If you are looking for a reason to celebrate then mark 7 February on your calendars as it marks the start of a new year on planet Mars. The year on Mars will be 36. So we thought we would detail some of the differences and similarities between an Earth year and a Martian year.

A key difference is the length of the years on each planet. One year on Mars equals 687 Earth days so it takes almost twice as long as our Earth to orbit the Sun. This means that if you lived on Mars your age would be a lot less than your age now. To find out your Martian age just divide your current age by 1.88. I think I will go by my Martian age from now on!

We have also mentioned that the year on Mars will be 36. We are currently in the year 2021 so its seems a little low in terms of the year don’t you think? Well there is an explanation for this. The Martian calendar began fairly recently compared to the one on Earth. The count started in Earth year 1955.

So a year is different between Mars and Earth, but a day is quite similar. A Martian day is defined, like on Earth, as the time it takes for the planet to make one revolution around its axis. This is called a sol, and it is only slightly longer than an Earth day at 24 hours and 39 minutes.

Like on Earth Mars has seasons with winters cold and summers warm, but the planet’s overall temperature is a lot cooler than Earth with a yearly average temperature of minus 60 degrees Celsius. The planet also experiences different weather phenomena throughout the seasons. A weather phenomenon that reappears every year around the southern spring and summer is the Arsia Mons Elongated Cloud, a cloud of ice crystals that can reach up to 1800 kilometres in length. It repeats for at least 80 sols and then disappears again during the rest of the year.

The white streak on the left is the Arsia Mons Elongated Cloud. Credit: NASA

The dates of the next couple of New Years on Mars can be found in the table below. 

Mars yearEarth date
36Feb 07 2021
37Dec 26 2022
38Nov 12 2024
39Sep 30 2026
40Aug 17 2028


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