Why Is Mars Red?


6 Answers

Steven Cowan Profile
Steven Cowan answered
The surface of Mars is covered in a deep, rich iron oxide that gives the planet its red tinge.

It is commonly believed that, long ago, part of the planet's surface was covered in water, and until recently it was believed that the iron oxide that remains was due to a process of oxidation, whereby the flowing water of the prevalent rivers and oceans would have worn away the rocks, and the oxygen in the water would have mixed with the iron to produce iron oxide (in other words, a rust would have formed).

This rust would then have been distributed all over the planet's surface via rainfall.

However, data collected by NASA in 1997 suggests that much of the iron oxide in the planet's soil arrived there from meteorites. This theory is supported by the numerous craters that scar the surface of Mars.

Albert Yen proved that a chemical reaction caused by a meteorite slamming into the surface of Mars would have caused a sufficient oxidation process to produce the iron oxide in the soil.

It is commonly believed that oxidation as a result of ancient seas and rivers and meteorites slamming into the planet caused its red appearance.
Yo Kass Profile
Yo Kass answered
Mars is red because the iron on its surfaces has rusted. No-one is sure exactly how that happened, but there are a couple of theories:  
Why Mars turned red 
Earth and Mars are similar in that they both contain a significant amount of iron. However, the iron on Earth is mainly focused around its core - whereas Mars has an abundance of iron in its outer-layers too. 
 The mystery starts when you realize that regular iron is a shiny black color - and only turns red when exposed to oxygen (thus forming Iron III Oxide or "rust" ). 
So was Mars full of oxygen? Well, that's one theory:

Mars may have been covered in seas and rivers of water (just like Earth). The oxygen from the water molecules released in rainstorms could have combined with the iron surface to create a layer of rust. 
Another theory is that sunlight broke down gases like carbon dioxide. If this process took place over millions of years, it would have created enough oxygen in the Martian atmosphere to react with the iron and turn it red. 
 One final theory is that dust storms on the planet my have broken down pieces of quartz (a type of mineral). The oxygen-rich quartz may have combined with the iron, causing a coppery hue.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
The rust from the iron on the planet makes it look red.
Shelby Smith Profile
Shelby Smith answered
It has red rust and some orange/red sand.

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