Mars has the nickname as a red planet. This nickname is given because the planet often appears in the sky as an a red “star”. Beyond that, after various spacecraft visiting Mars, we know the appearance of the color of this planet is really red.
Then, where does the reddish color come from?
Summarizing from the official European Space Agency (ESA) page, the red color is caused by rust or oxide particles on the Mars surface.
Plus, the Mars sky also often appears to be bright pink or orange colored. This is because the dust of coral particles on its surface is blown into the thin atmosphere of Mars.
The color of the surface and the color of the atmosphere causes this planet seen as red planet from the earth.
Where did the rust come from?
As already explained, the red color of Mars is due to rust particles. But, where did the particle come from?
Reporting from Space.com, all this began 4.5 billion years ago. When the solar system is formed, many planets are created from iron elements. If on Earth, the element then sinks into the planet’s core and melts.
But, according to NASA scientists, this doesn’t happen to the planet Mars. The smaller size of Mars from the Earth and its weaker gravity, allows the planet not to sink the iron.
As a result, there is iron that remains abundant in the upper layers of the planet. The next story is a kind of iron weathering on the surface of Mars that is gradual and destructive.
This weathering occurs because there is exposure to oxygen to iron on the surface of Mars. Oxygen exposure creates iron oxide compounds or rust particles. This is what makes the planet Mars look reddish from far distances.