Study On Venus

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    Recently, the study measured the tilt of the Venusian axis and size of the planet’s core.

    Major Findings of the Study

    • The scientists are able to calculate the precise tilt of Venus’ spin (2.6392 degrees, much smaller than Earth’s 23-degree tilt) by analyzing precious observations.
    • The analyses also estimate the size of Venus’ core to be about 4,350 miles (7,000 kilometers) across.
    • Previous Venus core estimates had been based on computer modeling rather than observational data. Its core is almost certainly composed of iron and nickel, though it is unclear whether it is solid or molten.
    • A single Venusian rotation takes 243.0226 Earth days. That means a day lasts longer than a year on Venus, which makes a complete orbit around the sun in 225 Earth days.
      • It was already known that Venus has the longest day — the time the planet takes for a single rotation on its axis — of any planet in our solar system, though there were discrepancies among previous estimates.

    Image Courtesy: Vibgyor

    • Methodology opted: The researchers transmitted radio waves toward Venus 21 times from 2006 to 2020 from NASA’s Goldstone Antenna in the Mojave Desert of California and studied the radio echo, which provided information on certain planetary traits.
      • Researchers illuminated Venus with a giant flashlight, the radar at Goldstone, and observed the reflections as they swept over the surface of the Earth.
      • Each individual measurement was obtained by treating Venus as a giant disco ball.

    Earlier Findings

    • The presence of phosphine was detected in the atmosphere of Venus. This indicates the possibility of the presence of lifeforms on Venus.
    • Phosphine: It is a chemical compound made up of one atom of phosphorus and three atoms of hydrogen and is highly toxic to people.
      • It has been used as a bioweapon in the past (World War I). Other than that it is used as an agricultural fumigant.
      • It is naturally manufactured by some anaerobic microbes, which do not have access to oxygen. 

    Significance

    • It is providing new insight into Earth’s closest planetary neighbour, including a precise calculation of the duration of a Venusian day.

    Planet Venus  

    • Venus is Earth’s closest planetary neighbour which is similar in structure but slightly smaller than Earth, it is the second planet from the sun.
      • Venus has been called Earth’s twin.
    • Venus is wrapped in a thick, toxic atmosphere filled with carbon dioxide that traps in heat.
    • The temperature of Venus is too high, and its atmosphere is highly acidic, just two of the things that would make life impossible.
      • Surface temperatures reach a scorching 880 degrees Fahrenheit (471 degrees Celsius), hot enough to melt lead.
    • It  has no moons and no rings.
    • It spins from east to west, the opposite direction from all other planets in our solar system but the same as Uranus.
    • Venus’ solid surface is a volcanic landscape covered with extensive plains featuring high volcanic mountains and vast ridges.
    • Earlier Studies and Missions: Venus was the first planet to be explored by a spacecraft – NASA’s Mariner 2 on Dec. 14, 1962.
      • NASA’s Pioneer Venus mission (1978), the Soviet Union’s Venera 15 and 16 missions (1983-1984), and NASA’s Magellan radar mapping mission (1990-1994) provided together a comprehensive picture of a dry world, with landscapes shaped by volcanic and intense geological activity. 
      • Indian mission -Shukrayaan
        • India plans to launch a new orbiter to Venus in 2024.
        • It will be the first mission to Venus by the India Space Research Organization (ISRO) and will study the planet for four years.

    Source :TH