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No. 14: Winter 1981 Supplement

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Venus: highly radioactive or just cooling down?

The surface temperature of Venus is about 480C, higher than any other solar system planet. While Venus does trap solar radiation in its atmosphere greenhouse fashion, data from Pioneer Venus Orbiter show that the planet radiates 15% more energy than it receives from the sun. In other words, Venus's surface is hotter then it would be if only the greenhouse effect were operating. Where could this extra energy come from? If it arises from the decay of naturally occurring radioactivity, Venus would have to have 10,000 times as much radioactivity as the earth. If this is the case, Venus must have had an origin radically different from the earth's.

(Anonymous; "The Mystery of Venus's Internal Heat," New Scientist, 88:437, 1980.)

Comment. Another possibility is that Venus is still cooling down and is much younger than the earth!

From Science Frontiers #14, Winter 1981. 1981-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:

Quotes

  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987