Venus has surface temperatures of up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit because it is much closer to the sun and has a thick, high-pressure atmosphere. When sunlight penetrates the atmosphere of Venus, it does not have the energy to escape efficiently and continues to heat the surface.
The crushing atmosphere of Venus consists of up to 96 percent carbon dioxide, which is also one of the major greenhouse gases on Earth. Venus also has 90 times the pressure of Earth's atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is a major greenhouse gas because its atomic structure allows it to absorb energy more easily and radiate it slowly, rather than allowing it to pass through unaffected by the toxic conditions on Venus.
Venus' orbit is also much closer to the sun than the Earth's orbit. Solar radiation strikes Earth more diffusely than it does on Venus, which heats Venus more than Earth. Mercury is the closest planet to the sun and gets even more heat than Venus during its day. However, the relative lack of atmosphere on Mercury means that this heat radiates away on the night side and heats up again during the day. These two factors combine to make Venus the hottest planet in the solar system.Learn More
The nine planets in this solar system somewhat align once every 500 years and are grouped within 30 degrees every one to three alignments. When astrologers describe the planets as being aligned, they do not necessarily mean that all of the planets line up on a perfectly straight line. The last alignment within 30 degrees occurred in 561 B.C., and the next alignment within 30 degrees takes place in 2854.Full Answer >
Planetesimals are thought to form when dust particles, debris and rock that are in close proximity in space in a young planetary system are attracted to each other through gravitational forces and compress to form a solid object. Planetesimals represent the first step in planet formation.Full Answer >
The planet Jupiter was named after the chief Roman god of the same name, also known as Jove. It was named so because Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system, while Jove is the king of the Roman gods.Full Answer >
Depending on their orbital progress, Venus or Mars may be the closest planet to Earth at any given time. The distance between Venus and Earth varies between 24 and 162 million miles, and the distance between Earth and Mars varies between 34 and 250 million miles.Full Answer >