National Geographic's 'A Traveler's Guide to the Planets' Is Ultimate in Adventure Travel

Mars and Phobos

No trip around the solar system would be complete without at least a pit stop at the red planet.

The Martian landscapes features deep canyons and hulking volcanoes and the planet has not seen rain for million, maybe billions, of years, scientists say.

As the animation above shows, meteorites pummel the planet's surface with relative frequency. According to National Geographic, 200 big holes are blown into the Martian surface each year from falling meteorites.

Mars' moon Phobos is also an attraction for those with planet-hopping aspirations. It's only about 17 miles long but some think it could be a stepping-stone for the first human mission to Mars.

Pluto

Now considered a "dwarf planet," Pluto can't be seen without a telescope.

Since its discovery in 1930, it was considered to the be the ninth planet in the solar system but was demoted in 2006 because its small size and irregular orbit.

But though it may be diminutive, Pluto still keeps scientists interested.

Earlier this month, images from the Hubble Space Telescope indicated that the dwarf planet's colors were changing. The photos show a Pluto that is redder than it has appeared for the past several decades.

Astronomers have reportedly said Pluto is about 20 percent more red than it used to.

National Geographic Channel's "A Traveler's Guide to the Planets" premiered Sunday, Feb. 14, 2010 at 9 p.m. ET/PT and continues Monday, Feb. 15, 2010 at 9 p.m. ET/PT and 10 p.m. ET/PT and Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 9 p.m. ET/PT and 10 p.m. ET/PT. For more information, click here.

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