Sie sind auf Seite 1von 3


Page 1 of 3

Jump to: General Info Earth's-- uh, Twin Observations of Venus Observations by Spacecrafts and Probes

Text Version

Learn more about:

General Information Venus is the second planet from the sun. This planet is called the "twin" planet of Earth because they are so similar in size. It's diameter is about 7,520 miles (12,100 km), compared to the 7,926 mile (12,756 km) diameter of Earth, not that much smaller than Earth. Venus was named after the Roman goddess of love (the Greeks called her Aphrodite). Venus orbits in a nearly circular orbit around the sun. The distance from the sun varies from 67.7 million miles (108.9 million km) to about 66.8 million miles (107.5 million km). The average distance is about 67.2 million miles (108.2 million km) from the sun.

Earth's--- uh, Twin Venus has always been thought of to be Earth's "twin." This was before spacecrafts were sent to study Venus upclose. Speculations on Venus' conditions were just guesses because of the heavy cloud cover of Venus. The speculations ranged from Venus being covered with oceans of carbonated water, to swamplands. Then the international scientific teams came along with expensive instruments, measuring the ultraviolet and radio waves from Venus. Radar was then used to determine the rotation of Venus. It was then found that Venus was not the "twin" that it was thought to be. Despite the swift moving clouds of Venus that go about 250 milesper-hour, the planet rotates once every 243 days. Conditions on Venus are very different; it seems pretty hellish; the opposite of Earth. The surface temperature is about 864 degrees Fahrenheit (462 degrees Celcius). The clouds are made of sulfuric acid and the air is mainly composed of carbon dioxide, some nitrogen, and water vapor. The atmospheric pressure is 90 times greater than on Earth, at an estimated 1,323 pounds per square inch (9,122 kilopascals).

Observations of Venus Venus comes the closest to the Earth at only 25.7 million miles (41.4 million km) away from Earth. Due to the short distance, Venus can be seen on Earth in the night or early morning sky, depending on the time of the year. When visible, Venus is the brightest astronomical body in the sky. Sometimes it is the first planet or star seen in the western evening sky.


Venus Other times, it is the last planet or star seen in the eastern sky in the morning. Venus can also be seen in broad daylight when it is near its brightest point. Ancient Greek astronomers called the Venus that appeared in the morning Phosphorus, and the one that appeared at night, Hesperus. Later, they found out they were the same planet. Galileo discovered Venus also had phases like the moon. Phases are caused by the varying ability of the observers on Earth to see the side of Venus that illuminated by the sun. Depending on the varying line of sight from the Earth to Venus, sometimes you can see all of Venus, half a circle, crescent, a sliver or none of Venus.

Page 2 of 3

Observations by Spacecrafts and Probes Since the early astronomers, international scientific teams and unmanned spacecraft have undertaken the study of Venus with expensive instruments. The first spacecraft to study Venus upclose was the U.S. Mariner 2. It flew by the planet on Dec. 14, 1962 after traveling for 3 1/2 months and measured various conditions on and near Venus. Later, two unmanned Soviet spacecrafts, Venera 2 and Venera 3 did similar exploration, a flyby and a not so similar crash-into (Venera 3). Then came a series of spacecraft from both the Soviet Union and the U.S.A.. The Soviet Venera 4 capsule was parachuted down into the atmosphere of Venus on Oct. 18, 1967. The next day the U.S. Mariner 5 passed within 2,480 miles of Venus. A few years later, the Venera 7 landed on Venus on Dec. 15, 1970, and the Venera 9 and Venera 10, also followed and landed on Venus. The U.S., in December 1978 sent the crafts Pioneer Venus 1 to orbit the planet and Pioneer Venus 2, which entered Venus atmosphere. More Soviet Venera crafts, the 11 and 12 also landed on Venus in December 1978, and the 13 and 14 in March. In 1990, many years later the U.S. spacecraft, the Magellan, began orbiting Venus on Aug. 10. Magellan was equipped with modern instruments that provided radar images detailed enough to make maps. Go onto Earth.....

This is a 3D map which shows a part of western Eistla Regio. By combining Magellan synthetic aperture radar data with radar altimetry, this 3D map of the surface was developed. It is falsely colored with a red orange color, but if were to be on Venus around the Eistla Regio, it would look like that.The Volcano on the in the top left corner is Gula Mons.



Page 3 of 3