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What's the time on Mars?

Many a good astronomy computer program will tell you where the planet Mars is in its orbit around the Sun. The length and phase of the Martian year are available easily. But what about the time of day? If you wanted to know what time it is at Olympus Mons for example, how would you find out, short of going there and setting up a sundial? The length of the Martian day is easy to find out (24 hours 39 minutes and 35.2 seconds), but what is the PHASE? Ie what time is it at a particular geographical (Is that the right word?) location? Also, why is it so difficult to find out when it's scientifically known?

Helpful stuff about Mars time can be seen at:

NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies; Telling Time on Mars (Gone! Was http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/into/allison.02/index.html)


NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies; Time on Mars - Gone! Was http://www.giss.nasa.gov/data/mars/time/index.html - but now returned at...



JPS.net Comprehensive treatment of Martian chronology and time-keeping (Gone! Was http://www.jps.net/gangle/mars/calendar.htm)

www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/allison_02/ - Telling the Time on Mars




http://www.giss.nasa.gov/tools/mars24/ - Mars 24, a Martian clock, with locations of various spacecraft on the surface.

The "Greenwich Meridian" of the Planet Mars is the line of Martian longitude that goes through the small crater Airy 0. The equivalent of Greenwich Mean Time on Mars is MTC, the solar time it is at Airy Crater. There are no "time zones", and instead the solar time continuously changes with longitude, like it did on Earth before someone invented "Railway Time"!

A Martian day is termed a sol. One sol is 24 hours 39 minutes.

Curiosity is 137 degrees East of the meridian, so it's 137/360 Sols later than the time at Airy Crater.

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