March 5, 2021
On this day in 1982, the Venera 13 arrived on the planet Venus; it launched in the year 1981. It spent 4 months travelling to the planet. The Venera 13 spacecraft launched by Russia, survived 127 minutes on the planet’s surface, whereas the original planned design life was 32 minutes in such an incredibly hostile environment. The lander recorded a temperature of 457°C (855°F) and an atmospheric pressure of 9.0 MPa 89 times the atmospheric pressure here on Earth.
The atmosphere of Venus is the layer of gases surrounding Venus. It is composed primarily of Carbon Dioxide and is much denser and hotter than that of Earth. The Venusian atmosphere supports opaque clouds of Sulfuric Acid, making optical Earth-based and orbital observation of the surface impossible. Information about the topography has been obtained exclusively by radar imaging. Aside from carbon dioxide, the other main component is nitrogen. Other chemical compounds are present only in trace amounts. The atmosphere is in a state of vigorous circulation the upper layer of troposphere exhibits a phenomenon of super – rotation, in which the atmosphere circles the planet in just four Earth days, much faster than the planet’s sidereal day of 243 days. The winds supporting super-rotation blow at a speed of 100 m/s (≈360 km/h or 220 mph) or more. Winds move at up to 60 times the speed of the planet’s rotation, while Earth’s fastest winds are only 10% to 20% rotation speed. On the other hand, the wind speed becomes increasingly slower as the elevation from the surface decreases, with the breeze barely reaching the speed of 10 km/h (2.8 m/s) on the surface. Near the poles are anticyclonic structures called polar vortices. Each vortex is double-eyed and shows a characteristic S-shaped pattern of clouds. Above there is an intermediate layer of mesosphere which separates the troposphere from the thermosphere. The thermosphere is also characterized by strong circulation, but very different in its nature—the gases heated and partially ionized by sunlight in the sunlit hemisphere migrate to the dark hemisphere where they recombine and down well.
Unlike Earth, Venus lacks a magnetic field. Its ion sphere separates the atmosphere from outer space and the solar wind. This ionized layer excludes the solar magnetic field, giving Venus a distinct magnetic environment. This is considered Venus’s induced magnetosphere. Lighter gases, including water vapour, are continuously blown away by the solar wind through the induced magneto tail. It is speculated that the atmosphere of Venus up to around 4 billion years ago was more like that of the Earth with liquid water on the surface. A runaway greenhouse effect may have been caused by the evaporation of the surface water and subsequent rise of the levels of other greenhouse gasses.
Despite the harsh conditions on the surface, the atmospheric pressure and temperature at about 50 km to 65 km above the surface of the planet is nearly the same as that of the Earth, making its upper atmosphere the most Earth-like area in the Solar System, even more so than the surface of Mars. Due to the similarity in pressure and temperature and the fact that breathable air (21% oxygen, 78% nitrogen is a lifting gas on Venus in the same way that Helium is a lifting gas on Earth, the upper atmosphere has been proposed as a location for both exploration and colonization.
The atmosphere of Venus is composed of 96.5% carbon dioxide, 3.5% nitrogen, and traces of other gases, most notably sulfur dioxide The amount of nitrogen in the atmosphere is relatively small compared to the amount of carbon dioxide, but because the atmosphere is so much thicker than that on Earth, its total nitrogen content is roughly four times higher than Earth’s, even though on Earth nitrogen makes up about 78% of the atmosphere.
The atmosphere contains a range of compounds in small quantities, including some based on hydrogen, such as hydrogen chloride (HCl) and hydrogen fluoride (HF). There is carbon dioxide, water vapour and atomic oxygen as well. Hydrogen is in relatively short supply in the Venusian atmosphere. A large amount of the planet’s hydrogen is theorized to have been lost to space, with the remainder being mostly bound up in sulfuric acid (H2SO4). The loss of significant amounts of hydrogen is proven by a very high D–H ratio measured in the Venusian atmosphere. The ratio is about 0.015–0.025, which is 100–150 times higher than the terrestrial value of 1.6×10−4. According to some measurements, in the upper atmosphere of Venus D/H ratio is 1.5 higher than in the bulk atmosphere
In September 2020, it was announced that phosphine, a potential biomarker indicating the presence of life, had been detected in the atmosphere of Venus. No known abiotic source present on Venus could produce phosphine in the quantities detected.
The re-analysis of Pioneer Venus data in 2020 has found part chlorine and all of hydrogen sulfide spectral features are instead phosphine -related, meaning lower than thought concentration of chlorine and non-detection of hydrogen sulfide
In a preprint made available in October 2020, a re-analysis of archived infrared spectral measurements in 2015 did not reveal any phosphine in Venusian atmosphere, placing an upper limit for phosphine concentration at 5 parts per billion by volume—a quarter of the spectroscopic value reported in September).
In late October 2020, the review of data processing used in original publication of September 2020, has revealed an interpolation error resulting in multiple spurious lines, including the spectral feature of phosphine. Re-analysis of data with the fixed algorithm either does not result in the detection of the phosphine or detected it with much lower concentration of 1ppb.
So, what does all of that mean? Well it means it is a nasty planet incapable of supporting life. Our youth of today are rightly afraid of our earth becoming another Venus. But what if there is another way? Something so radical that it is almost offensive? In our last article, “Someone Is Going To Be Offended”, we talk about Eugenics and the Canadian Indian Act https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/I-5/ The Canadian Indian Act is something so horrid, so incredibly unfair that it has led to genocide plain and simple. The Ministry of Northern Affairs is the federal department of our government that is charged with supporting indigenous peoples (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) and Northerners in their efforts to: improve social well-being and economic prosperity; develop healthier, more sustainable communities. What we have in this office and document cannot be the way!