Welcome to PhysLink.com - Your physics and astronomy online portal. Stay a while! Check out our extensive library of educational and reference materials. Also, check out our fun section!
Why is Venus the hottest planet even though Mercury is closer to the sun?
Asked by: Akil
Mercury is closest to the sun, this is true. However, because of its proximity to the sun it lacks an atmosphere. Mercury's gaseous molecules reached escape velocity long ago and the atmosphere was 'burned off' leaving a vacant wasteland of rock with a similar surface to the earth's moon. There is nothing to hold in solar radiation, thus is flies out into space.
Venus is a different story. Its atmosphere is primarily composed of carbon dioxide - the primary green house gas -, which acts like a one-way door. The solar heat enters, but it cannot leave. Thus, an oven is created. This is why Venus has no water. Pictures suggest that Venus once had an aqueous environment, but because of climatic changes and intense heat.... it evaporated.
Also, because of an overactive core, Venus seems to recreate its continents every X years. So, we do not expect to find fossils or many bacteria.
Answered by: Joel Levy, State University of New York - Albany
Here are our physics & astronomy bestsellers:
Magnetic Levitator - Classic
KonusScience 5 Way Microscope Kit
Tin Can Robot 4M Kit
Potato Clock 4M Kit
Revolving Multi-Color Fiberoptic Light
Top Secret - Spinning Top
3D Magnetic Field Tube
CHEM C1000 Chemistry Kit v2.0
Cool Blue Light Experiment Kit