FanPost

10/31 OT: On Venus, it snows metal



On Venus It Snows Metal

|| |SHARE ON REDDITREDDIT|SHARE ON DIGGDIGG|SHARE ON STUMBLEUPONSTUMBLE|SHARE ON EMAILEMAIL|MORE SHARING SERVICESMORE

Maat Mons, on Venus. Image: NASA

Space is a crazy place. It’s full of incredibly hot stars, deep cold space, black holes and supernovae. Now add this fact to the list of crazy things about space: on Venus, it snows metal.

At the very top of Venus’s mountains, beneath the thick clouds, is a layer of snow. But since it’s so hot on Venus, snow as we know it can’t exist. Instead, the snow capped mountains are capped with two types of metal: galena and bismuthinite.

Markus Hammonds at Discovery explains:

As we now understand it, the snow on Venus’ surface is probably more similar to frost. On the lower Venusian plains, temperatures reach a searing 480°C (894°F). This is hot enough that reflective pyrite minerals on the planet’s surface are vaporized, entering the atmosphere as a kind of metallic mist, leaving only the dark volcanic rocks like basalt in the Venusian lowlands.

At higher altitudes, this mist condenses, forming shiny, metallic frost on the tops of the mountains. And Earth’s simmering sibling has plenty of high altitude terrain. Maxwell Montes, the tallest peak on Venus, stands at an altitude of 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) — 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) higher than Mount Everest.



Read more: http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/smartnews/2013/06/on-venus-it-snows-metal/#ixzz2jIufTY8e
Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Lone Star Ball

You must be a member of Lone Star Ball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Lone Star Ball. You should read them.

Join Lone Star Ball

You must be a member of Lone Star Ball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Lone Star Ball. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker