Venus is Earth’s closest neighbor and known as its twin because they are about the same size. However, the weather on the two planets could not be more different. Let’s take a closer look.
Venus is a rocky planet, suffocated by a thick blanket of sulfuric acid. A weather forecaster for Venus would have an easy job. The planet has many atmospheric features to keep conditions the same, meaning Venus sees basically the same weather every day. Its orbit is even more circular than Earth’s, which prevents it from getting significantly hotter or cooler because it doesn’t move closer or further away from the sun.
Venus’s day is longer than its year, with a year lasting only 225 Earth days while a day lasts 243. While you might expect things to cool down during those long nights, winds whip around the planet at 224 mph, keeping temperatures even thoughout, at over 800 degrees.
It takes only about four days for a cloud to move around the planet. The pressure at the surface is 92 times higher than Earth’s, creating a pressure-cooker type environment.
Over 85% of the surface is covered by volcanic rock with giant lava flows. Because it’s so hot, almost all the planet’s water has escaped to space, so you don’t get any storms or precipitation. However, the sulfuric acid clouds are still able to create lightning, the only planet in the solar system able to do so without water clouds.
Join me next week where we will Zoom to Earth’s other neighbor, Mars.