Saturday, 16 January 2010

Doing the math

Mark W crunches the numbers here:

Instead, parts of our atmosphere act as an insulating blanket of just the right thickness, trapping sufficient solar energy to keep the global average temperature in a pleasant range. The Martian blanket is too thin, and the Venusian blanket is way too thick! The 'blanket' here is a collection of atmospheric gases called 'greenhouse gases' based on the idea that the gases also 'trap' heat like the glass walls of a greenhouse do.


From elsewhere on their site:

Venus - average distance from Sun 67 million miles
Earth - average distance from Sun 93 million miles
Mars - average distance from Sun 226 million miles

As the intensity of light received from an object is inversely proportional to the square of the distance, it'd be reasonable to expect the Sun's rays on Venus to be 193% as intensive as on Earth, and on Mars to be only be 17% as intensive on Earth. Which might have something to do with the temperature differences.


I can't argue with that!


Anonymous said...

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Visit the portal and be entertained by "editorials" from '07 and '08.
Quick quick censor this comment - don't let anyone else see my poor opinion.
Now fuck off and get a life while I research a sincere site!

Mark Wadsworth said...

Ta for link.

I turns out that the difference in surface temperature (once you include the moon) does have a lot to do with the thickness of the atmosphere, but that has mainly to do with atmospheric pressure (which explains why it's warmer at ground level than up in the mountains).

This explains the difference in average temperature between surface of earth and surface of moon.