Mars is the second smallest planet in the Solar System and the fourth planet from the Sun. It has a mean radius of ~ 3390 km, a mean distance to the Sun of ~ 228 million km and an orbital period of ~ 687 Earth days. Mars is a terrestrial planet with a reddish color, which is related to dust and rocks at its surface that are enriched in iron oxides. The planet is surrounded by a thin atmosphere and is characterized by impact craters, volcanoes, valleys as well as polar ice. Mars is also known for Olympus Mons, the largest volcano in the Solar System, and Valles Marineris, one of the largest canyons in the Solar System.

Information source: NASA

Image: Mars and the Valles Marineris as seen from the Viking 1 Orbiter. Source: NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory-Caltech.

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