Venus Revealed: A New Look Below The Clouds Of Our Mysterious Twin Planet by David GrinspoonUntil very recently, all we really knew about Venus, our nearest planetary neighbor, was that it was roughly the same size and mass as the earth and was surrounded by a thick atmosphere. Then, in 1989, American scientists launched Magellan—the spacecraft that would revolutionize our vision of this mysterious planet. Venus Revealed is the first book to explain the breathtaking results of this mission, which unveiled a Venusian world of active volcanoes, shining mountains, and river valleys carved by torrents of flowing lava. At one time, Venus may have even had a wet, temperate climate, much like Earths. What happened to turn it into a hostile, burning acid world? The answer could very well help us solve some of our most pressing environmental problems—from global warming to acid rain. In Venus Revealed, David Grinspoon eloquently argues that studying our exotic twin will inevitable teach us more about ourselves.
Understanding why our most Earth-like neighbor, Venus, is so different
She is a goddess in nearly every culture, but to science, Venus is the planet of mystery. Until recently, virtually nothing was known about Venus - even though it is the nearest planet to Earth. It is impossible to see the surface of Venus through its dense layer of clouds. Nearly identical to the Earth in size, Venus once held out the tantalizing possibility of being Earth's twin - possibly even a source of life. But no longer. The spacecraft Magellan just recently completed a four year tour of Venus - piercing its clouds with radar and mapping the surface in exquisite detail.
Venus in ultraviolet light Access the image Venus is the second planet from the Sun, so it is always fairly close to the Sun in the sky. In a telescope, it can be seen to go through phases, just like the Moon. Venus is so bright because it is covered by clouds that reflect much of the incoming sunlight. The yellowish clouds are made of sulphur and sulphuric acid. It is about the same size and made of the same rocky materials.
The mapping of Venus refers to the process and results of human description of the geological features of the planet Venus. It involves surface radar images of Venus, construction of geological maps , and the identification of stratigraphic units , volumes of rock with a similar age. Satellite radar provides imagery of the surface morphology by using the physical properties of wave reflection. Long wavelength microwaves are used to penetrate the thick, cloudy atmosphere of Venus and reach to the surface. Different surface features reflect waves with different strengths of signal, producing images from which the maps are constructed. After collection of the images of the Venusian surface, scientists started to map and identify different geologic materials and units according to distinctive surface features. Different groups of scientists analysed different mapping areas, schemes and interpretation of features observed, to produce a classification of the units and comparison of their mapping.
less frequent, but more violent than volcanic activity on Earth. Our most detailed maps of Venus come from: the Magellan spaceprobe. Because of its slow.
buddy butterfly and his cousin
When I first learned about the solar system a few decades ago, the scientific consensus held that the structure of our solar system resulted from standard processes of stellar evolution. The arrangement of planets with small rocky worlds closer to the star and gas and ice giants further out would be the normal arrangement of planetary systems. Then we began to find planets around other stars and we learned that our solar system is — if not an oddity — by no means typical. With just one example, it is easy to be led astray. In our solar system, there are only two large rocky worlds, Venus and Earth. Mercury and Mars are small enough that both lost most of their internal heat billions of years ago and they have largely ceased to further evolve.
Special thanks to nineplanets. Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player. It is the second planet from the Sun, and the sixth largest planet. The Romans named Venus after the goddess of love and beauty probably because it is the brightest of the planets known to the ancients. Venus was known to the Greeks as Aphrodite and to the Babylonians as Ishtar.
Since Venus has about the same size and composition as Earth, we might expect its geology to be similar. This is partly true, but Venus does not exhibit the same kind of plate tectonics as Earth, and we will see that its lack of erosion results in a very different surface appearance. Nearly 50 spacecraft have been launched to Venus, but only about half were successful. Although the US Mariner 2 flyby was the first, the Soviet Union launched most of the subsequent missions to Venus. In , Venera 7 became the first probe to land and broadcast data from the surface of Venus.