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Martian Surface

The fourth planet from the Sun in the solar system. Mars orbits the Sun at an average distance of 1.52 AU. The planet has a mass 0.1 times the mass of Earth and a radius 0.5 times the radius of Earth. It is made of solid, rocky material, and has a thin atmosphere of carbon dioxide. Iron oxide, or rust, on the surface of Mars gives it its characteristic red color. The planet has bright polar ice caps made of frozen water and carbon dioxide. Mars also has two small moons, Phobos and Deimos.



Mars February 10, 2016

Featured Images

elevation map of mars

Martian Dichotomy November 25, 2020

View of the north and south poles of Mars

Capping the Red Planet June 11, 2020

Valles Marineris on Mars

A Grander Canyon March 17, 2020

InSight landing site

Target Zone November 24, 2018

ice layers in the south polar cap of Mars

Icy Layers June 7, 2018

Elevation view of Tharsis region on Mars

High and Low on Mars May 23, 2018

Martian dust storm

Dusty Skies April 7, 2018

Layers of buried ice exposed on a Martian slope

Icy Mars January 14, 2018

Opportunity rover view of its surroundings on Mars, June 2017

On the Downslope July 24, 2017

A Day on Mars August 24, 2016

Close Neighbor May 20, 2016

Volcanoes on Tharsis Ridge, Mars

Shifting Skin May 18, 2016

The Arda Valles region of Mars

Red Tides February 19, 2016

Sand dunes on Mars

Dune World December 20, 2015

First Eyes on Mars July 13, 2015

Curiosity rover view of rock layers inside Gale Crater on Mars

Ancient Lakebed December 9, 2014

September 9, 2014, view of Curiosity rover's surroundings on Mars

Going Strong September 9, 2014

Artist's concept of early morning fog, clouds, and frost on Mars

Morning Fog April 8, 2014

Downhill Racer February 22, 2014

Fresh Martian impact crater seen by an orbiting spacecraft in late 2013

Fresh Impact February 7, 2014

Rio Tinto, a river in Spain, is a Mars analog

Red River October 9, 2013

Kasei Valles, an ancient flood channel on Mars

Ancient Flood June 10, 2013

Curiosity rover view of Mount Sharp, March 2013

Sharp Destination March 19, 2013

Curiosity view of Rocknest on Mars

Rocky Home November 29, 2012

Early view of the rim of Gale Crater

Inside the Wall August 12, 2012

August 8, 2012, view of Mars from the Curiosity rover

Getting Acquainted August 8, 2012

Endeavour Crater, winter home of the Opportunity Mars rover

Winter Wonderland January 26, 2012

Craters fill an ancient river channel on Mars

Martian Rapids October 10, 2011

Panoramic view of Endeavour crater on Mars, imaged by the Opportunity rover

Final Destination August 11, 2011

Rock varnish on a rock from the Atacama Desert

Bacteria Colony? July 29, 2011

Scientists are studying rocks in Chile to learn about possible life on Mars

Looking for Life July 27, 2011

Chile's Atacama Desert is an analog for studying conditions on Mars

Mars on Earth July 26, 2011

The Opportunity rover crosses the Martian plains toward Endeavour crater

Crater Crawling April 16, 2011

Image of water distribution in northern hemisphere of Mars

Watery Mars April 14, 2011

Ground and orbital views of Opportunity rover at Santa Maria crater

Looking In February 8, 2011

Over the Rim December 31, 2010

The Opportunity rover casts it shadow on the rim of a Martian crater

Martian Robot December 29, 2010

The next Mars rover, Curiosity, zaps a Martian rock with a small laser in this a

War of the Worlds? May 19, 2010

Martian 'Canali' March 14, 2010

Radio Programs

Moon and Mars A hotspot on the Red Planet July 10, 2020

Moon and Mars Layers and layers of ice June 11, 2020

Mars Equinox A new season for the Red Planet April 7, 2020

More Moon and Planets A small planet with giant features March 17, 2020

Moon and Mars The Red Planet gets wet October 25, 2019

Twin Mariners Missing out on the good stuff August 4, 2019

Moon and Mars Digging the Moon and Mars March 10, 2019

Moon and Mars Digging deep valleys on Mars February 10, 2019

More Moon and Mars Digging deep into the Martian surface June 3, 2018

Tharsis Ridge Scaling the Martian heights May 23, 2018

Moon and Mars “Hot spots” on the surface of Mars May 5, 2018

Moon and Mars A long period of quiet on Mars October 16, 2017

Looking for Canals Looking for Martian canals August 3, 2017

Moon and Planets Climbing through Martian history February 28, 2017

Moon and Mars Drying out some Martian gullies November 5, 2016

Martian Tsunami Churning up the Martian ocean August 3, 2016

Moon and Mars Boiling up an avalanche July 13, 2016

Mars Opposition II Stripping away the Martian atmosphere May 19, 2016

Mars Opposition A planet makes its own skin crawl May 18, 2016

Moon and Mars Some of the last Martian lakes March 27, 2016