12 Awesome Facts About Mars That Will Make You Love The Red Planet Even More

Can we go there already?

By Skye Gould, Diana Yukari and Dave Mosher Jun. 1, 2017, 3:20 PM

Humanity has sent dozens of probes and satellites to Mars over the decades. These plucky spacecraft have beamed back dazzling photos, inspired hit sci-fi movies like The Martian, and even gave Elon Musk the idea to colonise the red planet.

But how much do you really know about Earth's next-door neighbour?
Even though humans have yet to arrive and there are still plenty of mysteries to solve, scientists have figured out a great deal about Mars.

From what it's like on the surface to the most impressive landmarks to the presence of an ancient ocean (and tsunamis!), keep scrolling to learn 12 incredible facts about Mars you probably didn't know.

1. Surface Area
Surface Area
Mars has almost as much surface as Earth has land - but that doesn't account for the 71 percent of Earth that's covered in water.

2. Temperature
The average surface temperature on Mars is -81˚F (-63˚C), 138 degrees F (77 degrees C) chillier than on Earth.

3. Atmosphere
The Martian atmosphere is 61 times thinner than Earth's, and  it consists almost entirely of carbon dioxide, which makes up just 0.04 percent of Earth's atmosphere.

4. Canyons
Valles Marineris is nearly five times deeper, about four times longer and 20 times wider than the Grand Canyon.

5. Ancient oceans
Ancient oceans
Mars once had oceans, but adding them up would give you just 1.5 percent of all water on Earth.

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