Scorching hot Venus can be cold enough for snow

Image of Venus from Venus Express showing the terminator along which the colder atmospheric layer was discovered.
Credit: ESA / MPS, Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany

When you think of Venus, the image that comes to mind is that of a sweltering hot hell-hole, which is basically true. With temperatures on the surface hot enough to melt lead and crushing atmospheric pressure, it is not the kind of place you’d want to take a vacation.

But now scientists have found an unusual anomaly, a region of Venus’ atmosphere that is the opposite of this. About 125 kilometres (78 miles) above the surface, there is a layer in the atmosphere which is approximately -175˚ C (-283˚ F). That is cold enough that carbon dioxide, which comprises most of Venus’ thick atmosphere, could turn to ice or snow. It’s even colder than any part of Earth’s atmosphere.

See Examiner.com for the full article.

Paul Scott Anderson is a freelance space writer with a life-long passion for space exploration and astronomy. He started his blog The Meridiani Journal in 2005, which is a chronicle of planetary exploration. He also publishes The Exoplanet Report e-paper. In 2011, he started writing about space on a freelance basis, and now also currently write for AmericaSpace and Examiner.com. He has also written for Universe Today and SpaceFlight Insider, has been published in The Mars Quarterly and has done supplementary writing for the well-known iOS app Exoplanet for iPhone and iPad.

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: URL

Comments are closed.