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Mars is best viewed from Earth when it is at


What makes the view of Mars in the summer of 2003 so spectacular?

Mars was both at perihelion and opposition, creating the perfect viewing conditions from Earth.

Why does Mars appear fainter than Venus, as seen from Earth?

because it is smaller, farther away and less reflective

Which is the correct size order, from smallest to largest?

Mercury, Mars, Venus

How long is a day on Mars?

24 hours, 36 minutes

What causes the changing dark and light features visible on the Martian surface from Earth?

highly cratered and eroded areas that are frequently covered and uncovered by dust

Most of the dark regions on Mars visible from Earth are

volcanic planes like the lunar maria.

The deepest depression found on the surface of Mars is the

Hellas Basin of Mars.

The most striking valley in the solar system is:

Valles Marineris on Mars.

The largest shield volcano yet discovered is:

Olympus Mons on Mars.

Why is the southern hemisphere of Mars believed to be older than the northern?

The southern hemisphere is more heavily cratered.

The NASA missions that landed on Mars in 1976 were the

Vikings I and II.

The Tharsis Bulge on Mars is roughly the size of

North America

If water caused the huge outflow channels on Mars, what was the most likely process that formed them?

catastrophic but rare flooding

Evidence of liquid water in Mars' distant past suggests that it had a substantial atmosphere compared to what it has presently. What happened to its water vapor?

The atmosphere has frozen out into the polar ice caps and permafrost as Mars has cooled.

Why is Mars red?

The iron in the surface rocks have been oxidized over time.

One piece of evidence against the possibility of water on Mars is

the few carbonate rock layers that would have formed on the bottoms of oceans.

The main constituent of the martian atmosphere is

carbon dioxide.

Mars' magnetic field is so weak because

it core may no longer be molten and its core contains less iron than our own.

How many moons does Mars have?


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