What the Weather is Like on Different Planets

By Alexandria

Ever wondered to yourself what is the weather like in space?

Well I’m here to tell you…

In our solar system, there are different types of weather on each planet. Only on Earth is weather that is able to be survived.

Neptune

A measurement of about 30 astronomical units away from the Sun (2.8 billion miles), Neptune stays a steady -360℉ making it one big ball of cold.

Neptune has a thick atmosphere and is covered by constantly changing clouds that whip around the planet. Wind speeds there have been measured at near 1,200 miles per hour, making them the fastest in the solar system

Uranus

Since Uranus is so far away, it takes about 84 Earth years to make a single orbit. And each of its seasons is 21 Earth years long. Uranus is tilted on its axis by 98 degrees. Scientists believe that it was knocked on its side by a large unknown object long ago.

Uranus’ tilt causes some unusual seasonal changes as it orbits the Sun. In summer and winter, large parts of the planet see nothing but daytime or nighttime for the whole season – 21 years. In spring and fall, Uranus goes through a full day-to-night cycle every 17 hours. Uranus sometimes has huge storms, and this unusual seasonal cycle could play a part.

Saturn

By the time you reach gas giant Saturn and its rings, you are really far from the Sun – about 900 million miles. That’s almost twice as far out as Jupiter. That distance comes with a freezing average temperature of about -285℉.

The most familiar weather in the solar system is actually on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. Scientists believe that Titan experiences seasons, has clouds that rain, and has an atmosphere made largely of nitrogen, just like ours.

Unfortunately, rather than a water cycle, Titan cycles a chemical called methane. The rain that falls from the clouds is methane, and it falls into lakes, rivers and seas of methane. And Titan is far too cold for human tourists.

Jupiter

You couldn’t really spend time on Jupiter’s surface to experience the weather there. Jupiter is a gas giant—meaning it doesn’t have a solid surface to stand on. That aside, we can still look at its weather. Jupiter is a stormy planet that is probably best known for its Great Red Spot. The spot is actually a giant, wild storm that has been raging for more than 300 years.

Mars

Daytime temperatures on Mars can be close to winter temperatures on Earth, reaching as high as 32℉. But Mars’ thin atmosphere cannot hold onto the heat from the Sun. So at night, temperatures can be more like -200℉.

The many orbiters and rovers that have been studying Mars have found that there might have once been a lot of water on the Red Planet. But what’s left is not enough to feed a water cycle like the one we have here on Earth. So, in conclusion Mars is mostly just a desert.

And on Mars, the desert comes with giant dust storms that can cover the planet in dust for weeks. Smaller wind patterns also kick up “dust devils,” meaning desert tornados.

Venus

You might think that because Mercury is so close to the Sun, it would hold the record for hottest planet in the solar system. But No.

Venus has a thick atmosphere and sulfuric acid clouds and carbon dioxide. Together, these act like a greenhouse, trapping heat and warming the planet. Venus can reach a blistering-hot average temperature of 847℉. If Venus ever had any oceans, they more than likely dried up long ago.

Mercury

Because it is so close to the Sun, any vacation on Mercury would be ruined by extreme temperatures. During the daytime, the Sun would appear three times larger and more than 10 times brighter than it does here on planet Earth.

All of that sunlight can push temperatures as high as 800 Fahrenheit. Then at night, because there is no atmosphere to trap the daytime heat, the temperatures can drop as low as -300℉.

Me being a weather geek, I was very excited for this article and I have to thank my little brother for the inspiration.

–Alexandria

BIO: My name is Alexandria and I am a homeschooled teen from Oklahoma (Tornado Alley). I have been homeschooled for the past seven years. I spend my days playing basketball, reading, writing and studying psychology, as well as, true crime. I am the oldest of four kids and I have three preposterous but loveable younger brothers. I plan to graduate college and pursue a career in a field that involves both computer science and criminal justice. One of my favorite quotes; “One of the deep secrets in life is that all that is really worth doing is what we do for others.” – Lewis Carroll

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