Suppose there is a tidally locked planet orbiting a star. The planet's surface consists of a global ocean, that is, liquid water. At the inner hemisphere the temperature is so high that the water is constantly boiling, creating the atmosphere of water vapor. But the vapor does not reach the dark side of the planet, and precipitates around the terminator line. The further side has no atmosphere and an icy surface.

Is this setup possible? Can it be such thing that one side of a planet has liquid (and boiling) water surface while the other side has no atmosphere?

Is it possible at all that a part of an ocean was boiling while the other one was icy?

  • $\begingroup$ Your description is that there would only be water vapor, and no other gases; is that correct? $\endgroup$
    – LDC3
    Oct 10, 2014 at 1:16
  • $\begingroup$ @LDC3 yes, you are right, except for the last sentece for which case i would like investigate all possibilities $\endgroup$
    – Anixx
    Oct 10, 2014 at 1:26

1 Answer 1


That situation would lead to heat transfer between the cold and the hot zones just like it happens here at the Earth.

There is a paper on this that may help you:

[...] heat transport from the day side to the night side of the planets efficiently reduces temperature contrasts [...]

Source: http://arxiv.org/abs/1001.5117

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It may be worth noting that the paper's abstract says the night side would not have temperatures drop below ~240 K, whereas the freezing point of water (at one atmosphere pressure, of course) is 273.2 K. The following line from the paper also seems relevant: "Precipitation rates exceed evaporation rates within ∼15◦ of the subsolar point. Outside that region on the day side, evaporation rates exceed precipitation rates..." $\endgroup$ May 25, 2016 at 21:14

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