Venus - the second planet remotest from the Sunand the closest neighbor of the Earth. Despite the fact that Venus bears the name of the ancient Roman goddess of love and fertility, a real hell is hidden under the thick atmosphere of the planet: the average temperature on the surface of this celestial body is a record 460 degrees, which makes the planet the hottest object in the solar system. Despite this fact, it was Venus that became the main goal for conducting the first interplanetary studies of such spacecraft as Mariner-2 and Venus-7. After almost 50 years of calm, scientists again want to return to the infernal planet.
- 1 Why is Venus so different from Earth?
- 2 Was Venus always hot?
- 3 Have people flown to Venus?
- 4 Will new spacecraft explore Venus?
Why is Venus so different from Earth?
Earth and Venus are very similar. Both celestial bodies of approximately the same size, made of the same material, revolve around the same star and even have a thick atmosphere, but this is where their similarities end. Venus can rightly be called the evil sister of the Earth, since everyone who is on this planet faces immediate death.
An interesting hypothesis: Venus has turned into a hellish planet due to the tides of the ancient oceans
For an alien astronomer located many light years away and observing the solar system through a telescope, Venus would be practically indistinguishable from our own planet.
So how does it turn out that two planets are sosimilar in position, structure and composition, can be so different? This issue has a very long history, which motivates the creation of numerous space expeditions to explore Venus. If scientists can understand why Venus turned out to be what it is now, we will have a better understanding of whether a planet like Earth is a rule or an exception to the laws of the universe.
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Was Venus always hot?
A modern scientific view of Venus claimsthat at some point in the past there was much more water on the planet than its dry atmosphere suggests today - perhaps there were even oceans. But as the sun became hotter and brighter, the temperature of the surface of Venus increased, evaporating all the oceans and seas. With even more water vapor in the atmosphere, the planet entered an uncontrolled greenhouse state, from which it could not recover.
A similar view of Venus as wetThe world is just a hypothesis. Planetologists still don’t know exactly what made Venus so different from Earth. Despite the proximity of this hot world, we know less about Venus than about other planets of the inner solar system. This is partly because, in order to study the atmosphere and surface of the planet, researchers need high-strength equipment and first-class technology that can withstand not only high temperatures on the planet, but also colossal atmospheric pressure, which is 92 times greater than Earth's.
Did people fly to Venus?
Despite the fact that for almost 40 yearsmankind was much more interested in Mars than Venus, it was not always so. Once the planet was a real favorite of planetary exploration: between the 1960s and 1980s, about 35 missions were sent to the second planet from the Sun. The first images obtained from the surface of this hot world were sent from the Soviet landing module "Venus 9" after it landed in 1975. But the last mission launched to Venus was the Magellan mission, successfully launched by NASA in 1989. This spacecraft managed to capture almost the entire surface of Venus with the help of a radar before its planned death in the atmosphere of the planet in 1994.
Will new spacecraft explore Venus?
Over the past few years, NASA has proposedseveral options for expeditions aimed at the study of Venus. One of the most promising proposals was to send a Dragonfly mission to Venus, which was originally planned to travel to the distant satellite of Saturn - Titan.
Other missions under consideration includeone of the missions of the European Space Agency, which is aimed at mapping high-resolution surfaces, as well as Roscosmos plans to place a landing module on the surface of Venus.
About 30 years after NASAset a course for our hellish neighbor, the future in the field of exploration of Venus looks quite promising. However, even the placement of a radar orbital vehicle or even a long-lived landing module will not solve all the outstanding mysteries of this “hot thing”.
In order to finally understand the nature ofhow and why Venus became the hottest planet in the solar system, space agencies of the future will have to create a full-scale research program. The results of these data will help us better understand how a world the size of the Earth can evolve when it is close to its star. In addition, by the example of Venus, we can imagine the fate of our own planet.