Venus and The Moon by Michael and Joella

Venus is the second planet to the sun and one some think might have sustainability for human life. The moon is the only land mass orbiting around earth and the only celestial object which humans have successfully landed upon. Both of these have unique characteristics that you will learn about. We will also discuss their use in mythology and the current and former explorations to these celestial objects and much more.



Formation:

How did Venus form? There are a few theories as to how Venus was formed. The first one is that Venus is not actually a planet, but a large chunk Jupiter that got severed when Jupiter was hit by a planet. Many scientists think this because Venus is the only planet that doesn’t have a moon. After the chunk was cut off from Jupiter, it then shot of from Jupiters orbit and then settled between Earth and Mercury. Another theory is that Earth and Venus formed from the same nebula at the same time. This is because Earth and Venus have about the same mass and size. For example:

There is slightly less gravity on Venus than on Earth (.91 times).
Venus is about 600km smaller than Earth (across the diameter).
Venus is about 108 million km from the Sun (Earth is about 152).

vencomp.jpg




The physical characteristics of Venus include:

12 times brighter than Sirius, the brightest star in the sky. This is because it is the closest planet to the Earth. It also reflects 70% of its light off of the Sun.
It’s mass is about 80% of what the Earths weighs, and it rotates opposite directions with the other planets.
A Venus year is 243.16 days long.
The atmosphere is very hot and dense with a thick cloud floating on the upper part. The ground temperatures range from 446 degrees to 482 degrees. The temperatures are so high because it is so close to the Sun, which causes the Greenhouse Effect.
There is no water on the Earth, and the soil is dry and rocky. There are many desert ranges and mountains with volcanic origins.

venus.jpg venus_pvo.jpg venus5.gif


Exploration:

There are have been a lot of explorations to Venus. However, some many of them were not able to send back information to Earth because the atmosphere and the planet surface damaged the probes. The ones that succeeded was Venera 9, Pioneer 12, and finally, the Magellan.
A probe that is going to Venus next year is called the ISAS Venus Orbiter. A current probe that went to Venus is called the ESA Venus Orbiter, which was launched in November of 2005.

Venus_ESA_image_2.jpg

History:


Feb. 1961: The 1VA-1 (USSR) was stranded in orbit. The purpose of this exploration was just to land on Venus.
July 1962: The Mariner 1 (USA) probe crashed and landed in the North Atlantic.
April 1964: The Zond 1 (USSR) crashed due to pressure loss and corona damage.
Nov. 1965: The Venera 3 (USSR) was the the first probe to crash on another planet.
Jan. 1967: The Venera 4 (USSR) was the first planetary atmosphere probe, and was crushed at an altitude of 16 miles.
Jan. 1969: The Venera 6 (USSR) was the first probe to land on Venus.
Nov. 1973: The Mariner 10 (USA) took the first good pictures of Venus.
Oct. 1997: The Cassini (USA) flew by Venus and took high resolution pictures with the help of the Saturn orbiter.
Aug. 2004: The Messanger (USA) flew by Venus, takes atmospheric data.
Nov. 2007: The Venus Express (NASA) took atmospheric readings and studied the greenhouse affect in Venus.

venus2.jpg

Mythology:


According to the Romans, Venus was the goddess of love, beauty, sexuality, marriage, procreation, and domestic bliss. She has three forms: Inanna, Ishtar, and Astarte. Inanna showed up in the morning as a beautiful youth; Ishtar came in the afternoon as a woman who is experiencing motherhood, and Astarte was an old woman who showed up at night. Astarte would eventually lose all her strength and power, but before she died, she would plant a seed of wisdom that would grow into a flower for Inanna.
Instead of being born like any other normal person, she came out of the sea--floating on a very big seashell.
Venus has many different symbols. A few general ones are golden apples, seashells, and the planet Venus, which is sometimes called the Evening Star.

botticelli_birth_venus.jpg
Birth of Venus



The Moon


Formation


The most popular theory for how the moon was formed is the Giant Impact Hypothesis or the Big Wack. There are several other theories, but in most scientific communities this is the favored theory. This theory states that the earth collided with a mars sized body called Theia. From this collision most of Theia’s mantle and some of the Earth’s mantle ejected into orbit around the Earth.

external image moon.gif

Rotation and Revolutions


The moon’s rotation (time it takes for the moon to spin on its axis in one complete circle) and rotation (time it takes the moon to orbit around the earth) are exactly the same. They both take 27 days, 7 hours and, 43 minutes. This rare occurrence is we always see the same side of the moon from Earth. There is an uneven amount of mass on the earth which allows the Earth’s gravitational pull to keep the side of the moon we see permanently facing earth.

external image moon-0.gif

Exploration


During the Cold War the Soviet Union and United States had fierce competition to reach the moon first. The Soviets landed the first unmanned mission to the moon when Luna 2, a space probe struck the surface of the moon in 1959. In 1969 The United States landed the first man on the moon when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. There were several more missions to the moon until 1976 when they abruptly stopped and both countries focused on other types of space exploration.
Some countries including China and India are hoping to land a manned mission to the moon by 2020. The U.S. also announced hopes of traveling to the moon again by 2020.

external image moon.gif

The moon weighs .07349_10^24 kg about one eighteenth of the earth.
The moon makes a complete orbit around the earth every 27.3 days
The moon diameter is 3,474 KM about ¼ of the earth
moon’s surface area is about one tenth of earth about as large as Russia, Canada and U.S. combined)
The moon is over 384,000 Kilometers from Earth



===Mythology
===

Nearly every ancient culture had some sort of mythology of the moon. Many cultures including Greek mythology had the moon as a goddesses and making the moon a feminine figure. People had many theories about the moon’s composition before the telescope gave us an idea of what the moon was actually made of. The darker sections of the moon called Maria were originally thought to be seas in the moon and the lighter section called Terra were thought to be continents. Many theorized that there was life similar to human life on the moon based on the assumption that it had large masses of land and water like our planet.




Conclusion



The Moon and Venus have tremendous importance in understanding the world outside of our Earth. These two celestial objects are neighbors and we need to have a good understanding of them. I think there is a acceptable amount of research and exploration missions headed to the Moon and Venus, but I think it would be much more efficient if these countries worked together for a common goal.



SOURCES
http://www.nineplanets.org/venus.html
http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Venus
http://www.nineplanets.org/luna.html
http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/astronomy/moon/
http://www.solarviews.com/eng/moon.htm
http://www.spacetoday.org/SolSys/Venus/VenusMissionsTable.html
http://www.goddessgift.com/goddess-myths/roman_goddess_venus.html