Season 2, Episode 13 of The #AskAbby Space and Science Show
Presented by TheMarsGeneration.org
Abby, why is Mars your favorite planet?
In the 13th episode of Season Two of #AskAbby, please join aspiring astronaut Abigail Harrison, aka Astronaut Abby, as she answers the question, “Abby, why is Mars your favorite planet?” Abby would probably need a whole season just to answer that question alone, but find out her Top 10 Reasons why Mars is the most interesting planet in the solar system. Hold on to your socks, (especially if they’re fun ones), because this episode has a lot in store!
Includes answers to questions including: What color are sunsets on Mars? Where is the tallest mountain in the solar system? What is the weather on Mars like? How does the Valles Marineries compared to the Grand Canyon? What makes Mars red? What crazy legal battle happened in 1997? How will Mars someday look like Saturn? How cool is Mars *literally*? And most importantly, why is Mars the most likely candidate for finding life in our solar system?
Tune in on Tuesdays for new releases of The #AskAbby Space and Science Show! To submit a question to #AskAbby go to ► http://bit.ly/2DfPz7b
Transcription of Top 10 Cool Facts About Mars
Why should we go to Mars next? Well, basically because Mars is the closest planet to Earth that’s not a flaming ball of gas. Venus, I’m looking at you.
But also because Mars is super interesting and has a lot to offer! So hold on tight to your socks (*Abby reveals funny socks*), because I’m comin’ at you with the 10 coolest facts about Mars!
Hi everyone! I’m Astronaut Abby, an aspiring astronaut with the goal to be the first person to walk on Mars! Welcome to #AskAbby, where I answer questions about space and science submitted by you, the viewers!
The question for this episode is, “Abby, what makes Mars so interesting?”
If there’s one thing you know about me, it’s that I love to talk about Mars. So let’s get into it! I’ll be counting down 10 cool facts about Mars. Make sure to watch until the very end to see my favorite.
10. Mars has some of the worst dust storms in our entire solar system. They can cover the entire planet and last for weeks on end.
However, because of Mars’ extremely thin atmosphere, the storms aren’t actually that strong. So you know that scene in The Martian where they get blown around by the dust storm? Sorry to tell you, not super accurate. But it does make for a great plot point.
So why does Mars have these extreme dust storms? Well, it’s mostly due to the orbital pattern that Mars follows, but there are also other factors at play, like temperature, pressure, and the size of dust particles on Mars’ surface.
9. Even though Mars is much smaller than Earth, the two planets actually have the same land mass. This is because Earth has oceans on its surface, whereas Mars doesn’t.
8. I’m sure you’ve all seen sunsets here on Earth, whether it’s outside or on your Instagram feed (hey, no shame). However, sunsets on Mars are on a whole ‘nother level…and that’s because they’re blue!
Pretty cool, right? The atmospheric pressure on Mars is much lower than that on Earth, which causes light rays to scatter differently. You can go check out our episode about how light forms to learn more about the science of light and its color.
7. Sometimes it’s colder in Minnesota than it is on the surface of Mars. As someone who’s lived in Minnesota, I can tell you that that’s very true.
Let me tell you a story. Back in 2016 winter in Minnesota, the temperature dropped to -42℉. I was there, it was terrible.
However, the temperature on Mars actually ranges from -195℉ up to 70℉, which means that there were places on Mars that were literally a tropical vacation compared to being in Minnesota. *In Minnesotan accent* Oh yeah, you betcha Minnesota. Or should I say . . . Minne-snow-ta.
But guess what? Minnesota is Minne-so-tired of my puns.
6. Have you ever wondered how the Red Planet got its signature red color? Well, it’s actually because Mars is covered in a layer of rust, or as scientists call it: iron oxide.
The reason that Earth isn’t covered in rust is because in the early stages of Earth’s development, the planet actually reached temperatures that were high enough to melt the iron oxide into molten iron. I guess that Mars was just . . . too cool. (*Ba dum ching*)
Almost all of the red iron oxide on Mars was formed many, many, many millenia ago, back when Mars had enough water on its surface to turn iron into rust. That said, there’s not as much iron on the surface as you would think. Dig down just a couple centimeters and you’ll find good ol’ brown dirt.
5. One day, Mars will have a ring around it. This is because one of Mars’ moons, Phobos, is going to be torn apart in about 20-40 million years, turning it into a ring.
*Singing to the tune of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies”* Goodbye Phobos, Mars is gonna put a ring on it. Sorry Phobos, Mars is gonna put a ring on it.
4. Mars has the tallest known volcano and second tallest mountain in our entire solar system.
Olympus Mons is a shield volcano that formed billions of years ago, and is 21 km tall (or 13 miles), and 600 km wide (or 373 miles).
But not only does Mars have an extremely large mountain, it also, on the flipside, has an extremely deep canyon.
Which leads us to number three.
3. Mars is home to the Valles Marineris, which puts our Grand Canyon to shame.
The Valles Marineris is five times deeper, four times wider, and 20 times longer than our Grand Canyon.
Since it’s so wide, sometimes Valles Marineris Snapchats the Grand Canyon and is like, “Hey man, do these pants make me look wide?” And the Grand Canyon, being the kind soul that it is, replies “Nahh, you’re fine!”
2. In 1997, NASA was sued by three men for invading Mars. The men claimed that they had inherited Mars from their ancestors 3,000 years ago and therefore, owned it as private property.
You know what? Emily, call my lawyer! I’m calling dibs on Pluto! Even if it’s not a planet, I still love you Pluto.
But, back to the case. To no one’s surprise, they did not win ownership over Mars.
And finally, number one!
1. To cap it all off…Mars is the only planet in our solar system other than Earth that has ice caps! While one of Mars’ ice caps is made mostly of frozen CO2, the other one is made mostly out of water!
So if any planet on our solar system other than Earth were to have life, or have had life, Mars is a pretty good candidate because it has water. I think that the potential for having life is what makes Mars really stand apart from the other planets.
So if you didn’t already think that Mars was the coolest planet and the next one that we should go to, I hope that these 10 cool facts about Mars changed your mind. And if not, well, too bad… because Mars is the closest planet that we could realistically explore. Sorry Venus, we’re not going to come visit you. *Rolls eyes* Venus.
Yeah, Venus is pretty much a flaming ball of toxic gas and anger. Basically teenage angst in planet form. Sounds like my sister. *Shivers*
Either way, Mars is better.
That’s all the time we have today for #AskAbby. Thank you all so much for joining me for this episode of The Mars Generation’s Space and Science show.
If you enjoyed it, and I hope that you did, please go ahead and hit the “Thumbs Up” button to give us a like, and make sure that you subscribe so that you see all of our exciting upcoming episodes.
And as always, if you want to ask a question about space or science, and potentially see it answered here on AskAbby, you can do so by Tweeting it to me with the #AskAbby, or submitting it at TheMarsGeneration.org/askabby, which is linked below as usual.
Until next time, farewell fellow travelers of Spaceship Earth!