Friday, October 8, 2010

My very excellent mother just served us nine pizzas.

We are studying the planets at school. I can remember the names of the planets by saying, "My very excellent mother just served us nine pizzas." Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune, and the celestial body known as Pluto. 

Mars is the fourth planet from the sun. Mars travels around the sun once every 687 Earth days; this is the length of the Martian year.

Here’s a picture of Mars taken in August of 2003. At that time, Mars was closer to earth than it had been in the previous 60,000 years. It was still 56,000,000 kms away.  In this picture, you can see the red tinge to Mars..

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science System
The planet Mars, like Earth, has clouds in its atmosphere and a deposit of ice at its north pole. But unlike Earth, Mars has no liquid water on its surface. The rustlike color of Mars comes from the large amount of iron in the planet's soil. Mars is much colder than Earth. Temperatures at the Martian surface vary from as low as about -195 degrees F (-125 degrees C) near the poles during the winter to as much as 70 degrees F (20 degrees C) at midday near the equator. The average temperature on Mars is about -80 degrees F (-60 degrees C).

     The planet Mars is named after the ancient Roman god of war, pictured in this statue which is a from around 320 BCE. It is a marble copy of an earlier Greek statue of their god of war, Aires.

Many wars start in March, the month that is named after him. This is because armies tend to remain in place during winter, but they go on the march in Springtime. Also in the Springtime, the sun is in the constellation Aires named after the ancient Greek god of war.

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