This is an artist's rendition of a column of clouds on Venus.
The temperature of the different layers is shown at the left.
Click on image for full size
Windows to the Universe original image
Can there be Life in the Environment of Venus?
Venus is very hot, almost 800 degrees (Fahrenheit) at the surface. Venus also has a very heavy atmosphere. With the thick atmosphere Venus has a pressure level on its surface of 91 to 94 times that of Earth's at sea level. A sophisticated life form such as a human-being would need protection, to keep from being crushed. The atmosphere is made almost completely of carbon dioxide, with clouds sulfuric acid circling the planet.
We know, however, that there are more primitive life forms on earth which can survive in very harsh environments. Bacteria and very simple plant life can survive in a wide range of unexpected places.
Because of the very high temperature, pressure, and corrosive atmosphere the environment of Venus seems unfriendly toward life as we know it on earth. More exploration of Venus is needed to determine if life was once present there.
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The Spring 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist
, focuses on the ocean, including articles on polar research, coral reefs, ocean acidification, and climate. Includes a gorgeous full color poster!
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