Welcome to our Solar / Planetary Walk which has been established in memorial to Alfred Piff, a longtime member of MBG and supporter of education for all. As you travel along the walk, you will experience the scale model of our solar neighborhood. Our walk is approximately .79 miles, and each planet is marked by Planetary Art Posts created by Nancy Thomas. Scanning the QR at each post will give access to information about each planet. Enjoy your walk!

Planet MARS

Mars' astronomical symbol

Mars is reddish because of iron oxide rust in its soil, and the
Romans named it for their god of War. It has polar icecaps like Earth and extensive snow cover, which comes and goes with the seasons, made mostly of dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide). The volcano Olympus Mons is the largest mountain in the whole solar system and is three times as tall as Mt. Everest. Dry river valleys tell us that Mars once had running water. Many spacecraft have orbited and some have landed. The most popular are the Spirit and Opportunity rovers whose cameras see the surface of Mars from the height of a typical 10-year-old child. Mars’s surface gravity is .38 g’s.

DIAMETER: 4,222 miles
DISTANCE FROM SUN: 1.52 AU = 142 million miles = 13 light minutes
ROTATION: 24.6 hours
MOONS: 2, Phobos and Deimos
NAMED FOR: Mars, the Roman god of war

Some Fun Facts - Did you know?

Mars has a rough, cratered surface, but many of its craters have been worn away by fierce dust storms that howl about the planet. NASA/Hubble/ACS/HRC 2005

The surface of Mars captured at the Viking Lander 2 site. The rounded rock in the center foreground is about 8 inches wide. NASA/Viking 2

Mars’s larger satellite Phobos is pocked by an enormous crater.