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Mars



Mars
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.93

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    movie-style, radiation, finding, invasion, best, launched, meteorite, presented, spacecraft, atmosphere, airbags, original, orbit, immediately, prove, broadcast
     content words:    Viking II


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Mars
By Sharon Fabian
  

1     There is a story called The War of the Worlds. It is about an invasion of aliens from Mars. Back before the time of TV, The War of the Worlds was presented as a radio play. As people everywhere turned on their radios and heard what sounded like a news broadcast about a Martian invasion, they began to panic. For a long time, people had wondered whether there was life on Mars, and now suddenly it seemed that, not only were there creatures living on Mars, but the creatures were coming to attack us here on Earth.
 
2     Well, that was only a story, but people do have good reasons to wonder whether there might have been life forms on Mars at one time. Mars is next to the Earth in the solar system, and is probably more like Earth than any other planet. It has some of the same chemicals that Earth has on its surface and in its atmosphere. It has some water vapor in its air and ice caps at the poles. Mars gets lots of sunlight, and it has a solid surface to walk on.
 
3     However, in other ways, Mars is very different from our planet. Its atmosphere is very thin; it gets so much solar radiation that any creatures on Mars would get an instant sunburn. It is a dry and dusty planet, much of it coated with red, rusty Martian dust. The average surface temperature on Mars is about -60 degrees Celsius, way below freezing. The biggest difference of all is that Mars has no liquid water on its surface.

Paragraphs 4 to 9:
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