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Apologies for the slackness of my posts, I was in Adelaide for the Easter weekend and all my time was spent with family and SexyMan. But now I’m back. Yay.

Last week I wrote about air pressure in space, and to carry on the spaceman spiff theme I thought I’d write about my favourite planet, Venus.

Venus is named for the Roman goddess of love and beauty, who’s story is very similar to the Greek Aphrodite. She emerged fully formed from the ocean, riding a wave of ocean foam. As the most attractive goddess, she was quickly married off to the god of blacksmiths so she didn’t stir things up too much with the other goddesses.

It didn’t work too well though, she had Cupid/Eros with Mars/Aries the god of war. Cupid makes trouble as often as he makes matches, and inherited not only his mother’s penchant for romance, but also his father’s hotheadedness. Venus was always getting into shenanigans.

Enough about the goddess though (unless you want to hear more? I know more! I love myths! There was this one guy called Adonis… no, no. Focus Captain. SCIENCE)

Okay, I’m back. Here is the planet Venus. Beautiful isn’t it?

Image credit NASA

Venus sure is the brightest body in the night sky after the moon, but instead of beautiful I would call it HFFA. Hot from far away, but up close it’s nasty (still hot, but not in a good way). It’s shrouded by clouds, which storm more thundery than a tempest.

There is no rain, at 465 degrees Celsius it all boils away. Those clouds are not even water, rather sulfuric acid.

Its atmosphere is heavier than any other planet, and not because of gravity. Indeed, the gravity is slightly less on Earth, you would probably lose a good five kilos of weight if you could survive. The gasses are just very dense, there’s a LOT of them in a little space.

The major gas is carbon dioxide, which may have created a runaway greenhouse effect and caused the immensely high temperature.

The air pressure on Venus is 90 times higher than on Earth, so strong that it crushes all our space probes within an hour of hitting the atmosphere. Seriously. Like a beer guzzler who just finished a cold can. Crunch. Like that. Yeah.

Also women are from Venus, which explains why we are smoking hot and probe crushingly cosmic.