Mars disk

Seasons on Mars aren’t much like they are on Earth. The red planet’s axial tilt is 25.19°. That’s slightly more than Earth’s. So the sun goes through equinox and solstices. But a Martian year is about twice as long as Earth’s. The planet is farther from the sun. And Mars has a much thinner atmosphere and lacks oceans. On top of all that, Mars is in a more elliptical orbit than Earth which causes the red planet’s seasons to vary considerably in length. And of course, without vegetation you’ll find nothing like plants blooming in the spring and losing their leaves in the fall.

There are sometimes big dust storms that obscure the surface features as seasons change. That causes greenish areas to appear to shrink and grow as red dust covers them and is later blown off of them. And you’ll see the Martian polar ice caps growing and shrinking over the course of two years on Earth. In an era past, this caused some observers to believe Mars has vegetation and seasons much more like Earth’s.

In 2017, the northward equinox on Mars occurs on May 5 at 11:45 Universal Time. The northern solstice is on November 20 at 01:43.

 

 

2017-May-05 11:45 Mars northward equinox.
2017-Nov-20 01:43 Mars northern solstice.

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