Rusted, or oxidized, iron in the soil on Mars gives the planet a red appearance. That is why Mars' nickname is the Red Planet.
Violent winds blow red dust storms across the surface of Mars at hundreds of miles per hour. Even the skies glow reddish pink on Mars, instead of blue!
Mars and Earth are similar In many ways. Both planets have four seasons, polar ice caps, stable temperatures, and magnetic iron cores.
Mars differs from Earth because it has a thinner atmosphere and the only remaining water on Mars is frozen.
Research suggests that at one time Mars was a much warmer and wetter planet. Probes have been sent to Mars to search for traces of life that existed long ago.
The surface of Mars shows clues that volcanoes were once active and erupting there. Its largest volcano is called Olympus Mons and is 15 miles high and 370 miles wide!
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