Never trust a cloudy planet—cosmic secrecy haunts inquisitive minds. Sparks of ideas electrify nonsensical thoughts, as they rise from the dark depths of our evolutionary bewilderment. We are hardwired to fill in the gaps with silly putty. Spark that lighter, ignite the wick, and straddle that damn bottle rocket: we’re going to
Ugly Face Behind The Cloudy Veil
Most terrestrial planets have the common decency to show their face, however, Venus wears a cloudy veil which masks her ugly face. Just kidding. Or am I?
…Venus appears to be a hazy beauty, and very smart people once believed there was a swamp underneath the atmospheric veil. If a swamp could possibly exist behind the veil, then perhaps giant lizards could exist, too! Logical conclusion, right? Carl Sagan didn’t think so, but that didn’t stop people from fantasizing about obscure possibilities. There could have been a Venusian barbecue, and no one would have known about it, because we couldn’t see a damn thing. There was noway to smell the grills, either.
The hellish reality turned happy speculation into goo—you wouldn’t want to host a barbecue on Venus. The planet, of course. Don’t try to marinate a goddess. Something bad may happen.
As the cloudy veil started to lift, we saw a little more of our cosmic next door neighbor. And the sight wasn’t too pretty. You’re not going to believe this…are you ready? Sitting down? Okay…well…the Venusian high-altitude clouds are saturated with sulfuric acid. There’s not enough acid to melt the flesh off your bones, so don’t get your hopes up.
Venus Is A Real Burner
Our knowledge of Venus eventually became hot and heavy—the Russians flung a handful of orbiters at Venus—and a few of them plummeted through the acidic veil. Photographs of the Venusian surface are rare. Venera 13 and 14 beamed back 180° panoramic images, however, they didn’t last long…it turned out that Satan was using Venus as an oven, and he set the planetary temperature dial to 900 fuckin’ degrees Fahrenheit, because when you’re cookin’ a pizza, it better be hot as hell. Apparently.
Sometimes metal doesn’t have a long lifespan…perhaps 30 minutes…maybe 50 minutes…the Venusian atmospheric pressure is 90x more powerful than Earth. One thing is for certain: time is limited, and that’s why Venus doesn’t receive too much lovin’ these days. Mars is getting all the action. Why? Because the Martian surface is easy-peasy, baby. Easy-peasy. Mars may give you the cold shoulder every night, but at least you wont melt like a human candle.
Where are the dinosaurs? Where is the swamp? Where is the water?…where is the barbecue?
A smart orbiter bounces sound-waves through the acid clouds, and then lets the imaging technicians do all the work. It’s possible to generate a photograph from radar data, so there’s no need to physically visit the planet, just dribble sound-waves across the entire surface—the data speaks for itself.
Whoa…is that Mount Doom? The image is a computer generated graphic, however, radar data was used to generate the perspective. You’re basically looking at a pissed off volcano—Maat Mons. Satan’s throne? Possibly. Maat Mons is the highest volcano located on Venus and it’s prone to moody paroxysms. Fun times. Measurements of sulfur dioxide concentrations indicate Maat Mons was possibly awake not too long ago. The volcanic ash flows suggested that Maat Mons tossed a tantrum and couldn’t keep it all inside, but there’s no way to pin down an exact date. Sorry. The preponderance of evidence proves that volcanic structures terrorize the surface. Don’t go to Venus.
Wanna kill some time? Press the play button. No need to murder your entire hourglass, just pop some popcorn, sip a carbonated elixir and watch the show.
Never judge a planets by its clouds. The flash fire of reality incinerated feral assumptions about swamps and dinosaurs. A fine point of truth burst the conjecture bubbles that inflated inside people’s minds. Venus may have been hospitable billions of years ago, but those days are forever burned. Venus now turns lead into molasses. Yum.
We lifted the cloudy veil and saw a glimpse of hell. Better luck next time.
Hey! This article wasn’t my idea. Paula Graham inspired me to look behind the cloudy veil.