Atmospheres of Terrestrial Worlds

In this blog we will be discussing the atmospheres of terrestrial worlds; more specifically what an atmosphere really is and the difference in atmospheres between different worlds. An atmosphere is simply a “layer of gas that surrounds a world.” In general, this relatively thin layer of gas is responsible for blocking the suns rays and trapping heat within a world. In the example of earth, the atmosphere is essential to our survival. Earth’s atmosphere creates a pressure barrier that allows for water to exist in all three states, oxygen to exist within our globe without escape, and maintain a temperature that is suitable for living. Below is an image that shows what earths atmosphere looks like from space.

Earth’s atmosphere from space

So, how does our atmosphere differ from other worlds within our very own solar system?

Mercury and our moon are similar in that their atmosphere is SO insignificant that they are often thought to not have one. This means that the suns harsh rays come in immediate contact with the surface as they are not scattered by a layer of gas. This also means that when standing on the surface of these worlds, the sky will be pitch black as opposed to Earth.

Venus, on the other hand, has a thick atmosphere. This makes it so that the sky is always cloudy and gloomy and the heat that is created as a result of volcanic activity is there to stay.

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