This Is How Much You’d Weigh On Mars

Written by Nilani Thiyagarajah
Published: August 28, 2022
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If you’ve ever thought about spending time on a planet other than Earth, you should definitely consider Mars. In fact, according to scientists, it’s the only planet other than ours where humans could potentially survive.

Venus and Mercury are way too hot, Pluto is way too cold, and the remaining four planets (Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune, and Saturn) have extreme environments that would kill any human (and don’t have solid surfaces to walk on anyway).

So really, that just leaves Mars, the fourth planet from the Sun. What would life on Mars be like? Read on to also find out how much youâ€™d weigh on Mars.

How Much Would You Weigh on Mars?

Unlike many planets in the solar system, Mars actually does have a solid surface to stand on. The gravitational pull on Mars is significantly weaker than that on Earth, however. On Mars, you would weigh approximately 38% of what you do on Earth. For example, a 100-pound person would weigh a mere 38 pounds on Mars.

The following is a table that depicts what people of different masses would weigh if they set foot on Mars (rounded to the nearest whole number):

How Is Weight on Mars Determined?

If you want to know why you would weigh so much less on Mars than you would on Earth, it’s good to know about the difference between mass and weight. Your mass is basically the amount of matter contained in your body. Your weight, on the other hand, is the amount of attraction between you and the center of Earth.

In order to calculate how much you would weigh on any planet, you would use the following equation, derived by Sir Isaac Newton: F=Mm/r2. M is the mass of the planet, m is your mass, and r is the distance between you and the planet’s center.

Mars is 11% less than the mass of Earth. Mars has a bit more than 10% of Earth’s volume (about 15%, to be a little more precise).

Mars is actually not perfectly spherical. It rotates on its axis, so it bulges slightly at the equator. The equatorial diameter is 4,222 miles, or 6,794 kilometers, while the diameter from pole to pole is 4,196 miles, or 6,752 kilometers. Of course, the radius is half of the diameter. For the calculation, we would use the mean radius of the planet.

Because both the radius and the mass of Mars are significantly lower than these parameters of Earth, it makes sense that your weight on Mars would be 38% of what it is on Earth.

What Would Other Things Weigh on Mars?

Any object that you know on this planet would weigh 38% of what you see on an earthly scale if it were to be moved to the surface of Mars.

A mid-size car is one example; it weighs about 3,000 to 3,500 pounds here, but it would weigh a mere 1,140 to 1,330 pounds on Mars. A standard basketball, which weighs 22 ounces (1 pound, 6 ounces) here, would only weigh 8.3 ounces on Mars. Weighing 8.6 ounces here, a gallon of milk would be a very light 3.3 ounces on Mars.

If you want to know how much something would weigh on Mars, just multiply its weight by a factor of 0.38, and there’s your answer!

How Much Does Mars Weigh?

The mass of Mars is 6.39 Ã— 1023 kilograms, or 1.41 Ã— 1024 pounds. As previously mentioned, it also has 71% of the Earth’s density and 15% of its volume – all of these factors are correlated with gravitational pull, which is why it follows that the gravitational pull of Mars is so low.

On the surface of Mars, there’s a thick layer of oxidized iron dust. The crust, underneath the dust, is mostly made up of volcanic basalt rock. About 6 to 30 miles (10 to 50 kilometers) thick, it contains nutrients, including potassium, magnesium, chloride, and sodium.

There isn’t much movement in the crust, compared to the tectonic plates of Earth. However, research has indicated the possibility of powerful landslides that may shape the surface of Mars.

According to evidence, there have not been any volcanic eruptions on Mars for millions of years. This indicates that the mantle underneath the crust is mostly or completely dormant. The mantle is composed mostly of oxygen, silicon, iron, and magnesium. According to NASA, it is likely between 770 and 1,170 miles (1,240 and 1,880 kilometers) thick.

Mars is thought to have a solid core at the center, made of nickel, iron, and sulfur. Scientists believe that this core is 930 to 1,300 miles (1,500 to 2,100 kilometers) in diameter.

Mars is too cold for the presence of liquid water, but features scientists have seen on the surface of the planet indicate that water did once flow on the planet. Now, there is ice in the soil, as well as sheets of ice in polar ice caps.

Could Any Life Survive on Mars?

Astronomers have not found any convincing evidence for life on Mars, past or present. The immobile core and lack of a planet-wide magnetic field make the planet vulnerable to radiation. Life forms could have dealt with this by staying underground.

Scientists have found signs that the planet may have been habitable in the past. The element boron was discovered by NASA’s Curiosity rover. This element plays a role in RNA synthesis.

Additionally, in July 1996, Dr. David McKay and his team of scientists at Johnson Space Center discovered potential fossils of bacteria in a meteorite that had come from Mars. However, there was no strong evidence that they were indeed fossils.

The atmosphere of Mars is also too thin to be able to support life in any form with which we are familiar. This atmosphere is approximately 95% carbon dioxide, and this very thin air very easily becomes dusty. Dust storms are very common on this planet.

However, long ago, temperatures were warmer, and the planet was covered with water. This is why, although no evidence of life on Mars has been found at this point, scientists are not ruling out the possibility that it did once exist.

Many scientists say that Mars is the one other planet in the solar system that humans may be able to inhabit at some point (of course with lots of equipment to assist!).

The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/Elen11

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