Amazing Stories

Solar System Tour – Venus

Back in the 70’s Ben Bova (then the editor of Analog magazine) along with Trudy Bell, produced a wonderfully illustrated book caled Close Up: New Worlds that billed itself as “astounding modern views of the solar system”.

Well, that was 1977.  To date it is to note that it includes Pluto among the planets.

I used that book as a resource while designing SF strategy board games.  It was a great compendium of both known fact and SF speculation.

NASA and other space agencies have taken a lot more pictures since then with Hubble, other space telescopes and a huge variety of probes either taking up orbits or doing fly-bys.

Lets just say it’s been a while since anyone has taken a grand tour the way that Ben and Trudy did back in ’77.  So we’re going to reprise that book using the latest and greatest.

Venus lies at a distance from the sun of nearly 67 million miles
It is approximately 7,520 miles in diameter, about 10% smaller than Earth
It’s year is 225 days
Venus is tilted some 177 degrees and is retrograde (Earth’s is 23 degrees)
The surface temperature on Venus is 864 degrees (Fahrenheit), the exemplar of “global warming”
It’s escape velocity is 23,175 miles per hour
Its surface gravity is 29.1 feet/second squared

Venus is considered to be a terrestrial, or rocky, planet

This year, Venus will be visible in the night sky during late September through Mid-October, and then for most of November

NASA has a wonderful planetary information resource.  You can learn far more about Venus here

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