October 26, 2012

What is Venus?

Hi. In this “What Is” video we’ll discover the real beauty of Planet Venus.

Venus is the second planet from the sun, and the only planet named after a female – the Roman goddess of love and beauty. Aside from the sun and the moon, it is the brightest object in our sky, and can be viewed from Earth as both a Morning and Evening Star.

Because It’s the closest planet to earth and similar in size, Venus is considered our sister planet. Its gravity is similar as well. A 100 lb. person on Earth would weigh 90 pounds on Venus.

Like the other inner planets, Venus is dense and rocky. Its surface is covered by smooth, volcanic plains, and it has relatively few impact craters, indicating that the surface is geologically young. It’s believed the planet experienced a global resurfacing event between 300 and 600 million years ago. Like its neighbor Mercury, Venus has no moons.

The atmosphere on Venus is 92 times denser than Earth’s, and consists mainly of carbon dioxide and a small amount of nitrogen, mixed with the sulfuric emissions from Venus’ volcanoes. This creates two layers of dense sulfuric acid clouds that float above the surface of the planet. There appears to be no oxygen or water on Venus.

Although all planets’ orbits are elliptical, Venus’ orbit is the most nearly. The time it takes Venus to orbit the sun is 225 Earth days. Venus also rotates on its axis very slowly. A single day on Venus takes 243 Earth days. It also one of only two planets (along with Uranus) that rotate clockwise. That means if you were on Venus, the Sun would rise in the west and set in the east.

Although Mercury is closer to the sun, Venus is the hottest planet in the solar system. Its dense atmosphere traps heat, leading to temperatures that can reach nearly 900 degrees Fahrenheit.

In 1962, NASA’s Mariner 2 made Venus the first planet to be observed by a passing spacecraft. Since then she has been slowly revealing her secrets to a steady stream of investigative missions.

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