Difference between Earth and Mars

Earth and Mars are the two planets along with six other planets. These two planets in our solar system have a few geological similarities such as Mars is one-half the diameter of the Earth and the amount of dry land surface present on both the planets is the same.

However, there are a few differences between Earth and Mars. For instance, the size, atmosphere and temperature of these planets are different.

Table of Contents:

What Is Earth?

Difference between Earth and Mars

Earth is the third planet from the sun, and it is our home planet. It is the only planet known to harbour life. The Earth’s surface consists of 29% of continents and islands while 71% of it is covered by water in the form of oceans, lakes, rivers and freshwater. The radius of the Earth is 3,959 miles, and it is the fifth-largest planet in our solar system. The four layers of the Earth are:

  • Solid inner core
  • Liquid outer core
  • Silicate mantle
  • Rocky crust

What Is Mars?

Mars is the fourth planet from the sun and is referred to as the “Red planet”. It gets the latter name because of the presence of iron oxide on the surface of Mars, which gives it a reddish appearance. The largest volcano is Olympus Mons and the highest mountain is Valles Marineris. The radius of Mars is 2,106 miles and is the seventh-largest planet in our solar system. The internal structure of Mars is similar to the Earth:

  • Thin rocky crust
  • A mantle
  • A metal core

Read More: Planets

Difference between Earth and Mars

Now, let us learn the differences between Earth and Mars in detail.

Difference Between Earth and Mars
Earth Mars
The Earth’s atmosphere primarily consists of nitrogen and oxygen. Mars’ atmosphere primarily consists of carbon dioxide.
The length of the day on Earth is slightly under 24 hours. The length of the day on Mars is 24 hours, 37 minutes.
The time taken by the Earth to complete one orbit of the sun is 365 days. The time taken by Mars to complete one orbit of the sun is 687 Earth days.
The polar caps of the Earth are always covered with water ice. The polar caps of Mars are covered with a mixture of carbon dioxide ice and water ice.
The surface of the Earth is covered with 70% of liquid water. The surface of Mars is covered with bare rock and dust.
Earth’s atmosphere contains nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, water vapour and other  gases. Mars’ atmosphere contains carbon dioxide, argon, nitrogen and traces of oxygen and water.
Parameters such as geographical region, time of year, and elevation impact the temperature on the Earth which is 14 °C. Parameters such as distance from the sun, a thin atmosphere, tilted axis, and orbital eccentricity make the temperature of Mars vary.
The moon is the only natural satellite that orbits the Earth. There are two satellites that orbit Mars, and they are Phobos and Deimos.

Thus, we can say that it’s the atmosphere and geological parameters that make the Earth warm and worthy for living beings. Meanwhile, Mars is cold, dry and dusty because of its atmosphere and geological parameters.

Learn about air and atmosphere with the help of this interesting video:

Read more:

Dwarf Planets
Difference Between Stars and Planets
Difference Between Asteroid And Meteoroid

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs


Why does the Earth have continents?

The Earth has continents because of the process known as plate tectonics. Tectonic plates are present deep below the Earth and have a continuous motion, sliding around the surface. This process began hundreds of millions of years ago and still continues. Plate tectonics is believed to have contributed to the formation of continents.


What is the surface of Mars like?

The surface of Mars is rocky. It has canyons, volcanoes, dry lake beds and is covered with red dust composed of oxidised iron. Carters can be seen all over Mars.


How many volcanoes does Mars have?

Mars has the largest shield of volcanoes in the solar system. Mars has a wide range of volcanic features such as volcanic cones, mare-line volcanic plains, and other smaller features. There are less than 20 volcanoes out of which 5 are major shield volcanoes.


Does Mars have volcanoes?

Yes, Mars has volcanoes and Olympus Mons is one of the thousands of volcanoes observed on the surface of Mars. The youngest volcanoes on Mars are 500 million years old.


Name the first continent on Earth.

Pangaea was the first massive continent on Earth. All the seven continents on Earth now are part of this supercontinent which was once surrounded by a single ocean known as Panthalassa.

Hope you have learned the difference between Earth and Mars. Stay tuned with BYJU’S to learn more about other concepts of Physics.

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