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Mars has been hit by some pretty large impactors throughout its history, and some large impact craters are visible even through a small telescope, such as the Hellas and Argyre basins. However the likely cause would be asteroid or cometary impacts. Mars doesn't have a magnetosphere and so it's surface is not shielded from high energy solar particles etc, therefore it's surface is sterile. And the planet is too small to hold onto any appreciable atmosphere and so it is more like our Moon than the Earth. The fact that there is little or no active volcanism, and therefore very little atmosphere as well as no magnetosphere, is indication of a limited molten core.


Edited by mikeDnight
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