5 things you may not know about Mars: You'd weigh less, but have a longer, mostly colder day | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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5 things you may not know about Mars: You'd weigh less, but have a longer, mostly colder day

This Aug. 26, 2003 image made available by NASA shows Mars photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope on the planet's closest approach to Earth in 60,000 years. Mars is set to get its latest visitor Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, when NASA's new robotic rover, named Curiosity, attempts to land there. Mars has been a prime target for space exploration for decades, in part because its climate 3.5 billion years ago is believed to have been warm and wet, like early Earth. (AP Photo/NASA)
August 03, 2012 - 4:26 AM

PASADENA, Calif. - Mars is set to get its latest visitor Sunday night when NASA's new robotic rover, named Curiosity, attempts to land there. Mars has been a prime target for space exploration for decades, in part because its climate 3.5 billion years ago is believed to have been warm and wet, like early Earth. Here are five other key points:

—About the colour: It's called the red planet because the landscape is stained rusty-red by the iron-rich dust.

—Quick weight loss: Its gravity is only 38 per cent that of Earth. So if you weigh 150 pounds (68 kilograms) on Earth, you would weigh 57 pounds (26 kilograms) on Mars.

—Hot and cold: Mars' temperatures can range from 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 Celsius) at its equator to -199 Fahrenheit (-128 Celsius) at its poles.

—The air is different: Mars' atmosphere is mostly carbon dioxide with traces of nitrogen and argon. Earth's atmosphere is a mixture of nitrogen, oxygen and other gases.

—Longer days: They last 40 minutes longer than a day on Earth.

News from © The Associated Press, 2012
The Associated Press

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