Venus Overview Updated November 16, 2020


"The morning star"

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Two 'Venus' stories

July 2020 - September 2020

Venus, named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty, is the third-smallest planet in our solar system. Often referred to as “the morning star” due to Venus rising visibly in the sky just before the Sun each morning. Features of the planet include mountains, valleys, and tens of thousands of volcanoes. The tallest mountain on Venus is called Maxwell Montes, and it is 20,000 feet high, around the same size as Mount Everest on Earth.

Venus has been visited many times by various landers, including Venera 4, Venera 5, and Venera 6. Most attempts to land on Venus ultimately fail due to the extremely high temperatures there.

Traditional life here has been deemed somewhat likely, but not on the surface. Life is much more likely to exist within the cloud layer of Venus, where conditionals are much more reasonable.

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Surface Photos

Life on Venus? Scientists haven’t ruled it out with atmospheric phosphine molecule discovery

While it’s far too soon to claim that life has been discovered beyond our planet, a new scientific discovery provides a tantalizing clue that Venus may be the best place to search for extraterrestrial life. The Royal Astronomical Society announced today that phosphine molecules have been observed from Earth in the atmosphere of Venus.

Why does that matter? The phosphine molecule is created either artificially on Earth or “by microbes that thrive in oxygen-free environments,” as RAS describes.

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Corona structures on Venus point to widespread volcanic activity, need for further exploration

Venus, our neighboring planet of 25 million miles on its closest approach, is full of surprises. Having a similar mass, size, and proximity to the Sun, it’s often referred to as Earth’s “Sister Planet.” However, the terrain and atmosphere are vastly different, having 92 times the atmospheric pressure of that present on Earth, large slab-like rocks, and mountain-like structures throughout the planet.

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