Does Venus Have Seasons?

by Fraser Cain on August 6, 2009

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Weather on Venus

Weather on Venus


Venus is similar to Earth in size, mass, density to Earth. In many ways it’s Earth’s twin planets. Of course its climate is completely different, with its hellish temperature and crushing atmospheric pressure. Oh, and don’t forget about the clouds that rain sulfuric acid. But does Venus have seasons like Earth.

No.

Obviously, Venus doesn’t have nice warm summers and cooler winters like Earth; in fact, the surface of Venus experiences no temperature variations at all. Everywhere you go in the entire planet, the temperature is the same average 460 °C. It doesn’t matter if you’re near the equator or near the poles. Whether you’re on the day side or the night side, the temperatures don’t change much from the global average of 460 °C.

Part of the reason is the fact that the axial tilt of Venus is only 2.7°. That means that the planet has very little difference between the angle of its axis during “summer” and “winter”. Our axial tilt here on Earth is 23.4°, and that significant tilt means that the hemisphere pointed towards the Sun gets a lot more energy than the hemisphere pointed away.

And the other part of the reason why Venus doesn’t experience any temperature variations is because of the thick atmosphere – 93 times more surface atmospheric pressure than we experience here on Earth. This carbon dioxide atmosphere traps the heat and distributes it around the planet.

Even though the planet rotates very slowly, with spots on the planet experiencing more than 50 days of night, the temperatures just don’t fluctuate.

And so, this is why there are no seasons on Venus.

We have written many articles about Venus for Universe Today. Here’s an article about Venus’ wet, volcanic past, and here’s an article about how Venus might have had continents and oceans in the ancient past.

Want more information on Venus? Here’s a link to Hubblesite’s News Releases about Venus, and here’s a link to NASA’s Solar System Exploration Guide on Venus.

We have recorded a whole episode of Astronomy Cast that’s only about planet Venus. Listen to it here, Episode 50: Venus.

About 

Fraser Cain is the publisher of Universe Today. He's also the co-host of Astronomy Cast with Dr. Pamela Gay.

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