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(ethereal music)
- [Angeli Gabriel] Named after the ancient Roman
goddess of beauty,
Venus is known for its exceptional brightness
in the night sky.
But behind this facade is a world of storms and infernos
unlike anywhere else in the solar system.
Venus, the second planet from the sun,
is very similar to Earth from a distance.
But up close, it's a very different world.
Venus is about the same size as Earth,
just slightly smaller.
It's structure is also nearly identical,
with an iron core, a hot mantle,
and a rocky crust.
The crust of Venus, however,
is dotted with thousands of volcanoes,
including Maxwell Montes,
a volcano almost as tall as Mount Everest.
Venus also has a thick layered atmosphere.
It's full of clouds that rain (thunder cracking)
sulfuric acid, and whip around the planet
at speeds up to 224 miles per hour.
Faster than some category five hurricanes.
The atmosphere is so thick
that it creates a surface pressure
similar to what it would be
about half a mile deep in the Earth's oceans.
This pressure is heavy enough
that a human standing on Venus' surface,
would be crushed.
The atmosphere is made of greenhouse gases,
primarily carbon dioxide.
Which create an extreme case of global warming.
They trap the sun's heat,
causing surface temperatures to rise
over 880 degrees Fahrenheit.
Making Venus the hottest planet in the solar system.
Venus is so inhospitable,
neither humans nor space craft
are able to survive the planet's surface.
But some scientists speculate
that Venus wasn't always so unwelcoming.
From roughly 2.9 billion to 715 million years go,
global temperatures on Venus
may have been just a few degrees cooler
than Earth's are today.
And scientists theorize that the surface
may have contained shallow oceans
that could have held enough water to support life.
(bright instrumental music)
Today, life may still exist in Venus' atmosphere.
About 30 miles up in Venus' clouds,
where the temperature and surface pressure
are similar to those on the surface of Earth,
scientists have observed strange dark streaks
that appear to be absorbing ultraviolet radiation.
A phenomenon that could be evidence
of microbial life.
Life may struggle to survive
in the atmosphere of Venus,
but it is this unforgiving environment
that's made Venus an icon of beauty.
It reflects 70% of all the sunlight
that reaches the planet,
which is why Venus shines more brightly
than any other planet or star in the night sky.
While more than 40 unmanned space craft
have visited this infernal world,
Venus, so illuminated in the darkness of space,
still has much to reveal.
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Venus 101 | National Geographic

35 分類 收藏
Courtney Shih 發佈於 2020 年 1 月 21 日
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