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Our Solar System: In Order From the Sun

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mars2

Mars


The fourth planet from the Sun is Mars. This picture was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope when the planet was 43 million miles (68 million km) away from Earth. Two large storms are visible in this picture: one high above the northern pole, and another in the lower right portion of the planet. Astronomers want to understand the weather patterns on Mars in preparation for future missions to the red planet.

Fun Fact: Mars has an elliptical orbit, which periodically brings it within 35 million miles of Earth. The next such close encounter between the two planets will occur in the year 2287.

Photo source: NASA

Next: Jupiter

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Provided by Infoplease—an authoritative, comprehensive reference website that offers an encyclopedia, a dictionary, an atlas, and several almanacs. Visit Infoplease.com to find more resources endorsed by teachers and librarians.

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