Mars is one of the planets that make up the solar system. It is the fourth planet from the sun and borrows its name from the teachings of Roman mythology. Pritchard posits, “Its name denotes a Roman deity associated with war and conflicts” (1). The association of planet Mars with a Roman deity denotes the significance of the planet among residents of Earth. Planet Mars is at times referred to as the red planet due to the Iron Oxide ring, which makes it appear red when observed from a distance.
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Pritchard alleges, “Mars is a sublunary planet with various features that have similarity to those on the surface of Earth” (3). Its surface has features like volcanoes and craters, majority of which are recurrent and common phenomena on Earth’s surface. One of the features that distinguish planet Mars from other planets is Olympus Mons (a supercilious mountainous element in the solar system).
Besides, the planet has “Valles Marineris, which is among the most expensive canyons within the solar system” (Pritchard 13). The bigger portion of the planet is covered with Borealis Basin that is one of the remarkable features on the surface of Mars. Additionally, the planet has Deimos and Phobos, which are nebulous and miniature moon features. The two features resemble Trojans and asteroids (Barlow 24).
There were conjectures and suppositions that there is water on the surface of planet Mars prior to its exploration. Telescopic observation revealed the presence of dark and light patches on the plane of the planet leading to scientists claiming that the lesions comprised of water. Nonetheless, further observations proved that many of these patches were imaginary and illusion (Mallama 52-55).
Geological experts and independent researchers allege that expansive and enormous water bodies once occupied the planet (Kipp 24). In 2005, “observations depicted a huge presence of icy water bodies at the polar extremities of the planet. Subsequent studies in 2008 showed high presence of water in samples of soil from the surface of the planet” (Kipp 28).
Mars is small relative to planet Earth. Hence, the planet does not have significant gravitational influence on Earth. Despite the size of the planet and its distance from the Earth, Mars is said to cause, “Martian water tides on the earth, which is small relative to the lunar tides caused by the moon” (Crossley 15).
However, some scientists assert that the Martian tides are too small to detect. Scientific exploration of Mars is having significant influence on cultural beliefs of varied societies. “The cult of Nergal associated the planet with the war-god Nergal, Prior to its exploration” (Cochrane 35). The cult used to give sacrifices to the war-god to appease him. However, exploration of Mars is making the cult to change its perceptions about the planet. The cult no longer associates the planet with bad omen.
Since scientists learnt about the planet, it has had significant influence on planet Earth. Planet Mars has led to increase in exploration activities. Ever since the scientists learnt that there were traces of water on the surface of Mars, they initiated numerous explorations aimed at determining if the planet can support life (Moore 17-25).
Scientists are currently in the process of determining the factors that contributed to climatic changes in the planet. Presently, there is a spacecraft on the surface of Mars, which helps scientists to study the geological structure and climate of the planet. Many scientists believe that there are possibilities of future life in Mars. At the moment, efforts are underway to see if living organisms can survive on planet Mars with many people hoping that they will once live in Mars.
Scientists believe that Mars offers a solution to current energy problems experienced on Earth. Hence, they currently working on base building modalities to help in exploitation of the Martian raw materials, which they believe may be useful on Earth (Lewis and Lewis 115). Scientists believe that one day they will establish a novel branch of human civilization on planet Mars.
This study aimed at gathering all relevant information about planet Mars. There are volumes of scholarly and scientific literature that touches on the solar system. Majority of the literature touches on individual planets, their features, as well as their contribution to the solar system. Nonetheless, not all information about the planets was relevant for this research. Hence, to come up with relevant and adequate information about the planet we had to distribute work among the group members. We divided the members into three groups.
The first group was to analyze all scholarly articles that touch on the physical features found on the surface of Mars. The second group focused on telescopic images that show the surface of the planet, while the third group searched for scientific documents that account for past and present explorations. The members were to analyze their materials and select only those that offer relevant information. This article was compiled from materials that the different groups collected.
When gathering information, group members had to sift through and critique numerous materials to determine their credibility in actualizing this exercise. Because of the nature of this study, members were required to exercise caution and demonstrate a high level of professionalism when evaluating the available academic materials.
The members focused mainly on peer reviewed articles and books to enhance credibility of this study. A study ought to bear resonance with respect to stance and quality for it to be valuable. Hence, the members had to select research materials based on their value and quality.
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Compiling a quantitative and/or a qualitative research paper calls for precision with regard to selection of relevant academic resources. This was a principal problem for this group since the majority of the available scholarly resources did not meet the academic research threshold. Many of the academic materials contained general information about the solar system and the planets. On the other hand, some of the scientific materials were too complex and beyond the scope of this study.
Therefore, the group had to avoid such materials since it did not want the research to appear neither too general nor complex. To avert such pitfalls, the group focused on books and peer reviewed articles, which contained reliable academic information. Failure to sift through the existing academic resources would have made the group come up with a research paper, which is either too shallow or too complex.
Majority of the online resources are not peer reviewed and they only express the opinion of the writer. Consequently, the group decided not to use online materials to compile the research paper as it was hard to identify online resources, which are peer reviewed. Besides, the group decided to do away with audio visual recordings that document contemporary scientific explorations.
The reason behind this decision was that video recordings are too complex and it requires time to acquire and analyze them. The group decided to use publications that depict telescopic images of the surface of Mars to help members to understand and explain some of the physical features that exist on the planet.
Besides, to understand the influence of Mars on Earth, the group searched for books and peer reviewed articles that explain the ongoing explorations and their significance to planet Earth. We did away with online articles like Wikipedia since they are not detailed. At times, one may get crucial information from Wikipedia. However, in many cases the information is shallow and inadequate (Brophy and Bawden 500-509). Hence, the group decided not to use Wikipedia for quality purposes.
Group members used a number of questions to evaluate and select academic materials. Among the questions that helped in the selection of academic resources included the following.
Does the material meet the set academic threshold? What is the credibility and professional inclination of the academic resource? Does the material bear reliable academic information or it is too general? Is the material peer reviewed? Are the telescopic images resolute or they are hard to elucidate? These questions guided the group in selecting the academic materials to use in compiling the study.
The exercise did not go without encountering challenges. At some point, group members could not agree on some of the academic materials to use. While some felt that the materials were good for the study, others claimed that they were either too general or too complex.
In such cases, the group selected two members to analyze the contested materials in line with the research objectives as other members went on looking for other resources. Later, the group adopted the decision made by the two members. This approach helped in time management and selection of quality academic materials.
Besides, none of the group members had research experience. Hence, to accomplish the study, we copied methodologies of similar researches. We had to look for a study that somewhat resembled this research and adopt its methodology. However, this approach did not go without some technical hitches, especially in areas where the methodology drifted from the study. In such cases, members were forced to use intuition and critical thinking to identify the appropriate course to take to spearhead the study.
Another major problem that affected the study was the lack of access to requisite academic resources. The school library did not have adequate materials for the study. In addition, we did not have access to published information that concerns scientific and geological explorations.
This contributed to slow compilation of the study. To address the problem, the group liaised with a local public library, which agreed to help with the publications it required to complete the study. Moreover, the group contributed money to cater for online research. Three members had to visit a cyber café and look for more information from online journals and other scholarly materials. The group managed to address the problem of inadequate academic resources through the help of the local public library and online academic resources.
The success of this study depended on finding reliable and detailed academic resources. One of the mistakes that students do is to depend on resources like Wikipedia, which are not detailed. Such resources weaken the findings of the research making it hard for researchers to defend their thesis.
To get detailed and reliable academic materials, the group depended on library. Majority of the scholarly and peer reviewed materials used for the study were obtained from a local public library. Besides, the group used the internet, which hosts numerous reliable scholarly and peer reviewed journals.
Barlow, Nadine. Mars: an introduction to its interior, surface and atmosphere. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008. Print.
Brophy, Jan and David Bawden. “Is Google enough? Comparison of an internet search engine with academic library resources.” Aslib Proceedings 57.6 (2005): 498 – 512. Print.
Cochrane, Ev. Martian Metamorphoses: The Planet Mars in Ancient Myth and Religion. New York: Society for Interdisciplinary Studies, 1997. Print.
Crossley, Robert. Mars: A History of Scientific Evidence. London: Oxford University Press, 2010. Print.
Kipp, Steven. Mars. New York: Cengage Learning, 2009. Print.
Lewis, John and Ruth Lewis. Space Resources: Breaking the Bonds of Earth. New York: Columbia University Press, 1987. Print.
Mallama, Anthony. “Planetary magnitudes.” Sky and Telescope 121.1 (2011): 51–56. Print.
Moore, Patrick. The Intrigues of Exploring Mars. London: Spear Books, 2007. Print.
Pritchard, Edward. Mars: Past, Present, and Future. London: CENGAGE, 2000. Print.