Radiations is a weekly electronic newsletter published by the Physics and Astronomy Department of Carleton College. The deadline for materials to be included in Radiations is 9:00 AM Monday of the week you would like the information to appear. Contact tfields@carleton.edu if you want to be added or removed from this mailing list.

Volume 18, Issue 13 (January 23, 2012)

Valerie Fox's Comps Talk

January 16, 2012

Mysteries of the Planet Venus

Differences and Similarities to the Planet Earth


Valerie Fox

Venus has been called Earth's “twin," due to similarity in size, density, and proximity to Earth, but our current technological abilities have revealed a world more alien than people ever imagined. Friday's talk will outline our current understanding of two unanswered questions about Venus: Why does the atmosphere rotate 60 times as fast as the solid planet? Does Venus cycle through intense, brief periods of tectonic activity, completely resurfacing the planet? The image of our twin shifted from fair sister to hellish sibling, but the family resemblance still stands, and answering these questions is telling about both Venus and Earth.