Mars is the fifth planet from the Sun, often termed the "red planet," due to that fact that it gives of a reddish appearance that comes from iron oxide in the surface and the darker, redder leaves on the plants on the surface to absorb more sunlight. Mars has three moons: Bellona, Deimos, and Phobos. Mars is often referred to as Earth's little brother, since it is quite similar to Earth, only smaller and having different gravity and bulk composition. A bit more than half of Mars is covered in oceans, while the surface is covered with mainly deserts and rain forests.
An average day on the planet Mars is 24 hours and 36 minutes (in terrestrial terms), while the planet taken 587 terrestrial days to revolve around the sun.
The planet has been known to mankind since its earliest days. Many early civilizations often referred to it as the "red one", as it looked like a red star with the naked eye. When humans finally got a good look at the planet, it was discovered that the planet had clouds, oceans and deserts.
This revelation inspired many sci-fi novelists like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie, with one of the most famous stories, written by Doyle, on an invasion of the Earth by alien from Mars - in the age of discovery and enlightenment. Since then, we have launched satellites to study the planet and telescopes have registered many features on the surface.
Mars has a moderate atmosphere, which is not as thick as Earth's, but has a higher percentage of carbon dioxide in its atmosphere. The atmosphere is made up of 72% nitrogen, 23% oxygen and 5% carbon dioxide with some other trace gases. The average temprature on the planet is 16˚C, which is slightly colder than earth's.