Image: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), J. Bell (Cornell University), and M. Wolff (Space Science Institute, Boulder)
About This QuizSince the 19th century, humans have wondered about the prospect of life on Mars. While we haven't sent anyone to the Martian surface, we have sent spacecrafts, which have gathered a good amount of information on what it's like on Mars. How is it different from Earth? How is it similar? And could life really have existed there long ago, or exist in the future?
The first map of Mars was created by an astronomer from:
the United States
In 1877, Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli was the first to create a map of Mars. His map showed a system of canali, or canals, on the red planet.
The first space probes to land on Mars were called the:
Mariner 9 and 10
Viking 1 and 2
In 1976, U.S. space probes Viking 1 and 2 became the first of their kind to land on the surface of Mars. These probes found Mars to be a desert planet with reddish rusty color.
Voyager 5 and 6
Which of the following is one of the three major regions on Mars?
Mars' three regions are called the Southern Highlands, Northern Plains and Polar Regions. The Southern Highlands is an area of heavily cratered, high terrain.
The highest mountain on Mars is called the:
The highest mountain on Mars is also the highest mountain in the solar system, a shield volcano known as Olympus Mons that is 16 miles high, 10 miles higher than the largest volcano on Earth.
How many miles long is the Valles Marineris?
The Valles Marineris is a large system of canyons on Mars measuring 2,400 miles, greater than the distance from New York to Los Angeles.
What is the average surface temperature (in Fahrenheit) on Mars?
While the surface temperature on Mars ranges from -220 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, the average temperature is -81, or about -63 Celsius.
The atmosphere on Mars is 95 percent:
About 95 percent of the Martian atmosphere is carbon dioxide. Earth's atmosphere, in contrast, contains less than 1 percent carbon dioxide.
A Martian day is known as a:
A Martian day is called a Sol. Mars has a rotational period very similar to that of Earth; a day on Mars is about 24.6 hours.
Scientists today theorize that Mars formed by accretion, which took about:
Scientists believe Mars formed by the clumping, or accretion, of small objects in the early solar system, which took about 100,000 years.
In comparison to Earth, Mars is most similar to:
the Himalayas, a cold, mountainous landscape
Antarctica, a dry, cold desert
Mars is a dry, cold landscape where it doesn't rain, most closely resembling the frozen, flat terrain of Antarctica on Earth.
an exaggerated Sahara desert, sandy and extremely hot
NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), J. Bell (Cornell University), and M. Wolff (Space Science Institute, Boulder)