Mars is the closest planet to the earth. A bright red star seen from the earth is Mars when it is close to the earth. The red planet is the other name of Mars. A lot of people, however, are curious to know why is the color of mars red.
If we consider the Roman mythology, Mars was the God of war. So, red- the color of blood is directly related to mars. It is not only that it appears red from distance, but, the pictures from the spacecraft also prove its rusty red color. The rusty red shade is actually because Mars is rich in iron oxide. Iron left out in the rain gets coated with rust. This is because oxygen in the air and water reacts with iron in the metallic form. A film of iron oxide is created this way.
About 4.5 billion years ago when the solar system formed, several planets in the solar system landed a lot of iron. Mars’ iron oxide would have formed a long time ago when it had more water in the liquid form. The rusty material was carried around the whole planet in spots of dust, enveloping everything in a coating of rust. Even today, mars face a lot of dust storms. Some of these can even consume the whole planet. This can also result in the blockage of the view of mars.
Moreover, one can see different colors on examining the surface of Mars closely. Some places may look orange, while others appear to be brown or even black. But even after this all, one averages the different colors, we get the familiar red color of Mars.
Let us look at some research. NASA’s Phoenix Lander dig down and get below the oxidized layer to the rock and dirt beneath in 2008. Just a few centimeters below, they got fresh material having brown color, not red. If one could stand on the surface of Mars and see its sky, what color could it be? Since NASA’s Curiosity rover has a full-color camera, it captured approximately what the human eye can see. The sky of Mars is red as well. This is because, on Mars, the atmospheric dust scatters the red photons from Sunlight and makes the sky appear red.
However, something strange also happens there. The sunset appears blue there. There is a justifiable explanation for this phenomenon. The dust absorbs and deflects the red light. So, more blue photons from the Sun can be observed streaming. So, a blue sunset on a planet which has red ground and the red sky is something very amazing.
To conclude, the reason for Mar’s red color is that its surface matter consists of a high quantity of iron oxide. This gives it a reddish color. Iron on planets like earth sank to its core. But probably because of weak gravity at mars, it has most of the iron at the surface. Hence, iron oxide is also at the surface making it look red.