Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun in the Solar System. The planet is named after the Roman god of war. It is often described as the 'Red Planet', as the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance. Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere, having surface features reminiscent both of the impact craters of the Moon and the volcanoes, valleys, deserts, and polar ice caps of Earth. The rotational period and seasonal cycles of Mars are likewise similar to those of Earth. Mars is the site of Olympus Mons, the highest known mountain within the Solar System, and of Valles Marineris, the largest canyon. The smooth Borealis basin in the northern hemisphere covers 40% of the planet and may be a giant impact feature.

The Earth's nearest neighbour is about half its size and has two moons: Phobos & Deimos.

Of all the planets in the Solar System other than Earth, Mars is the most likely to harbour liquid water, and thus to harbour life. Geological evidence gathered by unmanned missions suggest that Mars once had large-scale water coverage on its surface, while small geyser-like water flows may have occurred during the past decade. In 2005, radar data revealed the presence of large quantities of water ice at the poles, and at mid-latitudes. The Phoenix lander directly sampled water ice in shallow Martian soil on July 31, 2008.

In astrology Mars is the planet of energy, assertiveness and aggression. He rules Aries, the first of the three fire signs.

Its sign and house placement in the birth chart shows us where we channel our energies. Often, our Sun sign and house energies will be aided in their expression by the direction shown by Mars in the chart. How do we take action? How do we express our anger? What drives us? Mars also relates to our sexuality.

Mars, along with the Sun, tells us a lot about our understanding of the male principle. What is our inner image of the male? Those with Mars strongly placed in their chart can be competitive without being argumentative and assertive without being aggressive. They are capable of taking effective action as soon as it is needed and can pace themselves so that they always have abundant energy.

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Last updated by Simon on 10th December 2020  •