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Activity Discussion General Discussion Venus Reply To: Venus

  • Glenda

    July 3, 2024 at 3:44 pm
    Not Helpful

    Venus is the hottest planet in the solar system, with an average surface temperature of 864°F (462°C), even though Mercury is closer to the Sun. This is due to Venus’s dense atmosphere, which is composed of 96.5% carbon dioxide and has a pressure 92 times greater than Earth’s.

    The carbon dioxide in Venus’s atmosphere acts as a greenhouse gas, trapping heat from the Sun and preventing it from escaping back into space. This greenhouse effect is greatly amplified by the immense atmospheric pressure, which compresses the CO2 into a supercritical state close to the surface.

    Venus’s proximity to the Sun also contributes to its high temperatures, but the greenhouse effect is the primary driver. Mercury, despite being closer to the Sun, lacks a significant atmosphere and cools rapidly at night, with temperatures plummeting to -180°C (-292°F).

    In contrast, Venus’s thick atmosphere distributes heat evenly across the planet, resulting in only a small difference between day and night temperatures. Scientists believe Venus may have had a more Earth-like atmosphere and possibly even liquid water on its surface billions of years ago, before a runaway greenhouse effect made it the inhospitable world it is today.

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