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Mars Exploration

Mars in a Minute: How Long is a Year on Mars?   

Martian New Year

On May 5, 2017, Mars passes solar longitude 0 as the Sun crosses the equator on Mars. This is the vernal equinox, and was chosen by planetary scientists as the start of a new year (A Mars year is 687 Earth days). This is year 34 on Mars.

Mars Fact / Year
This animation shows that a year on Mars is almost twice as long as a year on Earth.

The Length of a Year on Mars

For any planet, a year is the time it takes to make one orbit around the sun

Because Mars is farther away from the sun, it has to travel a greater distance around the sun. It takes Mars about twice as long as it does for Earth to make one circle around the sun. Therefore, a year on Mars lasts twice as long.

(Northern Hemisphere)
Length of
Season on Earth
Length of
Season on Mars

Mars Seasons

Mars has four seasons, roughly twice as long as those on Earth, but with more variation given Mars' eccentric orbit and the fact its orbital speed varies more as result (fastest when at perihelion; slowest at aphelion)

Earth & Mars Seasons

2017 Mars New Year Celebration

Did you know that there's a U.S. city named Mars? Mars, Pennsylvania hosts an annual Mars New Year celebration and NASA is participating in this two-day science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) event to inspire young people to pursue innovation and exploration. Check out the image gallery below from the Mars New Year celebration in 2017.

2015 Mars New Year Celebration

Check out the image gallery below from the Mars New Year celebration in 2015.