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With Explore the Planets, investigate the planets, their moons, and understand the processes that shape them. By G. Jeffrey Taylor, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.

Mars

Mars, Earth's outer neighbor, is the fourth planet from the Sun. Mars' bright appearance and reddish color stand out in the night sky. Impressive surface features such as enormous volcanoes and valleys are frequently obscured by huge dust storms.

Visit another planet: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Dwarf Planets
The uniquely red <a href="/mars/interior/Martian_global_geology.html&edu=high&dev=1">global surface</a> of Mars is marked by many interesting features - some like those on the <a href="/earth/earth.html&edu=high&dev=1">Earth</a> and others strangely different. The reddish color is caused by rust (iron oxide) in the <a href="/mars/exploring/martian_soils.html&edu=high&dev=1">soil</a>.  Some of these features are; <a href="/mars/interior/mars_volcanoes.html&edu=high&dev=1">volcanoes</a>, canyon systems, <a href="/mars/interior/Martian_running_water.html&edu=high&dev=1">river beds</a>, <a href="/mars/interior/Mars_cratered_terrain.html&edu=high&dev=1">cratered terrain</a>, and <a href="/mars/interior/Martian_dunefields.html&edu=high&dev=1">dune fields</a>.  This image shows a global mosaic of 102 Viking 1 Orbiter images of Mars taken in February, 1980.<p><small><em>Image courtesy of NASA.</em></small></p>

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF