I generally assume that anyone reading my blog post is a human from the planet Earth. I assume this for two reasons, the first being that we still haven’t made contact with anyone from another planet and the second being that an alien capable of long distance space travel probably has better things to do. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. But if I’m right we all have a home in common, we all call the glorious planet of Earth ‘home’.
But much like roughly 3% of the human population Earth has a twin. There’s another beautiful blue marble orbiting our sun. With sweeping mountainous landscapes, fabulous oceans and all the lush vegetation animal life could need. Venus is the perfect holiday destination.
Or at least it would have been…
Earth and Venus are a similar size and made of the same sort of stuff. Unfortunately Venus is 30% closer to the sun on it’s orbit. Initially you might think, fantastic! more lovely sunshine to help fight depression. But Venus’ proximity to the sun has been it’s tourism industry’s downfall. The sun has evaporated Venus’ oceans, which has led to a lot less hydrogen in the atmosphere. And building carbon dioxide has led to a runaway greenhouse effect.
Venus now has an atmosphere so dense with carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide that the temperature has risen to 467°C, which I consider to be uncomfortably hot. And the pressure sits at about 93 bars, to put that in context it would feel like you were 900m deep in the ocean. Recreationally divers are advised not to go deeper than about 40m…
So I think we’d be safe in calling Venus fairly inhospitable and not fit for the next big holiday destination. But that doesn’t mean the planet is useless to us. We can instead study the planet, from a safe distance, to figure out how global warming works on Earth. I mean the planets aren’t exactly the same, a day on Venus takes about 117 Earth days. But it’s a great source of information for scientists.
It’s something we can point to and say look what happens when we let global warming get out of control! Unfortunately the global warming sceptics are also the same idiots that know about as much as John Snow… never mind anything about Venus, Earth’s twin planet.