Mars, known sometimes as the Red Planet, is the fourth planet of the Solar System. It is part of the so-called terrestrial planets (rocky nature, as the Earth) and is the inner planet is farthest from the sun. It is a terrestrial planet, as are Mercury, Venus and Earth, about ten times less massive than Earth but ten times more massive than the Moon. Its topography has similarities with both the Moon, through its craters and impact basins, with the Earth, with formations of origin tectonics and climate such as volcanoes, the valleys, and mesas, fields of dunes and ice caps. The highest mountain in the solar system, Olympus Mons (who is also a shield volcano), and the largest canyon, Valles Marineris, located on Mars (Robinson, 1993).
Composition of Mars
Mars, known as the "red planet" is located at an average distance to the sun 227 900 000 kilometers, its mass is 6.421 x10 23.kg. The composition of the atmosphere has long been a subject of controversy and the possibility of life on this planet, but after the landing of Mars Pathfinder browser has been able to determine the atmospheric composition, which contains: Carbon dioxide (95.32%), Nitrogen (2.7%), and other items with 1.8% complete the composition of the Martian atmosphere (Christen et al, 2003) (Krasnopolsky, 2001). The surface temperature ranges from -140 º C and 20 º C, a day on Mars is equivalent to 1 day 37 minutes 26.4 seconds land on Mars last year Earth 686.98 days (longer than ours), in recent years NASA has launched probes to study the red planet, they have given us a clearer idea of the components of the atmosphere and the Martian soil and now it is speculated that by 2020 could send a manned mission to the planet (Barlow, 2008).
Mars has undergone since its formation several natural events, volcanism, impacts of foreign to this planet as well as large and impressive sand storms. Unlike on Earth where geology is based on the movement of tectonic plates Mars has vertical tectonics, which moves according to pressure exerted by the internal movements of lava. Some scientists believe that Mars had about 3.5 billion years, the largest water flow of the solar system, however it is unknown how he came these flows, and even less is known about what happened to them. Some clues were delivered in May 2002, when the Mars Odyssey caught the presence of huge blocks of ice at the poles. Understanding what happened to water on Mars is important because it helps us understand and explain what is the natural life cycle of the planets (Golombek, 2003).
Potential Life on Mars
Seasonal emissions of methane have been detected on Mars in several places, which may indicate geological activity or even the possibility of biological processes. On Earth, living organisms produce more than 90% of methane in the atmosphere and the remaining 10% are of geochemical origin. On Mars, methane could be a sign of either of these ...