THE VENUS PLANET

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The Venus is the second nearest planet to the sun in the solar system at a distance of 108 million km (0.7 AU). It is also known as the morning and evening star. Venus is similar in structure and size to the earth, but it is now a very different world.

Image1: The venus

Venus’s atmosphere is very thick, So it traps heat in the in a runaway greenhouse effect, making it the hottest planet in our solar system with a surface temp 470oC. Its atmosphere consists mainly of carbon dioxide, with clouds of sulfuric acid droplets.

Day and Year

Venus has backward rotation likewise Uranus. It rotates west to east very slowly clockwise in retrograde rotation. Venus orbits the sun every 224.7 earth days and completes one rotation in 243 earth days – the longest day of any planet in our solar system, ever longer than a whole year on Venus. The rotation of Venus’s equator is about 6.52 km/h, whereas the Earth’s rotates at 1674.4 km/h.

Structure and Surface

Venus Planet is similar in size and density with the earth. It has similar internal structure: A core, mantle, and crust like the earth. It has an iron core that is approximately 3200 km in radius

Venus structure
Image2: The internal structure of Venus

                                                  Venus is a rocky body likewise the earth and about 80% its surface is covered by smooth and volcanic plains. Much of Venus’s surface appears to have been shaped by volcanic activity. Venus has mountains, valleys, and thousands of volcanoes. It has 167 large volcanoes that are over a hundred km across. Maxwell Montes is the highest mountain on Venus is about 8.8 km high.

Venus has two highland continents, one lying in the planet’s northern hemisphere and the other just south of the equator. The northern continent is called Ishtar Terra named after Babylonian Goddess of loveIshtar” and it is about the size of Australia. The second highland continent is Aphrodite terra, Named after the Greek Goddess of love Terra and it is roughly the size of South America.

It has thousands of impact craters on its surface 3 to 280 km in diameter. No craters are smaller than 3 km because small meteoroids burn up in the dense atmosphere, so only large meteoroids reach the surface and create impact craters.

Venus surface
Image3: The Impact craters on the surface of Venus

The Venus’s minute axial tilt less than 3o minimizes seasonal temperature variation; as a result, it’s surface is effectively isothermal. It retains a constant temperature not only between the two hemispheres but between the equator and the poles.

Surface gravity of Venus is 90.4% of earth’s gravity i.e. 8.87 m/s2.

The surface temp of Venus is about 471o Celsius.

Size and Distance

venus_Earth_size_comparison
Image4: Size comparison between the Venus and the earth

The diameter of Venus is 12103.6 km (only 638.4 km less than the earth) and its mass is 4.8675x24 kg (81.5% of earth mass). Venus is similar to the earth in size and mass, it is also known as earth’s sister or twin. The sun light takes 6 minutes to reach Venus.

Distance and size Between sun And venus
Image5: Distance and size Between sun And venus

Atmosphere

Image6: The cloud structure of Venus’s atmosphere

Venus has a deeply dense atmosphere consists mainly of carbon dioxide (96.5%), nitrogen (3.5%), and in addition trace of other gases with clouds of the sulfuric acid droplet. The deeply dense atmosphere of Venus, the pressure at its surface is about 92 times that at earth and it would feel like you were 1 mile deep underwater.

Venus rotation is acutely slow, so wind flows on its surface slowly, but because of the high density of the atmosphere at the surface, they exert a significant amount of force against obstructions, and transport dust and small size of stone across the surface. This alone would make it difficult for humans to walk on the surface, even without heat, pressure, and lack of oxygen.

Orbital and escape velocity

The Venus planet orbital path around the sun is most circular of any planet nearly a perfect circle. Other planet’s orbits are more elliptical or oval shaped. Its average orbital speed is 35.02 km/s and escape velocity is 10.36 km/s.

Magnetosphere

Venus has a very weak magnetic field compared to the earth due to its slow rotation despite Venus is similar in size to the earth.

Due to the Weak magneto sphere of Venus; solar wind directly interacts with its outer atmosphere i.e. negligible protection against cosmic radiation.

Moons:

Venus has no natural moons.

Rings:

Venus has no ring.

Habitability:

Venus’s high surface temp and pressure make it not perfect for life, but the top cloud layer of Venus’s atmosphere, the low temp is arising the question of the possibility of life.

Human Touch

Many of spacecraft visited the Venus. Soviet Venera was the first robotic space probe mission to Venus and the first to any planet launch in 1961. But it failed. The world’s first successful interplanetary mission Mariner 2 launched on 14 Dec 1962 by the United States. It passes over the surface of Venus and gathers data on the planet’s atmosphere. After that Pioneer Venus project obtained additional data in 1978.it is launched by NASA that consisted of two separate missions Pioneer Venus orbiter and Pioneer Venus Multiprobe.

The last spacecraft – “Bepi Colombo” launched on 20 Oct 2018 by the European space agency. It will flybys on 15 Oct 2020 and 11 Aug 2021 in route to mercury; observed Venus during the closest path.

Shukrayaan 1 is a purpose mission by ISRO and it is expected to launch by 2023. Other missions by NASA, ESA are also in purposed condition and we will watch in upcoming Years.

Venus mythology

In Roman mythology, Venus was the goddess of Love, Sex, Beauty, and fertility. She was the Roman counterpart to the Greek Aphrodite. Venus has two main divine lovers; her Husband Vulcan and Mars. There is a myth concerning Venus and mars love affair and how Vulcan cunningly trapped them in bed with a net. Therefore, Venus and Vulcan have loveless marriage and have no children. With Mars, Venus gave birth to Timor (Phobos) the personification of fear who accompanied his father into battle, Metus (Deimos) the personification of terror, Concordia the goodness of harmony, and concord. Cupids who were a collection of winged love deities who represented the different aspects of love.

Venus’ month was April (the beginning of spring and fertility) when most of her festivals were held. On the first of April, a festival was held in honor of Venus Verticordiacalled Veneralia.

In Hindu Mythology Venus is known as Shukra – is a Sanskrit word that means ‘clear’ and ‘bright’. Shukra is the name of a son of Bhirgu, of the third Manu, one of the Saptarishis. In Mahabharata Shukra divided himself in two, one half becoming the knowledge source for the Devas (Gods) and the other half is the knowledge source of Asuras (Demons).

The weekday shukravara in Hindu calendar has roots in Shukra (Venus).

Quick Discover :

Planet Type:

Terresrial


Distance from the sun:

0.7 Astronomical unit


Radius:

6052 KM


Escape velocity:

10.36 km/s


Average orbital speed:

35.02 km/s


Equatorial rotational velocity:

6.52 km/h


Venusian Year:

225 Earth days


Venusian Day:

243 Earth days


Axial tilt:

3o


Surface gravity:

8.87 m/s2


Mean density:

5.24 g/cm3


Mass:

4.8675x24 Kg


Moon:

No moon


Rings:

No ring


Potential for Life:

No life

Image credit :

Image2: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cc/Venus_structure.jpg

Image3: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/60/PIA00103_Venus_-_3-D_Perspective_View_of_Lavinia_Planitia.jpg

Image4: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/92/Venus%2C_Earth_size_comparison.jpg

Image5: universediscover/aniketkumar

Image6: By ISAS/JAXA, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=88464497

Author: ANIKET KUMAR

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