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The fourth planet from the Sun. Mars orbits the Sun at an average distance of 1.52 times Earth’s distance. The planet is about 10 percent as massive as Earth, and a bit more than half as big. It is made of solid, rocky material, and has a thin atmosphere of carbon dioxide. Iron oxide, or rust, on the surface of Mars gives it its characteristic red color. The planet has bright polar ice caps made of frozen water and carbon dioxide. Mars also has two small moons, Phobos and Deimos.


Mars' Moons February 19, 2016


Mars February 10, 2016

Radio Programs

Mars Samples Pieces of Mars and one of its moons August 21, 2023

Moon and Mars Learning from Martian rumbles July 20, 2023

Mars and Regulus Blowing with the winds of Mars July 8, 2023

Venus and Mars Planetary opposites get close June 29, 2023

Moving Mars A leisurely pace for the Red Planet May 29, 2023

Moon and Mars The red veneer of the Red Planet April 25, 2023

Moon and Mars Going for a ride on a Martian moon March 28, 2023

Active Mars Shakin’ and rattlin’ on Mars March 8, 2023

Megatsunami Making a splash on Mars February 17, 2023

Mars Stands Still The Red Planet shifts gears January 12, 2023

Mars Laboratory Getting ready for pieces of Mars December 8, 2022

Moon and Mars Brilliant Mars disappears December 7, 2022

Mars Impacts The Red Planet takes a beating December 6, 2022

Orange Trio A great week for watching Mars December 5, 2022

Days on Mars Resetting the clock for Mars October 16, 2022

More Mars The Red Planet chills out October 15, 2022

Moon and Mars A change of plans for Mars October 14, 2022

ExoMars The politics of war and space September 17, 2022

Moon, Mars, and Taurus Wetting down a Martian ice cap September 16, 2022

More Mars Getting serious about the Red Planet September 12, 2022

Mars Global Surveyor The start of a Mars winning streak September 11, 2022

Mars Curiosity A decade of roving around Mars August 5, 2022

Moon and Mars An old milestone and a new season July 20, 2022

Moon and Mars Uneven seasons on the Red Planet June 21, 2022

Mars and Jupiter Planets with a shared history May 27, 2022

Moon and Mars Making Mars a little cozier April 24, 2022

Planetary Seasons “Seasoning” some bright planets February 25, 2022

Venus and Mars Volcanoes on our closest neighbors February 18, 2022

Mars 2 A bad time to arrive at Mars November 27, 2021

Mariner 9 The first good look at Mars November 13, 2021

Mars Odyssey A Mars odyssey continues October 24, 2021

Mars of the Atlantic An island that’s other-worldly October 7, 2021

Mars in Conjunction Losing contact with Mars October 5, 2021

Martian Summer Heading into a long, moderate summer August 25, 2021

A Debate Continues A scientific debate drags on August 6, 2021

ALH 84001 Evidence of life in a rock from Mars August 5, 2021

Mars and Venus Punching holes in two planets July 10, 2021

Winds of Mars The troublesome winds of Mars June 24, 2021

Moon and Mars A perfect arrival spot on Mars April 16, 2021

Moon and Mars 'Megafloods' on the Red Planet March 18, 2021

Mars and Aldebaran Keeping a powerful eye on Mars March 10, 2021

Arrival at Mars A three-in-one mission to Mars February 10, 2021

Changing Seasons Changing seasons on Mars February 7, 2021

Moon and Mars Splashing into Martian pools January 20, 2021

Mars and Uranus A pair of “threes” in the evening sky January 15, 2021

Moon and Mars Swirling lights on Mars December 23, 2020

Moon and Mars High and low on the Red Planet November 25, 2020

Mars Stands Still The Red Planet comes to a halt November 14, 2020

More Moon and Mars A hazardous trip to Mars October 29, 2020

Moon and Mars A strange yet familiar planet October 28, 2020

Mars at Opposition IV Finding Mars right here on Earth October 16, 2020

Close Mars Mars gets really close October 5, 2020

More Moon and Mars Mars and the Moon snuggle close September 5, 2020

Moon and Mars A long summertime cloud on Mars September 4, 2020

Ray Bradbury A pioneering Mars explorer August 22, 2020

Moon and Mars Breezing through a Martian day August 8, 2020

Mars at Perihelion Mars gets close to the Sun August 3, 2020

Heading for Mars IV Busy times for the planet Mars July 17, 2020

Heading for Mars III A rover with a busy schedule July 16, 2020

Heading for Mars II Keeping Mars germ-free July 15, 2020

Heading for Mars The first steps toward a colony on Mars July 14, 2020

Moon and Mars A hotspot on the Red Planet July 10, 2020

More Moon and Mars Dusting up the surface of Mars June 12, 2020

Moon and Mars Sniffing for signs of life on Mars April 15, 2020

Mars Equinox A new season for the Red Planet April 7, 2020

More Moon and Planets A small planet with giant features March 17, 2020

Moon and Planets A bright lineup in the dawn sky March 16, 2020

Moon and Mars Designing for another world December 21, 2019

Moon, Mars, Mercury M&M&Ms in the dawn sky November 23, 2019

Moon and Mars The Red Planet gets wet October 25, 2019

Summer Solstice Time for the swimsuits — on Mars October 8, 2019

MAVEN Watching Mars’s atmosphere get away September 21, 2019

Marsquakes “Jiggling” the surface of Mars September 12, 2019

Twin Mariners Missing out on the good stuff August 4, 2019

Moon and Mars How’s the weather up there? June 5, 2019

Moon, Mars, Aldebaran Two bits of color in the night sky April 8, 2019

Mars and the Pleiades Keeping tabs on a popular planet April 1, 2019

Martian Spring Springing into a long season March 23, 2019

Moon and Mars Digging the Moon and Mars March 10, 2019

Moon and Mars Digging deep valleys on Mars February 10, 2019

Mars and Uranus Red and green in the evening sky February 9, 2019

InSight at Mars Looking deep into Mars November 24, 2018

Challenging Arrival Tricky arrivals at Mars November 23, 2018

Moon and Mars Bright “beanie caps” for Mars November 15, 2018

Friendlier Mars A friendlier planet Mars October 28, 2018

Moon and Mars A dark season on Mars October 17, 2018

More Moon and Mars Keeping the planet Mars active August 23, 2018

Moon and Mars Hovering above the surface of Mars August 22, 2018

Moon and Mars Ambitious plans for the planet Mars July 27, 2018

Martian Grub Growing vegetables on Mars July 25, 2018

Mars and Company Bright sights in the night sky July 24, 2018

Mars at Opposition The Red Planet shines bright July 23, 2018

Moon and Mars Sniffing for life on Mars June 29, 2018

More Moon and Mars Digging deep into the Martian surface June 3, 2018

Phoenix Mars Digging up ice on Mars May 24, 2018

Tharsis Ridge Scaling the Martian heights May 23, 2018

Martian Autumn A new season for the Red Planet May 22, 2018

Moon and Mars “Hot spots” on the surface of Mars May 5, 2018

InSight New insights into the Red Planet May 4, 2018

Moon and Mars Dusty skies for the Red Planet April 7, 2018

Mars and Saturn Sibling worlds in the morning sky April 1, 2018

Red Rivalry Colorful rivals in the dawn sky February 8, 2018

Moon and Mars More water on two nearby worlds December 12, 2017

Moon and Mars Making moons over and over again November 14, 2017

Moon and Mars A long period of quiet on Mars October 16, 2017

Mars Returns Stepping toward the Red Planet September 15, 2017

Looking for Canals II Sensational reports from Mars August 4, 2017

Looking for Canals Looking for Martian canals August 3, 2017

Mars Pathfinder Blazing a path on the Red Planet July 4, 2017

Martian Spring Springing into a new season May 5, 2017

Moon and Mars Looking for “gassy” microbes on Mars March 30, 2017

Moon and Planets Climbing through Martian history February 28, 2017

More Moon and Planets Digging up Martian ice January 31, 2017

Moon and Planets Too hot, too cold, and just right January 30, 2017

Featured Images

Emirates Mars Mission view of Deimos in front of Mars

Family Portrait April 28, 2023

new impact crater on mars

Digging a Hole December 6, 2022

Cargo Mission October 14, 2022

dust storms and clouds on mars

Dusty Skies June 10, 2022

volcanoes at Tharsis Ridge, Mars

Volcanic Mars February 18, 2022

Dry Lake December 21, 2021

a spacecraft approaches mars

Bad Timing November 27, 2021

Valles Marineris

Grander Canyon November 13, 2021

view of mars odyssey in orbit

20-Year Odyssey October 24, 2021

view from mars helicopter

Still Flying August 3, 2021

Looking Around July 9, 2021

clouds pass above a cliff face on Mars

Cloudy Skies June 6, 2021

First view from China's rover

Ready to Rove May 21, 2021

Ingenuity Mars helicopter makes its first flight

Liftoff! April 19, 2021

Pavonis Mons on Mars

Arrival Point? April 16, 2021

Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter in Jezero Crater, Mars

Ready for Take-Off April 10, 2021

Panorama of the Perseverance rover landing site

Surveying the Surroundings February 24, 2021

Views of the Perseverance Mars rover landing

Looking Up, Looking Down February 22, 2021

Perseverance touches down on Mars

Touchdown! February 19, 2021

The first image of Mars from the Hope orbiter, February 10

First Glimpse February 16, 2021

Perseverance rover landing sequence

Scary Descent February 15, 2021

Hope spacecraft orbiting Mars

Hoping for Success February 7, 2021

elevation map of mars

Martian Dichotomy November 25, 2020

Artist's concept of a Mars base

Hazardous Exploration October 29, 2020

Cloud streaming from Arsia Mons, a volcano on Mars

Long Cloud September 4, 2020

dust storm on Mars

Dusty Skies August 3, 2020

Hope spacecraft prepared for launch

Ready for Mars July 13, 2020

View of the north and south poles of Mars

Capping the Red Planet June 11, 2020

Artist's concept of astronauts on Phobos, a moon of Mars

Charged Moon May 13, 2020

Self-portrait of the Mars rover Curiosity

Sniffing for Life April 15, 2020

Valles Marineris on Mars

A Grander Canyon March 17, 2020

Proposed Mars habitat

Living on Mars December 21, 2019

Summertime! October 8, 2019

InSight seismometer on Mars

Listening to Mars September 12, 2019

Mariner 7 at Mars

Second Arrival August 4, 2019

Clouds pass over InSight on Mars

Cloudy Day May 11, 2019

Sunrise on Mars

A New Day May 2, 2019

Curiosity rover self-portrait, January 2019

Moving On January 29, 2019

InSight seismometer on the surface of Mars

Down to Work December 23, 2018

Early image of Mars from the InSight lander

Settling In November 27, 2018

Mars InSight during entry into Mars' atmosphere

Taking the Plunge November 25, 2018

InSight landing site

Target Zone November 24, 2018

InSight lands on Mars

Ready for Touchdown November 23, 2018

Bright cloud streak on Mars

Martian Streaker October 28, 2018

Artist's concept of the Mars 2020 helicopter

Martian Whirlybird August 22, 2018

Lineup of Mars and other planets in late July

Brilliant Mars July 23, 2018

Artist's concept of Trace Gas Orbiter at Mars

Sniffing Mars June 29, 2018

Thickening dust storm above the Opportunity rover on Mars

Getting Dark June 13, 2018

ice layers in the south polar cap of Mars

Icy Layers June 7, 2018

Elevation view of Tharsis region on Mars

High and Low on Mars May 23, 2018

InSight is launched to Mars

On Its Way May 6, 2018

InSight lander on the surface of Mars

New Martian Insights May 4, 2018

Trace Gas Orbiter view of Korolev Crater on Mars

First Look April 27, 2018

Martian dust storm

Dusty Skies April 7, 2018

Sunrise on Mars, February 16, 2018

4,999 and Counting February 17, 2018

Layers of buried ice exposed on a Martian slope

Icy Mars January 14, 2018

Opportunity rover view of its surroundings on Mars, June 2017

On the Downslope July 24, 2017

Curiosity rover view of Mars, February 10, 2017

Mountain Climbing February 28, 2017

Before and after views of the landing site of the Schiaparelli probe

Lost and Found October 22, 2016

The ExoMars 2016 mission approaches the Red Planet

Two for Mars? October 17, 2016

A Day on Mars August 24, 2016

Close Neighbor May 20, 2016

Volcanoes on Tharsis Ridge, Mars

Shifting Skin May 18, 2016

ExoMars 2016 launch

Mars Bound March 14, 2016

The Arda Valles region of Mars

Red Tides February 19, 2016

Sand dunes on Mars

Dune World December 20, 2015

Cold Red Planet September 9, 2015

First Eyes on Mars July 13, 2015

Sunset at Gale Crater, Mars, April 2015

Blue Skies May 14, 2015