Red Planet Day 2022:
On November 28, 1964, the NASA mission Mariner 4 was launched, which ended up capturing significant information on, and photographs of, Mars for the first time thus marking Red Planet Day.
- It is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet in the Solar System.
- Mars is about half the size of Earth.
As Mars orbits the Sun, it completes one rotation every 24.6 hours, which is very similar to one day on Earth (23.9 hours).
- Mars’ axis of rotation is tilted 25 degrees with respect to the plane of its orbit around the Sun.
- This is similar to Earth, which has an axial tilt of 23.4 degrees.
- Mars has distinct seasons like Earth, but they last longer than seasons on Earth.
- Martian days are called sols—short for ‘solar day’.
- The reason Mars looks reddish is due to oxidation or rusting of iron in the rocks, and dust of Mars. Hence it is also called the Red Planet.
- It has the largest volcano in the solar system i.e., Olympus Mons.
- It has two small moons, Phobos and Deimos.