DetailsPermalink to Details
- Added to the Catalog
- Available for
- Space: Planets and Exoplanets
- Olympus Mons
- Valles Marineris
DescriptionPermalink to Description
Mars is aptly referred to as the red planet as its surface is red due to a high concentration of iron oxides in the soil. Often the center of science fiction stories, Mars once was believed to support intelligent creatures. Missions to Mars in 1965 and again in 1976 proved that there were no living organisms on Mars. However, this small rocky planet, the fourth from the sun, does have polar ice caps that change in size with the seasons. It is believed that 3.5 billion years ago the most significant floods in the solar system took place on Mars. The Mars Odyssey found large amounts of ice about 1 meter below the surface of Mars in 2002. This ice, thought to be from the floods, would fill Lake Michigan over two times. This is still not enough water to explain the erosion visible on Mars.
Mars touts not only the highest point in the solar system, but also a canyon over 4 miles (6.5 km) deep. The highest point, the mountain Olympus Mons is 88,500 feet (almost 17 miles) above the surrounding area and has an astounding diameter of over 300 miles. The base of the mountain is surrounded by a cliff that drops 20,000 feet (almost 4 miles). Compared to Mount Everest, the tallest point on Earth at 29,035 feet, Olympus Mons is over three times taller. Another spectacle on Earth is the Grand Canyon which is 277 miles long and 6000 feet deep at its deepest point. On Mars, Valles Marineris is almost 2500 miles long, approximately the width of the United States, and nearly 4 miles (6.5 km) deep. In addition to the surface of Mars dataset, there is a dataset that includes images of the rovers that landed on Mars and the pictures that they took. Another dataset for Mars shows the crustal magnetic fields of Mars as measured by the Mars Global Surveyor. This is an important map because it proves that one point Mars had plate tectonics. Red is used for positive magnetic fields and blue is negative fields.
Next Generation Science StandardsPermalink to Next Generation Science Standards
Cross-cutting ConceptsPermalink to Cross-cutting Concepts
C1 Patterns. Children recognize that patterns in the natural and human designed world can be observed, used to describe phenomena, and used as evidence
C2 Cause and Effect. Students learn that events have causes that generate observable patterns. They design simple tests to gather evidence to support or refute their own ideas about causes.
C2 Cause and Effect. Students routinely identify and test causal relationships and use these relationships to explain change. They understand events that occur together with regularity might or might not signify a cause and effect relationship
C4 Systems and System Models. Students understand that a system is a group of related parts that make up a whole and can carry out functions its individual parts cannot. They can also describe a system in terms of its components and their interactions.
C7 Stability and Change. Students measure change in terms of differences over time, and observe that change may occur at different rates. Students learn some systems appear stable, but over long periods of time they will eventually change.
C2 Cause and Effect. Students classify relationships as causal or correlational, and recognize that correlation does not necessarily imply causation. They use cause and effect relationships to predict phenomena in natural or designed systems. They also understand that phenomena may have more than one cause, and some cause and effect relationships in systems can only be described using probability.
C4 Systems and System Models. Students can understand that systems may interact with other systems; they may have sub-systems and be a part of larger complex systems. They can use models to represent systems and their interactions—such as inputs, processes and outputs—and energy, matter, and information flows within systems. They can also learn that models are limited in that they only represent certain aspects of the system under study.
C5 Energy and Matter. Students learn matter is conserved because atoms are conserved in physical and chemical processes. They also learn within a natural or designed system, the transfer of energy drives the motion and/or cycling of matter. Energy may take different forms (e.g. energy in fields, thermal energy, energy of motion). The transfer of energy can be tracked as energy flows through a designed or natural system.
C7 Stability and Change. Students explain stability and change in natural or designed systems by examining changes over time, and considering forces at different scales, including the atomic scale. Students learn changes in one part of a system might cause large changes in another part, systems in dynamic equilibrium are stable due to a balance of feedback mechanisms, and stability might be disturbed by either sudden events or gradual changes that accumulate over time
C2 Cause and Effect. Students understand that empirical evidence is required to differentiate between cause and correlation and to make claims about specific causes and effects. They suggest cause and effect relationships to explain and predict behaviors in complex natural and designed systems. They also propose causal relationships by examining what is known about smaller scale mechanisms within the system. They recognize changes in systems may have various causes that may not have equal effects.
C4 Systems and System Models. Students can investigate or analyze a system by defining its boundaries and initial conditions, as well as its inputs and outputs. They can use models (e.g., physical, mathematical, computer models) to simulate the flow of energy, matter, and interactions within and between systems at different scales. They can also use models and simulations to predict the behavior of a system, and recognize that these predictions have limited precision and reliability due to the assumptions and approximations inherent in the models. They can also design systems to do specific tasks.
C5 Energy and Matter. Students learn that the total amount of energy and matter in closed systems is conserved. They can describe changes of energy and matter in a system in terms of energy and matter flows into, out of, and within that system. They also learn that energy cannot be created or destroyed. It only moves between one place and another place, between objects and/or fields, or between systems. Energy drives the cycling of matter within and between systems. In nuclear processes, atoms are not conserved, but the total number of protons plus neutrons is conserved.
C7 Stability and Change. Students understand much of science deals with constructing explanations of how things change and how they remain stable. They quantify and model changes in systems over very short or very long periods of time. They see some changes are irreversible, and negative feedback can stabilize a system, while positive feedback can destabilize it. They recognize systems can be designed for greater or lesser stability
Disciplinary Core IdeasPermalink to Disciplinary Core Ideas
ESS1.A The Universe and its Stars. Patterns of movement of the sun, moon, and stars as seen from Earth can be observed, described, and predicted
ESS1.B Earth and the Solar System. Patterns of movement of the sun, moon, and stars as seen from Earth can be observed, described, and predicted
ESS1.C The History of Planet Earth. Some events on Earth occur very quickly; others can occur very slowly.
ESS2.B Plate Tectonics & Large Scale Interactions. Maps show where things are located. One can map the shapes and kinds of land and water in any area.
ESS2.C The Roles of Water in Earth's Processes. Water is found in many types of places and in different forms on Earth
ESS3.B Natural Hazards. In a region, some kinds of severe weather are more likely than others. Forecasts allow communities to prepare for severe weather.
ESS1.A The Universe and its Stars. Stars range greatly in size and distance from Earth and this can explain their relative brightness.
ESS1.B Earth and the Solar System. The Earth’s orbit and rotation, and the orbit of the moon around the Earth cause observable patterns.
ESS1.C The History of Planet Earth. Certain features on Earth can be used to order events that have occurred in a landscape.
ESS2.B Plate Tectonics & Large Scale Interactions. Earth’s physical features occur in patterns, as do earthquakes and volcanoes. Maps can be used to locate features and determine patterns in those events.
ESS2.C The Roles of Water in Earth's Processes. Most of Earth’s water is in the ocean and much of the Earth’s fresh water is in glaciers or underground.
ESS3.B Natural Hazards. A variety of hazards result from natural processes; humans cannot eliminate hazards but can reduce their impacts.
PS2.A Forces and Motion. The effect of unbalanced forces on an object results in a change of motion. Patterns of motion can be used to predict future motion. Some forces act through contact, some forces act even when the objects are not in contact. The gravitational force of Earth acting on an object near Earth’s surface pulls that object toward the planet’s center
ESS1.A The Universe and its Stars. The universe began with a period of extreme and rapid expansion known as the Big Bang. Earth and its solar system are part of the Milky Way galaxy, which is one of many galaxies in the universe.
ESS1.B Earth and the Solar System. The solar system contains many varied objects held together by gravity. Solar system models explain and predict eclipses, tides, lunar phases, and seasons.
ESS1.C The History of Planet Earth. Rock strata and the fossil record can be used as evidence to organize the relative occurrence of major historical events in Earth’s history.
ESS2.B Plate Tectonics & Large Scale Interactions. Plate tectonics is the unifying theory that explains movements of rocks at Earth’s surface and geological history. Maps are used to display evidence of plate movement.
ESS2.C The Roles of Water in Earth's Processes. Water cycles among land, ocean, and atmosphere, and is propelled by sunlight and gravity. Density variations of sea water drive interconnected ocean currents. Water movement causes weathering and erosion, changing landscape features.
ESS3.B Natural Hazards. Mapping the history of natural hazards in a region and understanding related geological forces can help forecast the locations and likelihoods of future events, such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and severe weather.
PS2.A Forces and Motion. The role of the mass of an object must be qualitatively accounted for in any change of motion due to the application of a force.
PS2.B Types of Interactions. Forces that act at a distance involve fields that can be mapped by their relative strength and effect on an object.
PS3.C Relationship between energy and forces. When two objects interact, each one exerts a force on the other, and these forces can transfer energy between them.
ESS1.A The Universe and its Stars. The sun is just one of more than 200 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy, and the Milky Way is just one of hundreds of billions of galaxies in the universe. The study of stars’ light spectra and brightness is used to identify compositional elements of stars, their movements, and their distances from Earth.
ESS1.B Earth and the Solar System. Kepler’s laws describe common features of the motions of orbiting objects. Observations from astronomy and space probes provide evidence for explanations of solar system formation. Changes in Earth’s tilt and orbit cause climate changes such as Ice Ages
ESS1.C The History of Planet Earth. The rock record resulting from tectonic and other geoscience processes as well as objects from the solar system can provide evidence of Earth’s early history and the relative ages of major geologic formations.
ESS2.B Plate Tectonics & Large Scale Interactions. Radioactive decay within Earth’s interior contributes to thermal convection in the mantle. Plate tectonics can be viewed as the surface expression of mantle convection.
ESS2.C The Roles of Water in Earth's Processes. The planet’s dynamics are greatly influenced by water’s unique chemical and physical properties.
ESS3.B Natural Hazards. Natural hazards and other geological events have shaped the course of human history at local, regional, and global scales. Human activities can contribute to the frequency and intensity of some natural hazards.
PS2.A Forces and Motion. Newton’s 2nd law (F=ma) and the conservation of momentum can be used to predict changes in the motion of macroscopic objects.
PS2.B Types of Interactions. Forces at a distance are explained by fields that can transfer energy and can be described in terms of the arrangement and properties of the interacting objects and the distance between them. These forces can be used to describe the relationship between electrical and magnetic fields.
PS2.C Stability & Instability in Physical Systems. Systems often change in predictable ways; understanding the forces that drive the transformations and cycles within a system, as well as the forces imposed on the system from the outside, helps predict its behavior under a variety of conditions. When a system has a great number of component pieces, one may not be able to predict much about its precise future. For such systems (e.g., with very many colliding molecules), one can often predict average but not detailed properties and behaviors (e.g., average temperature, motion, and rates of chemical change but not the trajectories or other changes of particular molecules). Systems may evolve in unpredictable ways when the outcome depends sensitively on the starting condition and the starting condition cannot be specified precisely enough to distinguish between different possible outcomes.
PS3.C Relationship between energy and forces. Fields contain energy that depends on the arrangement of the objects in the field.
Notable FeaturesPermalink to Notable Features
- Olympus Mons: highest point in the solar system at 88,500ft
- Valles Marineris: Canyon 2500 miles long and 4 miles deep
- Hellas Planitia: an impact crater in the Southern Hemisphere 4.3 miles deep and 1400 miles in diameter
- Presence of ice caps
VariationsPermalink to Variations
Variations introduce slight modifications to the main dataset. For example, a variation might add a PIP or provide a translated audio track.
- Mars (with audio)
- Mars: Curiosity Landing Site
Data SourcePermalink to Data Source
NASA explorations mission