How Long Is A Year On Mars?

A year on Mars is equal to 687 days on Earth.
How Long Is A Year On Mars?

Mars is a fascinating planet and one that many scientists are heavily exploring. It is similar to earth in some ways and research is looking into if humans could ever live there. Learning more about this planet will help you to better understand how things work on Mars.

How Long is a Year on Mars?

A year on Mars is equal to 687 days on Earth. On May 5, 2017, the sun will cross the Mars equator as this planet passes solar longitude 0. This is an event referred to as the vernal equinox and it marks the new year on Mars. As of this date, it is considered to be year 34 on Mars. Here on Earth, the vernal equinox does not mark the new year, but it marks the beginning of the spring season. The day it occurs is different in the Southern and Northern Hemispheres. Up north, this occurs in March and down south it occurs in September.

how long is a year on mars
A view from the “Kimberley” formation on Mars taken by NASA’s Curiosity rover. The strata in the foreground dip towards the base of Mount Sharp, indicating flow of water toward a basin that existed before the larger bulk of the mountain formed.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Breaking Down a Year on Mars

Just like Earth Mars has four seasons, but due to the eccentric orbit of this planet, the seasons tend to have more variation. The orbital speed of this planet also tends to vary and this has an impact on the variation. It is usually the slowest at aphelion and fastest at perihelion. On average, the seasons on Mars last twice as long as they do on earth. Compared to aphelion, there is approximately 40 percent more energy from the sun during the time of perihelion on Mars because of a closer proximity to the sun.

Now you know more about Mars and have a better idea about how time passes on this planet. You can use this information to boost your knowledge of space and to spur further learning about the galaxy.

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Lauren studies astronomy and physics at NYU.