Venus is hotter than Mercury (Fact of the Day)

Artist's conception of Venus's atmosphere
Yes, it is right that Venus is hotter than Mercury. The average temperature of Mercury is about 442.5K whereas Venus has an average temperature of 735K. The reason for these temperatures being the presence of atmosphere in Venus and absence of atmosphere in Mercury. Venus has the thickest atmosphere in our Solar system. The atmosphere mainly consists of Carbon dioxide and some Nitrogen. The carbon dioxide rich atmosphere generates the strongest greenhouse effect in our Solar system, which means that heat will be trapped inside. Also, as the heat is trapped inside, the weather spreads the heat across the whole planet and therefore, the whole planet has a temperature of about 735K.

It is a completely different story in Mercury. As it has no atmosphere to trap the heat from the Sun, the temperature ranges from 90K to 700K. This means that it has got one of the hottest and the coldest temperatures in our Solar system. This is because, the side facing the Sun receives the heat directly and it is hot and, other dark side of Mercury receives no heat from the Sun and it has no atmosphere to trap heat which makes it extremely cold. And this is why Venus is hotter than Mercury.

Reference

Mark A. Bullock, David H. Grinspoon, The Recent Evolution of Climate on Venus, Icarus, Volume 150, Issue 1, March 2001, Pages 19-37, ISSN 0019-1035, http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/icar.2000.6570.

6 comments:

  1. venus is hotter cause it has many volcano and it consist nitrogen

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  2. Thank you! This helped me settle an argument with my husband. :)

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  3. I am 50 years old and have just been taught this fact by my 7 year old daughter - so of course I had to check it out!

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  4. My dad just learned something new today. I told him that Venus was hotter than Mercury and reading this proved it. Im only 9 years old.

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  5. There's no way Venus has a denser atmosphere than Jupiter. I'm notssure how you are quantifying "thickest" But I'm sure Jupiter is pretty thick at the surface just due to mass and pressure!

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  6. The 850 degree temperature is not due to the green house effect of CO2. While Venus' atmosphere is over 95% CO2, that fact accounts for no more than a few tens of degrees. The bulk of the heat on Venus comes from the enormous pressure of the atmosphere, being almost 100 times that of the Earth. Google adiabatic lapse rate.

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