The closest planet to the Sun is Mercury, then there’s Venus, then Earth, and in fourth place we have Mars. It is possible to see Mars with the naked eye when you look up into the night sky. You’ll have to be quite the expert though to recognise Mars as it kind of looks like one of the many many stars out there, or the other 4 planets you can see at night. Venus is often called the female planet, and Mars is her opposite. Although instead of calling Mars the male planet, more commonly we refer to it as the red planet. Let’s take a closer look at this neighboring rock.
After Mercury, Mars is the smallest planet in our solar system. With a diameter of 6792 kilometers, Mars is about twice as small as Earth, and twice as big as the Moon. We call it the red planet, because of its reddish shade. Mars orbits around its axis at almost the same pace as Earth. A day takes 24 hours and 40 minutes. Its orbit around the Sun takes quite a bit longer than ours though. A Mars year takes 687 days to complete. Good news if you like long summers, but the winters would be almost twice as long as well. We wouldn’t be able to live on Mars though. There is an atmosphere, but it is very faint and is composed of carbon dioxide and pretty much nothing else. It gets a lot colder on Mars as well, it can freeze 153 degrees Celsius on a real cold day. But with 20 degrees Celsius, summer days aren’t all that bad.
Our knowledge of Mars
We’ve had quite a few missions to Mars, and there’s even a self driving vehicle on it right now, taking pictures. Mars has been studied intensively for a long time now, and for good reason. We knew for a while now that Mars contained water. Until recently we thought there only was frozen water under the surface, but we know now that there is also water in the form of vapor in the atmosphere. Occasionally, there is even liquid water on Mars.
Mars is named after the Roman god of war. This deity had a love affair with Venus. This is where the expression women come from Venus and men from Mars comes from. Mars was a very important god, and his festival was in March, the month named after him. Because of its red color, the color of blood, Mars was named after this god of war.
Mars in astrology
Mars is the planet of energy and desire. Again, it is the manly planet so this desire is animalistic or instinctive. When Mars is a strong factor in our horoscope, it rules our aggression, sexual desire, lust, and anger. It isn’t all bad when Mars is active though. It gives us extra energy, self obtained energy, unlike the energy given by a power greater than us through the Sun.
In the star charts, the position of Mars by constellation or zodiac sign shows us how we react instinctively. This is an important factor in your daily horoscope.