This is an image of Venus.
Click on image for full size
The Cooling of Venus
A planet goes through cycles of history depending upon how it cools in time. The following may be the history of Venus.
- Venus formed about 4 Billion Years ago.
- at the conclusion of forming it continued to be bombarded with leftover material. (called the period of Late Heavy Bombardment). Many planets still bear the remains of this activity with the exhibition of heavy cratering on their surfaces, unless some activity happens to change the appearance.
- Venus probably came out of this state warm, and differentiated into layers. The Goldilocks phenomenon also played a role in the formation of the atmosphere.
- With further cooling, the lithosphere of Venus began to thicken, restricting the movement of plates across the surface and the recycling of the atmosphere.
- Despite the thick lithosphere, surface activity, including volcanism, may continue to this day as Venus continues to cool.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, ranging from seismology
, rocks and minerals
, and Earth system science
You might also be interested in:
How did life evolve on Earth? The answer to this question can help us understand our past and prepare for our future. Although evolution provides credible and reliable answers, polls show that many people turn away from science, seeking other explanations with which they are more comfortable....more
A planetary body, whether the body is a planet or a moon, cools slowly by radiating energy away into space. The warmth remaining inside a body controls what sort of surface activity, atmospheric activity,...more
The terrestrial planets formed about 4 Billion Years ago. As the process which formed them came to an end, the planets may have been left in either of the following two states: very warm, with a softer...more
Over the course of time there are many things which can cause the surface of a planet to change its appearance. winds can slowly wear erode a planet's surface. The surface of Mars is affected by wind....more
Like the Earth's lithosphere, the lithosphere of Venus is the not-so-rigid part of the crust of Venus which is cooler than the interior of Venus, somewhat like the film on top of a cup of hot cocoa. Unlike...more
The terrestrial planets formed by accretion of rocky material and volatiles out of the primitive solar nebula. As they finished forming, about 4 Billion Years ago, the surface continued to be bombarded...more
Like Mars, there is no plate tectonics on the surface of Venus. The surface of Venus does not *seem* to have changed or moved in billions of years. Unlike the case of Mars, however, careful examination...more