Why Does Mars Have Blue Sunsets? (And Other Questions about Mars.)

Why Does Mars Have Blue Sunsets?

In 1976, the Viking 1 lander became the first to witness a Martian sunset. In those days, scientists had predicted that Mars would have red sunsets and hazy skies due to its proximity to Earth and low gravity. However, this was not the case as it had blue sunsets with clear skies. Scientists were baffled by what they saw and NASA made an assumption that there may be organic compounds on Mars that may cause these colours of the sky. So why does Mars have blue sunsets?

Mars is a planet with a very thin atmosphere and has blue sunsets and sunrises. The light appears red during the day. This is due to the dust particles in the atmosphere, which can scatter light and make it look blue or red. Mars also has blue sunsets because it’s farther from the Sun than Earth, so sunlight there is more spread out and refracted-meaning that some of the light rays are scattered off of air molecules before they reach the ground.


Does Mars have Moons?

Mars is that it has two moons, These moons can be seen with the naked eye, but they are very small and require a telescope to get a good view of them. Phobos has an orbital radius of 6,000 km while Deimos is at 12,300 km.

Why Does Mars Have 2 Moons?

No one really knows how they were formed, but it is believed that they are the result of an asteroid collision with Mars about 4 billion years ago. It’s also possible that Phobos and Deimos are actually captured asteroids or the moons may also be captured comets.

How Far Away is Mars?

Mars is the fourth planet in the solar system. In October 2021 it was about 60 million kilometres from Earth and when it is furthest from the Earth it will be about 400 million kilometres away.

How Big is Mars?

Mars is the fourth planet from the sun and the second smallest planet in our solar system.

The diameter of Mars is 6,792 km.

How big is Mars?

(For facts about other planets – Click Planet facts for kids)

Why Does Mars Look Red?

Mars is a red planet, and for years scientists have been trying to figure out why it has such a distinctive color. The most recent study suggests that the minerals in the Martian soil contain iron oxide which is responsible for the red appearance of the planet. This also explains why Earth’s moon appears gray and not red: it lacks iron oxide. To prove their theory, researchers took samples from areas on Mars and conducted experiments with vacuum conditions and temperatures to match those found on Mars.

Why does Mars look red?

Why Does Mars Flicker?

Mars flickers because of the dust in the atmosphere.

Why does Mars have Seasons?

Mars has four seasons, each lasts twice as long as Earth. Mars’s orbit is closer to the sun in December and January which means that it experiences more sunlight. The amount of sunlight changes throughout the year with winter being the shortest day but also receiving less light because Mars is farther away from the sun in its orbit.

When Did We First Send Probes And Landers To Mars?

For more than a hundred years, scientists and explorers have been dreaming about the possibility of life on Mars. In 1976, NASA launched two Viking landers to explore this possibility. The probes were interested in the Martian atmosphere but were not equipped for life detection. In 1996, NASA’s Pathfinder mission delivered a rover to explore the surface as well as a stationary probe that analyzed the atmosphere. In 2004, NASA landed two rovers on Mars with its twin Spirit and Opportunity missions.

The benefits of living on Mars are many. For one, it’s a great opportunity to test out new technologies that could help with our planet’s environmental problems. Another reason is that the red planet has the ability to produce solar power for use on Earth when it is closer to us in orbit. The most important benefit, though, is that it would help with the world population problem.

Mars Lander

Where Can I See Pictures From The Mars Lander Perseverance?

Here are pictures from the first 100 days of the Mars Lander Perseverance in 2020.


What Does China’s Mars Lander Look Like?

In this article, there is a picture of the Chinese lander, Zhurong. The article explains that it took a selfie of itself on Mars by sending a detachable camera along the ground!


Why Does Elon Musk Want To Go To Mars?

Elon Musk wants to go to Mars because he wants to save humanity from extinction

Elon Musk wants to go to Mars

How does Mars compare to Earth?

In the past few decades, we have been able to explore our solar system more deeply than ever before. We have found that different planets have different qualities that make them unique. One of those planets is Mars which is often known as Earth’s sister planet because of the similarities in size and composition. However, it also has a lot of differences which makes it more difficult to colonize.

For over 20 years, various missions have been sent to Mars with the goal of studying its surface. These missions include the Pathfinder mission in 1997 and the successful landing of the Curiosity rover in 2012. One of the most interesting things about these missions is that they not only study what’s on Mars but how it compares to Earth.

In our solar system, Mars is the most like Earth. With its 26-hour day and thin atmosphere, it resembles Earth’s climate and could be habitable to humans. That’s what NASA hopes to find out with the next rover they plan to launch in 2020. While we can learn a lot about ourselves by studying the planet, it’s also important to remember that Earth is unique and nothing can compare to our home planet.

Why Does Mars Have No Magnetic Field?

Mars doesn’t have a magnetic field because it lacks the molten iron core that creates this field on Earth. Without enough internal heat, Mars has cooled long ago and solidified, leaving no liquid iron to produce the magnetic field. This core also makes up about 30% of Earth’s total mass, and without it Mars is only about 12% as massive as our planet. This lack of mass and internal heat prevents Mars from retaining its atmosphere and water.

Mars is the only planet in the solar system that does not have a magnetic field. One of the most important factors in this phenomenon is the planet’s lack of an energetic core, which is what creates Earth’s magnetic field. The planet has long been speculated to have had some form of magnetic field in its early history on account of its geological activity, but there are no signs on the surface of it now.

What does the Mars Rover’s Magnetometer do?

A magnetometer is a device that measures the strength and direction of magnetic fields. Magnetometers are typically used to measure the Earth’s magnetic field. A common use for a magnetometer is to measure the speed of an object.

The Mars 2020 rover has a magnetometer that will look for geologic signatures of past life, study the planet’s composition, and help us understand how Mars’ atmosphere evolved. The instrument is a next-generation magnetometer built at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to measure magnetic fields from extreme distances away from Earth.

Why Doesn’t Mars Have an Atmosphere?

Scientists are still trying to figure out why Mars’s atmosphere disappeared, but it could be because Mars never had enough gravity to hold onto its atmosphere.

The lack of atmosphere on Mars has made it difficult for scientists to explore the planet because it can’t protect humans from harmful space rays so they have to shield their spacecraft with big, heavy containers that allow air in but keep out harmful radiation.

Mars is the planet in our solar system with the least amount of atmosphere. This has many consequences, but it also means that scientists can get more detailed measurements about Mars surface by analyzing how dust particles react to different atmospheric pressures. The lack of an atmosphere on Mars means that there are no protective gases or gases to create weather patterns.

What Could Be The Benefits of Living on Mars?

For more than a hundred years, scientists and explorers have been dreaming about the possibility of human life on Mars. They think it would be a way for humans to end Earth’s environmental crises while also ensuring that we do not go extinct. There are could be many benefits to living on Mars including:

1. We may be able to end our environmental crisis by colonizing other planets and reducing the consequences of climate change and overpopulation

2. We could test out new technologies that could help with our planet’s environmental problems.

3. We may be able to discover new resources in space

4. We may be able to make the most of new technologies, such as virtual reality, and use them to achieve greater social and economic growth

5. Perhaps we could use Mars to produce solar power for use on Earth when it is closer to us in orbit.

Any More Questions?  Updates?

If your child, or you, have any more questions about Mars please put them in the comments below.

We are learning new things about Mars all the time. If you notice anything that you think should be included in this article please tell me in the comments area.

Planet Facts For Kids

Planet Facts For Kids

When I was younger, it was said that there were 9 planets in our solar system.  The planets were Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto going around the sun. Later, I came across a mnemonic for it. My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas. However, since that time scientists have decided that we have eight planets in our solar system and that Pluto is a dwarf planet, and actually they have found larger rocks in the area of Pluto than Pluto itself.  On this page of planet facts for kids, I have decided to include Pluto so that you know why it is in some lists.

Here is a video you might like to watch and then there is some information about each planet.


Mercury is the closest planet to the sun. It is also the smallest of the planets.  It is incredibly hot there as it is just 36 million miles from the sun.

It is named after the Roman god Mercury who is the messenger of the gods.

Two spacecraft have flown past Mercury gathering information.  One was called Mariner 10 and this flew past Mercury twice, once in 1974 and then again in 1975.  Then in 2004 MESSENGER was sent. This orbited Mercury 4000 times before running out of fuel and crashing into the planet in 2015.



Venus between Mercury and Earth and so will still be much hotter than Earth.

It is named after the Roman god of love.

It is the brightest object in the sky after the sun and the moon.

Whereas the Earth rotates once a day, Venus takes 243 days to rotate on its axis.  It actually goes quicker than this around the sun, taking 224.7 Earth days to make its journey.

Venus also rotates in the opposite direction than the Earth does, which means that the sun would seem to rise in the west and set in the east.

Venus is often referred to as either the morning star or the evening star, especially in poetry.


Of course, this is our planet.

From space, it looks blue because of all the sea and also the water vapour covering the land areas.

About two-thirds of the planet’s surface is water.

Earth is 93 million miles away from the sun and a quarter of a million miles from the moon. In kilometres, that is 150 kilometres from the sun and about 384,400 km from the moon. These are approximate distances as it changes throughout the year.

The Earth goes around the sun once a year.

The moon goes around the Earth every 27.3 days. This is known as a lunar month.

The diameter of the Earth at the Equator is 7928 miles, or 12,760 kilometres.



Mars comes after Earth.

It is named after the Roman god Mars the god of war because it looks red sometimes in the sky and this reminded people of the blood that you get in battles.

It is often called the red planet and can be spotted in the sky with the naked eye, that is without using a telescope.

Mars is much smaller than Earth. Its diameter is about half of the Earth’s.

Mars rotates once in 24 hours 39 minutes, so the length of its day is almost the same as Earth’s. It has two moons, called Phobos and Deimos. They are not round like the moon but irregular.


After Mars we get Jupiter.  This is a very big planet, 1000 times smaller than the sun but two and a half times bigger than all of the other planets in the solar system put together.

Jupiter and Saturn are both gas giants.

Jupiter has an area called the Great Red Spot – you can see it on photographs.  There are constant storms here. This area alone is 1.3 times as wide as the earth.

Jupiter is made up of hydrogen and helium as well as other elements which possibly gives it a rocky core. Jupiter has many moons, at least 74,  including four that were discovered by Galileo Galilei in 1610. The largest of these is called Ganymede and it has a diameter that is larger than the planet Mercury.


Next is Saturn which has amazing rings around it.  These rings consist of small rocks that held in a particular orbit.

Saturn is another gas giant, It is the outer layer that is made of gas, The core is probably iron, nickel and rock,  and then there is a layer of metallic hydrogen, with hydrogen and helium surrounding that.

Saturn also has a number of moons, at least 62. 53 of the moons are officially named.  The biggest is called Titan and that is bigger than the planet Mercury.




Uranus is even further away. Uranus, along with Neptune are known as ice giants,  as their interiors are filled with ice and rocks.

Uranus is unique in that it rotates on its side.

It has wind speeds up to 900 km an hour.

It is also the only planet that has been named after a Greek god rather than a Roman god.

Uranus has 27 named moons and 24 are named after characters in Shakespeare plays and 3 after characters in a poem by Alexander Pope. One of these Ariel appears both in The Tempest by Shakespeare and in the poem by Pope.

Voyager 2 was the closest to Uranus on its voyage on January 24, 1986.


Neptune is named after the Roman god of the sea. It is now accepted as being the farthest known planet from the sun. Neptune’s atmosphere is made up of hydrogen and helium but its interior is made up of ices such as water, ammonia and methane.  Its wind speeds reach up to 2100 km an hour!

In 1613 Galileo noticed Neptune but he thought it was just another star.  It is thought that if he had noticed it a few days earlier when the sky was clearer and tracked it he would have realised it was a planet.

Voyager 2 flew past Neptune on 25th August 1989.


And as I said before Pluto is no longer classified as a planet, but you will often see it in a list of planets,  especially if the article or book was written before August 2006.

Pluto has a strange orbit around the sun so sometimes it is nearer the sun than Neptune.


Other videos you might like to see:

Planet facts worksheets

Here are some free worksheets about planets that you might find useful.




And here are 15 planets worksheets – designed for children with English as a second language but useful for all.



Planet Wordsearch

This is a picture of a wordsearch
Planets wordsearch


If you would like a larger one here is a pdf version with answers



Finally – a few pictures you might like to use for Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook etc.

Coloured Planet
Coloured Planet