Extra days and odd calendar distribution on the red planet

Well, as you know by now February usually has 28 days. And this leap year there are 29, so this year will last one day longer. Did you know that throughout history, February has literally served for calendar corrections?

In fact, do you remember the thirteenth, supernumerary, month called Mercedonius that was inserted every now and then between February 23 and 24? It lasted 27 or 28 days!

As bizarre as it seems, this is how it once was. But this is all as long as we are talking about February, the second consecutive month during the calendar year on our planet, Earth.

However, today we are not talking about February on Earth, but about February on Mars, the second stage of human expansion into the vastness of space. Chronological time is calculated quite differently there.

Before we get started on the Martian calendar, did you know that for the last twenty years here on Earth we have people who live according to the Martian calendar?

Their hours, daily duties, rhythm of work and sleep are adapted to Mars. It’s about humans piloting robots on Mars!

The average distance of Mars from the Sun is 227.92 million kilometers from the Sun (Earth is a little less than 150 million kilometers from the Sun). As a result, Mars needs twice as long to go around its parent star as it does for Earth.

One year there lasts like two of our years. Children will start elementary school at just over three years old, they will get their driver’s license at nine years old, our centenarians will have pandas there at only 50 years old.

The female population on Mars will not need to lie about their age. A 20-year-old Martian girl corresponds in age to a 40-year-old Earth girl.

A day on Mars (called SOL) lasts 24h37m22s, according to Earth’s time calculation. Apparently, the difference is not too big, but in just a couple of SOLs it amounts to several hours.

A year on Mars lasts 668.5907 SOL. Twice as long as on Earth. Summers and winters are too long, autumn and spring too short. Temperatures at the equator rise to +25°C in summer and drop to over -120°C at night.

Division of time and calendar distribution as we have here on Earth will not be possible. According to one of the calendar proposals, the months on Mars will need to be distributed so that twenty of them have 28 SOLs each, and the remaining four have 27 SOLs each.

A year on Mars lasts about twenty-four months! The shorter months will be at the end of each quarter, which will somehow correspond to our seasons.

February on Mars will last 28 days there, like all non-leap Februarys on Earth. If we translate this into a mathematical calculation in terms of Earth hours, things look a little different. February on the red planet will last 688 hours, while February on the blue planet will last 672 hours during that same period.

Yes, it’s not that simple either. In layman’s terms, our descendants on the neighboring world will have everything doubled. Whether they will have February 1st and 2nd or will call the months something else, it remains for them up there to agree on. Future history books will hopefully be filled with new ways of living on the red planet.

Glogovac Nevena-Nancy is a geodesy & geoinformatics engineer by trade and a wordsmith at heart. By holding onto fate’s rocky learning curve and her natural flair for the extraordinary, the worlds of science and creativity melted and unified into a singular path. Moreover, having been born on the same soil as the geniuses Nikola Tesla, Mihajlo Pupin and Milutin Milankovic provided an educational basis for Nevena to continue the voyages they had begun. Led simply by the curious need to discover more. A small but meaningful contribution to this personal endeavor has been joining forces with the visionary OSR team, where astrology and astronomy go back to their common roots, so 'If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.'