Venus is one of the most lovely and alluring heavenly body. It is much closer to Earth than any other worlds. Venus is a brilliant item in the night sky and often brighter than any other stars in the paradises. Only the Sun and the Moon outshines her. Like the remaining planets, Venus revolves around the Sun inside the solar orbit of the Earth. Thus, Venus can either be an early morning or evening star.1 Her name, Venus, comes from the Roman goddess of love and appeal.
Venus, as a planet, is rather frustrating.
She conceals herself in a thick white veil of clouds and nobody clearly seen her surface area.2 The astronomers are force to engage in a substantial effort to uncover tricks of her for they know a little about it. The primary function of my paper is to show some facts about Venus and also deepen the knowledge of the readers. Venus possesses some functions that are nearly the same as Earth’s.
One of this is that Venus is closely the exact same size and weight as Earth. Just a little smaller sized in size and lighter in weight. Its gravity likewise coops an atmosphere about the size of our own.3 Venus internal structure is similar to Earth’s as it is made up of crust, mantle and core. That’s why Venus is frequently considered Earth’s twin.
1Robert Leo I. Heller, “Planets Inside the Orbit of Earth,” Difficulties to Science (Montreal: McGraw-Hill Book Inc., 1979), p.
2Gerald S. Hawkins, “Venus and Mars,” Splendor in the Sky (London: Harper and Row Publishing House, 1961), p. 122.
3Mark O. Palin, “Venus,” The Real World (Miami: Hunter-Dee Book Inc., 1999), p. 99 But in other ways, Venus appears to be rather various from Earth. First, Venus turns in a very odd way. Many of the planets turn counterclockwise while Venus turns clockwise or backward. Then, Venus might have atmosphere but it wouldn’t be able to support life as you understand like Earth. Its atmosphere is made up of more than 90% of Carbon Dioxide and almost no Oxygen. Her temperature level too is high which is 100 times higher than Earth’s and enough to melt Lead.4 Unlike other worlds, Venus surface is never ever seen though many scientists claimed to have a glimpse of it through cloud openings which appears really not likely because her dense clouds are hundreds of miles deep.
5 Venus, though rotating around the Sun, never experiences day and night because of the thick, ash-like clouds covering it. It is dark for sunlight does not penetrate the clouds. What is the surface of the Venus like? Some astronomers said that Venus’ surface is covered by large mountain ranges and deep swamps. People who don’t know much about Science think that Venus is covered with glowing waters. But, according to Galileo’s old journal, Venus is impossibly covered by water because of its high temperature. The best guess today is that Venus is chiefly a vast and sandy desert. The desert is flat, for wind-driven sand has long ago worn down the hills and filled in the hollows. It is dry, for rain cannot fall on it and it is surely unable to support life.6
4Heller, p. 403.
5Roy A. Gallant, “Exploring Venus,” Man’s Reach for the Stars (New York: Doubleday and Company Inc., 1959), p. 146.
6Patricia C. Lauber, “Mercury and Venus,” All about Planets (New York: Random House Inc., 1960), p. 56. Venus is mostly covered by volcanic plates because of her high temperature. The surface has been severely fractured and folded by stresses caused by convection of the Venusian mantle because of frequent volcanic eruptions. Radar images indicate that the highlands on Venus have rougher surfaces than Earth’s land forms because its images shows mini magma explosions inside.7 The light emitted by Venus which makes her shine in the dawn or evening possibly comes from the great bolts of lightning or from volcanic eruptions.8 Explorations on Venus cost many attempts in gathering data to prove some existing parts of her.
Soviet Union and USSR probes are one of the most eager astronomers in studying the mysterious planet, Venus. Venera 1 or also called Venus 1 is the first probe sent by USSR in 1961. The Venera 1 is said to be a failed mission because the probe only flew past on Venus. This event is said to be a déjà vu for the second probe, Venera 2, sent by the Soviet Union in 1965, experienced the same miscalculated direction as it flew past on Venus too. The third probe, Venera 3, still sent by Soviet Union in 1965, is also a failed one but it touches the Venus surface because the probe crashes on it. Scientists reported that they had maintained regular radio communication with the 3 failed probes but the signals were lost before it reaches Venus outermost atmosphere.9
7“Venus,” Compton’s Encyclopedia (U.S.A.: Compton’s Learning Company, 1996), 19:408.
8Lauber, p. 54.
9Robert W. Peterson, “USSR and U.S. Send Probes to Venus,” Space: From Gemini to the Moon and Beyond (New York: Facts on File Inc., 1972), p. 102.
Venera 4, a probe sent by USSR in 1967, is the heaviest Venus probe known to have been launched by USSR. As the probe reaches Venus’ atmosphere, it was burned into ashes but luckily a parachute system operated by the USSR’s satellite smoothly descended into Venus’ surface. This probe successfully sent information about Venus to the NASA regarding its atmospheric pressure at the surface of the planet might be as high as 22 times the Earth’s and later proved that its atmosphere was mostly composed of Carbon Dioxide. But, Venera 4 stopped sending unexpectedly; it seems that fierce winds and intense heat destroyed the probe. Venera 1, 2, 3 and 4 are all unmanned probes.
Alongside of launching the Veneras, Mariner 1, a 3D Venus probe launched by USSR in 1962, veered off-course and was destroyed after launching but Mariner 2, launched in the same year, flew successfully and provided a large amount of data to NASA. Mariner 5 of USSR, launched on 1967, flew within 2,480 miles of the surface of the Venus and collected some information about Venus’ environment and thus, contradicted Venera 4’s collected information.11 Soviet unmanned probes, Venera 5 and Venera 6, reached the planet Venus. Though Venera 5 just stopped in the midst of Venus’ atmosphere, Venera 6 is there to pursue on entering the planet’s atmosphere and it successfully did. Venera 6 sent data about Venus having land forms such as mountain ranges and volcanoes.12
10Peterson, p. 103.
11Peterson, p. 104.
12Peterson, p. 211.
The USSR’s unmanned spacecraft Venera 7, launched in 1971, was the last probe sent to Venus. Venera 7 is the most successful probe because it sent countless of information about the planet. These are: Venus’ temperature was above normal, Venus’ don’t experience night and day, Venus rotate backward and many information that are helpful in learning the planet Venus.13 Today, NASA is trying to reach Venus again by sending 2 manned probe flyby by using the Apollo program. Meaning, a man will be riding the probe but he is prohibited ongoing outside the probe if he is in the vicinity of Venus’ atmosphere as said in Apollo Program.
14 In these given data, we can say that Venus is not just a mere planet revolving around the Sun, but a planet full of mysteries. It may not awaken our senses but it can poke our curiousity by asking question of what’s and how’s about her. In the science advancement today, more facts will be known about Venus. Powerful radar and other instruments will probe its thick clouds, mapping the surface and timing the rotation. Satellites and rockets will relay back information on what the clouds are made of. Someday, valiant explorers may descend through clouds and start discovering. The more bits and pieces of data we can collect from the planets, the better chances for us of reading our own history.
13Peterson, p. 258.
14Jeffrey K. Wagner, “Venus,” Introduction to Solar System (U.S.A.: Saunders College Publishing, 1991), p. 185.
Gallant, Roy A. “Exploring Venus.” Man’s Reach for the Stars. New York: Doubleday and Company, Inc., 1959.
Hawkins, Gerald S. “Venus and Mars.” Splendor in the Sky. London: Harper and Row Publishing House, 1961.
Heller, Robert Leo I. “Planets Inside the Orbit of Earth.” Challenges to Science. Montreal: McGraw-Hill Book Inc., 1979.
Lauber, Patricia C. “Mercury and Venus.” All about Planets. New York: Random House Inc., 1960.
Palin, Mark O. “Venus.” The Physical World. Miami: Hunter-Dee Book Inc., 1999.
Peterson, Robert W. “USSR and U.S. Send Probes to Venus.” Space: From Gemini to the Moon and Beyond. New York: Facts on File Inc., 1972.
Wagner, Jeffrey K. “Venus.” Introduction to Solar System. U.S.A.: Saunders College Publishing House, 1991.
“Venus.” Compton’s Encyclopedia. U.S.A.: Compton’s Learning Company, 1996.