Mar 30, 2011

Mars; The Red Planet [part 2- climate]

See part 1 first with the basic info about Mars, if you haven't seen it yet.

As I've written, Mars has 4 seasons but is very cold. The air pressurized on Mars if so thin, it's actually equivalent to that at 30 km(about 10,000 feet) above ground on Earth. Even if there was liquid water there, it would vaporize immediately because of the thin air. But there is frozen water on the planet, but we'll get to that soon, maybe on the next article.
Amazing. It's a photo from another planet! I can't imagine, that in a few decades we'll be walking on it. Looks otherworldly, I guess.
Anyway,  the sky is pink mostly because the wind on Mars blows up the red soil. This planet's wind is really strong, and it's not unusual that a sandstorm covers the whole planet!! Wind velocity can reach 200 meters (about 656 feet) an hour!
In 2007, the sandstorm almost shut down the rovers Spirit and Opportunity because it reduced the light coming to the solar panels. After that, the rover's powers decreased a lot because sand settled on the panels.
 Also, tornadoes are a common thing too. And hurricanes. It's not a good place to live in.

During the 20 years between the Viking mission and the Mars Pathfinder, there was a drop of 20 degrees C in the temperature. The climate on this planet seems to change around a lot.

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