What Are Seasons Like On Solar System Planets?

The fascinating planets and their unique seasons. From Mercury’s scorching heat and slow rotation to Venus’s longer days than years.

Video of the day January 4th 2020


When you think about the planets, it’s more than just their composition, it’s about the days and years that they have, as well as their seasons. Join me as we break down the planets and their times and seasons.


Yes, we’re going in reverse order, isn’t that fun?

Mercury is a very interesting planet in a whole host of ways, not the least of which is because of the fact that it is indeed the closest planet to the sun. Because of this, it has certain…perks, as well as disadvantages. First and foremost, it’s the closest planet to the sun, which means that it is indeed the hottest planet because it’s only 35 million miles from the sun. Now yes, I’m sure that this SEEMS like a long distance, but when you’re talking about the sun? A sun that is 860,000 miles in diameter? That’s not as far as you think.

Because of this, it only takes about 89 days for Mercury to have a years rotation around the sun, and as for how long a day is…well…that’s where the twist comes in. Because you see, a “day” is the amount of time it takes for a planet to rotate around its axis, right? Well, for Mercury, it has a VERY slow rotation.

To the extent that it actually takes over 58 Earth days just rotate around its axis…ONCE. Can I just say it? that’s a REALLY long time!

In fact, if you do the math, that would mean that the “day count” for about a year on Mercury is just over 1 1/2 days. That’s some really weird planet calendar, am I right?

Oh, and because of the heat that is blasted onto the planet, there are no seasons. Mainly because it’s a constant torrent of heat that is truly never ending, adding alongside the slow rotation of the planet of course.

And you wonder why we’re not eager to go colonize Mercury


Venus is known as our “sister planet”, because in many ways it’s like Earth. It’s only a little bit smaller, has an atmosphere that is full of gasses, and we do know that it has a definitive surface like certain other planets in our solar system. Although it should be noted that despite the similarities to Earth, Venus is one of two planets (the other is Mercury) that doesn’t have a moon. Many are curious about that, but I digress. 

If you want to get really trippy, you need to talk about how Venus handles its days and years. Because not unlike Mercury, Venus has a VERY slow rotation, but to the extent that it’s actually longer than a year! Yeah, that’s right, a day is longer than a year on Venus. Its orbital period, or how long it takes to make a full rotation around the sun, is about 225 Earth days, whereas a singular day on Venus is 243 days. That’s weird.

When it comes to the seasons on Venus, it’s not much better, in fact, it’s kind of worse. As you likely know, the temperature on Venus is extremely hot. The average temperature is about 460 degrees Celsius due to the Greenhouse Effect that essentially turned the planet into an oven. That’s a big reason why we don’t dare try and colonize Venus, because anything we’d make would have to be able to withstand that heat, and that’s not easy.

Plus, the tilt of the axis on the planet is so minimal that the temperature honestly doesn’t change on the surface of the planet. When you add that up, it means that Venus is a place that nobody wants to live on…unless you’re talking about in the atmosphere where it’s technically possible for us to live…but that’s another list.

Shall we move on to the planet we adore?


Ok, sure, you likely know all about how the Earth works, but can we just take a moment and acknowledge how nearly perfect the Earth is in terms of its rotations, its year orbit, and the seasons that we have? Because sometimes it’s hard to appreciate something that you expect to be working just because it has for a few billion years.

Given its distance from the sun, the Earth orbits it once every 365 days, and 366 days on a leap year, which is once every 4 years. Which we can expect this upcoming February 2020, where we get the legendary February 29th. As for a day, the Earth rotates once every 24 hours. Which gives us plenty of time to live our lives, get some work done, be with people we care about, get about 8 hours of sleep…and still complain that there isn’t enough time in the day. I’m just saying.

And of course, for our seasons, we have spring, which is nice and pretty and cool. Summer, which can be hot, but is also when school isn’t around. Fall, a season signaling what’s to come, and a warning for animals to get ready for winter. And Winter…which is cold, and has snow, and ice…but it also has Christmas, so that helps balance it out I guess.

Have you ever wondered why our seasons are so much better than the other planets in the solar system? That’s because of our axial tilt. You see, the planets are on an axis, and that axis tilts over the course of the orbital year. For Earth, that tilt is 23.4 degrees, which means that while one hemisphere gets a lot of heat and sun (which is Spring and Summer), the other hemisphere gets less energy (Fall and Winter), and then during the year that tilt swings from one side to the other. Which is the two hemispheres have different timings when it comes to the seasons.

We really lucked out with Earth, and even with the threat of Global Warming mucking things up in terms of heating, timing of and length of seasons and more, it’s not yet something we can’t endure. So regardless of what season you’re in now, please enjoy where you’re at. Because it always could be like the other planets which are FAR less comfortable.

Before we continue on our solar system trek, be sure to like our video and subscribe to the channel! That way you don’t miss our weekly videos!

Mars sunrise


In terms of planets that are just as important as Earth, Mars is very high up on the list for most people, not the least of which is because the red planet is the one planet at the moment that humanity thinks it can colonize. Which obviously means it’s good enough to live on and that its days, years, and seasons won’t wreck us, right?

Well, for the most part…yeah. There are some stark contrasts though that need to be pointed out. First and foremost, a year on Mars is almost double that on Earth. Earth’s is 365 days, and Mars’ is 687 days. This is due to the fact that Mars is much farther away from the sun than Earth is, and thus has farther to go.

Now, on the flipside though, the rotation of Mars is just barely slower than Earth’s. So instead of a 24 hour day, we actually have a 25 hour day. That’s not too bad of a twist, right?

As for the seasons, that’s a bit trickier. Because on one hand, it does have Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter in the overarching sense. But they all last over 150 days roughly versus the 90 day average of Earth. Plus, since Mars’ orbit is elliptical and not circular, it has two additional seasons called aphelion and perihelion. Meaning that it’s got a new season when it’s closest to the sun, and one season when it’s farthest away from the sun.

If humanity is going to last on Mars, we’re going to need to adapt to the seasonal changes. Especially in regards to how the temperatures on the planet can swing wildly from day to night as well as season to season on the surface.


In regards to our solar system, the planet known as Jupiter is the biggest of our planets. It’s so big you can put 1300 Earths into it with no issues. Which means that everything just has to be bigger on the planet, am I right? Well…no.

For example, in terms of its daily orbit? It rotates on its axis faster than any of the planets that we have talked about so far. For Jupiter, a day takes only about 10 hours. That’s less than half an Earth day, and you thought time flew on our planet!

But there’s a catch…because that “everything is bigger…” line does apply to how the year works on Jupiter. Given its distance from the sun, and how fast it moves, a year on Jupiter takes…12 Earth years! re’s a catch…because that “everything is bigger…” line does apply to how the year works on Jupiter. Given its distance from the sun, and how fast it moves, a year on Jupiter takes…12 Earth years! Yeah. That means that for every 12 orbits around the sun for Earth, Jupiter will have just completed a singular loop.

Finally, for the seasons, the gas giants as you’re going to see have a bit different of a system in terms to seasons. Because they are made of gas, no solid surface, and that means that their clouds dictate their seasonal outbursts as much as the sun does. To that end, Jupiter is known to be a very stormy planet, and then when it gets to a certain point near the sun, it can change in one area and be cold, while the other can be hot.

Oh, and seasons last 3 years there, so there’s that.


When observing the planets, Saturn is the one that is without a doubt the most beautiful to look at due to its rings. But not unlike Earth, it has some severe differences in terms of its rotations. Just in regards to a year on Saturn, the ringed-planet takes 29 years to make it around the sun. If you time it right, you’ll basically live a third of your life before Saturn orbits the sun once.

Yet, almost directly like its brother Jupiter, Saturn has a day that’s only 10 hours long due to its fast rotation on its axis.

Now, just as Jupiter has unique kinds of seasons, so does Saturn. But unlike Jupiter, Saturn has to worry about not just its connection to the sun, but its rings to determine just how hot or how cold it’ll get. At certain points in its orbit rotation, the rings of Saturn will actually shade the planet, meaning that it’ll get cooler. During this point, the intense winds on the planets will decrease by as much as 40%.

This says nothing of the intense storms that can occur on the gas giant. And since seasons can last about 8 years on Saturn, that means the shifts can be slow at one point, and then rapid in another.


Uranus is always going to be known as the oddball in our solar system. Sure, Earth may have life, and Mercury and Venus are infinitely hot, but at least they’re tilted in a way that makes sense. Versus Uranus which is “built on a funny tilt”. A 98 degree tilt to be exact. Making it so its rings are vertical more than horizontal, and causing some unique things to happen as a result.

In regards to the day and year cycles, a day on Uranus isn’t too bad, only 17 hours or so. So that wouldn’t be too much of a change. But, in terms of a year? Yeah, that’s a bit different, as it’ll take 84 years to go around the sun. That’s basically an entire human lifetime! Can you believe that?

The seasons on Uranus can be very strange, largely due to the tilt of the planet. You see, at times, there will be seasons where one side of the planet always sees the sun, and the other side won’t at all. This causes drastic shifts in the temperature, as well as causing all sorts of shifts in the clouds and the storms they create. At times, the clouds will shift so much that Uranus will look blank and featureless to the outside eye.


Heading to the outer reaches of the solar system, Neptune is “officially” the last planet in our solar system, and as such, its time around the sun isn’t so much about years rather than lifetimes. Because one orbit around the sun is about 165 years! The oldest person to ever live hasn’t made to 165 years (unless you count certain religious tales and the mythological stories, just saying). For a day though, it’s actually faster than Uranus, because it has a day of about 16 hours.

Finally, for seasons, like many of the others, they have Spring Summer Winter and Fall, it’s just that they last about 40 years each and can cause extreme temperature changes to the planet when they occur. The Hubble Space Telescope has actually captured Neptune’s appearance as it changed seasons once. A rare sight indeed.

Pluto, Baby!

What, you really thought that I would leave Pluto off the list? Come on, we did a list about how Pluto should still be a planet, we’re not leaving it off here.

Pluto the PLANET is the farthest PLANET away from the sun, and as such, it has the longest orbit around it. And by that I mean 248 YEARS!!! Yeah, it’s long. As for the day count, it has a much slower orbit than its neighbors, as it takes 6.4 Earth days to rotate once. Which compared to the years orbit I guess isn’t that bad.

For seasons, the distance between the sun and Pluto is so great that the seasons don’t fluctuate in terms of temperature as much as you would think (due to seasons lasting a century at times!). Plus, Pluto doesn’t have a perfectly circular orbit, so at times it gets much more heat than normal, and other times it gets much less.

I wonder if that’s why they said it wasn’t a planet…

Thanks for watching everyone! What do you think of the planets and their various seasons, days, and year counts? Are you surprised by the wide variety of them? Does this make you glad that Earth is so stable? Let me know in the comments below, be sure to subscribe, and I’ll see you next time on the channel!

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