Venus is a very interesting planet. It is very similar to Earth, it’s a rocky planet, has a similar overall mass, and as a result we find gravity that is comparable to Earth, yet it has some of the most intense conditions of any planet in the solar system such as acid rain, temperatures hot enough to melt lead, atmospheric pressures equivalent to living a mile under the ocean, no real core electromagnetism to protect it from the sun’s rays, and it has a backwards rotation with respect to the other planets. However Venus has one transition it undergoes that makes it very unique among the planets.
It has been speculated that every several million or millions of years, the entire surface of the planet melts itself, in essence making the entire planet a huge ball of molten rock, which then slowly cools itself to bring about the uniform features and the single tectonic plate that have been observed to make up the surface. As the planet cools and contracts we get valleys and rifts in the surface, but for the most part Venus is a very smooth planet. Venus’ thick atmosphere would make it difficult for meteors to strike the surface, which is an additional explanation the surface remains uniform across the planet. This melting of the surface, it has been speculated, is the way the planet cools its core temperatures. By releasing the heat through a melting of the crust the planet maintains itself. Earth has volcanism to release heat through the movement of the tectonic plates, but Venus’ single plate surface doesn’t allow for heat dissipation in the same way as Earth. In order for Venus to cool its internal workings, the surface has to melt and cool again to release excess temperatures. This makes Venus a very interesting planet and the only known planet to do this in our solar system.
I think this phenomenon is a credit to the name “Venus,” the name chosen for this planet long before this theory about its surface came to light. The goddess spoken of in Greek and Roman mythology seems more than ever the most appropriate name for this particular planet. An eternal beauty, kept young and free from age seems to reflect what we know to be true of Venus beneath her clouds. The eternal youth and beauty of this planet is maintained through this process of melting and cooling, and just like the goddess herself, the surface won’t age, it will continually remain as young and smooth through its unique renewal process.