Does Mars have a core like the Earth? What are the similarities structurally between the Earth and Mars?
Unfortunately, we don't really know very much about the inside, or "core" of
Mars. However, scientists think that it's between 2200-4000 km
(1400-2500 miles) across and made of iron. If you weighed Mars, the core
would take up one or two tenths of its total weight.
The Earth's core is
about 7000 km (4350 miles) across and is made of iron and
nickel. About one third of the Earth's weight is contained in its core
(that would make a lot of nickels!).
Mars and Earth are very different, but they do have some things in common.
Mars has volcanoes and mountains like Earth, but Mars' are much larger.
In fact, Mars is home to the biggest mountain in the entire solar sytem!
Olympus Mons stands more
than 16 miles (26 km) high and is over 375 miles
(600 km) across. That's at least 3 times bigger than Mount Everest, the
tallest mountain on Earth!
Even though it might be exciting to see the Martian mountains, I don't
recommend going there for a vacation--there's no water to swim in or drink,
it's usually below zero degrees (even during summer!), and you wouldn't
be able to breathe!
Submitted by Brian (age 12, Arizona, USA)
(September 8, 1997)