Mars vs Earth—General physical comparison

Why put a seismograph station on Mars?

This animation looks at a basic physical comparison of the Earth with our closest neighbor, Mars, with respect to size, relation to Sun, gravity, temperature atmosphere, etc. The reason we produced this is because NASA is going to put a seismograph on Mars on the next InSight mission and we thought we could show what we know now about the red planet. The purpose of InSight is to study that planet's deep interior by monitoring any earthquakes that are generated and using the information to determine a general picture of what lies below the surface. Does Mars have earthquakes? Is it a layered planet like Earth? How thick are the layers?

InSight Mission to Mars. There is now a seismometer on the surface of Mars monitoring ground motion. Click here to learn more www.iris.edu/insight

CLOSED CAPTIONING: .srt file is included with the downloiad. Use appropriate media player to utilize captioning.


Keypoints:

Mars:

  • Farther from the sun than Earth
  • Moving faster and on a longer orbit path
  • Has similar tilt, thus similar seasons
  • Has longer day
  • Is smaller than Earth
  • Gravity is lower
  • Surface is colder
  • Mars atmosphere is 96% CO2

Related Animations

The Earth has 3 main layers based on chemical composition: crust, mantle, and core. Other layers are defined by physical characteristics due to pressure and temperature changes. This animation tells how the layers were discovered, what the layers are, and a bit about how the crust differs from the tectonic (lithospheric) plates, a distinction confused by many.

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