars with its Viking 1 spacecraft. There were no astronauts, just the craft, which was sent to help study the planet.
- The first successful flyby of Mars was completed by the United State’s Mariner 4 in November of 1964.
- The first successful orbit of Mars was completed by the Soviet Union’s Mars 2 spacecraft. It completed 362 orbits, meaning it went around Mars 362 times.
- Many explorations of Mars have led to interesting pictures, including a floating spoon and even a face! But, these have all ended up being optical illusions.
- The US has sent five rovers to Mars. The current is Perseverance. The others were named Sojourner, Spirit and Opportunity (twin rovers that went to Mars together), and Curiosity.
Facts About Exploring Mars Today
- The current US rover on Mars, named Perseverance, landed in February of 2021 and is studying the planet to find signs of any past life.
- Along with the Perseverance rover, scientists also sent a helicopter named Ingenuity. But this isn’t a helicopter like you’d see flying up in the sky on Earth. It’s a much small helicopter.
- The Ingenuity helicopter was the first craft of its kind to fly on a planet other than Earth. The flight lasted 39.1 seconds. Scientists hope to use it to learn about the technology they will need to fly in Mars’s atmosphere.
- There are 8 spacecraft orbiting Mars right now. Three of them are from the US.
- The names of the three US spacecraft orbiting Mars are the 2001 Mars Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and MAVEN.
- Scientists still wonder if one day people will be able to set up cities on Mars. Some people think Mars could become our “second Earth.” But there is still much to learn. What do you think?
More Mars Facts For Kids
- The northern hemisphere of Mars is pretty smooth. But, the southern hemisphere of Mars has lots of craters.
- The planet has lots of channels, or grooves, running all over it. Scientists believe these channels look like they were made by running water.
- Certain evidence shows that Mars might have had huge floods about 3.5 billion years ago.
- Mars does not have a magnetic field anymore, which is why its atmosphere is so thin.
- Scientists don’t believe there is life on Mars today. But, they are still hoping to find signs of life from long ago.
- In the 19th century, people believed whole civilizations were living on Mars. But stronger telescopes soon found that this was not true.
- People have found meteorites from Mars’ surface all over the Earth.
- Mars is between planet Earth and Jupiter in the solar system.
Do these fun Mars facts for kids have you wanting to learn even more about this amazing planet? Ask your kids which facts they think are the most incredible and talk about them together. Share your favorites in the comments!
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