Venus: The Second Planet From The Sun

1443 words - 6 pages

Introduction:
Venus, the second planet closest to the Sun and Earth’s closest neighbor, is known for its many wonders and harsh conditions. Venus is possibly the first planet discovered by humans and is said to have been first discovered in 17 B.C. by Babylonian astronomers. Venus is the first planet to be explored by spacecraft although many of these attempts have proven unsuccessful. Fortunately, more than twenty of the spacecraft explorations been proven successful, and through those we have gained knowledge about this wonder of the night sky.

Characteristics:
Known as “Earth’s twin”, Venus is very similar to Earth in composition, size, mass, and gravity. However, their temperatures are not so similar. The average temperature on Venus is a toasty 460 degrees Celsius (864 degrees Fahrenheit), as opposed to the cool 14 degrees Celsius (58.3 degrees Fahrenheit) Earth experiences. Needless to say, it would not be an ideal vacation spot. Venus is the hottest planet in the solar system, thanks to the runaway greenhouse effect. The atmosphere of Venus is also majorly different from Earth. It is composed of 97% carbon dioxide and 3% sulfuric acid, with an atmospheric pressure that is ninety-two times that of Earth. This pressure would be the same as being in the lowest depths of the ocean on Earth. However, like Earth, Venus is one of the four terrestrial planets, meaning it has a rocky surface, and a surface area of 177.7 million square miles. The gravity, which is 8.87 meters per second is very similar to Earth. Its mass is also very similar, 4.867E24 kilograms, and a density of 5.20 grams per centimeter.
Unlike most of the planets in the solar system, Venus has no rings, nor does it have any moons. “Named for the Roman goddess of love and beauty, Venus is also the only planet that is named for a female.” ("Venus, Second Planet from the Sun, Brightest Planet in Solar System." Space.com. Web. 30 Apr. 2014) Venus has fewer impact craters than any other planet. Also unlike most planets, Venus turns clockwise on its axis, as opposed to counter-clockwise. This is called retrograde rotation. It is said that this is because of their close position to the Sun. Appearing to be a nice golden color, the pictures we see of Venus is actually showing the clouds that are filled with sulfuric acid, making its atmosphere cloudy and dense. A year on Venus last 225 Earth days and a day lasts 243 Earth days. This means that it takes longer for Venus to spin on its axis, than it does for it to orbit the Sun. Another interesting thing about Venus is that its orbit is most nearly circular than any other planet, at a speed of 108, 209, 475 kilometers. The diameter is also almost nearly circular. Scientists think that the runaway greenhouse effect that Venus is impacted by boiled away its oceans long ago, but it is still known for indications of volcanic activity, which probably stopped many years ago.

How does Venus interact with the Sun?
Venus, being the second...

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