Venus, Earth’s sister planet, is quite similar in size and composition. The planet Venus is named after the Roman goddess of beauty and love. During the ancient age, Venus was thought to be two independent entities: Hesperus, the evening star, and Phosphorus, the morning star. Because it is the brightest of all the planets, it is appropriately titled. The radiance might be attributed to iron pyrite, sometimes known as “fool’s gold,” which is said to be present in its soil.
When seen via a telescope from Earth, Venus looks light yellow in hue, and many of its surface characteristics are obscured by cloud cover.
The Venus Orbit
Venus’s orbit is round, and no other planet has a more circular orbit than Venus. The planet’s perihelion, or closest point to the sun, is 107.5 million kilometers (66 million miles), while its aphelion, or furthest point from the sun, is 108.2 million kilometers (67 million miles).
Another crucial feature that distinguishes Venus is its rotation. Venus revolves retrogradely in a clockwise direction, while the other planets rotate in a counterclockwise manner. As a result, this is the polar opposite of Earth. The sun will “rise” westward and “set” eastward.
Venus’s orbit lasts around 225 Earth days. A day on Venus would endure 243 Earth days from sunrise to dawn (Head 2004).
Because Earth and Venus are so near, their rotations are synchronized in such a manner that while seeing Venus at its closest approach, the same side is always displayed to Earth.
There have been multiple successful journeys to Venus, which is just 38.2 million miles away from Earth. On December 14, 1962, the United States launched the Mariner 2 spacecraft to measure the atmosphere around the planet.
The Soviet spacecraft Venera 2 conducted the second voyage to Venus in February 1966.
In March 1966, the Soviets launched a third spacecraft, Venera 3, which collided with Venus.
After Venera 2, the fourth successful voyage occurred in October 1967, with the Soviet Union’s Venera 4 spacecraft and the United States Mariner 5 spacecraft.
In December 1970, the Soviet spacecraft Venera 7 splashed down on Venus to photograph it, followed by the US spacecraft Mariner 10, which circled the planet.
Venera 9 and Venera 10 arrived on Venus in October 1975 and photographed its surface.
The United States launched the space shuttle Pioneer Venus 1 into orbit around the planet in December 1978. Pioneer Venus 2 was launched to Venus a few days later. At the end of the month, the Soviets sent Venera 11 and Venera 12.
In 1982, Soviet ships Venera 13 and 14 were sent to recover soil samples.
The expeditions continued with Venera 13 to Venera 16 from 1983 to 1984. Magellan was the final spacecraft to circle Venus in August 1990. Because of its closeness, more than fifteen successful journeys to Venus have taken place (Head 2004).
A Day on Venus Exploration
As previously mentioned, a person on Venus would finish one year (225 Earth days) before completing one day (243 Earth days). As a result, a year on Venus would be shorter than on Earth, while a day on Venus would be much longer.
The blazing heat is the second thing that stands out on Venus. Because of the greenhouse effect, which traps heat from the sun close to the surface, temperatures on this planet may reach an incredible 900 degrees Fahrenheit. The thick cloud cover and dense atmosphere are to blame for the greenhouse effect. The temperature is a pleasant 77 degrees Fahrenheit at the top of the cloud cover, but it may reach 900 degrees Fahrenheit at the bottom.
Venus has the heaviest cloud cover of any planet, consisting of 96% carbon dioxide, 3% nitrogen, and trace quantities of carbon monoxide, sulfuric acid, helium, argon, and water vapor. However, because to the extreme heat, there would be no seas to swim in or rain to cool the surface.
An explorer would notice the planet’s stony character while exploring its terrain. The flat plains that cover two-thirds of the globe would be visible. These plains would be intermingled with mountains and valleys, as well as several active volcanoes. The Guinevere Planitia, Lavinia Planitia, and Atalanta Planitia are the most notable of the low-lying zones. As a result, as you can see, the surface characteristics of Venus are named after females.
Venus has mountain ranges as well, the tallest of which is the Maxwell Montes range. The Maxwell Montes is 11.3 kilometers tall and resemble the Himalayan Mountains on Earth (Head 2004).
Other geographical characteristics that would be evident due to the planet’s tectonic activity would include the development of Coronae and Tesserae. Coronae are long, broad circular fissures or ridges that may have developed as molten material rose from Venus’s core.
Geologists have been challenged by the finding of Tesserae. Tesserae are tile-like valley and ridge formations. Unlike on Earth, however, each comparable valley and ridge would run parallel to one another but cross a neighboring valley or ridge at a different angle. Nothing like this has been observed on Earth, and experts are unsure how they originated at opposite angles to one other.
Venus has been designated as the most inhospitable planet for life. The thick atmosphere of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and sulfuric acid, along with temperatures of 900 degrees Fahrenheit, would be too much for mankind to bear.
Statistics About Venus
|Discovered By||Known by the Ancients|
|Date of Discovery||Unknown|
|Average Distance from the Sun||Metric: 108,208,930 km|
English: 67,237,910 miles
Scientific Notation: 1.0820893 x 108 km (.723332 A.U.)
By Comparison: 0.723 x Earth
|Perihelion (closest)||Metric: 107,476,000 km|
English: 66,782,000 miles
Scientific Notation: 1.07476 x 108 km (0.718 A.U.)
By Comparison: 0.730 x Earth
|Aphelion (farthest)||Metric: 108,942,000 km|
English: 67,693,000 miles
Scientific Notation: 1.08942 x 108 km (0.728 A.U.)
By Comparison: 0.716 x Earth
|Equatorial Radius||Metric: 6,051.8 km|
English: 3,760.4 miles
Scientific Notation: 6.0518 x 103 km
By Comparison: 0.9488 x Earth
|Equatorial Circumference||Metric: 38,025 km|
English: 23,627 miles
Scientific Notation: 3.8025 x 104 km
|Volume||Metric: 928,400,000,000 km3|
Scientific Notation: 9.284 x 1011 km3
By Comparison: 0.88 x Earth’s
|Mass||Metric: 4,868,500,000,000,000,000,000,000 kg|
Scientific Notation: 4.8685 x 1024 kg
By Comparison: 0.815 x Earth
|Density||Metric: 5.24 g/cm3|
By Comparison: Comparable to the average density of the Earth.
|Surface Area||Metric: 460,200,000 km2|
English: 177,700,000 square miles
Scientific Notation: 4.602 x 108 km2
By Comparison: 0.902 x Earth
|Equatorial Surface Gravity||Metric: 8.87 m/s2|
English: 29.1 ft/s2
By Comparison: If you weigh 100 pounds on Earth, you would weigh 91 pounds on Venus.
|Escape Velocity||Metric: 37,300 km/h|
English: 23,200 mph
Scientific Notation: 1.036 x 104 m/s
By Comparison: 0.927 x Earth
|Sidereal Rotation Period|
(Length of Day)
|-243 Earth days (retrograde)|
-5832 hours (retrograde)
By Comparison: By Comparison: 244 x Earth
|Sidereal Orbit Period|
(Length of Year)
|0.615 Earth years|
224.7 Earth days
By Comparison: 0.615 x Earth
|Mean Orbit Velocity||Metric: 126,077 km/h|
English: 78,341 mph
Scientific Notation: 35,021.4 m/s
By Comparison: 1.176 x Earth
By Comparison: 0.405 x Earth
|Orbital Inclination to Ecliptic||3.39 degrees|
|Equatorial Inclination to Orbit||177.3 degrees|
By Comparison: 7.56 x Earth
|Orbital Circumference||Metric: 675,300,000 km|
English: 419,600,000 miles
Scientific Notation: 6.753 x 108 km
By Comparison: 0.731 x Earth
|Minimum/Maximum Surface Temperature||Metric: 462 °C|
English: 864 °F
Scientific Notation: 735 K
|Atmospheric Constituents||Carbon Dioxide, Nitrogen|
Scientific Notation: CO2, N2
By Comparison: Earth’s atmosphere consists mostly of N2 and O2.
CO2 is largely responsible for the Greenhouse Effect and is used for carbonation in beverages. N2 is 80% of Earth’s air and is a crucial element in DNA
Encyclopedia Britannica. “Venus.” 2006. Encyclopedia Britannica Premium Service. 2006
Head, James W., III. “Venus.” World Book Online Reference Center. 2004. World Book, Inc.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (N.A.S.A). “Venus: Facts & Figures.” 2006
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