After a lot of controversies, our universe has 8 planets that revolve the sun and meet every criterion to be named a planet. The planets in order are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune. Venus is a very charming and mysterious planet. Often called the Aphrodite (Roman Goddess) planet as it symbolizes love and beauty, it is the closest planet to Earth. It is so named because it is the brightest planet in the sky and it has surface features named after female figures!
Venus is very similar to Earth in a lot of ways, and yet only Earth can support life. Scientists call this the Goldilocks Theory! Interesting name, right? Just as the porridge was just right in Goldilocks, everything on Earth is just right. Venus is too close to the sun due to which, the water can never flow as it gets evaporated instantly. Due to this, the planet is covered by a thick layer of clouds. Mars is too far away and so all the water on its surface had turned to ice. But Earth’s distance is just right which allows the surface water to flow from one end to the other. Earth has a medium sized atmosphere which helps in the flow of water and refreshment of atmosphere that supports life, whereas Venus is too close to the Sun to allow the proliferation of life. Venus is the closest planet to Earth. The picture of Venus with a white envelope is actually how it looks. The bright sun colored effect is because of these thick clouds, reflect the light from the sun!
Facts about Venus:
- Venus has no rings or moons.
- Venus orbits in the direction opposite to other planets i.e.; from East to West.
- It displays a very slow rotation as 1 day-night cycle on Venus equals 243 Earth days! Venus revolves around the Sun in 225 Earth days which is lesser than the time taken for one rotation.
- The orbit of revolution is almost a perfect circle and not an elliptical orbit like the other planets.
- There are no climate changes or day and night changes on the planet as it only has an axial tilt of 3 degrees. Due to this and the thick clouds that do not allow light or heat to leave the planet, there are no changes seen.
- The planet is covered by clouds of sulfuric acid! It displays Greenhouse effect which makes the planet too hot to support life.
- The heat on the planet is high enough to melt lead.
- No human has ever visited Venus. The spacecraft that was sent, was burned up soon enough due to the excessive heat on the planet.
- When Earth and Venus are at their closest distance, Venus always shows the Earth the same face every time. We are unsure if this is a resonance effect or if there is another underlying reason for it.
- The magnetic field is much lower than that of Earth’s due to this slow rotation speed.
- Venus is often referred to as the ‘morning star’, ‘evening star’ or the ‘brightest star’ in the sky and can be seen by the naked eye.
Though Earth is the only planet in our universe to support life, the other planets have interesting and intriguing details to them. We sure hope that a human could experience the Venusian life soon enough!
Image Courtesy: nineplanets.org, en.wikipedia.org, nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov