Friday, February 3, 2023

Winter on Mars begins July 21, 2022

Based on Chinese satellite surveillance, Zurong, area Mars’ north enters winter on July 21, 2022, and the northern region is the coldest season of the year.

Why is there a winter solstice on Mars too? What is the weather like on Mars? Astronomers of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have revealed the mystery here.

reported from China Science and Technology Network Tuesday (19/07/2022), Wang Kechao (王科超), director of popular science at the Purple Mountain Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said, like Earth, Mars not only rotates on its axis, but also orbits. around the sun.

The inclination of Mars’ rotation axis is 25.19 degrees, so that the point of the Sun also moves between 25.19 degrees north and south latitude during one orbital cycle.

Like Earth, Mars has an alternating day and night and four seasons, when the sun shines directly on Mars’ southernmost point, which is 25.19 degrees south latitude, the winter solstice.

This year Mars will celebrate the winter solstice on July 21.

The rotation period of Mars is 24 hours 37 minutes and 22.7 seconds, which is very close to Earth. But the year of Mars is much longer than the year of Earth.

Wang Kechao stated that the orbital period of Mars is about 687 Earth days, that is, 1 Martian year is equal to about 1.9 Earth years, which means that each season on Mars is about 6 months long. The last winter solstice on Mars was September 2, 2020, this time on July 21, 2022.

Mars’ orbit around the Sun is an ellipse with an eccentricity of 0.093, much more flat than Earth’s orbit, and the length of the seasons on Mars will be more uneven.

Since Mars’ winter solstice is closer to perihelion, astronomers have calculated that spring and summer in Mars’ northern hemisphere are about a third longer than autumn and winter.

The temperature of the four seasons on Mars is also very different from the temperature of Earth. Wang Kechao noted that the distance from Mars to the Sun is 1.52 times the distance between the Sun and Earth, and receives less solar radiation energy, which is only 43% from Earth. This makes the weather on Mars cooler than on Earth. “For example, in May this year, the northern hemisphere of Mars entered winter, and the lowest night temperatures also dropped to minus 100 degrees Celsius.”

When the northern hemisphere of Mars enters winter, Mars rotates around perihelion, and the intensity of solar radiation is greater. At this time, the southern hemisphere of Mars is in summer and the difference in temperature of both the hemispheres is high. Which easily causes a dust storm on Mars, which can last for 3 months.

Wang Kechao said Martian wind speeds during a severe storm can reach 180 meters per second, which is 2.6 times the wind speed of a Category 5 hurricane on Earth. However, the air pressure on the surface of Mars is just over 600 Pa, which is less than 1% of the pressure at Earth’s surface. Therefore, such a high-velocity storm can generate only a small amount of dust, which is much less than the surface pressure of a dust storm on Earth.

Nation World News Desk
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