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Venus and Earth compared; terrestrial planet; telluric planet; rocky planet; runaway greenhouse effect - Space Art Illustration
 

Venus and Earth compared

This image suggests how the Earth and Venus might appear without their atmospheres.

  • Venus' diameter is 86% that of the Earth's

  • It has 82% the mass

  • If you weigh 180 pounds on the Earth, you would weigh 163 pounds on Venus

  • Venus is about three-quarters the Earth's distance from the Sun

Venus is roughly the same size and density as the Earth, but beyond that similarities end. Earth's surface is a varied one, with liquid water covering three quarters of its surface, while dry land has been highly modified by plate tectonics, weather, and life itself. Venus on the other hand is far too hot to host liquid water. Volcanoes, massive lava flows and the occasional impact crater characterize its anhydrous surface. 

Latest observations suggest that Venus may periodically resurface itself completely--and catastrophically--through massive, planet-wide volcanic eruptions. The last such resurfacing "event" appears to have occurred about 500 million years ago.

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Special thanks to James Hastings-Trew for his Venus and Earth surface maps.

Copyright Walter B. Myers. All rights reserved.

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