DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Martian landscape, artwork. Mars is a rocky desert world with no surface water. The red colour of the rocks is due to a high content of iron oxides. The Martian atmosphere, less dense than Earth's, is mostly carbon dioxide. Surface temperatures are well below freezing. Mars has two moons, and the larger and closer moon, Phobos, is seen in the sky at upper left. Phobos is less than 30 kilometres long, and is an irregularly shaped chunk of rock. It only takes 8 hours to orbit Mars, at a distance of less than 10,000 kilometres.
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