Mars, Earth's outer neighbor, is the fourth planet from the Sun. Mars' bright appearance and reddish color stand out in the night sky. Impressive surface features such as enormous volcanoes and valleys are frequently obscured by huge dust storms.

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The uniquely red <a href="/mars/interior/Martian_global_geology.html&edu=elem&dev=1">global surface</a> of Mars is marked by many interesting features - some like those on the <a href="/earth/earth.html&edu=elem&dev=1">Earth</a> and others strangely different. The reddish color is caused by rust (iron oxide) in the <a href="/mars/exploring/martian_soils.html&edu=elem&dev=1">soil</a>.  Some of these features are; <a href="/mars/interior/mars_volcanoes.html&edu=elem&dev=1">volcanoes</a>, canyon systems, <a href="/mars/interior/Martian_running_water.html&edu=elem&dev=1">river beds</a>, <a href="/mars/interior/Mars_cratered_terrain.html&edu=elem&dev=1">cratered terrain</a>, and <a href="/mars/interior/Martian_dunefields.html&edu=elem&dev=1">dune fields</a>.  This image shows a global mosaic of 102 Viking 1 Orbiter images of Mars taken in February, 1980.<p><small><em>Image courtesy of NASA.</em></small></p>

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