Venus what we know about this hot volcanic planet

(ORDO NEWS) — Venus is the second farthest planet from the Sun and is named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty.

In fact, Venus is the only planet named after a woman. She was probably named after the most beautiful deity of the Pantheon because of her brightness – the ancient astronomers in the sky saw her best. We tell what is now known to mankind about the planet Venus.

In ancient times, evening and morning Venus were often considered two different stars. In Latin they were called Vesper and Lucifer.

When people learned to explore space and even rise into outer space, they discovered that Venus has a very unfriendly environment, so its study was very difficult – spacecraft simply could not work on its surface for a long time. However, now people know quite a lot about this planet.

What happens on Venus

Venus and Earth are often referred to as twins because they are similar in size, mass, density, composition, and gravity. Inside Venus is a metallic iron core about 6,000 kilometers wide. The thickness of the planet’s mantle is approximately 3000 kilometers, and the crust is from 10 to 20 kilometers.

Venus is the hottest planet in the solar system, despite being no closer to the Sun. Due to the endless greenhouse effect that warms our Earth due to global warming, the temperature on Venus reaches 471 ° C – enough to melt lead. Under such conditions, spacecraft can operate for only a few hours.

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In addition to high temperatures, Venus is known for its “hellish” atmosphere, which consists mainly of carbon dioxide with clouds of sulfuric acid.

Because of this, the pressure on the surface of the planet is more than 90 times higher than the earth’s – similar to the pressure that exists at a depth of 1000 meters under water. Despite this, some researchers, including scientists from NASA, believe that Venus was once habitable.

But now the surface of Venus is extremely dry – due to the scorching sun on its surface, there can not be any liquid necessary to support life. Approximately two-thirds of the planet’s soil is covered with flat, smooth plains, among which there are thousands of active volcanoes.

Orbit of Venus

Venus takes 243 Earth days to rotate on its axis, which is why it is considered the slowest of all the major planets. And because of this slow rotation, its metallic core cannot generate a magnetic field similar to Earth’s – so Venus’s magnetic field is 0.000015 times the Earth’s magnetic field.

If you look at Venus as if from above, it will be seen that it rotates around its axis in a different direction – that is, the Sun on the planet rises in the west and sets in the east. For Venus to make a complete revolution around the Sun, it will need 225 Earth days – this is how long the Venusian year lasts.

How people explored Venus

We have already said that due to high temperatures, it is very difficult to explore Venus, but people still have enough data about this planet. But how did we get them?

The USSR, the USA, the European Space Agency, and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have conducted many operations to study Venus. So in 1962, NASA’s Mariner-2 automatic interplanetary station approached the planet at a distance of 34,760 kilometers.

In 1970, the Soviet Union sent the first spacecraft to Venus that landed on its surface – it was the Venera-7 interplanetary station. And the Venera-9 station was able to take and send the first pictures of Venus to Earth.

returned the first photographs of the surface of Venus. In 1989, the NASA Magellan interplanetary station was sent, which for the first time carried out a detailed and full-scale radar mapping of Venus from the planet’s orbit.

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The European Space Agency’s Venus Express spacecraft spent eight years orbiting the planet, thanks to which it was able to establish that there is lightning in the atmosphere of Venus.

In August 2014, when the mission of the apparatus was coming to an end, the controllers decided to carry out a farewell maneuver and immersed the Venera Express into the outer layers of the planet’s atmosphere for a month.

After that, the device rose to a higher orbit, where it spent several months. By December 2014, the spacecraft ran out of fuel and eventually burned up in Venus’s atmosphere.

Japanese specialists also sent their spacecraft to Venus. So in 2010, the Akatsuki mission was launched, during which the main engine of the spacecraft burned out, approaching the planet’s orbit.

However, specialists from Earth were able to change the course of the device using only small engines. This spacecraft is still orbiting Venus, studying the planet’s weather patterns and looking for active volcanoes.

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