The dunes of Mars are almost free of their seasonal ice cap due to the arrival of the Martian summer, some ice can still be seen in the areas protected by the shade.
After seven months of a 480 million kilometers travel, NASA’s Perseverance rover will land over Jezero crater on Mars this Thursday.
After penetrating the atmosphere of the red planet at high speed, a gigantic parachute will stop the ship and retro rockets will stabilize the platform a few meters above the ground, to deposit the rover thanks to a rope system: this will last 7 minutes.
Mars and Earth have similar seasons.
The rover’s main mission is to search for traces of past life on the red planet. Experts hope to find fossils of bacteria or microbes.
The axis of Mars is tilted 25.2º, an inclination very similar to that of the Earth’s axis. Therefore, the seasons of both planets are very similar.
Mars is known as the red planet.
Summers on Mars last twice as long as on Earth.
One important difference is that since the year on Mars lasts 687 days, the seasons are almost twice as long.
The year on Mars lasts 687 days.
Another influential factor for the manifestation of the seasons is the elliptical orbit of Mars, which makes the northern hemisphere more temperate than the southern hemisphere.
Summers in the south are hot and fast, while winters are cold and long.
Mars is normally a cold planet.
During the Martian summer the hottest moment can reach temperatures of up to 20ºC during the day and drop to -80ºC at night.
However, the change from one season to another is not very noticeable. With some exceptions such as the variation in the size of the polar ice caps or the greater presence of dust storms during the summer.
I’m a science journalist and host of Cosmic Controversy (brucedorminey.podbean.com) as well as author of “Distant Wanderers: the Search for Planets Beyond the Solar System.” I primarily cover aerospace and astronomy. I’m a former Hong Kong bureau chief for Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine and former Paris-based technology correspondent for the Financial Times newspaper who has reported from six continents. A 1998 winner in the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Aerospace Journalist of the Year Awards (AJOYA), I’ve interviewed Nobel Prize winners and written about everything from potato blight to dark energy. Previously, I was a film and arts correspondent in New York and Europe, primarily for newspaper outlets like the International Herald Tribune, the Boston Globe and Canada’s Globe & Mail. Recently, I’ve contributed to Scientific American.com, Nature News, Physics World, and Yale Environment 360.com. I’m a current contributor to Astronomy and Sky & Telescope and a correspondent for Renewable Energy World. Twitter @bdorminey