Saturday, June 19, 2021
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How long is a year on other planets?

For us, 365 days make up a year because Earth takes as many days to complete one orbit of the Sun. But have you ever wondered how many days make up a year on other planets?

What determines the length of a year?

The length of a year on any planet depends on where the planet is orbiting. Planets that are closer to the Sun than Earth will have fewer days in a year, while those rotating farther away will take many more days to make up a year. This is because of two reasons – planets that are closer to the Sun will take a shorter time to orbit it than those farther away, and the closer a planet orbits the Sun, the Sun’s gravity can pull on the planet, making the planet orbit faster.

Why should we care?

To send a spacecraft to another planet, we need to know where the planet is in orbit. This will help us plan and manoeuvre the spacecraft accordingly. Imagine not knowing where a planet is in orbit; we’d be looking all over the universe for that one planet!

How long each planet takes to orbit the Sun (in Earth days):

Mercury: 88 days

Venus: 225 days

Earth: 365 days

Mars: 687 days

Jupiter: 4,333 days

Saturn: 10,759 days

Uranus: 30,687 days

Neptune: 60,190 days

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