This is an image of Venus.
Click on image for full size
NASA

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 books on science education, ranging from evolution, classroom research, and the need for science and math literacy!

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Science, Evolution, and Creationism

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

Cooling History, part 1

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 Earliest History of Venus

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

What causes a Planet's surface to change?

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

The Venus Lithosphere

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

Volcanism of Venus

The Magellan and Venera...more

An Overview of the History of Venus

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

Venus Tectonism

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

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA