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Future Venus Missions
Steve G
post Jun 21 2021, 09:55 PM
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This is a general question about the atmospheres of Venus, Earth, Mars, and Titan. Can someone explain how Mars and Venus are both primarily carbon dioxide and little nitrogen. On the other hand, (before life began on the planet) Earth's atmosphere was largely made up of nitrogen and carbon dioxide gases. Titan is primarily nitrogen. How come Earth's primary atmospheric component is nitrogen when Mars and Venus has hardly any. And why is Titan's so similar to Earth's and not Carbon Dioxide like Mars and Venus?
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mcaplinger
post Jun 21 2021, 11:57 PM
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Short and probably too simple answer: there's lots of N2 on Venus, just not much fractionally. CO2 was removed from the early Earth's atmosphere by formation of solid carbonates (CO2+H2O+mineral reactions). This didn't happen on Venus, perhaps due to lack of water. Titan is so cold that CO2 freezes out so it can't be in the atmosphere. Why Mars has a lot of CO2 and few carbonates (since water was present on early Mars from most evidence) is still something of a mystery.


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Disclaimer: This post is based on public information only. Any opinions are my own.
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Holder of the Tw...
post Jun 22 2021, 04:08 AM
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My turn to oversimplify. Venus' atmosphere is .035 nitrogen. Surface pressure around 92 earth atmospheres. Multiplication gives Venus an atmosphere of nitrogen that is 3.22 times higher pressure than earth's nitrogen/oxygen atmosphere if you removed all the CO2, even with the slightly lower gravity. Under earth gravity the pressure would increase further by around 10%. So, assuming this is a good enough approximation... yeah, Venus has plenty of nitrogen. Even with a surface area 10% smaller than earth, Venus should have around three times the amount of atmospheric nitrogen that we do. Therefore my own question would be... why so much?
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tolis
post Jun 22 2021, 10:10 PM
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Turning to studies of the interior, balloon-borne infrasound detection is considered as a means of seismic sounding:

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/nasa-balloon-...next-stop-venus



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rlorenz
post Jun 23 2021, 02:57 AM
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QUOTE (tolis @ Jun 22 2021, 05:10 PM) *
Turning to studies of the interior, balloon-borne infrasound detection is considered as a means of seismic sounding:

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/nasa-balloon-...next-stop-venus


It's a neat idea, sure. But determining that you have detected a signal above the background in quiet conditions at 3km altitude above California, when you know from a dense seismic network that there was a quake with given characteristics at a given time, is one thing. Floating near the turbulent cloud tops of Venus, where the infrasound background is likely high and poorly characterized, and being able to confidently attribute a signal in there to seismic activity on the surface, would be an altogether different proposition......
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