Venus is one of the most unique planets in the solar system. However, our interest in exploring mars has made us lose focus on learning more about venus.
Whether you have learned about venus or you are just getting started learning venus, this article will give you a detailed insight into what you should know about Venus formation, unmanned mission to venus, how the planet got its name, and more.
How was Venus Formed?
Venus, the second closet planet, and our closet neighbor took a formation that is similar to the formation of Earth. According to a theory coined to describe the formation of venus, it was described that Venus formation occurred about 4.5 billion years ago. Keep in mind that the sun was formed 4.6 billion years ago.
So after the sun came into existence, the remaining nebulae particles from the sun formed venus and other planets. According to this theory, Venus’s formation began when gravity gathered dust and swirling gas particles together. These particles began to collide with each other and join themselves together. After many bodies have collided together, Venus began to take a planetary shape.
After the planet closes down, it harbored the ocean and took a similar shape to the earth. Although the planet was not able to attract a moon to its orbit, Venus still provided a livable environment for its first habitants in its younger days. So when did venus become uninhabitable?
According to several studies, venus has remained habitable for billions of years before it became hellish and unhabitable for any living species. The recent studies that best describe when venus became uninhabitable were published in 2019.
According to these studies, venus may have remained habitable for about 3 billion before it becomes hostile to living organisms. These studies suggest that Venus only became uninhabitable about 700 or 750 million years ago.
Does Venus have Potential for Life?
Venus is close to close to the sun. So it taps enough energy to sustain life from its parent star. But can venus actually provide a habitable condition for living organisms to adapt? Venus is generally referred to as the Earth, an evil twin sister for a reason.
The planet’s hot temperature which ranges from 86 to 158 Fahrenheits, makes it impossible for any living specie to survive on its surface. Scientists are still suggesting that early life could have evolved on venus since the planet once possesses a habitable environment. Several studies have revealed that extremophile microbes may have evolved on the planet in the past.
However, all these theories are still suggestions raised by scientists about the terrestrial planet. In 2017, a group of scientists in the U.K. used the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) to discover phosphine and sulfur dioxide in Venus clouds. Scientists studied phosphine closely and realize that it was created by microbes.
Keep in mind that scientists have also discovered phosphine on earth as well. The Microbes living in oxygen-free environments created this gas on earth. When scientists discovered this gas in Venus’s atmosphere, they began to imagine to possibilities of building floating cities across venus in the future.
Until this day, we have not discovered any evidence of past or present life on Venus. However, future space missions to the planet will improve our understanding of the terrestrial planet.
Venus Orbit and Rotation around the Sun
Unlike other planets, Venus’s rotation around the sun is extremely slow. If you intend to spend a day on Venus, you should get ready to exercise patience with the planet, because the planet will surely frustrate your plans. A day on Venus is equivalent to 243 Earth days.
But why should Venus stay so long to complete its daily rotation around the sun? The reason behind Venus’s extended rotation period around the sun is its slow rotation. It takes Venus about 225 days to complete a revolution around the sun.
Unlike Earth, Sunrise to Sunset on Venus takes up to 117 Earth days. Keep in mind that Venus rotates in opposite direction to earth. This implies that the sun rises in the west and sets in the east on Venus. Unlike most planets with elliptical orbits, Venus’s orbit is recently close to circular.
The planet’s orbit has attained is closest to circular because of its slow rotation. Hence, if Venus should increase its rotating speed around the sun, the terrestrial planet will likely take an elliptical orbit like other planets.
How was Venus named?
The ancient Romans were fascinated with the seven bright objects that shows up over their sky. These bright objects include the Sun, the Moon, and the five brightest planets including Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Since Venus was one of the brightest objects visible to the ancient Romans, they decided to give the planet an outstanding name.
Keep in mind that after the Sun and the Moon, Venus is the next brightest object visible to the ancient astronomers. So they decided to name the planet after the Roman goddess of love and beauty. Ancient Romans also went ahead to name other planets after their most important gods.
But Venus was the only planet named after their female god. You may be wondering why they choose to name Venus differently. It is because the planet shines brighter than other planets. So they attributed an outstanding name to the brightest planet over their night sky.
How was Venus Discovered?
Before the use of modern astronomical equipment to study the universe, Venus has remained visible over the Earth’s night sky. Hence, ancient astronomers find it easier to spot the terrestrial planet without the use of any modern tool. No one was accredited with the first discovery of Venus until the 17th century.
In 1610, Galileo Galilee used his advanced telescope to study Venus over the Earth’s night sky. From his observation, he closely compared the planet to Earth’s moon. Galileo was excited as his observation made astronomers develop a unique interest in studying the planet. This successful observation made by Galileo Galilee was the first documented effort made by humans to discover Venus.
After Galileo’s observation, the next attempt to reach Venus and explore the planet commenced in the 20th century with NASA’s Mariner 2 mission. On December 14th, 1962, NASA’s Mariner 2 Spacecraft successfully reach venus and flew across the planet.
During this space mission, the spacecraft scanned the Venus cloud and return the data back to earth. This mission was the first time we succeeded in discovering Venus and upgrading our knowledge about the planet. NASA and other space agencies have sent several spacecraft and landers to Venus. Space missions to Venus are clearly explained here.
Venus has captured our interest because of its uniqueness and closeness to the earth. Space agencies have sent numerous space missions to Venus. They are willing to send more spacecraft in the future to improve our understanding of the terrestrial planet.