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Conceptual Questions


What evidence for underground ice on Mars is provided by the ejecta from Martian craters?

How fast would a piece of rock need to be blasted outward from the surface of Mars to escape into space as a meteoroid?

What is the reason that the northern plains of Mars have a much smaller crater density than the cratered terrain of the southern hemisphere?

What evidence do we have that the volcanos of the Tharsis region are younger than most of the rest of the surface of Mars?

What is believed to be the reason that Alba Patera and other Martian paterae have such gentle slopes?

What differences in the properties of runoff channels and outflow channels show that the two types of channels originated in different ways?

The Earth is closest to the Sun in January, which is summer in the southern hemisphere. Why isn't the difference between northern and southern seasonal variations as extreme on the Earth as on Mars? (You should give an astronomical reason, which is part of the full explanation.)

Suppose Mars had such a large orbital eccentricity that the north polar region was too warm in winter for carbon dioxide to condense as dry ice. What would the annual variation in atmospheric pressure be like in that case?

What is the reason that the Martian surface and sky are somewhat pink?

Why does Mars lack a warm mesosphere?

What is the connection between Martian wind patterns and the variable dark surface markings seen from the Earth?

Mars has nearly the same rotation period as the Earth, yet Mars has no detectable global magnetic field. What possible difference between the two planets could account for the absence of a Martian magnetic field?

In what kinds of places is water observed to exist or believed to exist on Mars today?

What evidence do we have that Mars was once much wetter and hotter than it is today?

What has happened to the thick atmosphere that Mars is believed to have had in the distant past?

What evidence did the gas chromatograph-mass spectrometers on the Viking landers yield about the presence of life on Mars?

What did the biology experiments on the Viking landers tell us about the presence of life on Mars?

What evidence of water on Mars was found by the Opportunity rover?

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