Venus, the second planet from the Sun, is the hottest world in the solar system. It is blanketed by a thick atmosphere that heats its surface like the inside of a greenhouse. But with a surface temperature of almost 900 degrees Fahrenheit (480 C), this place is no garden! Other than its atmosphere, Venus is so similar to Earth that it is sometimes called Earth’s sister planet. Its diameter and mass are almost identical to Earth’s. Why, then, is it so hot? The ‘greenhouse effect’ on Venus is caused by its atmosphere.
Energy from the Sun passes through the atmosphere to the planet’s surface, where it is absorbed and reradiate d at longer wavelengths (as heat).
Venus’ atmosphere traps these longer wavelengths so they cannot escape into space. The trapped heat builds up, so the planet grows hotter and hotter. The same thing happens in an automobile on a hot day. Sunlight comes through the windows and warms the inside of the car, but the heat is trapped. Even though Venus’ orbit brings it closer to Earth than any other planet, its blanket of clouds kept much of Venus a mystery.
But space probes sent by the Soviet Union and the United States, as well as studies with ground-based radar, have allowed astronomers to ‘see’ the surface of Venus for the first time. The first exploration of Venus by radar was in 1962. It revealed that Venus spins backward on its axis. If you could stand on the surface of Venus, and if you could see the Sun through the cloud cover, it would rise in the west and set in the east. Space probes have revealed that the atmospheric pressure at the surface of Venus is 90 times that of Earth’s. This atmosphere consists mainly of carbon dioxide — the same gas that puts the fizz in soft drinks.
... More sulfur in the atmosphere means more clouds. More clouds would give Earth the same appearance from distance planets as Venus. Being that both ... I noticed was the surface temperature of the planet. It reaches a surface temperature of 900° F. This is hotter than Mercury, which is ...
It is not breathable. In addition, the clouds of Venus contain drops of sulfuric acid, a poisonous chemical. Daytime on Venus is about as bright as a cloudy day on Earth, and the winds on the ground are gentle. Gravel and flattened boulders are scattered over the plains. Because of the heat and pressure on Venus, no probe landing there has ever survived for more than an hour.
More recent radar observations by the Magellan spacecraft have allowed scientists to peek through the clouds and map almost the entire surface of the planet. Magellan discovered mountains on Venus that are higher than any on Earth, as well as a valley that is longer and deeper than the Grand Canyon. It also revealed that the surface of Venus may contain active volcanoes, which occasionally vent molten rock and gas into the hellish atmosphere. Because of Venus’ heavy atmosphere, the planet’s surface pressure is very high.
Pressure is defined as the weight of the atmosphere pressing down on you. On Earth, we don’t notice the air pressure at all. The thick atmosphere on Venus would make it difficult to see objects very far away from you. Since carbon dioxide is poisonous to humans, you would not be able to breathe on Venus. Thick, high clouds would make the Sun just a yellow-orange smear of light, if it was visible at all. Although the gravity on Venus is about the same as on Earth, the weight of the atmosphere would crush you.
Several spacecraft have detected some evidence of lightning in the Venusian atmosphere. But the Cassini spacecraft found none of the radio ‘static’ produced by lightning during two passes by the planet in 1998 and ’99, so the question of whether lightning blazes in Venus’ hot sky remains open. Venus, the dazzling morning or evening star, outshines all the other stars and planets in the night sky. It’s hidden ‘behind’ the Sun as the year begins, but climbs into the western evening sky in mid-March and puts in a bright showing during spring and summer. It clusters with Mercury, Mars, and Saturn in May, and passes near Jupiter at the beginning of June. Venus stands highest in the evening sky in late August, then quickly drops toward the Sun, disappearing in the evening twilight in October.
Imagine that while youre on a peaceful Sunday afternoon stroll with your family, a large dark gray ball comes out of nowhere, just missing the head of your small child, shakes the earth, and produces a large crater in the ground a few feet ahead of you. This ball wasnt from the young boys playing baseball across the street, and it wasnt an acorn from the tree overhead. This ashen ball was a ...
It returns to view in the morning sky in early November. Average Distance from Sun: 67. 2 million miles (108. 2 million km) Mass: 0. 815 times Earth’s mass Diameter: 7, 520 miles (12, 104 km) Length of Day: 243 Earth days Length of Year: 225 Earth days Surface Gravity: 0. 91 that of Earth Known Moons: None Source: web.