Venus is a hot and hellish world and is the second planet from the sun. The Earth-sized planet could be considered our twin if it weren’t for its thick, toxic atmosphere and hot enough surface temperature to melt lead.
Despite such extremes, researchers have long wondered whether organisms could exist in the upper cloud layers of Venus, where more decaying conditions could be found. Controversial data suggests that Earth’s sister world in solar system may not be so different from life on Earth.
Why did Kim get such a name?
Venus’ modern name derives from the ancient Roman goddess of love and beauty, according to NASA. After sun and the moon, Venus is the third brightest object in Earth’s sky, which means man has known about it since time immemorial.
The ancient Greeks named Venus after their goddess of love Aphrodite, while the ancient Egyptians named the planet for the goddess Isis, according to the European Southern Observatory. Other names for Venus include Astarte (Phoenicia), Fria (Saxon), Ishtar (Sumer) and Jīnxīng (Great White One in Chinese). The Mayans considered Venus the god of war and carefully kept its position in the sky.
What is Venus made of?
As The earth, Venus is a rocky planet. With a diameter of 7,520 miles (12,100 km), according to NASAVenus is only slightly smaller than our planet, with 80% of Earth’s mass, according to Live Science’s sister site Space.com.
The interior of Venus is quite similar to the interior of Earth; both planets have an iron core surrounded by a mantle of hot rock and a thin outer mantle, according to NASA. The surface of Venus is covered by a variety of geological structures, such as mountains, valleys, and volcanoes. It even has continental-like features, including an Australian-sized area of rocky plateau known as Ishtar Terra near its northern pole and an even larger South American-sized area. called Aphrodite Terra stretches across its equator.
Venus has very few visible craters, indicating that its surface is relatively young. Evidence suggests that our nearest neighbor still geologically activewith partially molten mantle, tectonic plates in motion, and volcanic eruptions.
Venus’s atmosphere is mainly carbon dioxide and contains permanently thick clouds of sulfuric acid, according to NASA. This creates a surface pressure 90 times more intense than Earth’s and a surface temperature of nearly 900 degrees Fahrenheit (482 degrees Celsius). Water cannot exist in liquid form on the surface, and very little water vapor exists in Venus’s atmosphere.
How far is Venus from the sun?
Venus is 67 million miles (108 million km) from the sun on average. according to NASA, about 70% of the distance between the Earth and the sun. Venus is the closest planet to our world, about 38 million miles (61 million km) from it.
The length of a year on Venus is equal to 225 Earth days, but because our sister world rotates extremely slowly on its axis, its day length is longer than its year – 243 Earth days, according to NASA. The sun rises in the west and sets in the east on Venus because the planet rotates in the opposite direction from us, although no one knows why.
Has man discovered Venus yet?
Since the mid-20th century, humans have sent many probes to fly over, orbit and land on Venus. The first spacecraft to be successfully flown by another planet was Mariner 2, which was launched by the United States on August 27, 1962, and came within 21,600 miles (34,760 km) of Venus, according to NASA.
The Soviet Venera program, which lasted from the early 1960s to the 1980s, successfully landed 10 probes on Venus and transmitted data from the surface, according to NASA. Venera 7, launched in 1970, was the first robot to land on another planet and return data, although it lasted only 23 minutes before suffering the planet’s hellish conditions, according to the agency. this.
NASA’s Magellan spacecraft orbited and detailed the surface of Venus in the 1990s, while the European Space Agency (ESA) Venus Express studied the planet from orbit starting in 2006. Finally, Japan’s Venus Climate Orbiter, also called Akatsukihas been studying the planet’s atmosphere since 2015.
In 2022, NASA released beautiful pictures taken as the Parker Solar Probe passed by Venus. They are the first visible light images of the planet, showing features of its surface, including continents, plains and mountain ranges.
However, Venus is still relatively low compared to planets like Mars. But in the near future, Venus will be visited by many new spacecraft, including NASA’s upcoming Deep Atmospheric Venus Inquiry missions for Noble Gases, Chemistry, and Imaging (DAVINCI). and Emission of Venus, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography and Spectroscopy (VERITAS), according to Space.com. ESA also plans to fly its EnVision probe to explore Venus sometime in the 2030s.
Is there life on Venus?
Although the surface of Venus has long been considered inhospitable, researchers have speculated that living things likely exist in an upper cloud layer, where the average temperature is 86 F ( 30 C). This possibility was given a big boost in 2020, when astronomers announced that they had discovered a chemical called phosphine in this upper cloud layer.
Phosphine is a very simple molecule that, on Earth, is made only by living and active human organisms. No known non-life process can easily explain phosphine’s presence on Venus. But the discovery is not without controversywith other scientists saying that the finding could be flawed or that there may be some unknown process that produces phosphine on Venus.
Subsequent searches for phosphine have not found it in the quantities that were initially found. Further studies have also shown that the amount of water on Venus is as low as the most drought tolerant terrestrial microbes would struggle to survive and the planet might already be so dehydrated into the distant past.
Currently, claims of life on Venus still tantalizing but not conclusive and will require data from future explorations for more detailed study.
Bartels, M. (2022, March 11). Scientists hail ‘decade of Venus’ with 3 new missions on the way. Space.com. https://www.space.com/venus-scientists-celebrate-new-missions-lpsc
Choi, C., Gohd, C., & Dobrijevic, D. (2022, April 1st). Venus: The second planet burned from the sun. Space.com. https://www.space.com/44-venus-second-planet-from-the-sun-brightest-planet-in-solar-system.html
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https://www.livescience.com/facts-about-venus Venus: The hellish planet next door