How Long is a Day on Mars? And Other Interesting Facts About the Red Planet

Mars is our closest neighbour and could potentially become our new home if space missionaries are to be believed. But how many facts about Mars do we actually know? For example, how long is a day on Mars? What is it made of? How different is it from our home planet? Can we survive there? Discover this and many more facts about Mars below.

Quick Facts about Our Closest Neighbor

Mars, like Earth, has seasons, volcanoes, polar ice caps, weather, and canyons – all are confirmed facts. But humans can’t survive on Mars because its atmosphere barely has any oxygen for us to breathe. Scientists are curious to know if there has ever been life on Mars, but so far, we do not have any facts about this.

What is Mars made of?

Our potential colony is made of sulfur, nickel, and iron. Its core is surrounded by a rocky mantle that is 1,240 to 1,880 km thick. Aside from its core and its mantle, Mars also has a 10-50 km deep crust made of magnesium, calcium, potassium, aluminium, and iron. On its surface, it has a thin layer of red dust particles. This reddish hue results from iron oxides, one of the few confirmed facts about our neighbour.

How big is Mars?

Mars has a diameter of about 6.779 km and is situated 228 million km ( 1.5 astronomical units) from the Sun. It has a radius of 3.390 km, so it’s less than half of our planet. A few more fun facts: if Earth were a nickel, Mars would be a raspberry. And while it is not too large, Mars is also the brightest night sky object from our perspective, so astronomers have used all sorts of technologically advanced telescopes to study it. They have classified this planet as terrestrial, and when it comes to size, it’s the Solar System’s second smallest planet. More curious facts about our neighbour – you could fill the Earth with 6.62 planets the size of Mars!

How long is a day on Mars compared to Earth?

According to Orbital Today, a day on this planet is slightly longer, which is determined by Mars’s period of rotation. One Martian day,  called a “sol,” lasts about 24 hours, 37 minutes, and 22 seconds. In Math facts, a day on Mars is 1.03 Earth days. Just like on our planet, daily length is calculated from one noontime to the next one. The planet’s obliquity or axial tilt and orbit eccentricity determine how many seconds there are in a solar day on Mars. More fan facts: there is a ‘Mars clock,’ used in spacecraft lander projects and it it ticks 2.75 slower than terrestrial clocks to cover this difference.

How long is a year on Mars?

Mars’s distance from the Sun determines how long a year on Mars lasts – just like on all other planets. Our potential colony makes a complete orbit around the Sun in 687 Earth days, and this is the Martian year. A year on Mars is called a sidereal year, lasting 668.5991 sols. This year is twice as long as a year on our planet, which is one of the other confirmed facts.

When compared to Earth, Mars is slower because it is located at a greater distance from the Sun. This is why its full rotation cycle takes so long. A longer year means seasons on this planet are longer, too.

More curious facts: NASA is advancing many new technologies, as it plans to send astronauts to Mars by 2030. They will have to adapt to the timing and seasonal activity on the Red Planet.

Could humans survive on Mars?

Not only Mars’s temperature but also the planet’s atmosphere would not allow humans to survive on this planet. Known facts about Mars confirm that the temperature here is very cold during the night, reaching minus 100°F. Besides, there are also dust storms on Mars, the radiation levels here are very high, and there’s less gravity than on Earth. The air on the Red Planet is very thin, too.

Here are more atmospheric facts to compare: on Earth, 21% of its composition is oxygen, and the conditions for human life are ideal, but on Mars, oxygen makes up only 0.13% of the air. The rest is mostly carbon dioxide. Lastly, the thin atmosphere of Mars can’t block the space’s ultraviolet radiation. This type of radiation destroys every living creature and thing on the surface of any planet.

So far, these facts confirm that our closest neighbour will not be a welcoming environment for humans. And yet, we are eager to explore it. So stay tuned for more facts about Mars and other planets!

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button