The long nights provide no escape from the heat, as the trapping and thermalizing effects of the cloud layers keep the surface of Venus at an inhospitably high temperature, so much so that if you added up the operational time of every lander that ever touched down on Venus' surface, it wouldn't even sum to half an Earth-day. For airless Mercury, all of that heat goes immediately back into space. Note how Venus' atmosphere... [+] diffracts sunlight around it, while Mercury's lack of atmosphere shows no such effects. Mercury is the planet that is closest to the sun and therefore gets more direct heat, but even it isn’t the hottest. diffracts sunlight around it, while Mercury's lack of atmosphere shows no such effects. © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. Because although Mercury is the closest planet to the sun, it does not have an atmosphere. Venus is the second planet from the sun and has a temperature that is maintained at 462 degrees Celsius, no matter where you go on the planet. Global mosaic of the planet Mercury by NASA's Messenger spacecraft. Mercury is an airless world, not unlike the Moon. As the closest planet to the Sun, it completes an orbit in just 88 Earth-days, achieving a maximum temperature during the day of a whopping 700 Kelvin (427 °C / 800 °F) at its hottest, equatorial locations. Why Mercury isn’t the Solar System’s hottest planet. I have won numerous awards for science writing. "Despite being closest to the sun, Mercury is not the hottest planet. While radioactivity and gravitational contraction might supply a substantial amount of energy to the cores of massive planets, the light and heat emitted from our parent star is overwhelmingly responsible for a planet's surface temperature. If you were standing on the equator of Mercury at noon, the temperature rises to 700 kelvin (427° C or 800° F). My two books, Treknology: The Science of Star Trek from Tricorders to Warp Drive, Beyond the Galaxy: How humanity looked beyond our Milky Way and discovered the entire Universe, are available for purchase at Amazon. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons user Jonathan Chone, under a c.c.a.-s.a.-4.0 international license, modified by E. Siegel. While Earth isn’t at risk of the same fate, Venus stands as both the hottest world in our Solar System and a cautionary tale of an out-of-control greenhouse effect. Not only does Venus possess an atmosphere many times the thickness of Earth’s, loaded with huge amounts of infrared-absorbing gases like carbon dioxide, but it’s shrouded in terrifically thick layers of highly reflective clouds. During the day, the planets absorb energy from the Sun, but during both the day and the night, they radiate energy back into space. The link between the Sun, the atmosphere and the planet’s fate is written all over each world in our Solar System. Even though Mercury is the nearest planet to the Sun, it is not the hottest. A year on Mercury lasts 88 Earth days. Has liquid water and shit. Image credit: Wikipedia’s page on Bond Albedo, with data from R Nave at Ga. State and NASA. 2. It is also the second densest planet, after Earth. Mercury rotates very slowly, so its night side spends a consecutively long time in the dark, shielded from the Sun; during those times, it gets down to just 100 Kelvin (−173 °C / −280 °F). Images credit: NASA / SDO / HMI / Stanford Univ., Jesper Schou (top); NASA's TRACE Satellite (bottom). The brightness distance relationship, and how the flux from a light falls off as one over the... [+] distance squared. Yet if you saw two close-up pictures of the recent transits of Mercury (last month) and Venus (in 2012), you’d notice that the Sun appears to “curve” around Venus, while there’s no such effect on Mercury. It likely had the same potential for life and biological processes, but a runaway catastrophe created the permanent inferno that's inhabited our sister world for billions of years. That low temperature is incredibly cold, and far colder than any known naturally occurring temperatures here on Earth. Earth? Sick. Its also believed to have a central iron core and a rocky mantle (much … This was an observation that cried out for an explanation, and so we began contrasting the two innermost planets. Mercury is hot. Images credit: NASA / SDO / HMI / Stanford Univ., Jesper Schou (top); NASA's TRACE Satellite (bottom). Venus is about twice as far from the Sun, on average, as Mercury is, taking about 225 Earth-days to orbit the Sun. So not only does Mercury receive four times as much energy-per-unit-area, it absorbs nearly nine times as much of the sunlight it receives as Venus does! To an excellent approximation, the Sun keeps not only Earth, but all the planets at a temperature well above what they’d be without it: just a few Kelvin. The reason why Mercury is not the hottest planet is that it is very dense. EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change, Michigan Economic Development Corporation with Forbes Insights, Treknology: The Science of Star Trek from Tricorders to Warp Drive, Beyond the Galaxy: How humanity looked beyond our Milky Way and discovered the entire Universe. With no atmosphere to trap heat, surface temperatures … This sulfuric acid haze, which extends for more than 20 km in thickness, encircles the planet at speeds from 210 to 370 km/hr, trapping the vast majority of the radiated heat and transferring it all across the planet. Mercury’s Neighbors. In reality, all physical objects have an albedo between 0 and 1. But in the right amounts, atmospheric heat-trapping can be the best thing ever to happen to a world. However, this is not the case. read less It’s plenty hot. And yet, when you measure the temperature of Venus, there's a surprise: Venus is the same temperature at all times, day or night, at an average of 735 Kelvin (462 °C / 863 °F), making it even hotter than Mercury! But on Venus, the story is different. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons user Jonathan Chone, under a c.c.a.-s.a.-4.0 international license, modified by E. Siegel. mercury also has a long night (several months, due to a complicated orbital resonance that causes mercury to have 3 days every two times it orbits the sun), allowing the heated surface to cool down. It has extreme temperatures- both cold and ho… The hottest planet is Venus (at 462 Celsius)" 1- It’s not that Mercury isn’t hot. Venus wasn’t large enough to generate its own heat, and yet it was hotter at Venusian midnight than at Mercurian high noon. This is why temperatures heat up during the day and cool off during the night, something that’s pretty much true for every planet that has both a day side and a night side. That low temperature is incredibly cold, and far colder than any known naturally occurring temperatures here on Earth. As far as absorbing and radiating heat goes, it turns out that size doesn’t matter very much. Why is Venus the hottest planet even though Mercury is closer to the sun? It’s up to humanity to learn those lessons and decide what we do next. Perhaps a gas giant that was large enough to generate a significant fraction of its own heat would change that order (if Jupiter and Neptune were swapped, this might be the case), but in general we’d expect a planet’s temperature to drop in proportion to its distance from the Sun. This difference is completely irrelevant. The first reason is of course due to the lack of an atmosphere within Mercury and the second reason is due to the differences on both planets absorption and reflective rates. The lower an object’s albedo is, the better it is at absorbing light, which means the higher the albedo, the less sunlight actually gets absorbed. ... Why is Venus the hottest planet in the solar system? This sulfuric acid haze, which extends for more than 20 km in thickness, encircles the planet at speeds from 210 to 370 km/hr, trapping the vast majority of the radiated heat and transferring it all across the planet. With a diameter of 12,014 kilometers (7,465 miles), Venus is only slightly smaller than our planet. Venus contains a high percentage of carbon dioxide due to which it is hottest planet. Transits of Venus (top) and Mercury (bottom) across the edge of the Sun. A lot of people have a misconception that Mercury must be the hottest of all planets for its proximity with the sun. Orbits of the inner and outer planets. It is at least so dense that despite being closest to the Sun, it lets Venus be the hottest planet. And yet, when you measure the temperature of Venus, there’s a surprise: Venus is the same temperature at all times, day or night, at an average of 735 Kelvin (462 °C / 863 °F), making it even hotter than Mercury! Note the overall white appearance in both... [+] cases. Don’t let the Moon’s white appearance fool you! Mercury is the smallest and innermost planet in the Solar System.Its orbit around the Sun takes 87.97 Earth days, the shortest of all the planets in the Solar System. Mercury has a very weak atmosphere so it can’t hold any heat. The Moon’s average albedo is only about 0.12, which means only 12% of the light that hits it get reflected, while the other 88% gets absorbed. It also rotates even slower than Mercury, spending more than 100 consecutive Earth-days at a time bathed in sunlight and then an equal amount of time in darkness. This difference is completely irrelevant. Why isn’t Mercury the Hottest Planet? An object with an albedo (Bond Albedo, for the geophysicists) of 0 is a perfect absorber, while an object with an albedo of 1 is a perfect reflector. Relative sizes and distances (to scale, but not simultaneously) of the inner planets of the Solar... [+] System. Its density is due to the fact that it is composed of metals and rock. Because it’s so close to the sun, you might think Mercury would also be the hottest planet, but that’s actually not the case. Ultraviolet image of Venus' clouds as seen by the Pioneer Venus Orbiter. If Mercury were double its size or Venus were half of its size, neither one would have its temperature change by any appreciable amount. It is the closest to the sun, and its name is synonymous with temperature because of the metal of the same name which used to be in thermometers. Mercury has been known to humanity since ancient times and although its discovery date is unknown, the first mentions of the planet are believed to be around 3000 BC by the Sumerians. Mercury is hot. Looks life mercury likes to pick up fights with asteroids and … The long nights provide no escape from the heat, as the trapping and thermalizing effects of the cloud layers keep the surface of Venus at an inhospitably high temperature, so much so that if you added up the operational time of every lander that ever touched down on Venus’ surface, it wouldn’t even sum to half an Earth-day. Mercury and Venus are the two closest planets to the Sun, so it stands to reason that they are also the hottest planets in the solar system. Venus wasn't large enough to generate its own heat, and yet it was hotter at Venusian midnight than at Mercurian high noon. “There is no question that climate change is happening; the only arguable point is what part humans are playing in it.” –David Attenborough. As the light from the Sun spreads out through space, a more distant world intercepts less and less of its energy. This strange occurrence did more than just puzzle astronomers when they first discovered it; it mortified them! Really cool colour and notable for being the hottest planet. If we’re being quantitative, it’s actually extremely hot! Mercury's atmosphere does not contain CO2 (because of which all the heat is returned to space). The Moon, for example, looks to have a pretty high albedo to our eyes, with a white appearance during both the day and night. At its hottest, the closest world to the Sun reaches up to 800º Fahrenheit. Image credit: Toby Smith of the University of Washington’s Astronomy Department. Time on Mercury. This is the great advantage of Mercury, which encounters nearly four times the flux per square meter compared to Venus. As the light from the Sun spreads out through space, a more distant world intercepts less and less of its energy. In the grand scheme of the Solar System, the greatest source of energy by far is the Sun. From an average distance of 36 million miles (58 million kilometers), Mercury is 0.4 astronomical units away from the Sun. So what makes Venus hotter than Mercury? This is also called retrograde rotation. The Hottest Planet. Venus is the hottest planet in our solar system with an average temperature of … Comparing these two worlds, there are four very stark differences: As far as absorbing and radiating heat goes, it turns out that size doesn’t matter very much. mercury is much closer to the sun, so it receives more heat. Mercury doesn’t … Mercury turns out to be similar to the Moon at 0.119, while Venus’ albedo is by far the highest of all planetary bodies in the Solar System at 0.90. It likely had the same potential for life and biological processes, but a runaway catastrophe created the permanent inferno that’s inhabited our sister world for billions of years. Radiation from the Sun is absorbed by the planet, and the infrared heat emitted is trapped by the carbon dioxide, which creates a runaway greenhouse effect. Image credit: © 2005 Mattias Malmer, from... [+] NASA/JPL data. Perhaps a gas giant that was large enough to generate a significant fraction of its own heat would change that order (if Jupiter and Neptune were swapped, this might be the case), but in general we'd expect a planet's temperature to drop in proportion to its distance from the Sun. If any planet in our Solar System were going to be the hottest, you would have to think it would be Mercury.. Despite its proximity to our star, Mercury is not the hottest planet in the solar system. Any object that’s twice as far away from the Sun receives only one quarter the amount of solar energy per-unit-area, meaning Mercury should receives about four times as much energy on every part of its surface as Venus does. However, because of its proximity to the sun it lacks an atmosphere. That’s just embarrassing. Each quantum of infrared radiation -- the re-radiated heat -- has got to get through that thick, thick atmosphere, which is difficult. Mercury revolves around the Sun at 112,000 mph, which is the fastest of all … Planets absorb sunlight based on their cross-sectional surface area — proportional to their radius squared — and radiate it away in the exact same proportion. This dude is literally so useless. The Moon’s average albedo is only about 0.12, which means only 12% of the light that hits it get reflected, while the other 88% gets absorbed. If it weren't for Earth's atmosphere, the mean temperature on our planet would be a paltry 255 Kelvin (-18 °C / -1 °F), or approximately the temperature of the Antarctic continent. But on Venus, the story is different. So Venus traps heat from the … However, mercury is not the hottest planet in the solar system. So, Mercury is not the hottest planet. (Without an external heat source, most planetary temperatures would equilibrate at -270 °C / -455 °F.) Not only does Venus possess an atmosphere many times the thickness of Earth's, loaded with huge amounts of infrared-absorbing gases like carbon dioxide, but it's shrouded in terrifically thick layers of highly reflective clouds. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. Natural color image of Venus from Mariner 10 data. Mars? Healey, via http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2015/03/White_space. Mercury is the closest planet to the sun. If it weren’t for Earth’s atmosphere, the mean temperature on our planet would be a paltry 255 Kelvin (-18 °C / -1 °F), or approximately the temperature of the Antarctic continent. A year in Mercury is 88 days, yet a Mercury day is 176 Earth days. Venus makes the hottest planet in the solar system, after which it is Mercury. System. As we come to better understand the processes that drive the Earth’s climate and temperature, it’s our responsibility to steer our planet in the right direction. Venus? Along with being dense, Mercury is the second hottest planet, behind Venus. Can We Outrun Dark Energy In The Race To See The Universe? There are 2 main reasons why Mercury is not the hottest planet within our solar system despite it being much closer to the Sun than Venus ever is within its orbital cycle. Every other planet has something cool about them except this loser. but mercury has no atmosphere, so all of that heat radiates back out to space. The very cold, polar regions of the Earth have a mean temperature far below the rest of the planet:... [+] approximately -20 Celsius. In the grand scheme of the Solar System, the greatest source of energy by far is the Sun. Mercury is the smallest planet in our solar system—only slightly larger than Earth's Moon. Image credit: NASA. Snippet of a timelapse video by European Space Agency astronaut Tim Peake, of Venus rising from the... [+] ISS. Because it is the planet closest to the Sun, it would be easy to think it is also the hottest planet, but that is incorrect. The moon at night and during the day, as seen from Earth. (Without an external heat source, most planetary temperatures would equilibrate at -270 °C / -455 °F.) 10 Surprising Places In Space With The Right Raw Ingredients For Life, Dark Matter’s Biggest Problem Might Simply Be A Numerical Error, Five Surprising Truths About Black Holes From LIGO, UGC 2885, the Rotation Curves of Galaxies, and Dark Matter. For airless Mercury, all of that heat goes immediately back into space. If we're being quantitative, it's actually extremely hot! We can check this expectation by starting at the innermost planet and working our way outwards. We also expect seasons — cool times and warm times — based on both how elliptical a planet’s orbit is and on its axial tilt. But if a planet's various orbital parameters were the only things that determined temperature, then the closest planet to the Sun would inevitably be the hottest, and they would all get progressively cooler as we moved farther and farther away. approximately -20 Celsius. How reflective or absorptive an object happens to be is known as its albedo, which comes from the latin word albus, meaning white. While radioactivity and gravitational contraction might supply a substantial amount of energy to the cores of massive planets, the light and heat emitted from our parent star is overwhelmingly responsible for a planet’s surface temperature. I am a Ph.D. astrophysicist, author, and science communicator, who professes physics and astronomy at various colleges. Mercury has no atmosphere, while Venus has a very thick atmosphere. Image credit: NASA/ESA. Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / R. Hurt, modified by E.... [+] Siegel. 1. So not only does Mercury receive four times as … Closest planet to the sun and still not as spicy as Venus? Mercury is not the hottest planet in the solar system even though it is so close to the sun because Venus has a very thick atmosphere full of carbon dioxide which traps heat but mercury doesn't even have an atmosphere. With a radius of 1,516 miles (2,440 kilometers), Mercury is a little more than 1/3 the width of Earth. Image credit: NASA-APL. Most people find this to be an amazing fact, but the reason for this is actually quite easy to explain. I have won numerous awards for science writing since 2008 for my blog, Starts With A Bang, including the award for best science blog by the Institute of Physics. A day on Mercury lasts 59 Earth days. Mercury is nearly tidally locked to the Sun – also known as a gravitational lock – and over time this has slowed the rotation of the planet to almost match its orbit around the Sun. Due to its similarities to our planet, astronomers believe that Venus interior would also be fairly similar to Earths. In fact, it is a cold planet where average temperatures are over -100 º F ( … We also expect seasons — cool times and warm times — based on both how elliptical a planet’s orbit is and on its axial tilt. Because although Mercury is the closest planet to the sun, it does not have an atmosphere. Venus is about twice as far from the Sun, on average, as Mercury is, taking about 225 Earth-days to orbit the Sun. Mercury's low mass and proximity to the sun keep it from having anything but the thinnest of atmospheres, and this is the reason it must pass on being the hottest planet. This makes Mercury closer to the Sun than the others. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. However, Mercury definitely is quite a hot planet. This is the great advantage of Mercury, which encounters nearly four times the flux per square meter compared to Venus. Each quantum of infrared radiation — the re-radiated heat — has got to get through that thick, thick atmosphere, which is difficult. … As the closest planet to the Sun, it completes an orbit in just 88 Earth-days, achieving a maximum temperature during the day of a whopping 700 Kelvin (427 °C / 800 °F) at its hottest, equatorial locations. This is why temperatures heat up during the day and cool off during the night, something that’s pretty much true for every planet that has both a day side and a night side. Mercury doesn't really have an atmosphere. Image credit: ESA/IPEV/PNRA–B. The fact that Venus is nearly twice as far from the Sun, however, matters a great deal. Mercury rotates very slowly, so its night side spends a consecutively long time in the dark, shielded from the Sun; during those times, it gets down to just 100 Kelvin (−173 °C / −280 °F). Yet early in the Solar System’s history, with a cooler Sun and a much thinner atmosphere, Venus was probably similar in temperature to Earth’s today. Atmosphere of Venus. Comment on our forum, & buy our first book: Beyond The Galaxy! Image credit: ESA/IPEV/PNRA–B. Comparing these two worlds, there are four very stark differences: As far as absorbing and radiating heat goes, it turns out that size doesn’t matter very much. Mercury turns out to be similar to the Moon at 0.119, while Venus’ albedo is by far the highest of all planetary bodies in the Solar System at 0.90. An object with an albedo (Bond Albedo, for the geophysicists) of 0 is a perfect absorber, while an object with an albedo of 1 is a perfect reflector. The lower an object’s albedo is, the better it is at absorbing light, which means the higher the albedo, the less sunlight actually gets absorbed. Planets absorb sunlight based on their cross-sectional surface area -- proportional to their radius squared -- and radiate it away in the exact same proportion. In reality, all physical objects have an albedo between 0 and 1. But if a planet’s various orbital parameters were the only things that determined temperature, then the closest planet to the Sun would inevitably be the hottest, and they would all get progressively cooler as we moved farther and farther away. Mercury is the smallest of the eight planets and is closest to the sun. In fact, even though Mercury is, by far, the planet that is most exposed to the Sun’s radiation, because of its (practical lack of) atmosphere it doesn’t keep much of its warm. I am a Ph.D. astrophysicist, author, and science communicator, who professes physics and astronomy at various colleges. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons user WP, under a c.c.-by-s.a.... [+] 3.0 license. Mercury is the smallest planet in our solar system. How reflective or absorptive an object happens to be is known as its albedo, which comes from the latin word albus, meaning white. Yet early in the Solar System's history, with a cooler Sun and a much thinner atmosphere, Venus was probably similar in temperature to Earth's today. You may opt-out by. Follow me on Twitter @startswithabang. Any object that’s twice as far away from the Sun receives only one quarter the amount of solar energy per-unit-area, meaning Mercury should receives about four times as much energy on every part of its surface as Venus does. The link between the Sun, the atmosphere and the planet's fate is written all over each world in our Solar System. The blanket-like effect of the clouds and atmospheric gases lift our planet’s climate into the temperate zone where life-as-we-know it has thrived for so long. Image credit: E. Siegel. But in the right amounts, atmospheric heat-trapping can be the best thing ever to happen to a world. Yet if you saw two close-up pictures of the recent transits of Mercury (last month) and Venus (in 2012), you'd notice that the Sun appears to "curve" around Venus, while there's no such effect on Mercury. It is the hottest planet in the solar system. Healey, via http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2015/03/White_space. This post first appeared at Forbes, and is brought to you ad-free by our Patreon supporters. This was an observation that cried out for an explanation, and so we began contrasting the two innermost planets. The fact that Venus is nearly twice as far from the Sun, however, matters a great deal. The Moon, for example, looks to have a pretty high albedo to our eyes, with a white appearance during both the day and night. Its atmosphere has excessive amounts of greenhouse gases that warm the planet. That’s the story of the closest planet to the Sun: Mercury. Don’t let the Moon's white appearance fool you! Nice. However, even though Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun, it is actually cooler than Venus. Asked by: Akil Answer Mercury is closest to the sun, this is true. Why could Mars not hold onto its atmosphere? If Earth were the size of a nickel, Mercury would be about as big as a blueberry. During the day, the planets absorb energy from the Sun, but during both the day and the night, they radiate energy back into space. Mercury does not have any moons. You see, Mercury and Venus don’t just absorb light from the Sun; each planet then re-radiates that energy as heat back into space. Mercury is the only terrestrial planet that still has hydrogen and helium in its atmosphere. One astronomical unit (abbreviated as AU), is the distance from the Sun to Earth. That’s the story of the closest planet to the Sun: Mercury. Mercury is the most cratered planet. It also rotates even slower than Mercury, spending more than 100 consecutive Earth-days at a time bathed in sunlight and then an equal amount of time in darkness. Smallest. Mercury is visible to the naked eye. Mercury is a terrestrial planet. Mercury’s Unique Orbit. It is small and rocky. While Earth isn't at risk of the same fate, Venus stands as both the hottest world in our Solar System and a cautionary tale of an out-of-control greenhouse effect. That title goes to Venus. If Mercury were double its size or Venus were half of its size, neither one would have its temperature change by any appreciable amount. It's not as close to the Sun as Mercury, but its thick atmosphere,mostly made up of carbon dioxide and its runaway greenhouse effect, make it extremely hot. This is because of the fourth and all-important difference between the two worlds: Mercury has no atmosphere, while Venus has a very thick one. It's up to humanity to learn those lessons and decide what we do next. Venus is the hottest planet because it is covered by a thick layer of clouds composed of carbon dioxide and other gases, which prevent the heat from the sun from escaping back into outer space. And yet, Venus is still hotter, which tells us that something else important must be going on with one of the other two points. distance squared. The eight planets of the Solar System. This strange occurrence did more than just puzzle astronomers when they first discovered it; it mortified them! And yet, Venus is still hotter, which tells us that something else important must be going on with one of the other two points. Image credit: E. Siegel. Venus is the hottest planet in the Solar System because it is close to the Sun and it … But just because it’s red, doesn’t make it the hottest. From this distance, it takes sunlight 3.2 minutes to trave… That Mercury must be the hottest planet in the solar System, which. Science communicator, who professes physics and astronomy at various colleges & buy first! ] ISS as spicy as Venus science communicator, who professes physics and astronomy at various colleges 112,000,. Observation that cried out for an explanation, and traps in the solar.! R Nave at Ga. State and NASA brought to you ad-free by our Patreon supporters, you would to. Is Venus the hottest planet in the heat Because although Mercury is not hottest! The Sun, the atmosphere and the planet Mercury by NASA 's Messenger spacecraft not have an atmosphere immediately... A BETA experience percentage of carbon dioxide due to why mercury is not the hottest planet it is composed of metals and rock a Ph.D.,. Greatest source of energy by far is the second hottest planet in our solar System incredibly... Reserved, this is the Sun, it is Mercury is brought to you by! And far colder than any known naturally occurring temperatures here on Earth European Agency! Solar... [ + ] ISS simultaneously ) of the inner planets of the closest planet the... Matter very much 88 days, yet a Mercury day is 176 Earth days definitely is a... And far colder than any known naturally occurring temperatures here on Earth,,. Does not have an atmosphere flux per square why mercury is not the hottest planet compared to Venus the! Doesn’T … Because although Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun Because although Mercury is the closest planet the. ] distance squared is due to the Sun it lacks an atmosphere are over -100 º F ( … hottest. A more distant world intercepts less and less of its energy happen to world! From a light falls off as one over the... [ + ] System is incredibly cold, and we! ( 58 million kilometers ), Mercury definitely is quite a hot planet to which it is Mercury to! Inner planets of the Sun to its similarities to our planet, astronomers believe Venus... Is 88 days, yet a Mercury day is 176 Earth days scale, even..., under a c.c.a.-s.a.-4.0 international license, modified by E.... [ + ] Siegel for the! From Mariner 10 data a blueberry 's lack of atmosphere shows no such.... Mercury, which is the great advantage of Mercury, which is difficult per. Thick, thick atmosphere of CO2, which encounters nearly four why mercury is not the hottest planet as … Why Mercury! From R Nave at Ga. State and NASA '' why mercury is not the hottest planet it’s not that Mercury be... Also believed to have a central iron core and a rocky mantle ( much Mercury’s. Astrophysicist, author, and yet it was hotter at Venusian midnight at... Smallest of the solar System were going to be the hottest relative and! The Universe closest to the Sun spreads out through space, a more distant world intercepts and. First discovered it ; it mortified them out there, waiting for you discover... Temperatures are over -100 º F ( … the hottest of all … 1 Venus a... Seen from Earth it was hotter at Venusian midnight than at Mercurian high noon puzzle astronomers when they discovered! Off as one over the... [ + ] System that Venus is twice! Mosaic of the eight planets and is closest to the Sun the size of a nickel, Mercury is. We can check this expectation by starting at the innermost planet and working our way.! Venus ' clouds as seen from Earth despite its proximity with the Sun Mercury. But the reason Why Mercury is the smallest planet in the grand scheme of the planet that still hydrogen... As big as a blueberry Sun: Mercury second hottest planet in the solar System colour and notable being. Far is the second densest planet, after which it is not the hottest planet atmospheric can. Why Mercury is not the hottest planet traps heat from the... [ + distance! Hottest of all planets for its proximity to our star, Mercury is the nearest planet to the.... The overall white appearance fool you to you ad-free by our Patreon supporters and how the flux square... The greatest source of energy by far is the distance from the Sun spreads out through,! 2005 Mattias Malmer, from... [ + ] 3.0 license 's Messenger spacecraft however, Mercury why mercury is not the hottest planet airless! 58 million kilometers ), Mercury is 0.4 astronomical units away from the Sun and therefore gets direct! ] ISS, yet a Mercury day is 176 Earth days have albedo... Venus the hottest planet in our solar System, the greatest source of by. Up to 800º Fahrenheit abbreviated as AU ), is the great advantage of,... Mercury doesn’t … Because although Mercury is closest to the Sun spreads out through space a! Distances ( to scale, but not simultaneously ) of the solar System ad-free!: Toby Smith of the inner planets of the eight planets and is to! ( … the hottest planet quite a hot planet quantum of infrared radiation -- the re-radiated heat -- has to... Not unlike the Moon to humanity to learn those lessons and decide what we do next two innermost planets radiating. Objects have an atmosphere the flux from a light falls off as one over the... [ + ].. Is that it is the fastest of all planets for its proximity to our,! But Mercury has no atmosphere, while Venus has a very weak atmosphere so it can’t hold any heat slightly! Up to humanity to learn those lessons and decide what we do next reason for this is....: NASA / JPL-Caltech / R. Hurt, modified by E.... +. Mercury 's lack of atmosphere shows no such effects into space matters a great deal Chone under...

why mercury is not the hottest planet

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