Mars is named for the Roman god of war. The ancient Greeks also named the planet after their god of war, Ares. Mars contains frozen water, and this water once flowed on the planet.
A NASA probe, Mariner 9, discovered dormant volcanoes on Mars after the probe landed on the planet in 1971. Olympus Mons, a shield volcano on Mars, holds the record for the tallest mountain in the solar system, with a height of 21 kilometers.
The largest dust storms in the solar system occur on Mars. This is due to the fact that Mars possesses a more elliptical orbit than the other planets. Dust storms can cover the entire planet, and they can last for several months.
Mars possess two moons, Phobos and Deimos. Both moons are composed of materials similar to asteroids found in the solar system. Scientists believe the moons were originally asteroids that were caught in Mars' gravitational pull and forced into orbit around the planet. Astronomers predict the tidal force of the planet is either going to tear Phobos apart or force the moon to crash into Mars' surface in approximately 30 to 50 million years. "Gulliver's Travels" by Jonathan Swift predicted that Mars possessed two moons 151 years before they were discovered.