If anything was name inappropriately then it would surely be the planet Venus. Venus is named after the Roman Goddess of Love and has been known of for many millenia. The truth is that the planet is an extremely hot and violent planet. Although the Treens from Dan Dare come from the planet, nothing on the planet could survive. The planet is on the edges of the goldilocks, the zone in space around a star where life could exist. It is sometimes referred to as Earth's Evil Twin, it is nearly the same size as the Earth but because of its hellish environment, it gets known as being Evil.
Whilst people are still trying to work out as to what will happen when the Greenhouse Effect reaches its peak, Venus has already gone through its Global Warming and stayed like that.
Whilst the Americans and Europeans concentrated on Mars, the Russians sent sixteen Venera probes to the planet. Venera 13 was able to land on the planet and survive on the planet for just over two hours. It was able to send back the first colour images of the planet. When probes visited the planet, they showed that the planet had active volcanoes which affected the planets atmosphere therefore making the environment inhospitable.
Although the general consensus is that life doesn't exist on the planet, life has been found on Earth in near similar environments. Whilst animals living on the ground is a no-no, there are some scientists who think life could exist in the upper atmosphere where temperature and pressure is a little less hostile. We know on our planet, there are bacteria in the upper atmosphere so why not on Venus. Ref: PopSci. The picture shows one of a few pictures that was ever sent back to Earth from the Venera probes.
At one time in the past when the Sun was younger, it wasn't as big as it was today, Venus would most likely have been in the Goldilocks zone and life on the planet could have flourished like it did it. As the Sun's energy supply reduced over time, gravity which kept the Sun smaller was loosing to the outward nuclear force meaning it was growing. As the Sun grew, the planets such as Mercury and Venus grew hotter. Any water on Venus would have evaporated and the planet and turned to steam. When the Pioneer Venus probe visited and plunged into Venus, it found a very high Deuterium to Hydrogen ratio
Hydrogen atom is 1 proton and 1 electron. Deuterium is Hydrogen with one neutron added to the mix. Tritium is Hydrogen with two neutrons added. It is said that water with 5,000 water molecules, there should be at least one Deuterium. All the Deuterium and Tritium in the universe was created in the moments of the Big Bang, some 13.8 Billion years ago. Whilst other elements can be created all the way up to Iron can be created by a Star, no new molecules of this time has been created and never will. Deuterium is used in the production of nuclear weapons and is also known as Heavy Water. The film Heroes of Telemark starring Kirk Douglas was the story of commandoes trekking into Norway to blow up a heavy water plant.
With there being so much Deuterium, there is the possibility there was a lot of water at one time but turned to steam and thus made Venus warmer and inhospitable. There is a possibility that simple life on Venus might exist in the upper Venusian atmosphere. As the Sun grows as it gets older, Earth could one day end up like Venus as the Goldilocks Zone moves further outwards. We'll probably never know if life ever existed on Venus unless we could find a way and dig for fossils. ref:Vanderbilt
The planet is said to have had a Global Warming event which caused the toxicity. There is a theory that Venus might have been able to support life but as the Sun grew, it affected the temperature of the planet and made inhospitable for life.
A day on Venus is actually longer than its year. It takes 243 days to rotate once on its axis but it only takes 225 days to orbit round the Sun. Compare that to the Earth which is 24 hours to rotate on its axis and 365 and a little bit for a orbital year.
In addition to it being the slowest to rotate on its axis, it also rotates in the opposite way to every other planet. If you looked down on Earth, you would see it have an anti-clockwise rotation as its moves. Venus is different in that it rotates in the opposite direction so whereas Japan is known as the Land of the Rising Sun. If Earth had the same rotation, Japan would be known as the Land of the Setting Sun.
The planet although it is within the Goldilocks zone, that being not too cold and not too hot to support life, the atmosphere is extremely toxic. In addition to it being toxic, the atmosphere is very hot. The clouds trap the heat so that it can't escape.
Even though it has a large amount of carbon dioxide, it has a sulphuric atmosphere. Humans would not be able to last very long on the planet unless they had very advanced gear which doesn't exist currently.
There is still despite the toxicity of the atmosphere, a small possibiity that microbial life forms could exist in the atmosphere at a very high level. Scientists have found life on this planet in the most inhospitable locations that anything is possible. The term for those that live in inhospitable locations are Extremophiles.
There is no plans at the moment to go to the planet to study. Everyone is more interested in Mars due to its less toxic and difficult atmosphere.
There are no moons of Venus, it one of two planets that don't have moons, the other being Mercury. If the planet ever did have a moon, it is not there any more, it might have been pulled into Sun because Venus was not able to keep it within its gravity.
|Position from Sun||2 A.U.|
|Meaning||Goddess of Love|
|Volumetric Mean Radius||6,051.80 km|
|Orbital Period||224.695 Days|
|Length of Day||2802|
|Distance from the Sun||108,200,000.00km from the Sun.|
|Orbit Escape Velocity||8.87|
|Atmosphere||96.5% Carbon Dioxide (CO2), 3.5% Nitrogen (N2)|