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Exploratour - Comparing the Surfaces of Earth and Mars

Craters

The table below contains information about the distribution of craters on Earth and Mars.

Earth


This image shows ocean temperatures (red=warm, blue=cold).
Click on image for full size version (55K GIF) Image courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey

Two-thirds of the surface of the Earth is covered with water. The rest of the land surface is lightly cratered. On Earth, craters are erased from the surface by the action of wind and water erosion. Over time, the shape of features on Earth's surface gradually changes.

Mars


Look at the full size version of this picture! You'll see numerous craters on the surface of Mars. Colors show the height of the surface (blue=low, red-white=high).
Click on image for full size version (160K GIF)
Image from Mars Global Surveyor, NASA/JPL

There are no oceans on Mars! Almost the entire surface of Mars has craters. The Tharsis Ridge, where the volcanoes of Mars are located, is lightly cratered. The lowlands of Mars are have more craters. The most craters are in the Highlands of Mars, in the southern hemisphere (seen in the upper image above).


Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Our online store includes fun classroom activities for you and your students. Issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist are also full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science!

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Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

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ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

Look at the bed below the body of the sleeping man. You can still see where he was lying down. The heat from his body warmed up the bed sheets which are now radiating infrared light toward your eyes....more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

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ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

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ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

Imagine you found a pair of special glasses that not only gave you telescopic vision but gave you the ability to see all forms of radiant energy. The universe in visible light contains all the familiar...more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

This is a volcano on the island of Miyake in Japan. It has erupted, sending hot lava and ash into the air, a total of ten times. The time after one eruption until the next occurred was about twenty years...more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

This is a picture of a galaxy in visible light. A galaxy is a large number of stars, some like our sun, some bigger, some smaller and all moving together through space. This galaxy is called Centaurus...more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

This is a plant in Gary, Indiana where power is made. We use power to run things like television sets, radios, lights, and microwave ovens. The picture looks very strange because it was taken in infrared....more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA