This image was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of NASA
Discovery of Mars
Mars is a bright, red object in the sky. It is very easy to see, which means that even people that lived long ago knew it was there. So, we don't know who discovered it. We do know it was named after the Roman god of war.
A scientist named Giovanni Schiaparelli saw many long lines on Mars. He thought they were water canals made by creatures! Later we sent spacecraft to Mars to study it.
Mariner 9 was the first to orbit Mars. It took lots of pictures of volcanoes and craters. It even found Olympus Mons, a giant volcano! The Viking I and II spacecrafts landed on Mars and studied rocks and the soil. Even today the Mars Global Surveyor is mapping the planet!
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