What Causes the Red Color of Mars?

Mars, the red planet, as seen from space. (Picture from: http://www.cbsnews.com/)
Curiosity spacecraft that landed on Mars in another week has sent a number of photographs showing the condition of the red planet. Unlike the Earth looks blue from space, Mars actually red. Why red?

A simple explanation of the color red planet's surface is regolith or material that contains iron oxide. The compound is a corrosive material and blood red. But what makes scientists wonder is why Mars has so much iron? Why iron is oxidized? And why iron oxide red look?

It started at 4.5 billion years ago. When the solar system formed, many planets have little iron. Heavy elements is surrounded by a vortex cloud of gas and dust are attracted by gravity to form the sun and planets.
Mars is red now, but it may have looked like charcoal in the past. (Picture from: http://www.foxnews.com/)
This theory is difficult to prove because of the iron in the Earth's buried deep in the Earth's core when the planet was young and not yet solidified. Scientists from the U.S. space agency (NASA) tried researching it on Mars, which are smaller and less differentiated gravity is so weak. Mars does have an iron core, but abundance of iron content was also found in the lining of the planet's surface.

Iron plain black looks shiny. The element was only reddish when exposed to oxygen and oxygen requires large enough to turn it into iron oxide composed of two atoms of iron and three atoms of oxygen.

There are various theories why the iron on the surface of Mars is oxidized to rust, starting early storm when Mars was young and wet oxidation process that lasts up to billions of years, when the sun break down carbon dioxide and other molecules in the atmosphere to produce oxidants such as hydrogen peroxide and ozone. In 2009, a group of Danish scientists suspect Mars sandstorm to destroy the rusty iron making quartz crystals are also present in the regolith so that oxygen-rich surface exposed. *** [LIVESCIENCE | KORAN TEMPO 3971]
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