Title: Venus: The Hottest Planet in the Solar System Revealed
Subtitle: Scientists Explain Why Venus’s Distance from the Sun is Irrelevant
With the help of a specialist, we will tell you the reasons why Venus is the hottest planet, despite not being the closest to the Sun.
Venus not being the closest planet to Sol is a surprising fact. It is the hottest in the Solar System, which might lead us to believe that Mercury, being the closest to the star, should hold this record. However, the conditions on Venus steal this title. So, why does this happen?
To understand why Venus is a world with such high temperatures, we spoke with Dr. Alejandro Farah Simón, a member of the Institute of Astronomy of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and the University Space Program (PEU). This is what he said to National Geographic in Spanish.
Why is Venus the hottest planet if it is farther from the Sun than Mercury?
For Venus to stand out as the hottest planet in the Solar System, we need to consider the composition of its atmosphere. More than 96% of Venus’s atmosphere consists of carbon dioxide, with nitrogen following at more than 3%. The remaining gases include sulfur dioxide, argon, and even water vapor.
“The excess carbon dioxide on Venus causes the heat coming from the Sun to get trapped on the planet. This is better known as the greenhouse effect, which results in an average temperature of more than 450 degrees centigrade, about three times that of Mercury,” explains the expert.
It may interest you: Why is Mercury so cold if it is so close to the Sun?
The greenhouse effect also occurs on Earth, but with a fortunate difference. The presence of carbon dioxide on our blue planet is barely 0.04%. The terrestrial atmosphere plays a fundamental role in maintaining a balance of energies that allow the proliferation of life.
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Due to the density of Venus’s atmosphere, it is not possible to observe its surface directly. Despite the challenges, maps of Venus have been generated with the help of radars in probes that have orbited the planet.
In summary, Venus is the hottest planet in the Solar System due to the chemical composition of its atmosphere, its density, and the intense greenhouse effect it experiences.
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