Showing posts with label Venus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Venus. Show all posts

Apr 14, 2017

Hottest Planet

Even though it is not closest to the sun (Mercury is), the hottest planet in our Solar system is Venus, second closest. The average temperature on the Venus does not go below 462 degrees while that of Mercury reaches only up to 420 degrees.

Jul 24, 2015

Pluto and the Naming of the Planets

With all the publicity surrounding the recent photos of Pluto, Seems fitting to look at it and the other (real) planets and how they received their names. Pluto is the largest and second-most-massive known dwarf planet in the Solar System and the ninth-largest and tenth-most-massive known object directly orbiting the Sun.

It had been discovered many times by astronomers, who did not realize what they found. It was discovered 'for real' in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh, and was originally considered the ninth planet from the Sun. After 1992, its status as a planet fell into question following the discovery of several objects of similar size, in particular Eris, which is 27% more massive than Pluto. This led the International Astronomical Union to define the term planet formally for the first time. This definition excluded Pluto and reclassified it as a member of the new "dwarf planet" category. The other dwarf planets are Ceres, Eris, Haumea, and Makemake (sic).

The tradition of naming planets after mythological gods was passed continued after Roman names for the five extraterrestrial planets they were aware of.
  • Earth is the only planet not named for a mythological god.
  • Venus is named after the goddess of love. It is thought this planet got its name from the fact that it is “pretty” to look at as the third most bright object in our solar system in the sky as viewed from Earth (after the Sun and the Moon).
  • Mercury is named after the god of thievery, tradesmen or commerce, and travel. It is thought that the planet probably was named such due to how quickly, relatively speaking, it travels across the sky.
  • Pluto, although no longer a "real" planet is named after the god of the underworld. The name was proposed by Venetia Burney, a then eleven-year-old schoolgirl in Oxford, England, who was interested in classical mythology.
  • Saturn is named after the Roman god of agriculture. It followed the Greek designation for Cronus. In modern Greek, the planet retains its ancient name Cronus—Κρόνος: Kronos.
  • Neptune was named after the god of the sea. It got its name thanks to the fact that it has a blue color.
  • Uranus is named after the very early god of the sky (and father to the Titans).
  • Mars was named after the Roman god of war. It’s thought that it was labeled such based on the reddish hue of the planet, relating to blood.
  • Jupiter is named after the god of thunder and the sky, and king of the gods. It is probable that it was named such as it is the largest non-star in our solar system.
Incidentally, many languages have their own name for Earth, such as ‘terra’ in Portuguese, ‘dünya’ in Turkish and ‘aarde’ in Dutch. However, the common thread in all languages is that they were all derived from the same meaning, which is ‘ ground’ or ‘soil’. The modern English word and name for our planet Earth likely extends back more than 1,000 years. The name was also found in early English translations from the bible.

Feb 15, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Today is Saint Valentine's Day, also known as Valentine's Day, or the Feast of Saint Valentine. It is observed on February 14 each year in many countries around the world. It is not an official holiday.

Its origins go back to the ancient Roman celebration of Lupercalia, which honored the gods Lupercus and Faunus, and the legendary founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus. Lupercalia festivities and feasts are purported to have included the pairing of young women and men. Men would draw women's names from a container and each couple would be paired until next year's celebration.

It  was not called "Valentine's Day" until a priest named Valentine came along. Emperor Claudius handed down a decree that soldiers remain single, believing that soldiers would be distracted and unable to concentrate on fighting if they were married or engaged. Valentine converted many guards to Christianity and defied the emperor by secretly performing marriage ceremonies. As a result of his defiance, Valentine was put to death on February 14. As Christianity spread through Rome, priests moved Lupercalia from February 15 to February 14 and renamed it St. Valentine's Day.

Cupid became associated with Valentine's day for another reason. According to Roman mythology, Cupid was the son of Venus, the goddess of love and beauty. He caused people to fall in love by shooting them with his magical arrows. He also fell deeply in love with a mortal maiden named Psyche. Cupid married Psyche, but his mother, Venus was jealous of Psyche's beauty and forbade her daughter-in-law to look at Cupid. Psyche couldn't resist temptation and sneaked a peek at her handsome husband. As punishment, Venus demanded that she perform three tasks, the last of which caused Psyche's death. Cupid brought Psyche back to life and the gods, moved by their love, granted Psyche immortality.

May 19, 2011

Venus Rising

The Soviets successfully landed several spacecraft on Venus, beginning in 1975. Seven of the landers conducted chemical analysis of rocks, which indicate a composition similar to that of terrestrial basaltic volcanic rocks. In 1981, the Venera 13 lander provided the first color images of the surface of Venus. The US sent Pioneer to Venus in 1979 and Magellan in 1989 to continue the work of mapping the surface of the planet. Neither landed on the surface of the planet.

At the surface, the atmospheric pressure is 92 times that of the Earth's at sea-level. Venus has a surface temperature of about 900° F. It is about 84% of the size of earth and a Venusian day is 243 Earth days. Venus rotates from east to west, so the Sun rises in the west and sets in the east.