Stars and the Solar System

Venus

Venus is the second planet in our solar system close to the Sun. Venus can cast shadows and on rare occasion, visible to the attention in broad daylight. After the Moon, it is the second-brightest natural object in Earth’s night sky. Venus orbits the Sun every 224.7 Earth days. With a rotation period of 243 Earth days, it takes longer to rotate about its axis than the opposite planet within the solar system far and away. Venus doesn’t have any moons as our Earth has. This is the distinction it shares only with Mercury among the planets within the system.

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Venus Compared with Earth

Venus is a planet in our solar system and is usually called Earth’s “sister planet” due to their similar size, mass, proximity to the Sun, and bulk composition. Still, it is a lot different from Earth in many other respects. It has the densest atmosphere of the four terrestrial planets, consisting of quite 96% CO2. The atmospheric pressure of Venus is about 92 times the ocean level pressure of Earth. Venus has, by far, the most well-liked surface of any planet within the system, with a mean temperature of 737 K (464 °C; 867 °F), albeit Mercury is closer to the Sun.

Venus is covered or wrapped by an opaque layer of highly reflective clouds of vitriol, which prevents its surface from being seen from space in light. It may have had water oceans within the past, but these would have vaporized because the temperature rose thanks to a runaway atmospheric phenomenon. Due to its proximity to Earth, Venus has been a major target for early interplanetary exploration. Beyond Earth, it is the first planet where a spacecraft had visited naming Mariner 2 in 1962. The primary one to be successfully landed in 1970 naming Venera 7.

Physical Characteristics

Venus is one among the four terrestrial planets within the system, meaning that it’s a rocky body like Earth. It is almost like Earth in size and mass, and is typically described as Earth’s “sister” or “twin”. The diameter of Venus is a bit small compared to Earth. Venus has a diameter of 12,103.6 km (7,520.8 mi) only 638.4 km (396.7 mi) shorter than Earth. Its mass is 81.5% of Earth’s mass.

Geography

The surface was mapped intimately by Magellan in 1990–91. The ground shows evidence of in-depth volcanism, and therefore the sulfur within the atmosphere may indicate that there are recent eruptions. About 80% of the Venusian surface is roofed by smooth, volcanic plains, consisting of 70% plains with wrinkle ridges and 10% smooth or lobate plains. There are two highland “continents” which occupies the rest of its area. Among them, one lies within the planet’s hemisphere and thus the opposite just south of the equator. The continent lies in the north is known as Ishtar Terra after Ishtar.

Maxwell Montes, the absolute best mountain on Venus, lies on Ishtar Terra. It has an extreme peak of 11 km above the Venusian average surface elevation. In addition to the impact craters, Venus has some unique surface features like mountains, and valleys commonly found on rocky planets. Among these are flat-topped volcanic features called “farra”, which look somewhat like pancakes and residential in size from 20 to 50 km (12 to 31 mi) across, and from 100 to 1,000 m (330 to three, 280 ft) high; radial, star-like fracture systems called “novae”.

Surface Geology

Much of the Venusian surface appears to possess been shaped by volcanic activity. Venus has several volcanoes among which 167 large volcanoes that are over 100 km (60 mi) across. The surface of Venus is expected to be 300–600 million years old. Researchers have found several lines of evidence of ongoing volcanic activity on Venus. Sulfur dioxide concentrations within the atmosphere dropped by an element of 10 between 1978 and 1986, jumped in 2006, and again declined 10-fold. In January 2020, astronomers reported evidence that means that Venus is currently volcanically active.

In 2008 and 2009, Venus Express provided the primary evidence for ongoing volcanism on planet Venus. Scientists have observed the four transient localized infrared hot spots within the rift zone Ganis Chasma, near the shield volcano Maat Mons. The actual temperatures aren’t known, because the dimensions of the recent spots couldn’t be measured, but are likely to possess been within the 800–1,100 K range, relative to a normal temperature of 740 K.

Internal Structure

There is a high percentage similarity in size and density between Venus and Earth. Scientists suggest they share an identical internal structure: a core, mantle, and crust. Like that of Earth, the Venusian core also contains partially liquid because the 2 planets are cooling at about an equivalent rate. The marginally smaller size of Venus means pressures are 24% lower in its deep interior than Earth’s. This leads to reduced heat loss from the earth, preventing it from cooling.

Atmosphere and Climate

Venus has a dense atmosphere composing of 96.5% CO2, 3.5% nitrogen, and traces of other gases including sulphur dioxide. When compared with Earth, Venuses atmospheric mass is 93 times that of Earth’s and surface pressure is about 92 times that of Earth’s. The density at the surface is 65 kg/m3, 6.5% that of water or 50 times as dense as Earth’s atmosphere at 293 K (20 °C; 68 °F) stumped level. The CO2-rich atmosphere generates the strongest atmospheric phenomenon within the system, creating surface temperatures of a minimum of 735 K. Thus Venus surface is hotter than Mercury as its maximum surface temperature is 700 K. Venus atmosphere contains an extreme percentage of primordial noble gases.

Magnetic Field and Core

In 1967, Venera 4 found Venus’ magnetic flux to be much weaker than that of Earth. This magnetic flux is induced by an interaction between the ionosphere and therefore the solar radiation, instead of by an indoor dynamo as within the Earth’s core. One possibility is that Venus has no solid inner core, or that its core isn’t cooling, in order that the whole liquid a part of the core is at approximately the same temperature. There is another theory that there is a possibility is that its core has already completely solidified.

Orbit and Rotation

The mean orbital distance of Venus from the Sun is about 0.72 AU or 108 million km and completes an orbit every 224.7 days. All the planets within the system orbit the Sun in an anticlockwise direction as viewed from above Earth’s the North Pole. Venus rotation is different as compared to other planets. It rotates clockwise in retrograde rotation once every 243 Earth days—the slowest rotation of any planet. Venus has no natural satellites. It has many trojan asteroids namely, the quasi-satellite 2002 VE68 and two other temporary trojans, 2001 CK32 and 2012 XE133.

Habitability

Speculation on the likelihood of life on Venus’s surface decreased significantly after the first 1960s when it became clear that the conditions are extreme compared to those on Earth. Venus’s heat and air pressure make water-based life as currently known unlikely. The air pressure and temperature fifty kilometres above the surface are almost like those at the surface.

FAQs about Venus

Q.1. Is there tectonic activity on Venus?

Answer- Venus does have tectonic activity: faults, folds, volcanoes, mountains, and rift valleys. But it doesn’t have any global tectonic movements like that on Earth. This might be due to the fact that it is hot and dry.

Q.2. Why is Venus yellow?

Answer- It is entirely wrapped with a thick carbon dioxide atmosphere and sulphuric acid clouds. Together these give it a light yellowish appearance.

Q.3. Are Venus volcanoes still active?

Answer- Even though there are over 1,600 major volcanoes on Venus, none are known to be erupting at present. But recent studies, in January 2020, suggests Venus is currently volcanically active.

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