Distance from primary: 227 940 000 km
Day length: (solar day, sol) 24 standard hours, 39 minutes, 35.244 seconds.
Orbital period: 686.9 standard days
Diameter: 6 780 km
Surface temperature: -120 to 25 C
Gravity: 0.38 Earth standard
The shield volcano, Olympus Mons (Mount Olympus), is at 26 km the highest mountain in the Sol system. It is in a vast upland region called Tharsis, which contains several large volcanos. The Tharsis region of Mars also has the sol system's largest canyon system, Valles Marineris or the Mariner Valley, which is 4000 km long and 7 km deep. Mars is also scarred by a number of impact craters. The largest of these is the Hellas impact basin.
The difference between Mars' highest and lowest points is nearly 31 km (from the top of Olympus Mons at an altitude of 26 km to the bottom of the Hellas impact basin at an altitude of 4 km below the datum.)
Mars was named by ancient humans after their god of war. Other ancient names for this world include Her Descher, "the red one", as well as the Red Planet. Before space exploration, Mars was considered by the people of Earth as the best candidate for harboring extraterrestrial life. Astronomers thought they saw straight lines crisscrossing its surface. This led to the popular belief that irrigation canals on the planet had been constructed by intelligent beings. Interplanetary probes proved this theory wrong later on, revealing instead a world ripe for colonization.
- A list of articles related to the planet.