Beatty, J. Kelly Senior Editor, "Sky and Telescope Magazine," Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Last reviewed:January 2021
Show previous versions
- Mars, published March 2019:Download PDF Get Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Mars, published July 2018:Download PDF Get Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Mars, published October 2014:Download PDF Get Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Telescopic appearance
- Sedimentary layering
- Surface exploration
- Meteorites from Mars
- Dust storms
- Water inventory
- Polar caps
- Subterranean ice
- Hypothesized ocean
- Possibility of life
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The planet fourth outward from the Sun and the planet most like Earth in terms of geology, climate, and suitability for life. Mars is nicknamed the "Red Planet" for its reddish hue (Fig. 1). Besides Earth, Mars is the most-studied world in the solar system. Numerous interplanetary spacecraft have visited Mars, while new stationary probes and rovers continue to be sent to further explore its surface. Although Mars is cold, dry, and inhospitable in present day and likely was so stretching back for most of its 4.5-billion-year history, ample evidence exists that during its first billion years, Mars might have hosted a warm climate along with significant bodies of water on its surface. These findings have established Mars as one of the likeliest places besides Earth in the solar system to have developed life, a prospect that has driven the exploration of the Red Planet from orbit and through a continuing series of lander and rover missions. For a set of basic planetary and orbital characteristics of Mars, see Table 1. See also: Astrobiology; Earth; Planet; Solar system
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 46 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information