Planetary temperatures


A reading that discusses the blackbody emission properties of the Sun and planets, describes the calculation of planetary temperatures by using the Stefan-Boltzmann Law, and explains the effect of atmospheres on planetary temperatures.

Students will learn to apply the Stefan-Boltzmann equation to determine the total energy flux emitted by the Sun’s surface and will discuss the difference between observed and predicted planetary temperatures.

Use this tool to help students find answers to:

  1. What parameters determine the amount of energy received by a planet from the sun?
  2. What is the effect of atmospheres on the temperatures of various planets in our solar system?

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By American Chemical Society (ACS)

Hosted at American Chemical Society (ACS)

Language: English

Location: Global

Grade: High School, Undergraduate

Access: Online

Computer Skills: Basic

Discipline: Physics, Earth Sciences

Discipline Topics: Planck’s Law, Stefan-Boltzmann Law, Relationship between Temperature and Peak Wavelength of the Electromagnetic Spectrum, Planetary Temperatures as a function of solar energy received

Climate Topics: Planetary Climates, Planetary Energy Balance, Climate and the Atmosphere