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Venus

Venus is the 2nd planet from the Sun, the brightest object on the night sky (after the Moon).

Geography

Keywords

Venus, Morning star, Solar System, rocky planet, inner planets, Sun, planet, astronomy, astrophysics, geography, physics

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Venus is one of the planets of the Solar System, the second inner planet from the Sun. It is a rocky (terrestrial) planet, with great density (5.25 g/cm³ or 0.1896 lb/in³). It is very similar to Earth in size and mass, and it is often called the sister of Earth.

Data:

Diameter: 12,103.6 km (7,520.8283 mi or 0.95 Earths)

Mass: 4.868×10²⁴ kg (1.073×10²⁵ lb or 0.815 Earths)

Average density: 5.243 g/cm³ (0.1894 lb/ft³)

Surface gravity: 0.907 g

Surface temperature: +460 °C (+860 °F)

Number of moons: 0

Rotation period: 243.16 days (retrograde)

Axial tilt: 177.4° (almost perpendicular to the orbital plane)

Average distance from the Sun:
108,200,000 km (67,230,000 mi) = 0.72 AU =
6.04 light minutes

Orbital eccentricity: 0.0068 (nearly circular)

Orbital period: 224.7 days

The surface is barren and rocky. There are few impact craters, but several active shield-like basalt volcanoes. Venus has no plate tectonics. Its surface is covered with translucent, highly reflective clouds of sulfuric acid.

Many astronomers believe that long ago there was water on the surface of Venus, but due to the increasing brightness of the Sun, which led to an increase of temperature, oceans gradually evaporated, which in turn led to a growing amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. Since water vapor absorbs infrared radiation, the greenhouse effect became more powerful, which further increased temperature and accelerated evaporation.

Of all the terrestrial planets, Venus has the densest atmosphere, composed mainly of carbon-dioxide with some sulfur (which indicates volcanic activity). Atmospheric pressure is 90 times that of the Earth.

The greenhouse effect on Venus is the strongest in the Solar System, and thus the surface temperature is high (+460 °C or +860 °F). Venus is covered by a dense layer of clouds, which reflect about two-thirds of the sunlight that falls on them.

  • average distance from the Sun: 108,200,000 km (67,230,000 mi)

Narration

Since Venus is the one of the brightest celestial bodies, it was named after the goddess of beauty. In Roman mythology, Venus was the goddess of gardens. She was identified with Aphrodite, who was the goddess of love and beauty in Greek mythology.

Some ancient astronomers believed that it was two different celestial bodies they saw East and West of the Sun. The one visible at dawn was named 'light-bearer,' Phosphoros, the one visible at sunset was named Hesperos, after the son of Atlas.

The Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras was the first to realize that Phosphoros and Hesperos were the same. Viewed from the Earth, Venus appears either to the left or the right of the Sun, as it orbits. Once we see it as the Evening Star, then as the Morning Star.

As seen from Earth, it is never farther from the Sun than 46 degrees. It has phases similar to the Moon's.

The first space probe to fly by Venus was Mariner 2 in 1962. Because of the thick atmosphere and clouds, the surface was not visible. Venus has been mapped by radars on the Pioneer-Venus, Magellan and Venera space probes in orbit around the planet as well as by terrestrial radio telescopes.

According to data from Pioneer, 70% of the surface is covered with hilly plains, 20% with distinct lowlands, and 10% with 'continents' rising 4-5 km (2,485-3.107 mi) above the average surface level.
The Soviet Venera 7-14 probes landed on the surface, took panoramic images and analyzed the soil. Due to the high temperature, they were only in operation for 1-2 hours.

Launched in 2005, the European Venus Express space probe analyzes the atmosphere and the clouds and maps the plasma environment of the planet and the surface.
Japan's Venus probe, Venus Climate Orbiter (Akatsuki), was launched on May 21, 2010. The probe is designed to discover why the Venusian atmosphere is super-rotating, how sulfuric acid clouds are formed, whether there are active volcanoes, and whether there were water oceans on the planet.

Venus is the second closest inner planet to the Sun.

It is a rocky (terrestrial) planet, with great density (5.25 g/cm³ or 0.1896 lb/in³). It is very similar to the Earth in size and mass, and it is therefore often called the Earth's sister planet.

The surface is barren and rocky. There are few impact craters, but several active shield-like basalt volcanoes. Venus has no plate tectonics. Its surface is covered with translucent, highly reflective clouds of sulfuric acid.

Many astronomers believe that long ago there was water on the surface of Venus, but due to the increasing brightness of the Sun, which led to an increase of temperature, oceans gradually evaporated, which in turn led to a growing amount of water vapor in the atmosphere.
Since water vapor absorbs infrared radiation, the greenhouse effect became more powerful, which further increased temperature and accelerated evaporation.

Of all the terrestrial planets, Venus has the densest atmosphere, composed mainly of carbon dioxide with some sulfur (which indicates volcanic activity). Atmospheric pressure is 90 times that of the Earth. The atmosphere on Venus: The greenhouse effect on Venus is the strongest in the solar system, and thus the surface temperature is high (+460 °C or +860 °F).

Venus is covered by a dense layer of clouds, which reflect about two-thirds of the sunlight that falls on them.
Since its axis is nearly perpendicular to the orbital plane (tilted only by 2.6°), there are no seasonal temperature changes on Venus and, due to the strong greenhouse effect, there is no significant difference in temperature between polar and equatorial areas, or between day and night temperatures in the lower atmospheric layers.

Venus rotates in a direction opposite to its orbital direction. It is the most slowly rotating planet, with a rotation period of 243 Earth days. Venus has a very weak magnetic field. The solar wind is in direct interaction with the planet's ionosphere.

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