8. Mars: the red planet

Fundamentals

Physical properties of Marsa

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Mass6.4185 x 1023 kilograms = 0.1074 ME
Mean radius3.3899 x 106 meters = 0.532 RE
Mean mass density3,933.5 kilograms per cubic meter
Surface area1.441 x 1014 square meters = 0.2825 AE
Rotation period or length of sidereal day24 hours 37 minutes 22.663 seconds = 8.86427 x 104 seconds
Orbital period686.98 Earth days = 668.60 Mars solar days
Mean distance from Sun2.2794 x 1011 meters = 1.52366 AU
Orbital eccentricity0.0933
Tilt of rotational axis, the obliquity25.19 degrees
Distance from Earth5.6 x 1010 meters to 3.99 x 1011 meters
Angular diameter at closest approach14 to 24 seconds of arc
Age4.6 x 109 years
Atmosphere 95.32 percent carbon dioxide, 2.7 percent nitrogen, 1.6 percent argon
Average global surface pressure0.056 bars = 560 pascals
Surface pressure at Viking 1 and 2 sites0.067 to 0.088 bars and 0.074 to 0.10 bars
Surface temperature range140 to 300 degrees kelvin
Average surface temperature210 degrees kelvin
Magnetic field strength (remnant) 1.5 x 10-6 tesla = 0.05 BE
Magnetic dipole momentless than 10-4 that of Earth
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a Adapted from H. H. Kieffer, B. M. Jakosky, C. W. Snyder and M. S. Matthews (eds.): Mars, University of Arizona Press, Tucson 1992. The symbols ME, RE, AE, and BE respectively denote the mass, radius, surface area, and magnetic field strength of the Earth.

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Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University