A Year On Mars: Curious Time Facts On The Red Planet Revealed

Anusuya Mukherjee
Nov 01, 2023 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on Dec 16, 2021
Mars planet of the solar system.

Mars is named after the Roman God of War.

Mars, famously called the Red Planet, is the second smallest planet in our Solar system. The fourth planet from the Sun after Mercury, Venus, and Earth. Scientists believe that life is possible on Mars.

Mars’ surface appears to be red because of the presence of iron oxide. It has a thin atmosphere, valleys, desserts, ice caps, and an impact crater. It takes twice as long as Earth to complete its revolution around the Sun. Many spaceships have been sent by NASA to mars for various missions.

Mars has the highest mountain and biggest volcano in the entire Solar system. It is visible from Earth and can be seen without a telescope. It has two moons Phobos and Deimos. Mars is considered habitable after the Earth.

This is because of its thin atmosphere and solid surface. Valerie Vladimirovich Polyakov has lived in space for the longest time to date. He traveled in the Mir Space Station and lived in space for 437 days and 18 hours.

The Earth’s diameter is twice as long as that of Mars. The Mars year consists of 687 days. Mars has an elliptical orbit. Mars Solar day consists of 24 hours, 39 minutes, and 35 seconds.

The Mars hemispheres are also different from each other. The northern hemisphere has a much smoother surface and has low elevation. The southern hemisphere on the other hand has a rough surface and has various impact craters.

The seasons also vary in the northern hemisphere and southern hemispheres. The average Martian climate is -81 C (-113.8 F). The last northern spring equinox of Mars was on February 7, 2021.

The planetary motion of Mars is from west to east. Till now there have been 36 Martian New Years as observed by our scientists. The next Mars year begins on December 26, 2022.

After reading interesting facts about the Martian year, also check facts about a valley where 800 pyramids were built and how does zero gravity work?

Mars' Size, Orbit, And Distance From Earth

From all over space, Mars is the most searched planet. The Red Planet is quite similar yet different from our planet Earth. Here are a few facts about the orbit, size, and distance of Mars.

The radius of Mars from its equator is 2,106 mi (3,389.3 km). Its size is about half (53%) the size of Earth (radius of the Earth is 3958.8 mi (6,371 km). The diameter of Mars is 4,220 mi (6791.4 km).

It is the second smallest planet in our Solar System, after Mercury. Mars completes one revolution around the Sun in about 1.88 years of Earth.

The orbit of Mars is an ellipse in shape and it is elongating further. Mars orbits at the speed of 53,700 mph (86421.8 kph). The average orbit distance of Mars from the Sun is 142 million mi (228.5 million km).

The inclination to orbit from the equator is 25.2 degrees. The minimum distance of Mars from Earth is approximately 33.9 million mi (54.6 million km). Though the distance keeps changing because both the planets keep moving in their respective orbits

Mars Day Length And Night Length

Mars year, day, and night are quite different from that of Earth. Earth’s diameter is twice as long as Mars’ diameter. Its year begins on December 26, 2022. NASA has spent various space crafts to Mars throughout the years. Here are a few facts about the day and night length of Mars.

The day and night cycle of Mars can be easily compared to that of the Earth. Martian Day is Mars’ average duration of the day and night cycle. A day on Mars is about 24 hours, 39 minutes, and 35.44 seconds.

A day on Mars is equal to 1.02 days on Earth. The day and night cycle of Mars changes just like that of Earth.

The equator of Mars may get sunlight for almost 12 hours a day. The poles of Mars usually get sunlight for the whole day for a few months continuously. The duration of day and night on Mars changes from location to location and time of the year.

Mars the red planet in space.

How many days is a year on Mars?

There are 687 days in a Mars year. One year of Mars is equal to approximately two years of Earth. The year on Mars is also known as Mars year or Martian year.

The year is longer on mass due to a few reasons. The speed at which Mars revolves around is a bit slower than that of the Earth.

Mars is farther away from the Sun as compared to the Earth. The distance between Mars and Sun is about 142 million mi (228.5 million km). Thus, it takes much longer to complete an orbit around the Sun.

Similar to the Earth, there are four Mars seasons- Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. But these seasons are much longer on Mars. The seasons are not of the same length due to their different axial tilt and orbit. Spring is the longest season on Mars. Each hemisphere of Mars doesn’t experience the same seasons due to the same reason.

Is a year on Mars the same as a year on earth?

The Earth is about 93.2 million mi (150 million km) away from the Sun. It revolves at a speed of 66,616 mph (107,208 kph). The Earth takes approximately 365 days to orbit around the Sun or complete one revolution around the Sun.

On the other hand, Mars is about 142 million mi (228.5 million km) away from the Sun. Mars is slower than the Earth for completing its orbit. The speed at which it orbits around the Sun is 53,700 mph (86421.8 kph).

Due to these reasons, Mars takes about 687 Earth days to complete one orbit around the Sun or revolution around the Sun. Hence, a Martian year consists of 687 days. A year on Mars is equivalent to 1.88 years on Earth. The Earth and Mars come closest to each other every 26 months.

Since the year is longer on mars, the seasons are long too but they vary between the hemispheres.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy!

If you liked our suggestions for a year on Mars: curious facts on red planet revealed for kids then why not take a look at everything you've wanted to know about Halicarnassus, Turkey, or Colorado history facts: How it became a state, how old it is and more?

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Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

Anusuya Mukherjee picture

Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

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