Jennifer - Science A 2 Z

36+ million miles
NASA has issued the following
“Beginning January 1, 2058, the planet
of Mars will become available for
colonization. Make necessary
arrangements and be one of the first to
live in outer space!”
Get your reservation TODAY!
All statements on this page are fictional. Comments made are purely for emphasis in the educational lesson plan designed to teach
What To Know Before You Decide
*How long will it take you to get there?
*What do you need to take?
*What will you eat?
*Where will you live?
*What will your day look like?
*How will you get around?
*What is the weather/temperature like?
*Will you be able to come back and visit?
*How much time will have passed?
Mars has a very thin atmosphere. It’s only
about 1/100 the surface pressure of the
earth's atmosphere.
There is no ozone layer to block out
UV rays.
The density of the Martian
atmosphere is only 1% of Earth.
Mars density is so low that the carbon
dioxide creates only a minor
greenhouse effect.
Martian air is 95% Carbon Dioxide,
3% nitrogen and trace amounts of
oxygen and water.
Pale yellowish-pink sky because sunlight
is scattered by the gas molecules in the
atmosphere. Mars sky is pinkish-orange
because dust particles scatter light even
The surface is covered with red rock and soil. The color is due
to the oxidation (rusting) of iron in the rocks and soil.
Northern hemisphere: few craters, less erosion, shows lots of
geologic activity, surface smoothed by lava flows.
Southern hemisphere: heavily cratered, resembles the surface
of our Moon.
The largest volcano on Mars is Olympus Mons. This volcano is a
massive structure, with a base 600Km (370 mi.) across and
towering 25km (16 mi.) high.
The valley around Olympus Mons is nearly 2500 mi. long, and at
its widest nearly 120 mi. wide. By comparison: it would stretch
from New York City to Los Angeles and over four times the depth
of the Grand Canyon!
Views of what appears to be dry river beds,
meandering streams and even shorelines.
Martian rocks show salts like those found in Earth's
oceans. These findings suggest a similarity between
Earth and Mars and possibility of dried up martian
Some of the impact craters on Mars show "splashes" of
ejected material suggesting that the soil contained
water at some point.
Evidence of what appears to have been major floods
washed across the Martian surface in a very short period
of time. These floods were so severe that they left
erosion marks greater than what the flow of the
Mississippi River would leave.
Mars can get so cold that even the carbon dioxide gas
freezes. This freezing occurs alternately at each pole,
forming a large polar ice cap, made of mostly carbon
dioxide ice.
Southern Summer: most of the polar ice shrinks as it sublimates
and refoms at the northern pole. The opposite change occurs
during the northern summer.
More ice accumlates at the
northern polar cap because
southern hemisphere summers
are longer and hotter.
Rain has never been observed on Mars, but
it is possible. Clouds are not common and
water would boil off due to the low pressure.
Dust storms: clocked at speeds of 350 m.p.h.
Snow sometimes falls, and fog, frost, and ice
are common in the mornings on Mars.
Severe weather changes - One week: the
sky is pink and cloudless, it's a warm - 40
degrees F. Within days, the dust is swept
from the atmosphere, temperatures drop 40
degrees, and water ice clouds appear in the
Mars receives approximately 43% as much
sunlight as the Earth. This is why Mars is so
cold - although carbon dioxide in its air raises
the temperature significantly, due to
greenhouse effect.
Avg. Temp
Record Low
Record High
Since Mars has no ozone layer, your skin
would be brutally burnt from the effects of solar
radiation -- even in the record high
Mars has a similar axial tilt to that of the earth,
which causes it to have seasons just like
Earth, though they last about twice as long
because the Martian year is almost twice that
of Earth.
Approx. 2 billion years old.
Approx. 2 billion years old.
Smaller of the two moons
Larger of the two moons
28 km x 20 km
15 km x 12 km
Orbit Mars in 30.3 hours
Orbit Mars in less than 8 hours
Covered with dust - appears smoother
Heavily cratered with radiating grooves
Compostion similar to meteorites
Compostion similar to meteorites
Likely a captured asteroid
Likely a captured asteroid
Half the size of earth
Year: 687 days
Day: 24 hrs, 37 mins, 23 sec.
Distance from sun:
average 141.6 million miles
Distance from the earth:
33,900,000 - 249,000,000 miles
It’s your turn to colonize Mars!!
•As individuals, or in groups of 2-3, write a journal entry
detailing your preparation for your move to Mars, and/or your
first week on Mars.
•Take into consideration the things you now know about the
“Red Planet” as well as your understanding of what is
required for life on Earth.
•Use the “Mars Fact Sheet” and the question prompts to give
you direction of elements you’ll need to consider.
Be Creative…
and share ideas with your classmates!
Things to take into Consideration!
*How long will it take you to get there?
*What do you need to take?
*What will you eat?
*Where will you live?
*What will your day look like?
*How will you get around?
*What is the weather/temperature like?
*Will you be able to come back and visit?
*How much time will have passed?
Mars 2058

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