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Mars, Earth, and the sun are part of the Milky Way galaxy. A galaxy is made of many solar systems. Each solar system has a star at the center. A force called gravity pulls planets and moons toward the star. Bigger objects have stronger gravity. They pull smaller objects, such as the planets, toward them.

Mars’s red color inspired its name. The color reminded Roman people of blood. So they named the planet after Mars, a Roman god of war. The ancient Egyptians called Mars Her Desher. This name means “the red one.”

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Making Connections


Scientists study rocks on Mars to learn about the planet’s history. What is your favorite thing to learn about? How do you learn about it?


Have you read other books about planets? How are those planets similar to or different from Mars?


Mars is very dusty and dry. Can you think of some places on Earth that are like this?

Teacher Resources

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