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 VENUS

Venus is the second nearest planet to the Sun. There, the weather is so hot that youcan bake a cake in a few seconds! Venus can be seen with the naked (don't get excited!) eye from Earth at night. However, it's so shiny that you might think that it's a star. That's because its clouds reflect the sun's light. Originally, Venus was the Roman goddess of gardens and fields, but later it was known as the goddess of love. If you throw a ball on Mercury, it will take 2 minutes before it touches the ground.
 
 

 IDENTIFICATION CARD 

Name: Venus

Age: about 9 billion Earth years

Date of Birth: 9 billion BC Birthday:

Unknown Address: Next to its neighbour (very funny!) Go to the Sun, on the first street, turn right. It's about 108 million km from the Sun. NOTE: This distance varies throughout the year.

Mass: 18% less than Earth's Radius: 95% of Earth's Mean density: 5.3 times larger than water's

Average Temperature: about 500 degrees Celsius (you might sweat a little bit if you go there.) Number of Moons: (you'll never believe it)

Marital Status: I'm very sad to tell you that Venus is not married.

Although Mercury is nearer to the Sun, Venus is the hottest planet on Earth. Methane clouds in Venus' atmosphere act like the "greenhouse effect". They trap heat. It will take you 2 minutes to bake a cake on Venus!

Venus is the brightest object after the Sun and moon. It's called the morning star (Hesperus) when it appears in the east at sunrise, and its also called evening star (Phosphorus or Lucifer) in the west at sunset. Ancient astronomers believed that Venus was 2 different stars. Venus is only seen for 3 hours after or before sunset or sunrise. Venus has phases just like the moon. Full Venus appears to be the smallest because it is on the far side of the Sun from the Earth's point of view. The brightest phase is the crescent phase (a magnitude of-4.4). Venus' pattern or sequence of phases and positions occurs once every 1.6 years.

EXPLORATION It's very difficult to study Venus from Earth due to its clouds and atmosphere. We know a lot about Venus because of space vehicles. The first Earth-manufactured object to pass Venus was Mariner 2 in 1962. In 1967 and 1974, Mariner 5 +10 were launched. USSR also launched some probes. Between 1967 and 1984, USSR sent 13 probes past Venus. However, not all of the probes reached the planet's surface and only a few came back to Earth due to the high temperature caused by the clouds which trap infra-red radiation. MOONS: Venus has no moons.

 Earth

THE FIRST PLANET DISCOVERED IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM WAS EARTH! What's unique about Earth is that it has life existing on it. Why Earth? Well, Earth has enough gravitational pull to keep us on its surface. It's also in the perfect position for the right amount of heat to reach it. It has water, oxygen and no poisonous gases.

This photograph was taken from the moon.

The Earth is not exactly a sphere. It's flat at its poles and bulged at its Equator. Its axis is tilted at 23.5 degrees. The highest ever recorded temperature was 58 in Libya. There are over 190 countries. On Earth, there are four seasons: Summer, Winter, Autumn and Spring. When it's winter in the northern hemisphere, it's summer in the southern hemisphere; when it's spring in the northern hemisphere, it's autumn in the southern hemisphere and vice versa. The Earth has one moon. Actually it's called A MOON.

DAY AND NIGHT

When one part of the Earth faces the Sun, its day, and the other side is night.

ECLIPSES

When the Earth comes in between the Sun and the Moon, we call that a LUNAR ECLIPSE. The moon becomes dark and overshadowed. It's New Moon during a lunar eclipse. Unlike the SOLAR ECLIPSE, lunar eclipse happens regularly. A lunar eclipse may last for 11 hours.

A solar eclipse is when the moon comes in between the Earth and the Sun. It may block part of the Sun, PARTIAL SOLAR ECLIPSE and it may block the Sun completely, TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE. Total solar eclipses are very rare and if they do happen, they usually happen in the oceans, which cover 2/3 of the Earth. Scientists believe that the maximum duration of a solar eclipse is 7 mins. and 31 secs.. However, no eclipses have been recorded to have lasted that long.

 

HOSHEY BOOK OF RECORDS 2000

LARGEST COUNTRY: Russia 1,707,5400 km (squared) 6592600m (s)

SMALLEST COUNTRY: VATICAN CITY

LARGEST CITY: Mount Isa, Queensland, Australia

OLDEST SURVIVING CITY: Ariha (Jericho), Palestine 7800 BC

OLDEST SETTLEMENT: Dolni Vestonice (Czech Republic) 27 000 BC

OLDEST CIVILIZATION: Ancient Mesopotamian or Ancient Egyptians

BIGGEST IN POPULATION: Cairo, Egypt 22,000,000

LARGEST SEA: South China Sea 2,974,600 km (squared) 476000 miles (squared)

LARGEST LAKE: Caspian Sea 3,718,00 km (squared) 143550 miles (squared)

DEEPEST LAKE: Lake Bikal, Siberia 1637m deep

LARGEST OCEAN: Pacific Ocean 1,612,410.00 km (squared) 45.9% of Earth

DEEPEST OCEAN: 10924m in Pacific

SMALLEST OCEAN: Indian Ocean

LARGEST METEORITE: HBO West, Namibia 2.7x2.4 59 tons

EARLIEST METEORITE: Australia, September 1969 (believed to be older than the solar system)

FIRST CREATURES: Procaryotic Cells

OLDEST CREATURES: a type of bacteria which exceeds 1 billion years in age

FASTEST CREATURES: Cheetah (110 km/h)

LARGEST CREATURES: Blue Whale (gains 90 kg every day!)

= x 101

HIGHEST PEAK: Mount Everest 8982m above sea level

LARGEST VOLCANO: Mona Loa, Hawaii

LONGEST ERUPTION: Kailua Hawaii, since 1983, still erupting

WORST ERUPTION: Karakatoa, Indonesia 1815

LONGEST DAY: June 21st

SHORTEST DAY: December 21st

LONGEST NIGHT: December 21st

SHORTEST NIGHT: June 21st

HIGHEST RECORDED TEMPERATURE: 58 Al Azziyah, Libya

LOWEST RECORDED TEMPERATURE: -89.6 Vostock Station, Antarctica

LAYERS OF EARTH

The Earth is surrounded by a huge blanket of air called the ATMOSPHERE. This atmosphere is made out of layers. 79.3% = Nitrogen 20.6% = Oxygen 0.03% = Carbon Dioxide 0.01% = Water vapour, Argon, Radon and other gases. The atmospheric pressure on Earth is about 100,000 Pa on sea-level, that's equivalent to 100 elephants sitting above you!

The layer on the troposphere which has life existing on it, is the BIOSPHERE. Under the Earth there's another world…..

The lithosphere or the CRUST is made up of PLATES. If plates rub against each other an earthquake occurs. If they move apart, MAGMA from below will burst out to form a volcanic eruption.

The Earth has a magnetic field because of the outer core which is believed to be made out of iron. When this core rotates, the North and South poles change positions. Now, the poles are at an angle of 23.5 degrees.

 

MARS

Mars was the Roman God of chocolates, I mean war. Scientists called this planet Mars because it has a red colour.

If you look at Mars with a telescope, it will have a red colour with varying brightness. Mars is 55 million km when it's nearest to Earth. Mars is the second brightest object in the sky. Mars is best seen when it is opposite the Sun in the Earth's sky and when it's nearest to the Earth. This happens once every 15 years. The last time this happened was in 1971. From a telescope it can have bright orange and darker regions. This changes throughout Mars' seasons. Because of Mars' orbit and tilt of its axis, it has warm southern summers and long cold southern winters. Its red colour comes from its rusted or oxidized surface. The dark areas are thought to be made out of basalt. Mars' polar regions are noticeable, bright and made out of ice. In autumn, bright clouds gather around one of the poles. During winter and autumn, carbon dioxide is deposited. The Polar Regions are believed to be made out of frozen water. The thickness of the ice caps might reach 2km. There are clouds made out of water, CO2 and dust.

During the first half of this century, people believed that there were aliens who lived on Mars. H.G. Wells wrote the first story in history about aliens. Independence Day, Alien Attack, Star Trek and all of the other films get their ideas from Wells' War of the Worlds. In the 1970's, NASA wanted to send a probe to Mars to see if there are aliens living there. One man, James Lovelock said that there are no Martians there. He believed that Mars' atmosphere had no FEEDBACK. There were no big changes. Most of it was made out of CO2, which is a very stable gas. He was kicked out of NASA.

However, NASA did send a probe and no aliens were found. Lovelock's theory is called GAIA. It believes that the Earth is a living thing because there are many changes in the atmosphere and surface, which is a characteristic of a living thing!

MOONS: Mars has two odd-shaped moons.