Mars is nicknamed the red planet because it is covered with rust-like dust. Even the atmosphere is a pinkish red, colored by tiny particles of dust thrown up from the surface.
- Mars experiences violent dust storms which continually change its surface.
- Mars has many massive volcanoes and is home to Olympus Mons, the largest volcano in our solar system, it stands 21km high and is 600km across the base.
- Mars has a very thin atmosphere made mostly of carbon dioxide. It is not thick enough to trap the sun’s heat like Venus, so the planet is very cold. Temperatures range from -120 Degrees Celsius on winter nights to 25 Degrees Celsius in the summer.
- Mars has many channels, plains and canyons on the surface which could have been caused by water erosion in the past.
- Mars has very weak gravity which cannot hold onto the atmosphere well.
- The polar ice caps consist of frozen Co2 (dry ice) which lies over a layer of ice.