Monday, December 3, 2007

You think it is hot on Earth- Life is Hell if you lived on Venus

If you go out and look in the East before sunrise you will see a very bright "white star." It's actually the planet Venus, the 2nd planet from our Sun. Clouds reflect much of the light but also make it impossible to take look at the surface of Venus. These clouds are not made of water vapor but sulphuric acid. But that's not all.

The carbon dioxide rich atmosphere traps much of the heat. Basicly this conditon creates a runaway Greenhouse gas condition in which all the heat which enter through the clouds is trapped. The temperature is over 700 Fahrenheit so it is like"Hell on Venus."

Two Russian Venera spacecraft did land on the surface and sent back photos of the surface which instantly told us how arid this desolate planet is. But we did not know why it is so dry. Now we have answers.

Europe's Venus Express spacecraft has communicated an important discovery: the solar wind dries out Venus. Unlike Earth, Venus has no global magnetic field to deflect particles from the sun. When radiation from the Sun called "solar wind" hits Venus, it decreases the upper atmosphere. Hydrogen and oxygen atoms fly into space, removing water from Venus. The process makes conditions even hotter and worse by making the climate dryer planet.
Here is further information.

Photos from the surface of Venus, what the Venusian clouds look like and more interesting photos at

planets weather 12/3/2007 (E.O.A.S)1 : Students will discover information about other planets and compare/ contrast the conditions/ characteristics to that of Earth

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