I developed this theoretical activity based on KS4-5 chemistry, physics and maths for delivery on my Mars in a Box workshop – a Mars-related extension to the Solar System in a Box workshop.
In this activity students calculate the mass of the Earth and Mars atmosphere from first principles and go on to calculate the height of the Martian atmosphere. The thickness of the Martian atmosphere is one of the reasons why it’s surface is scarred by numerous impact craters. Earth’s atmosphere is very thick, in excess of 700 km. It protects life on the surface from impact events and harmful radiation. Unlike the Earth, the Mars atmosphere it is too thin to ablate or destroy incoming asteroids and meteoroids.
This activity was developed with funding from a UKSA Space for All Grant 2012/2013