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Earth vs. Mars

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Earth vs. Mars Answer Key

Science fiction novels and movies often make it look as if moving from Earth to Mars would not be terribly difficult. After all, the planets are quite similar, correct?

They both have deep canyons, large volcanoes, and ice-covered polar caps. A day on Mars is only slightly longer than a day on Earth. The angle each planet tilts towards the sun is almost the same, so each planet has different seasons over the course of the year. Does this mean humans could soon climb on a space ship, fly to the red planet and call it home? Would it be easy for them to adapt to living on Mars? Not really!

Mars is much smaller than Earth, so there would probably be too little space to fit everyone there. It is almost much, much colder on Mars. The average temperature on the surface is 81 degrees below zero! This makes it impossible for there to be running water or living plants. Even if people could find special space suits to keep them warm enough, they would never be able to go outside and take a breath. The air on Mars is made up almost entirely of the gas carbon dioxide. This is poisonous to humans.

Life on other planets might be possible one day. Until then, it will have to remain a part of science fiction stories and, perhaps, some very exciting dreams!
How are Mars and Earth alike?
  1. They both have large amounts of carbon dioxide.
  2. They both have days that last roughly 24 hours.
  3. They both are equally distant to the sun.
  4. They both are easy for humans to live on.
What are you likely to find only on Earth and not Mars?
  1. A lake
  2. A canyon
  3. A volcano
  4. A polar cap
How does weather on Mars differ from that on Earth?
  1. It is far wetter there with frequent, intense storms.
  2. It stays the same basic season year round.
  3. It is blisteringly hot for nine months of the year.
  4. It is far colder with an average temperature below zero.

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