Venus Research Paper

Words: 1096
Pages: 5

Venus is the second closest planet to the sun in the solar system located at a distance of almost 68 million miles from the sun. Venus orbits around the sun every 225 days and hence has a year with225 Earth days. Venus is a terrestrial planet and has a very thick atmosphere. Venus is the hottest planet in our solar system due to a greenhouse effect generated by its thick atmosphere. Venus is almost as big as the Earth, this and other similarities such as being terrestrial and having an atmosphere make this planet similar enough to the Earth to be called the Earth’s sister. Computer modeling by NASA has shown that this planet may have had a shallow liquid-water ocean and a habitable surface temperature for as much as 2 billion years (NASA). …show more content…
The spacecraft weighed about 1035 kilograms and the purpose of this spacecraft was to map the surface of Venus using synthetic aperture radar. This spacecraft was also intended to measure the gravitational field of Venus (NASA).
Magellan looped around the sun one and a half times before arriving at Venus on 10 the of August 1990, then a solid-fuel engine put the spacecraft into a near-polar elliptical orbit around Venus. On board of the spacecraft there was an imaging radar that captured the highest resolution map of Venus that is available up to today. The Magellan mission was divided into 243 days cycles as follows (NASA):
• From 15th of September 1990 until 15th May of 1991 - cycle 1: radar mapping (left looking)
• From 15th of May until 15th of January of 1992 - cycle 2: radar mapping (right
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Cycle 2 began on May 15th, 1991 and began immediately after cycle 1. To be able to fill the gaps in the mapping of Venus’s surface Magellan had to be reoriented, and it needed to change the mapping method to right looking from the left looking (NASA). This cycle was completed on January 14th, 1992 and provided a surface mapping of 54.5 percent of the entire surface when put together with the images provided in cycle 1, a map that contained 96 percent of the entire surface of Venus was constructed