Even though Venus is not the planet closest to the Sun, it is still the hottest planet in our solar system. This is because the planet’s dense atmosphere, which is composed of thick clouds of carbon dioxide and other gases, prevents heat from the Sun from being released into outer space. We are lucky to not be living on Venus because its temperatures reach 880 degrees Fahrenheit! We would melt instantly!
While the surface temperature of Venus differs drastically than Earth’s, the two planets share a few characteristics in common. First, the planets are similar sized and Venus is only about 5% smaller than Earth in radius. Second, these planets’ similar densities and are both very rocky, suggesting that they have similar overall compositions. Because of this, scientists expect that the interiors of Venus and Earth have similar structures and retain about the same level of internal heat. Upon researching the drastically differing surface temperatures of Venus and Earth, these two planets did not seem similar at all. However, the similar characteristics mentioned above make the planet more of a “sister planet” than I previously thought.
Some more fun facts about Venus’ geology include: has a relatively small number of impact craters (indicating that its ancient craters were erased by other geological processes), shows abundant evidence of volcanism and a variety of lava types, surprisingly has a lack of erosion and shows no evidence of Earth-like plate tectonics.
After reading these interesting differences and similarities between Venus and Earth, do you think that the two planets should be called “sister planets?”
Sources: Bennett, The Cosmic Perspective 8th Edition 2017