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What are the effects of the seasons on Mars?

”Does Mars have seasons?”

Yes, Mars has seasons.

Why does Mars have seasons?

Because, like Earth, its axis is tilted away from the Sun.

The most noticeable features of Mars are the ice caps at its north and south poles. Since Mars is tilted at an angle like Earth is, it has seasons, as we do.

The effect of the seasons can be clearly seen in the growing and shrinking of the polar ice caps.

The planet experiences all four seasons that the Earth does, but, since the year is longer on the planet, the axial tilt is different, and Mars has a more eccentric orbit than Earth, the seasons are not the same length as each other or the same in each hemisphere.

seasons on mars

image source: wikimedia commons



On Mars, in the northern hemisphere to be exact, spring is the longest season. The Martian year is nearly twice as long as an Earth year(1.88 years), the seasons last longer as well. Here is how a Martian year in the north breaks down: Spring…7 months, Summer…6 months, Fall…5.3 months, and Winter…just over 4 months. Even in the summer months it is very cold. Temperatures at the height of the season may not top -20 C. In the south the temperatures can be as much as 30 C warmer during the same season. The great fluctuations in temperature and the difference in warmth between hemispheres can cause huge dust storms. Some can affect just a small area, while others can cover the entire planet. The larger storms usually occur when the planet is near its aphelion(closest point to the Sun). When there are global dust storms there is no way for scientists to visualize the planet’s surface.

Another seasonal change has long created an impression that there is some form of plant life in low-lying areas. These areas change from blue-green in summer, to brown in winter.