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Mars Marsis a planet in the solar systemIts named for the Roman god of war AresMars is the fourth planet from the sunMars has two small heavily craterd moonsPhobos and deimosastronomers think they are areastroid like objects captured by the planet very early in historyPhobos is about 13 miles acrossDeimosis only 75 milesMars not on a telescope Mars is a reddish varying in brightnessAt its closes approach to earth 34 million milesafter VenusMars is the brightest object in the nightMars is best seen when it is opposite the sun in Earths sky and closest to EarthThis happens every 15 years the planet comes to perihelion Through a telescope Mars has bright orange regions and darker less red areas the outlines and tones change in martian seasonsThe reddish color is because of its heavily rusted surfaceThe dark areas are thought to have rocks that are simmilar to terrestrial basalts the surface is even more weathered and rustedThe brighter areas seem to have similar but even more weatherd and rusted material that apparently contain more fine dust-sized particles than they do the dark reigons The mineral scapolitewhich is rare on Earthseems wide spread it may serve as a store for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere Bright caps apparntly made of frost or ice mark the planets polar regions their seasonal cycle has been followed for almost two centuries Each Martian autumn bright clouds form over correct poleBellow what is called polar hood a thin cap of carbon dioxide frost is let during autumn and winterBy late winter the cap may streach down to latitudes of 45 degrees At about spring and the end of the long polar night the polar hood diseapers showing
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