The Scientific Exploration of Venus

Fredric W. Taylor | 2014 | ISBN: 1107023483 | English | 314 pages | PDF | 25 MB

Venus is the nearest planet to the Earth, observed since ancient times as the beautiful, brilliant Morning or Evening ‘Star’ in the night sky. Venus is also the world most similar to ours in size, mass and composition. Before the space age began, it was widely expected that conditions on the surface of our neighbour would resemble a more tropical version of the Earth. In fact, recent robotic missions to the planet have revealed a hot, dry climate with a dense carbon dioxide atmosphere and clouds rich in sulphuric acid. There are no seas; the surface is dominated by thousands of volcanoes, and it lacks a protective magnetic field to shield it from energetic solar particles and cosmic rays.

In this book, a leading researcher of Venus addresses these contrasts while explaining what we know through our investigations of the planet. Venus presents an intriguing case study for planetary astronomers and atmospheric scientists, especially in light of the current challenges of global warming, which supports, and potentially threatens, life on Earth. Scientifically rigorous, yet written in a friendly non-technical style, this is a broad introduction for students, and astronomy and space enthusiasts.

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