Mars - facts about planets in the solar system

  • 14 July 2011
Aureum Chaos, Mars Image copyright SPL
Image caption Mars is also known as the 'Red Planet' because of its colour

Mars is also known as the 'Red Planet' because it has lots of iron oxide on its surface giving it that rusty red colour.

It is the second-smallest planet in the system and fourth in line from the Sun meaning it can get pretty cold there.

Same as the Earth, it has a North and a South pole which are covered in ice, and reaching temperatures as low as -140°C.

20°C is the highest temperature on Mars, similar to a sunny day back here on Earth.

A day on Mars is slightly longer than here at 25 hours, but a Mars year is almost twice as long as an Earth year, taking 687 days to orbit the sun.

Mars also has the highest mountain in the solar system, called Olympus Mons, which measures around 15 miles high. That's three times taller than Mount Everest!