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What planet was considered a harbinger of trouble?

The night sky Mars is dark red pulsating point. People from time immemorial have linked this star with something terrible and dangerous. To the Babylonians it was known as Nergal - the harbinger of war and heat. Sifir pahlavani, or "heavenly fire" is the Persian name of this planet. In Ancient India - Angaraka, "heavenly fire". The Chinese called Mars "sternly orders the judge." The Greek God of war Ares were associated with this planet that bears his name. Then it passed to the Romans called it Mars - the name of the God of war. How to explain such a consensus? Maybe the fact that flickering red light resembled a shed in the battle of blood and fire. Actually red surface of Mars gives iron oxide, to put it bluntly, rust contained in Martian dust and soil.

The Mars. View from space

Reliable data on Mars was mined for many centuries, and it turned out that a planet very similar to Earth. For some time scientists have even speculated that there may be life. But these assumptions have not been confirmed.

Mars is the fourth, counting from the Sun, the planet, following the Earth. A complete revolution around the Sun, Mars makes for 687 earth days. Therefore, the Martian year is almost twice smaller than the earth. The diameter of the planet is 6780 km and the weight is about 10 times smaller than the earth, so the force of gravity on Mars is 2.5 times less than on Earth.

The size comparison of Earth and Mars
The size comparison of Earth and Mars

Mars has an atmosphere, which consists mainly of carbon dioxide and very sparse.

Mars is much colder than on Earth. Temperatures range from 30 degrees in the afternoon heat up to 80 degrees below zero at night. From this temperature difference on the planet is constantly raging dust storms. They can last from several weeks to several months and can sometimes cover an entire hemisphere.

The surface of Mars at some parts covered with mountain ranges, volcanic cones and domes, deep canyons with rugged edges. Relief roughness of Mars has a few records of the Solar system. So, an extinct volcano - mount Olympus is the highest mountain on the planets of the Solar system (its height is 21, 2 km), and the Mariner valley is the largest canyon system in the Solar system with a length of 4.5 thousand km, a width of 200 km and a depth of 11 km (for comparison, the famous Grand Canyon in the United States has a length of 446 km, that is 10 times less than the Mariner valley, its breadth from 6 to 29 km, depth - less than a kilometer). Mars has the largest impact canyons in the Solar system: its length is 10.6 thousand km and a width of 8.5 thousand km

Mount Olympus on Mars
Olympus Martian extinct volcano,
the highest mountain in the Solar system

Mount Olympus on Mars
The Mariner valley on Mars
Photo NASA

Observed on Mars the beds of dried rivers and canals. A large part of Mars is a dry desert areas, covered with reddish soil and a large number of stones.

Found on Mars and water, but only in a solid state in the form of snow, ice or frost. Some scholars suggest that under the planet's surface is a layer of permafrost.

Around Mars revolve two satellites - Phobos and Deimos (their names are translated from the Greek as "fear" and "terror"), which, in essence, represent pieces of stone. Phobos and Deimos might be captured by the gravity of Mars asteroids.

The satellites of Mars - Phobos and Deimos
The satellites of Mars - Phobos and Deimos


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