Why Is Venus Hotter Than Mercury?

It’s a question that has puzzled scientists for centuries: why is Venus hotter than Mercury? Venus is the hottest planet in our solar system, even though Mercury is closer to the Sun. Its atmosphere is dense and full of greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. 

The surface is hidden by dense clouds of sulfuric acid, making the climate unbearably hot. At an average temperature of 735 Kelvin (465 °C / 900 °F), Venus is not only hotter than Mercury, but its heat stays the same day and night. This bizarre event not only perplexed astronomers when they first found out about it, but it also terrified them!

Why Is Venus Hotter Than Mercury?

The carbon dioxide on Venus creates a “runaway greenhouse effect.” This occurs when the clouds’ layers act as a blanket, trapping most of the heat from the Sun. As a result, the planet’s temperature has soared to 465°C. If someone were to step foot on Venus without proper precautions, they would be meeting a gruesome end.

Radar mapping of the surface of Venus has revealed an extraordinary amount of volcanoes and impact craters. There are two major upland regions, each containing a mountain range higher than Mount Everest. The skies of Venus are full of thick, yellowish clouds that reflect the majority of the sunlight that hits it. These sulfur and sulphuric acid-based clouds cause the planet to appear incredibly bright.

How Hot Is Mercury?

The sunny side of the planet may be as hot as 750 to 800 degrees Fahrenheit while the temperature at night can fall below -330 degrees. The temperature on Mercury is, on average, a toasty 354 degrees Fahrenheit.

Deep craters near Mercury’s north and south poles are permanently shadowed, potentially allowing for water ice to form there. In the shadows, it is cold enough that water ice could exist despite the high temperatures in sunlit areas of the planet.

What Would It Be Like to Stand on Venus?

The dense atmosphere would immediately crush your lungs, the searing heat would reduce you to ashes, and the corrosive acid present in the air would melt your flesh. That’s what would happen if you were unfortunate enough to find yourself on the surface of Venus without any protection.

Final Thoughts

The extreme conditions on Venus are unlike anything found on any other planet in our solar system. The high temperatures and crushing atmospheric pressure make it an inhospitable place for life as we know it. It’s a fascinating planet, and we are still learning more about it every day.