The Last Frontier: Venus
This week's topic is Venus, the second planet from the sun.
Let me start with Venus's history.
Venus. The name comes from Greek mythology. Venus, or
Aphrodite, was goddess of love and beauty. She was a goddess,
though, that became very jealous. When Hades, god of death, took
Demeter's daughter, Aphrodite was happy. Aphrodite was jealous of
Demeter's daughter's beauty. There are also many other tales to back
this trait up.
The first spacecraft to fly by Venus was the Mariner 2. The year
was 1962, and this was the first time a spacecraft from Earth encountered
another planet. Soon afterwards, many other spacecrafts followed.
More than twenty up to
date, which include Pioneer Venus and the Soviet Venera 7 and Venera 9.
Venera 7 returned the first photographs of the surface, but the most
recent one is the orbiting US spacecraft Magellan which produced many detailed
maps of Venus.
Here are some facts about Venus:
- Venus is a blue hued planet. If you looked directly at
it though, it would seem yellow, or orange. This is because the
atmosphere of Venus is nothing but carbon dioxide.
- The sunlight that hits venus is very bright compared to
Earth, but, because of Venus's carbon dioxide atmosphere, only
around 2% of the light actually reaches the surface.
- Being a terestrial planet, Venus, like all terrestrial
planets, is similar in size with Earth.
- Venus rotates every 243 Earth days. A fast spin for a
I hope that you have learned all that you need to
know about Venus. If you have any questions, please, feel free to
Y-mail me @ Etrnl *, either by going to Whyville Faces, clicking the
letter E, and finding Etrnl *, or, if I'm already in your address book,
you can Y-mail me from there.
Thanks, Etrnl *
(I would like to thank the makers of the websites pds.jpl.nasa.gov, and www.seds.org.
The JPL site gave me the brilliant photo of Venus, and www.seds.org gave
me some of my info regarding the spacecrafts and the characteristics of Venus.)