5 curious facts about the planet Venus

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News that a compound linked to life was identified in the clouds of Venus stirred the scientific community and ignited the imagination of Earthlings. Check out five curiosities about the planet that you may not know:

The brightest

In June 1889, the painter Vincent Van Gogh wrote to his brother, Theo: “This morning I saw the landscape from my window long before sunrise with nothing but the Morning Star, which looked very large.”

And this is how Venus was included in one of the most famous paintings in art history: Starry Night.

MoMA / Press Release

The planet is the second brightest element in the sky, after the Moon (and like it, it also has phases):

Pentagram in the heavens

The pentagram of Venus (the planet with the most circular orbit in the Solar System) is the planet’s apparent path (in beige) in relation to Earth (in blue). Eight years here correspond to 13 Venusian years.

Russian caps don’t work

The Russian Venera space program had 16 missions. Although they sent valuable information to Earth (such as the composition of the atmosphere and the pressure on the surface of Venus), in terms of image, they left something to be desired for a prosaic reason: the camera cover.

Venera 9 was the first probe to take photographic equipment to Venus. She took (few) photos with just one camera; the lens cap on the other did not come off. The Venera 10 also sent images from only one camera – as before, the cover of the other lens did not move. The next mission was even worse: the lenses of the two cameras on the Venera 11 remained covered – no photos of either her or Venera 12, which had the same defect.

Images of the surface of Venus, taken by the probe Venera 10Images of the surface of Venus, taken by the probe Venera 10

The problem seemed to have stayed with the Venera 13 in the past until Venera 14, at the command of ejecting the camera cover, did so directly under one of the instruments – and the result was that the mission command, rather than information about the compressibility of the soil, received data on the compressibility of the lens cap (but the cameras worked).

Images of the surface of Venus, taken by the probe Venera 14Images of the surface of Venus, taken by the probe Venera 14

Slow traffic

Obviously, only Venus and Mercury can be seen from Earth passing in front of the Sun (the so-called transits). Venus ones occur rarely and in pairs (two transits with an interval of eight years between them), repeating with intervals between 105.5 and 121.5 years.

The last one took place between June 5 and 6, 2012 (this was only the seventh time that it was seen, since the invention of the telescope) and the next will take place between December 10 and 11, 2117 and December 8, 2125 .

Paradise before hell

Something went very, very wrong with the planet. According to a study by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), Venus may have had, in the first two billion years of its history, a shallow ocean of liquid water and habitable surface temperatures.

According to the NASA study, storm clouds could have protected ancient Venus from strong sunlight and made the planet habitable.According to the NASA study, storm clouds could have protected ancient Venus from strong sunlight and made the planet habitable.

Today, the planet is called the infernal world, with an atmosphere of carbon dioxide 90 times thicker than that of Earth, with almost no water vapor and temperatures reaching 460 ° C on its surface.

5 curious facts about the planet Venus via TecMundo



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