Friday, December 10, 2010

VENUS IN THE SKY




It's been the nth night that I can't get my eyes off the nightsky. Well, I've been known to be such a lover to that velvety marvel...but, for the past few nights, I got myself glued to that specific portion of the sky...sometime just a little after twilight and just before complete darkness envelopes our midst...a glittering speck, even against a moonlit, darkly canvass. Ok...ok. Sorry for the lyrical detour. My bad.

I am looking at Venus now. Yes. That luminary in the sky that we sometimes mistook as just another star light years away. Can you just take a little peek through your windows? See if you see her too. If you do, then we are both looking at exactly the same fixation right now.


Wiki says that Venus (pronounced as /ˈviːnəs/ ) is the second-closest planet to the Sun, orbiting it every 224.7 Earth days. The planet is named after Venus, the Roman goddess of love. It is the brightest natural object in the night sky, except for the Moon, reaching an apparent magnitude of −4.6. Because Venus is an inferior planet from Earth, it never appears to venture far from the Sun: its elongation reaches a maximum of 47.8°. Venus reaches its maximum brightness shortly before sunrise or shortly after sunset, for which reason it is often called the Morning Star or the Evening Star.


Classified as a terrestrial planet, it is sometimes called Earth's "sister planet," because they are similar in size, gravity, and bulk composition. Venus is covered with an opaque layer of highly reflective clouds of sulfuric acid, preventing its surface from being seen from space in visible light; this was a subject of great speculation until some of its secrets were revealed by planetary science in the twentieth century. Venus has the densest atmosphere of all the terrestrial planets, consisting mostly of carbon dioxide, as it has no carbon cycle to lock carbon back into rocks and surface features, nor organic life to absorb it in biomass. It has become so hot that the earth-like oceans that the young Venus is believed to have possessed have totally evaporated, leaving a dusty dry desert-scape with many slab-like rocks. The best hypothesis is that the evaporated water has dissociated, and with the lack of a planetary magnetic field, the hydrogen has been swept into interplanetary space by the solar wind. The atmospheric pressure at the planet's surface is 92 times that of the Earth.



Sorry for that brief throw-back to high school. It's just that sometimes, the most trivial of things is actually a product of woven complications that our human mind could not fathom, or choose not to. Sometimes, we look at happiness at something so far-fetched that we ought to travel miles and wait in time for it to come or for us to get there. Looking at Venus, I can't help but be awed. With all it's dazzle, I forgot that it's nothing but a flaming land of volcanoes and fatal gases. And I look at myself, the familiar faces on my desktop, and hear the laughs of my little sister from the background...and it hit me. Why fuss much on a beauty I can never touch. In my lifetime, though the thought of heavenly bodies and the truth hounding the universe can be astounding to spark off the scientist in me, I am not sufficiently advance to understand the magnitude of the unknown. Why spend a whole existence reaching for the beyond and remotest of strangers, while I can dig more bits of truths in myself....little by little everyday. It's okay, I can sleep well, knowing I may never be able to reach Venus, or the moon, or the stars...but I will never let my last sundown set without finding that inner Venus in me.

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