Temperature and seasons

Surface temperatures on Venus can rise to 480°C, hot enough to melt lead, zinc and tin. The high temperature and pressure were responsible for the failure of many early space probes. Temperature and pressure in the atmosphere decrease with increasing altitude.

The dense atmosphere on Venus allows heat from the Sun to warm the surface but it also traps heat radiated from the surface of Venus. This results in a higher surface temperature than on Mercury (which is closer to the Sun). The trapping of heat by the atmosphere produces a greenhouse effect because the carbon dioxide acts like glass in a greenhouse. Earth has a greenhouse effect in its atmosphere, but Venus is an extreme case. The thick atmosphere of Venus also keeps the night side of Venus at nearly the same temperature as the side facing the Sun (unlike the night side of Mercury, where the temperature drops dramatically). Temperatures at the poles of Venus are as high as those at the equator.

As it orbits the Sun, Venus rotates very slowly on its axis, more slowly than any other planet. It takes 243 Earth days for just one spin, which means that a Venusian day is longer than a Venusian year.

Venus's rotation axis is tilted more than 177°, compared to Earth's 23.5° tilt. This means that Venus's axis is within 3° of being perpendicular to the plane of its orbit around the Sun. Because of this, the planet has no seasons.

Neither of the planet's hemispheres or poles point towards the Sun during any part of its orbit.

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