This is what summer solstice looks like on other planets

NASA has caught sight of scenic summer solstices on Saturn and Mars.

Saturn and Mars might not have a Stonehenge where thousands gather to worship the changing of the seasons, but they do have summer solstices of their very own. 

The seasons on other planets can seem pretty exotic compared to what we're used to on Earth. Here's what they look like.

Saturn's north pole shows the changing of the seasons.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/Hampton University

NASA shared these two views of Saturn's north polar region in May 2017. Snapped by the Cassini spacecraft, they show the dramatic difference in color between June 2013 (on the left) and April 2017, as Saturn's northern hemisphere headed into its summer solstice on May 24. 

"The general yellowing of the polar region is believed to be caused by smog particles produced by increasing solar radiation shining on the polar region," NASA said

Saturn's seasons are way longer than those we experience on Earth, lasting about seven years, NASA notes. That's practically Game of Thrones territory.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft captured this image as Saturn neared its summer solstice in mid-2017.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

The seasons on Mars are a blink compared to Saturn, logging in at around seven months. Each Martian year lasts just shy of two Earth years thanks to the planet's more distant orbital path around the sun. 

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander took a solstice snapshot in 2008.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Texas A&M University

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander snapped this image of the Martian surface just hours after the start of the planet's northern summer on June 25, 2008. The lander ended its mission later in the year after the darkness of Mars' winter robbed the solar panels of light.


Mars' northern reaches warm with the approach of summer solstice.

ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)

The European Space Agency released a fascinating look at Mars' north pole region during summer solstice in 2011. The ESA's Mars Express spacecraft captured the view. "All the carbon dioxide ice has gone, leaving just a bright cap of water ice," ESA said.

While earthlings in the Northern Hemisphere are celebrating summer solstice and the promise of warmth and vacations, it's good to remember how different our lives would be if we lived on the other blue planet, distant Neptune. Each season lasts about 40 years there. That's a long time to wait for a solstice.

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