The planet Venus

Venus header

Scientists sometimes call far distant planets – far away worlds. One of those is the second planet in our solar system – called Venus. It was named after the goddess who according to Roman mythology had such functions as love, beauty, fertility, prosperity and other. It is the only unquestionable planet (in the meaning of classification) in our Solar system that got feminine name along with dwarf planets such as Ceres, Eris, Haumea and the asteroids.

Venus is a rocky planet with inhospitable environment caused by extreme geothermal activity. The atmosphere contains 96.5% of carbon dioxide, 3.5% – nitrogen, 0.1% oxygen, 0.05% – hydrogen oxide etc..

Planetary rovers cannot handle such tough environment and after the landing they usually get seriously damaged by an acid and the pressure.

High level of carbon dioxide has created the greenhouse effect that made an atmosphere so corrosive that asteroids usually dissolve before the contact with the surface. The temperature on the planet is approximately 470-500⁰C (878-932⁰F) and the pressure is about 76000 mmHg, while on the Earth we have average sea-level pressure 760 mmHg.

These conditions exclude even small chances for survival of bacteria and affects planetary rovers’ functionality. Studies from 60-70s of 20th century have shown that they cannot handle such tough environment and after the landing they usually get seriously damaged by an acid and the pressure. Therefore, space agencies study Venus during flyby missions.

venus flyby complete

This is a visual explanation how flyby mission looks like…

The surface of the planet is very diverse. The geothermal activity never ends because of close location to the Sun. During the billions of years, volcanic eruptions erected many landforms such as stratocones, tuff cones etc.. Even hill and mountains are result of undersurface activity. The highest mountain is volcano named Maat Mons. It’s height is 8.3 kilometres (5.17 mi), but Mount Everest (8.8 km (5.49 mi)) here on Earth is still higher. There are other geological formations which are still hidden under the layer of thin, but colored atmosphere and massive tornados that are visible from time to time to telescopes on Earth.

An atmosphere so corrosive that asteroids usually dissolve before the contact with the surface.

Another interesting feature called arachnoids. It is recognizable on the pictures made by NASA. These are deep, large cracks on planet’s surface that create something like cobweb mostly around the northern hemisphere of the Venus. There are 256 of them all over the planet. Astronomers have named only 55 structures of this kind.

The rotation of the planet is also different. It rotates very slowly. One day on Venus equals 224 days on Earth. Moreover, it spins in opposite direction than our planet. This means if we were there, we would see the sunrise from west to east, while on Earth it goes from east to west. Another interesting thing is that day lasts 243 days, despite the fact that one year is 224 days. But on Earth one year is 365 day, and 366 days in leap year. There is no need to make complicated calculations to conclude that duration of the day on Venus is 19 days. This is a paradox, but on planet the day is longer than a year.

In spite the fact that planet is an interesting object of studies, the astronomers have found that it extremely difficult because of reddish, nontransparent, corrosive atmosphere. But radar installed on the satellite can get more data about landforms and ongoing processes, so we can learn more about Earth’s sister planet. It also means that there is a huge field of studies for those, who want to bring new facts and undiscovered features of the planet to mankind.


Cities and people. The comparison of magnitude

When you think about city what is the first thing that comes into your mind? Skyscrapers? Building blocks? Highways? Avenues? Well, it depends on what type of city you think about? If we talk about American agglomerations, all of mentioned earlier are right. Huge streets and avenues promoted by the U.S. entertainment industry became a most recognizable “business card” of North America.

When it comes to European cities, they look different. Western European urban planning, esthetical views and architectures are different from the American town planning and way diverse from the Central European cities. The history of evolution and development left its mark on the “face” of urban core and adjoining territories.

No matter where city is and what kind of architecture it got, the municipal engineering makes it unique. For example in France and Italy city layouts are so diverse that once you saw them, you’ll never mixed up them with other urban areas. They will have a special place in your memory. Maybe even in your heart if the memories will be connected with the significant events in your life.

Eastern European urban planning was different. The cities are smaller with much simpler architecture. The ideas appeared as a respond to certain needs and twisted events. Some of them connected with the political discord. The streets are mostly narrow and short, sometimes with noticeable sanitation and refuse collection issues. You can see it in the provincial towns, county towns, even in municipal areas.

The social life in a big city is various. People go there because of work opportunities, higher income, and better life standards, to get a better future. Those who really appreciate anonymity, got their success find the life in a big city pretty satisfying while those who came from small towns that located in sparsely populated areas, who looking for a job, may have difficulties to get used to an intensive, busy lifestyle.

Except that, city life takes a special set of social skills that are very useful if you are a part of fast, changeable urban lifestyle. Not all people can handle it. Never-ending activities, motion and urgent businesses this is how mostly people live in a big cities. These issues may require your attention and you’ll need to deal with them fast and consequent. Sometimes the tensions make life very difficult and stressful. In spite of that you need to deal with that, you need to go through…

From the one hand you can get more in the meaning of opportunities, better job, higher income etc., but you need to have self-reliance, good health and many more such as psychological and physical resources. If you don’t have one of those two, you better think twice before you take some actions.

From the other hand you can get less if you are a social person, with the big plans for your life, who like enjoy leisure time and spend time with the friends. One old saying states that big cities, other countries, and big opportunities change people. This is something that gives bread to the mind and a hope to the heart.
It seems that from the practical point of view, one of the best thing about big cities are wide streets and roads where you can take a walk, drive your car, enjoy your space with no intrusion during the business hours (unless you are walking or driving in the rush hour somewhere in central areas).

The fast rhythm of living it an integral part of the urban landscape. Sometimes you have a feeling that a minute in a big city is equivalent to the one hour elsewhere. There is even an expression “New York minute” that underlines this statement. People of all political views and social statuses are moving so quick that the seconds and minutes look like a moment you noticed after it passed away. This makes you think about the urban “relativity” of time. If you compare fast lifestyle in the modern Western European, Eastern American cities with the small crowded, narrow towns of central Europe where everything so slow that you can see the grace of clouds that are moving thought the sky, you know that all of mentioned above sounds about right.

Another interesting thing about the city with wide streets is a feeling of freedom. You can enjoy. It is also could be a case if your country ideologically free, which is very rare phenomenon in our modern world. The wide, long streets give you a comfort of motion where nobody interrupts your walk.

At evening…

It was a late evening and outside was rainy. Huge drops were so intense that without an umbrella, one could get wet during the few seconds. The streets were unusually empty. People mostly stayed at home and enjoyed warm and cozy atmosphere in their houses. It wasn’t very cold, but you could definitely feel the winter. It still was far away but was closing in slowly. In spite of minor climate change the autumn didn’t lose its regular conditions.

I was walking down the street holding my umbrella. The rain became so intensive that visibility became worse. You could see 16 feet (5 meters) in front of you, though. Few more people have showed up from the nowhere and were heading to the bus stop so do I. When we came there, we needed to wait because horrible weather conditions, small streets and rush hour caused slowly moving traffic that jammed public transportation vehicles.

Drivers were sittings in their cars with the grumpy faces. No one knew what the reason of such expression was! It could be long traffic itself, bad mood, dissatisfaction, anger, rancour. Honestly, no one cared because some people got their reasons known and unknown to be joyless.

Finally, bus has arrived. It was half-empty. Passengers were mostly students who were sitting either together if they knew each other or separately because empty seats allowed it. After the bus passed middletown and was closing to the downtown few pucks came in. Their spike Mohawks were ruby red and light green. Those young people were accompanied by their friends who had less varicoloured appearance. It’s needless to say that the way they speak was a little bit unorthodox, as they used slang and vulgarisms. A couple stops later this group got off the bus.

Meanwhile the rain became even more intense. The bus was closing to another stop… I’ve noticed that we were approaching to the part of city where I was heading. Few seconds later, I exited the bus. It was the downtown and much more people were walking around. Even hard rain couldn’t stop them from the walk at the late evening.