Earthguide Online Classroom



Surface temperatures of the inner rocky planets

     
Planet Minimum
surface
temperature
°F  (°C)
Maximum
surface
temperature
(°F  (°C)
Mercury - 275 °F  (- 170°C) + 840 °F  (- 450°C)
Venus + 870 °F  (+ 465°C) + 870 °F  (+ 465°C)
Earth - 129 °F  (- 89°C) + 136 °F  (+ 58°C)
Moon - 280 °F  (- 173°C) + 260 °F  (+ 127°C)
Mars - 195 °F  (- 125°C) + 70 °F  (+ 20°C)
 

Questions for discussion

  1. What are the minimum and maximum surface temperature of the inner rocky planets?

    • Is there a pattern that corresponds to distance from the Sun?

    • What are the exceptions and why do they occur?



Related resources

FACTSHEETS from NASA


DATA from Worldbook at NASA


WEBSITES

Take away concept

  • Comparison of the Earth with other planets leads to greater understanding of the Earth.

  • It is important to make observations to check up on assumptions, preconceived notions and hypotheses.

  • However, it isn't possible to keep checking up on everything so it is important to evaluate the relative certainty with which different things are known.

  • When an unexpected result or an inconsistency is observed, it points out an error in our ideas. Human knowledge grows by correcting ideas in thinking over time.

  • It is not always ... to have an idea that turns out to be wrong. However, it is ... to

  • Improved understanding of causes and their effects let us make better predictions.

  • Planning and decision-making all rely on our ability to make predictions. The predictive quality of scientific understanding is valuable.



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