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Surface Temperature

# Surface Temperature - Surface Temperature Let's pause here...

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Surface Temperature Let's pause here and find out what the surface temperature should be for some of the planets. The rate of energy absorbed by the planet equals (the absorbing area of the planet) x (brightness of sunlight at the planet's distance from the Sun) x (fraction of sunlight absorbed). The rate of energy radiated by the planet using the discussion in the light chapter (see item 5 in the list on that webpage) equals (the surface area of the planet) x (energy radiated by each square meter every second, which changes as temperature to the fourth power). Setting the rate of solar energy absorbed equal to the rate of energy radiated by the planet, you find using the values for the distances and albedo given in the planet tables appendix , that Mercury should have an average temperature of 160 deg C, Venus should be -42 deg C, Earth should be -19 deg C, and Mars should be -63 deg C. Their actual temperatures are: Mercury = 425 deg C (day)/ -175 deg C
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