Descriptive Astronomy 101
Mars Study Guide


After the "Mars" lecture and readings you should be able to answer and discuss the following questions.

Compare the axial tilt of Mars and Earth.

Compare and contrast the atmospheric composition of Mars and Earth.

Compare and contrast the atmospheric composition of Mars and Venus.

If the atmospheres of Mars and Venus are so similar, why is Mars so much colder?

Does the Greenhouse Effect operate on Mars the same way that is does on Venus?

Why is Mars red in color?

During the late 1800's and 1900's, why was there such a big deal made over the "discovery" of canals on Mars?

Why does Mars have a weak magnetic field?

How do we know the surface composition of Mars?

What is the evidence and logic used to explain why the SNC meteorites came from Mars?

Describe the tectonic features on Mars.

What is the name of the largest tectonic feature on Mars? How large is it? How did it form?

Why does Mars not have any plate tectonic features?

Describe the volcanic features found on Mars.

Just how big would Olympus Mons be if it were placed here on Earth?

What type of volcano is Olympus Mons?

Explain why Mars has such large volcanoes.

Compare the formation of lobate-like ejecta material around impact craters on Mars and Venus. Explain how each was formed.

What are the forms of erosion that have shaped the surface of Mars?

What does the presence of drainage systems and deltas tell us about the geologic history of Mars?

Is there water present on Mars today? If so, where is it?

What is meant by the term eolian erosion?

What is the evidence that eolian erosion is occuring on Mars today?

What surface features are associated with eolian erosion?

What mass wasting features are found on Mars?

Does life exist on Mars?

What evidence has been presented for the possible presence of life on Mars?

Could life exist on Mars today? If so, where?