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Why is Mars red?

A:

Quick Answer

Mars appears red due to the prevalence of rusted iron elements on its surface. The elements blow up into the atmosphere, intensifying the red color.

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Why is Mars red?
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Full Answer

The iron elements on the surface of Mars became red when they rusted, a process called oxidation. This occurs when the iron chemically reacts with oxygen atoms and becomes iron oxide. Scientists have not reached a consensus on why or when the oxidation occurred, although the oxidized metal provides grist for the belief that Mars once had water. Knowledge of Mars' blood-red tint stretches back to ancient times, when the Romans named the planet after their god of war.

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