Weather On Other Planets

Quinn DiPasquale Science Weather On Other Planets October 2, 2008

Weather, on other planets!!??

"Can there be weather on other planets?" That has been a question that scientists have been trying answer for many years. The answer to this question is yes, there can be weather on other planets, which scientists realized not too long ago. The reason this is possible for most other planets is because every planet has an atmosphere. There is one exception; Mercury has a very small amount of atmosphere, which causes it to have no weather. For a planet to be able to have weather it has to have three key things; atmospheric pressure, air temperature, and humidity. Mercury doesn't have an atmosphere, but the air does change because it takes so long (176 Earth days) for mercury to go from sunrise to sunrise. What's 12 hours for us is 176 Earth days for Mercury.

As far as it goes for weather on other planets, anything that happens on Earth can happen on some other planet in our solar system, but with even stronger power. For example try to imagine type 10 hurricanes even though our scales for hurricanes only go up to 5. Tornadoes that are rated F14 on the Fujita scale, that's strongest, is an F6 tornado, ripping up tall towers like a weed whacker, whacking weeds and winds up to 750 mph. There could be possible thunderstorms big enough to cover a continent or a blizzard bigger than 2 countries, with temperatures of -489 degrees C.


I'm only going to get specific on 2 planets out of the many in our solar system, Venus and Mars. Venus is the hottest planet in our solar system due to its sulphuric acid clouds that absorb the radiation from the sun. Venus' thick atmosphere is mostly carbon dioxide. If we were to even attempt to go to Venus, we would be asphyxiated in the poisonous atmosphere, be cooked in the extremely high heat, and be crushed by the enormous amount of atmospheric pressure. Venus can have a temperature of up to 480 degrees C, but the mean temperature is 452 degrees C or 870 degrees F. The atmospheric pressure on Venus is 90 times more than on earth at 90,000 millibars, which is like carrying 90 refrigerators on your head, resulting in you being squished. The weather on Venus is basically waves of light (dimmed and bright) and haze. The waves of light, dimmed and bright, are what cause those stripes of dark and light purple all over Venus. The haze starts at the southern pole and travels upward in a matter of days to the low latitudes and then disappears as fast as it came.


Now we're on to my next planet, Mars. Mars is a very dry and dusty planet; the northern hemisphere consists of long partially bumpy plains, where the southern hemisphere consists of many craters frozen over with permafrost. Mars also has poles, the north and south poles have ice caps made up of frozen carbon dioxide and water. The atmosphere on Mars is relatively thin, made of 95% carbon dioxide, 3% nitrogen, 1.6% argon, and .4% other, with only 1% of earth's atmospheric pressure (at sea level). The atmospheric pressure on Mars differs by 25% depending on season. During the northern hemispheres winter, there's less air and more CO2, and during winter on Mars, the planet is 20% closer than in the summer. The average surface temperature is -81 degrees F or -63 degrees C, but the temperature can range from a high of 68 degrees F (20 degrees C) to a low of -220 degrees F (-140 degrees C). On Mars there can be cyclones and possible type 1 hurricanes, but due to the large amount of air and lack of water, it dies down quickly.

Sadly my prompt must come to an end. I hope you benefited from this information and thank you for reading.

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