Why is Uranus Colder Than Neptune if Neptune is Farther From The Sun?
Uranus and Neptune are the most distant planets in the solar system; both share similar characteristics that are classified with their category, Icy Giants, because both have shallow temperatures. However, even though Neptune is the farthest planet, Uranus is the coldest. Why is this happening?
Let’s find out!
In the solar system, we have observed that the planets closest to the sun are usually hotter and the farthest ones colder. However, this rule is not always followed since Venus is the hottest planet, even though Mercury is the closest.
In the case of Uranus, something similar happens since it is colder than Neptune, although the latter is a billion kilometers farther away. While Neptune, the most distant planet in our Solar System, is 4500 million kilometers from the Sun, Uranus, the second farthest planet, is only 2880 million kilometers away and is colder.
The atmosphere is more important than the distance
While the distance to the sun is a critical factor that determines the temperatures of the planets, probably the atmosphere is even more so; for example, in the case of Venus, it is much hotter than Mercury because its dense atmosphere traps heat and does not let it out, which causes a lasting greenhouse effect that keeps the surface of the planet consistently above 480 ° C.
In the case of Uranus, the atmosphere also plays a crucial role in understanding why it is colder than Neptune.
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