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The Planet Venus

     The planet we know as Venus is the second planet from the Sun in our solar system. The Planet is also the brightest if we were looking at it from earth. According to a some information I have found it “is the third brightest celestial object in the sky (after the Sun and Moon)…[And] is also one of the few bodies in our Solar System that rotates east to west (retrograde) (” It takes Venus around two hundred and twenty-four days on Earth for it to complete one full rotation. This makes Venus the planet with the slowest rotation in our Solar System. Venus’s year is shorter than its day being only two hundred and twenty-five days on Earth. Venus is also the Planet that comes the closest to our planet Earth. Venus comes about twenty-five million miles or fifteen million kilometers from the Earth’s surface. “Venus has a thick atmosphere and extreme atmospheric pressure, 92 times the Earth’s pressure. The clouds are composed primarily of sulfur compounds, most notably sulfuric acid (Http://”

The Surface
     We gathered data from a satellite we sent to Venus showing us that Venus is a highly Volcanically active planet. With more and more satellite images being produced we see that the surface of the planet is changing. We have found that some Volcanoes that were on Venus some odd years ago have become dormant and new Volcanoes have been made, Thus proving the Plates under Venus’s surface are still moving and the planet is not dead; actually, it is very alive! Venus has many Mountains and Volcanoes on its surface. “There are also several board depressions: Atlanta Planitia, Guinevere Planitia, Lavinia Planitia. There two large highland areas: Istar Terra in the northern hemisphere (about the size of Australia) and Aphrodite Terra along the equator (about the size of South America). The interior of Ishtar consists mainly of a high plateau, Lakshmi Planum, which is surrounded by the highest mountains on Venus including the enormous Maxwell Montes (Http://”

The Atmosphere
     I copied the following chart to show the comparison of the atmosphere between Earth and Venus.

(Davison E. Soper, Institute of Theoretical Science, University of Oregon, Eugene OR 97403 USA

Earth Venus
N_2 0.79 3
O_2 0.20 < 0.002
Ar 0.01 small
CO_2 0.0003 86
H_2O ~ 0.02 ~ 0.01

Total 1.00 90

H_2O 3 km 30 cm
+ vapor

Clouds (50 to 70 km above surface) H_2SO_4 (sulfuric acid).
Because of all the gasses in Venus’s atmosphere it has been named one of the most poisonous planets in our solar system.

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“It is also the hottest planet because clouds on Venus trap the suns energy causing a greenhouse effect far worse than anything we could imagine on our planet. ( The atmosphere on Venus is made up mostly of Carbon Dioxide. It is almost impossible to look through the atmosphere of Venus because of its layers of clouds which are kilometers thick made of sulfuric acid. The greenhouse effect that was produced on Venus raises the “temperature by about 400 degrees to over 740 K (Http://”

Here is a diagram to help you understand what I am saying about the Green house effect.

That temperature is actually hot enough to melt lead and is hotter than Mercury’s even though it is twice as far from the Sun.

     Venus contains many different types of Volcanoes. Here is a map produced from Magellan:

So you see from the map that I took from the planet Venus is covered with tons of volcanoes. Almost the entire map is covered with some kind of volcanic activity. Some different types of volcanoes found on Venus are Pancake Volcanoes, and Tick Volcanoes.

Magellan Mission
     Just about all the information we have is because of NASA’s Magellan spacecraft. It gathered tons of information about the planet Venus. It found information from the orbit around the planet, its atmosphere, and 98 percent of radar mapped surface. The Magellan mission was to gather as much information as possible about the planet. On May 4, 1989 the Atlantis Space Shuttle to The Magellan space craft into a Slow Earth Orbit where it was released from the space shuttle. Magellan’s fuel motors fired up and eventually got into an orbit around Earth’s sister planet, Venus. “Magellan's initial orbit was highly elliptical, taking it as close as 294 kilometers (182 miles) from Venus and as far away as 8,543 kilometers (5,296 miles). The orbit was a polar one, meaning that the spacecraft moved from south to north or vice versa during each looping pass, flying over Venus's north and south poles. Magellan completed one orbit every 3 hours, 15 minutes (” After the Magellan got close enough it started mapping and sending back images of Venus’s surface to Earth. After a while the Magellan mapped 98% of the surface which was very impressive and helped us a lot. As Magellan got closer to Venus it began to gather “high-resolution gravity data for an estimated 95 percent of the planet's surface (” On October 11, 1994 we lowered the Magellan again, but this time for the last time. We were going to send the Magellan spacecraft crashing through the planets dense atmosphere and onto the planets surface. We are doing this to gather more important information. By doing this we can see what the gravitational force is, what pictures of the planets surface look like up close, get mineral samples and more.

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Encarta Encyclopedia; research on Planet Venus

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