Merdeka.com – Venus is the second planet from the Sun, and is Earth’s closest neighbor in the solar system. This scorching planet is named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty and is the only planet named after a woman.
Venus was observed by ancient astronomers from different cultures many times, but the first accurate observation was in 1610 by Galileo Galilei. Galileo saw Venus through a telescope and determined that it had a phase similar to that of the Moon. This helped support Copernicus’ view that the planets orbited the Sun and not the other way around as previously believed.
Venus and Earth are often called twins because they are similar in size, mass, density, composition, and gravity. Venus is only slightly smaller than our home planet, with a mass of about 80% that of Earth. The following summarizes the characteristics of the planet Venus that are interesting to know:
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Venus the Hottest Planet in the Solar System
Although Venus is not the closest planet to the sun, its dense atmosphere traps heat in a version of the greenhouse effect that warms Earth.
As a result, temperatures on Venus hit 880 degrees Fahrenheit (471 degrees Celsius), which is more than hot enough to melt lead. The spacecraft survived only hours after landing on the planet before being destroyed.
With extremely hot temperatures, the feature of the planet Venus also has a hellish atmosphere, which consists mostly of carbon dioxide with sulfuric acid clouds and very little water. Its atmosphere is heavier than that of any other planet, causing a surface pressure more than 90 times that of Earth, similar to the pressure found at 3,300 feet (1,000 meters) in the ocean.
The feature of the planet Venus is that it is the second closest planet to the Sun, at a distance of 108.2 million km/ 67.24 mi or 0.7 AU to receive sunlight in 6 minutes. Venus has a radius of 6,051 km or 3,760 miles and a diameter of 12,104 km or 7,521 mi, slightly smaller than Earth.
It has a mass of 4.87 × 10 24 kg, or 85% of the Earth. The mentioned similarities also give way to the same density, Venus has a density of 5.24 grams per cubic centimeter, while Earth has 5.52. It also has as much volume as Earth – 928.45 billion cubic km compared to Earth’s 1083.21 billion.
Its closest approach to Earth occurs once every 584 days, when the planets are chasing each other. On average it can get as close as 25 million miles or 40 million kilometers to Earth which is equivalent to about 0.28 AU.
The composition of Venus’ interior is very similar to Earth’s, with both planets having an iron core surrounded by a mantle of hot rock and a thin outer crust, according to NASA. The surface of Venus is covered by various geological structures, such as mountains, valleys, and volcanoes.
Approximately two-thirds of the surface of Venus is covered by a flat, smooth plain ravaged by thousands of volcanoes, some of which are still active today, ranging in width from 0.5 to 150 miles (0.8 to 240 km), with a flow carved lava, long, winding canals that reach more than 3,000 miles (5,000 km) in length.
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Venus’ Surface Is Very Dry
During its evolution, ultraviolet light from the sun evaporated water rapidly, keeping the planet in a prolonged liquid state. There is no liquid water on its surface today because the scorching heat created by its ozone-filled atmosphere will cause the water to boil immediately.
The planet Venus has a corona, or crown, ring-like structure that ranges from 95 to 1,300 miles (155 to 2,100 km) wide. Scientists believe it formed when hot material beneath the planet’s crust rose, bending the planet’s surface.
Venus also has tesserae, or tiles, elevated areas where many mountains and valleys form in different directions.
With conditions on Venus that can be described as hellish, the ancient name for Venus, Lucifer, seems fitting. However, the name does not carry evil connotations; Lucifer means “light bearer”, and when viewed from Earth, Venus is brighter than any other planet or even any star in the night sky due to its highly reflective clouds and proximity to our planet.
It is thought that Venus was named after the beautiful Roman goddess (compared to the Greek Aphrodite) because of her bright, shining appearance in the sky. Of the five planets known to ancient astronomers, it would be the brightest.
Unlike the other planets in our solar system, the feature of the planet Venus is that it rotates clockwise on its axis. All other planets rotate counterclockwise on their axis and orbit the Sun counterclockwise. Venus also orbits the Sun counterclockwise, but due to its unusual rotation of its axis due to its inversion, it was thrown from its upright position earlier in its history.