How Much Time Is One Day on Mars?

The rotational periods of Earth and Mars are almost the same.
••• Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images

Mars, the fourth planet in the solar system, is about half the size of Earth, it's half again as far from the sun and its year is almost twice as long. The length of its day, however, is not much different. It varies by less than an hour.

Length of the Martian Day

As viewed from the stars, Mars takes 24 hours and 37 minutes to complete a rotation. This is called a sidereal day, which is a little shorter than a solar day, which is the time it takes for the sun to return to the same position in the sky, as viewed by an observer on the surface. A solar day in Mars is 24 hours and 39 minutes long.

Comparison With Earth

Because Earth is nearly twice as large as Mars, there's a four-minute difference between its sidereal and solar days. A solar day is 24 hours, but a sidereal day is 23 hours and 56 minutes. In terms of solar days, the Martian day is 39 minutes longer than Earth's, but in terms of sidereal days, the Martian day is 41 minutes longer.

Related Articles

What Is the Length of Day on Mercury?
Which Planet Moves the Slowest Along Its Orbital Path?
Calendar Year vs. Earth Orbit
What Are the Four Planets Closest to the Sun Called?
What Is Venus's Revolution Period in Earth Days?
What Causes the Day/Night Cycle on Earth?
What is the Distance From Saturn to the Sun?
What Is the Darkest Portion of the Moon's Shadow During...
What Are the Eight Phases of the Moon in Order?
The Differences Between a Universe, Galaxy & Solar...
Why Are Days Longer and Shorter?
Facts About Neptune for a School Project
Saturn Facts for Children
How to Calculate a Planet's Revolution Around the Sun
Order of the Planets by the Distance From the Sun
The Difference Between Solar & Lunar Years
What Are the Planets in Our Solar System Held in Their...
What Is the Average Temperature of Jupiter?
Which Layer of the Earth's Crust Contains the Highest...

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!