What Is the Weather Like on Other Planets?

Quck answer

The weather on other planets varies greatly from that on Earth. Venus has a thick atmosphere of carbon dioxide, with temperatures reaching up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit and constant hurricane-like winds. Mars has a thin atmosphere, with temperatures ranging from -195 degrees Fahrenheit to 70 degrees Fahrenheit and occasional dust storms. Jupiter and Saturn have turbulent atmospheres, with Jupiter’s famous Great Red Spot and Saturn’s hexagonal storm. Uranus and Neptune have extreme winds and icy atmospheres, with Neptune having the fastest recorded wind speeds in the solar system. Mercury has a large temperature range, with scorching daytime temperatures and freezing nighttime temperatures.

Do you enjoy a nice thunderstorm? Although rain can cancel outdoor activities and events, it provides essential nourishment to plants everywhere. It can also be enjoyable to snuggle up under a blanket and watch a movie or take a nap while listening to the thunder and rain on the roof.

However, sometimes storms become more dangerous and transform into ferocious beasts like tornadoes and hurricanes. For those who have experienced the destructive power of these storms, Mother Nature can seem cruel. Every year, various places on Earth are affected by severe weather conditions.

But what about the other planets in our solar system? Is it possible to escape Earth’s deadly storms and seek shelter on another planet? Or are there even worse fates awaiting future interstellar travelers?

While humans will always strive to explore the rest of the solar system, the weather on other planets can pose significant challenges for future travel plans. If you think Earth’s weather can be harsh at times, wait until you discover what the weather is like on other planets.

For instance, many people dream of sending a manned mission to Mars. Would you want to go? Perhaps not when you hear the weather forecast! Mars has a sparse atmosphere and is mostly a dry, rocky desert. Any winds that exist on Mars tend to generate fierce dust storms that can engulf the entire planet and last for weeks.

The gas giants Jupiter and Saturn have even more breathtaking storms. The Great Red Spot on Jupiter, which was observed by astronomers during Galileo’s time, is actually a hurricane-like storm twice the size of Earth that has been raging for hundreds of years!

Saturn now has its own significant storm called the Great White Spot. This thunderstorm began a couple of years ago and is still active. Scientists estimate that it spans over 6,200 miles in width! In comparison, the largest hurricanes on Earth might reach a width of 600 miles.

Instead of exploring Jupiter and Saturn, what if we ventured closer to the Sun? Venus has a similar shape and size to Earth. However, the similarities end there. Its dense atmosphere experiences scorching temperatures of nearly 900º F all year round. Additionally, the dense atmosphere is made up of carbon dioxide clouds that rain sulfuric acid.

Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, is another celestial body that resembles Earth in terms of cloud cover and terrain. However, Titan’s clouds are composed of methane instead of water. Similar to Earth’s water cycle, Titan experiences methane rains as part of a regular cycle.

Methane also plays a significant role in the weather on Neptune. Neptune is located so far away from the Sun that the methane there freezes and forms clouds that are blown around the planet by winds reaching speeds of up to 1,200 miles per hour. This is nearly five times faster than the fastest winds recorded on Earth during a hurricane.

Try It Out

We hope you’re ready for more stormy exploration! Find a friend or family member to join you in the following activities:

Extreme Weather

Have you ever experienced the most severe weather conditions here on Earth? Maybe you have encountered a tornado or a hurricane? Share your most frightening weather memory with a friend or family member. Discuss the worst weather they have ever witnessed.

Have you ever considered becoming a meteorologist in the future? How about being a meteorologist on another planet? Give it a shot today! Select a planet that interests you and conduct thorough research on its weather patterns online. Once you have completed your research, create a sample weather report for a typical day on your chosen planet. If desired, print out your weather report along with images of the planet and share it with someone close to you.

Can you imagine a storm that is several times larger than Earth? To learn more about Jupiter’s famous storm, read the article “Jupiter’s Great Red Spot: A Swirling Mystery” on the NASA website. Take note of at least five interesting facts you learn and share them with a friend or family member.

Additional References

  • http://www.space.com/12750-extraterrestrial-hurricanes-storms-jupiter-saturn.html
  • http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2012/12/space_weather_tornadoes_dust_storms_hurricanes_acid_rain_on_other_planets.html
  • http://www.iflscience.com/space/most-extreme-weather-solar-system

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *