Mars in Orbit

These orbit maps of the inner Solar System are in the wrong places on the calendar! Can you rearrange them so each image is on the correct date?

Mars is the 4th planet from the Sun. It takes about 687 Earth days for it to complete one orbit of the Sun. Sometimes the orbits of Earth and Mars bring them to the same side of the Sun and they are quite close together. At other times, their orbits leave them far apart.

All the planets in our Solar System take a different amount of time to travel around the Sun. The further from the Sun a planet is, the more time it takes to complete one orbit. You can use our Electric Orrery to see this in action.

By the end of this activity you will:

  • have thought about the relationship between the orbits of the inner rocky planets
  • have discovered the correct sequence of images