Global Geological And Climatic Events

How long is a year on other planets?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Revolution of Earth and other planets around the Sun

Mains level: NA

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.

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

It’s a mean task to consider this PYQ from 2013, Huh!

Q.Which planet was downgraded to dwarf planet status?

(a) Pluto

(b) Mars

(c) Earth

(d) Venus

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