A Report On Venus And Its Major Characteristics
Venus is the second planet from the Sun. Of all the planets, Venus is most similar to Earth, in terms of its mass, size, and internal structure. It was discovered by Galileo Galilei, in 1610, who pointed this planet on his telescope. The planet Venus has been remarkable and known to the people since ancient times. Because most of the time it is very visible in the sky without any optical aids, people called it a star of morning or evening, depending on whether it appeared before dawn or after dusk. But behind all this, it is a rather different celestial body, very unfavorable for a detailed exploration, which results in a more intense exploration of Mars, which became the first target of space exploration, but also of some future terraforming and migration of our civilization from the home planet. This essay will discuss more about the major characteristics of Venus, its atmosphere, surface, and rotation.
The atmosphere of Venus differs a lot from the Earth’s atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is the dominant component and it represents more than 95% of its total atmosphere. The remaining percentage is composed of gases such as nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and sulfur dioxide. Also, there is a very low percentage of water vapor. Perhaps, in the early stages of Earth's evolution, its atmosphere was similar to the atmosphere of Venus. We know that temperatures and pressure were much higher in the past on our Planet. The temperatures are extremely high, around 730 K on Venus and atmospheric pressure as well. Astronauts can't appear on Venus because if that happens, they would be immediately flattened and dead due to high pressure, high temperature and a mixture of toxic gases. The high density and species composition of the atmosphere causes a very strong greenhouse effect. There is the presence of strong radio waves. They are emitting electrical streams and that indicates that there were thunderstorms on Venus, much stronger and more frequent than on Earth. Observations of the atmosphere of Venus showed the presence of strong winds in the upper layer. As the height increases on this planet, the temperature decreases. Aquatic oceans were probably found on the surface of Venus, shortly after its formation. However, over time sun radiation was too strong and the oceans began to evaporate. As a result of that carbon dioxide was released from the rocky soil and spread in the atmosphere. As the greenhouse effect increased, the temperature continued to rise and increased evaporation. Soon all the water disappeared from the surface and the percentage of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere became very high.
Thanks to Magellan, people have known many facts about Venus's surface. Venus is characterized by a relatively smooth surface. In his images, it is possible to see that light areas are rough surfaces. On the other side, smooth areas are dark. The surface of Venus looks like a rocky desert lit by a yellow light, dominated by the orange and brown colors of the soil. In the absence of the sea, orographic features (mountains or lowlands) can be identified; they have stabilized at an average level, although there are alpine zones. The relief contains highlands, lowlands, and small mountain peaks. In Venus, two areas suggesting continents can be distinguished because they are located at a considerable height above the average surface. These areas, the Ishtar Terra and the Aphrodite Terra, are located in the northern hemisphere and south of the equator crossing the Aphrodite Terra in its northern part. They were named after counterparts of Babylonia and Greece. Compared to the Earth, continents cover only 8 percent on Venus while, on Earth, continents cover about 25 percent of the total surface. The remaining part of the Venus surface represents the lowlands. The first continent, Ishtar Terra, can be compared with Australia, in the size of the continent. The Great Plateau, Lakshmi Planum covers around 1500 km. It consists of mountain ranges. One of the ranges is Maxwell Montes, which is the highest peak on the Venus, with 14 km above the deepest surface depression. If we compare it with Venus’s sister, Earth, the highest peak on the Earth, Mount Everest, is around 20 km. The Aphrodite Terra is slightly larger than Africa. There is Mount Maat, a high volcano, surrounded by a plain of freshly erupted lava, indicating the presence of volcanic activity on Venus. On this continent there is a system of canyons of tectonic origin, spanning hundreds of kilometers. With the help of probes, especially Magellan, it was discovered that volcanic activity is taking place on Venus. This conclusion was reached based on scans of some zones, which showed the presence of surface opacity, indicating the presence of recently erupted lava. Indeed, under the dense atmosphere of the planet, the surface of the magma very quickly undergoes erosion, revealing a layer of sulfur iron, which reflects radar very well, being a good conductor. Magellan gave many pictures of volcanoes on Venus. Many mountains of this planet have a volcanic origin. The most of volcanos on Venus are shield volcanoes, others are lava domes and coronae. The proof that active volcanoes exist on this planet is high levels of sulfur dioxide. It can be found in large clouds around Venus and they indicate eruptions. Most of the features of Venus are named after famous women from Greek and Babylonian mythology. However, the Maxwell Montes is named after James Clerk Maxwell, Scottish physicist. Because of the high temperatures on Venus' surface, which breaks down all significant molecules that are necessary for live beings, life on Venus seems impossible.
Venus has an unusual rotation. This planet is spinning oppositely compared to Earth and most of the planets in the Solar System. This rotation is known as a retrograde rotation and it is very slow. As a consequence of slow and backward rotation, solar day differs a lot from the sidereal day. One day on Venus lasts for 117 Earth days, while year last nearly 225 Earth days. Its orbit is circular compared to other planets who have elliptical orbits. The reason why Venus is rotating opposite can be found in its early evolution. At that time, Venus was hit by a large body, which caused a change in speed and direction of rotation. Venus rotates almost five times from one closest approach to Earth to another. Because of that, when Venus is the closest to the Earth, it faces it always in the same way. That means that investigations and observations are made just on one side of Venus. As a third brightest object in Solar System, Venus appears very bright to our eye. It is close to Sun so it gets huge amounts of light. Also, it is so close to Earth. However, not always Venus is bright to our eye. Its brightness is related to its distance and phase from our planet.
In conclusion, Venus, the second planet from the Sun, is known for its high temperature, specific rotation, and exceptional beauty. Venus is a planet where the sun rises in the west and sets in the east. And that's not all, one day on Venus lasts longer than a whole year, and there are no seasons on Venus. This planet is known as the sister planet of our planet, Earth. They have almost the same size but their other features are completely different. Also, Venus is known for its extremely high temperatures. Life seems impossible knowing how these extremely high temperatures are destroying every possible molecule necessary for life.