(daily way in the model 2,1 m)
Mars is the fourth planet from the sun and the first one that
moves along its path beyond that of the earth. It is about 228 million km (1.52
AU) from the sun and it travels around it in an elliptical orbit, which takes on
average 687 days. Mars needs slightly more than one earth day to revolve once
around its own axis, so one day of sunlight on Mars takes almost the same time
as on earth. Mars` diameter is 6794 km, which is about half of the earth's
diameter, but it has only 11% of the earth's mass because of its lower density.
Mars seems to be the planet most similar to the earth. It is assumed that water
formed the shapes of the river-like areas on the surface of Mars, which also
includes huge volcanoes and shows heavy erosion. The rocks contain plenty of
iron, this is responsible for the red colouring of Mars. With a telescope you
can clearly see the ice caps, which consist of frozen carbon dioxide and water
ice. On Mars, with temperatures from -100°C to +10°C, it is
much colder than on earth and the temperature hardly climbs above 20°C. The
atmosphere , in which there are strong sandstorms, consists predominantly of
carbon dioxide (95%) and a small part of nitrogen. Its pressure is 1/10 of the
earth's. Now there is a lot of focus on the exploration of Mars, because
potential life is supposed there. Many probes have arrived there with more or
less success in order to prepare the way for the next aim, namely to land on our
cosmic neighbour with a crewed spacecraft. There are two irreguarly formed
planetary companions, whose orbits circle quite close to the planet: Phobos
(maximum diameter of 27 km) orbits Mars at a distance of less than 10.000
km in about 7 hours and Deimos (with a maximum diameter of 15 km)
orbits it at a distance of 23.000 km in 30 hours.
It is disputed whether they originated from Mars or if they are objects caught from the asteroid belt.
The red planet was mainly known as the god of war in ancient times. This god, however, originates from the god of farming and of the plough. Mars' orbit is situated beyond the Earth's orbit and so you can see Mars at midnight unlike Mercury and Venus. Because of this, in old geocentric views Mars' orbit was described as being situated beyond the sun. In Mesopotamia, where the planet was called Nergal, its cycle was already known exactly. After a period of 400 synod cycles (= 854 years), Mars and the Sun, Jupiter and Saturn will gather together at about the same position on the zodiac. In Greek / Roman myth Ares/Mars was one of Zeus'/Jupiter's and his wife Hera's/Juno's sons. With Aphrodite/Venus he created Eros/Amor, the god of sexual love. In Nordic mythology he was called god Thyr (Ziu). Our picture shows Ares in a typical presentation from ancient times : bearded, with helmet, spear and shield. The main star of the constellation Scorpius got the name Antares because of its red colour, similar to that of Mars. The day dedicated to Mars is Tuesday (German: Dienstag, Italian: martedi).
There is also a month dedicated to planet Mars, namely March (from Latin: Martius). At one time the year began with spring and the month of Mars, March, which is still testified by the names of the months September till December as the seventh to the tenth months.
Picture : Ares