The Universe # 002 | Journey to Venus and Mercury in Urdu | Faisal Warraich

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Leaving behind our blue Earth and the Moon we have have moved 40 million kms ahead. See the Sun bright and fiery, 110 million kms away. Between our land and the Sun exists the land where Doomsday falls everyday. Here the Sun rises in the West. It is the planet Venus, the twin planet of the Earth. But how twin? The Earth is like Paradise; blue, beautiful, full of plants, vibrant with human love and laughters. But the Venus; my God! The heat at the Venus beats the fire of the alive volcanoes. The land of the Venus emits fire and the clouds shower acid. Here sulfuric acid rains. But how do we know all that? How do we get the information of a body millions of miles away from the Earth? Is the Venus, the ‘goddess of love’ for the Romans, which we call the ‘evening star,’ livable by the human beings? Does life exist at the Venus? Which celestial body can be burnt to ashes for being the nearest to the Sun? But it has the seas of ice on its surface. How and why it could be possible? I am Faisal Warraich and in the ‘Whole Universe’ series by ‘Dekho, Suno, Jano’ I will show you all this. The Venus is the planet that appears the brightest in the sky before the dawn and the dusk from the Earth. The Venus is not the largest planet of the Solar system but why it looks the brightest of all? One reason is its being the nearest to the Earth. The second most important reason is the heavy clouds of gases floating all around the Venus. These clouds are so thick that they reflect 70 percent of light from the Sun on it. That is why the Venus appears the brightest after the Moon in the sky. When the night gets dark, the same Venus raises hope of a bright morning among the hopeful. This planet is charming from the outside but equally horrific from the inside. A 250-km thick and dense layer of gases encircles the planet Venus. A highly terrible scene emerges when one goes down piercing through those clouds of gases. God forefend, any glimpse of the hell can only be found at the Venus if one imagines it on the Earth. The land of Venus is bursting out lava all the times. As we have forests on our land. The Venus has the jungles of volcanoes. But they are not merely volcanoes. Here is also stormy rains of the acids every time. Here Sulfuric acid rains like explosion of the clouds during monsoon on the Earth. Keeping the volcanoes and the acidic rains in the mind, you hear further. The thunderous winds at the pace of hundreds of kilometers per hour also blow on the Venus. We name hurricane one, two, three and four as per the intensity of the storm on the Earth. Hurricane five is the highest category of the storm anywhere on the Earth. The hurricane throws down the trees, blows out roofs and renders the locality unlivable where it occurs. Hurricane five blows at the speed of 250 kms per hour. While the storms on the Venus run at the speed of 360 kms per hour. Acidic rains, severe storms, and a 250-km thick layer of clouds is the first impression of this ‘goddess of love’. Living on the Earth we had adored this godess from the bottom of our heart. After that the land of the Venus is asking us, “do you still need my introduction?” “I am the same you had once loved.” No-one can live on this horrifying planet where life is out of question for two reasons. First is the atmospheric pressure on the Venus that is much higher than the Earth’s due to 250-km thick layer. Against the gaseous pressure of 14.7 pound per square inch on the Earth it is 1300 on the Venus. It is 90 times more on the Venus than our blue World. The pressure is so high that even a strong vehicle would get pressed let alone a man. Therefore the life in a developed form is hard to find on the Venus. Perhaps any sign of life in its preliminary form would be found on the Venus Like unicellular, algae, bacteria or at least any mycoplasma, that are the simplest forms of life. There is another reason for the absence of life on the Venus. That another prerequisite of life is water and the oxygen. The oxygen in the Venus atmosphere is negligible while anti-life gas Carbon dioxide is 96 percent. How much this combination is dreadful may be assessed from the fact that atmosphere on the Earth… has 78 percent of nitrogen and 21 percent oxygen and 0.1 percent carbon dioxide; not even one percent. Hence the Earth got a reason to beget life. This equation on the Venus is diametrically reverse. The Venus also does not have the flowing water; another most vital condition of life. In this situation making efforts to find out life on the Venus amounts to living in the fools’ paradise. What is this? Granite exists on the Venus. And granite does not form without water that too in a very large quantity. Like the water in the seas. Does it show the presence of seas ever on the Venus? The answer is yes, as the Venus in the beginning was quite like the Earth. Billions of years ago when our solar system came into being, the Earth and the Venus were alike. Both had the seas of surging tides hence they did not differ much. But later the Venus continued to drift to the Sun and grew in heat accordingly. Then the atmospheric ring around the Venus became so thick and dense that they turned the planet into a hell. The sunlight enters the atmosphere but does not reflect. So the Venus continued to absorb heat for millions of years and acquired unimaginably high temperature The temperature on the Venus has touched 471 degree centigrade. Rather it is higher than 472 at some other places on the Venus. So the intense gaseous pressure, acidic rains, stormy winds, countless alive volcanoes… have proved that the Venus is not all suitable for human living. Look at the compressed burnt iron structure on the Venus surface which is the remnant of Venera 3. 3 years prior man’s landing on the Moon, Russia in 1966 launched Venera programme for research on the Venus . Venera 3 of the programme landed on the Venus on March 1,1966. To be more precise, it fell on the Venus. Because it was a failed landing. It was unmanned mission mean nobody was travelling in that mission. The Venera 3 turned into pieces and burnt due to intense heat and pressure as soon as it landed on the Venus The mission did not send any information or data to the Earth. The debris of this maiden success mission of man is present on the Venus todate. The Venera also bears the print of a Soviet stamp, a hammer and a sickle. The mission failed to conduct any experiment on the Venus yet it was the first guest on it from the Earth. Russia also sent Venera 4, 5 and 6 mission to the Venus but they all remained unsuccessful. Russia continued to improvise the spacecraft for the next mission overcoming the previous failures. That was why the devastating factors of the Venus failed to destroy instantly the Venera 7 on its surface. This Probe (Venera 7) continued to work for 23 minutes. And it also sent signals to the Earth. After that Venera 8 and 9 were dispatched to the Venus. Although it also disappeared in the thick cloudy lawyer after 53 minutes on the Venus, yet before that…. it delivered valuable report about this planet that goes for a big achievement in the space sciences. This picture before you is the first of the Venus surface. This picture was captured and sent to the Earth by Venera 9. This firt colored picture was sent to the Earth from the Venus by Venera 13 in 1985. Russia, America and Japan have so far sent altogether 40 spacecraft to the Venus. These missions gave mixed results but it was Pioneer mission of NASA that furnished map of the Venus. The Pioneer was launched in 1978. It was designed not for landing on the Venus. But to revolve around the Venus and take its pictures and send them to the Earth through signals. The Pioneer performed very well for 12 years. This mission told us about about a mountain on the Venus higher than the Mount Everest and… the ditches deeper than the American’s Grand Canyon. The Pioneer Venus Orbiter retired in 1992 and got silent forever by plunging into the Venus. Just stop here and think how these machines send signals to the Earth from millions of kms away? Just like we operate TV set through the remote control. The distance is the only difference. Remote control sends signals to a short distance while signals from the spacecraft cover millions of miles. The spacecraft landing on the Moon or a planet are already equipped with antennas. The antenna transmits radio signal to the Earth. And the huge size radio antennas on the Earth receive these signals and refer them to the space laboratory. The laboratories have a complete system to decode these signals that are binary codes meaning… consisting of two digits, zero and one. The same procedure is used in our computer and the smart phone technology. This method provides us information from the Moon, the Mars and hundreds of other space sites where… man had sent the probe or the research missions But it also involves an interesting problem. That the Earth is rotating continuously as such a receiver on it would change its direction after 12 hours. And here is the question, how it would catch the signals on the other side. The problem has been sorted out by installing a chain of many antennas which pass the signals on to the others. There are connected to one and another. That is why signals do not miss anytime. Same way the planets where the spacecraft or the probes land, are also revolving. How will these machines transmit signals when a moving planet turns to the other side ? The answer is, one or more satellites continue to move on the orbit of the Moon or the planets.. where the probe machines had been sent to. The satellites receive signals for the machines and send them to the Earth. The signals are captures by the powerful antennas or receivers on the Earth. This whole process is called deep space network or DSN. This system is so advance that it can receive the signals 20 billions times weaker than the normal ones. For the reason that man has sent some research missions billions of kms away. It is amazing. Its tale will also be narrated but here see the wonderful scene that the Sun is rising in the West on the Venus. It goes that before the Doomsday, the Sun will rise in the West. By that account, the Venus has the Doomsday everyday. Because here the Sun always rises in the West. A question will certainly strike the mind that the East is where the Sun rises and how can a planet where… the Sun always rises in the same direction, could be called rising in the West? Looking from the angel of the North Star, all planets in the Solar System will appear moving anti-clock wise. Therefore the East and the West of all planets are the similar. But the Venus is the only planets that has clock-wise rotation on its axis. Therefore a contrary system is running on the Venus from the rest of the planets in the Solar system. So we can say, against the Earth and other planets, the Sun rises in the West and sets in the East on the Venus. The rotation is not only adverse but also extremely slow. So slow that a day on the Venus is equal to 243 days on the Earth. It means when the Venus completes one round on its axis, our Earth has completed 243 rounds. One round means one day. It is even interesting that an year on the Venus is shorter than the day on the Earth. It is quite interesting. By the time the Venus completes a cycle on its axis, it has cycled around the Sun in 225 days of the Earth. If you happen to dwell in the Venus you are likely to celebrate the birthday twice in a day. Lest we should grow old in days on the Venus, let’s move ahead. Look the Sun is there in front of us. So move one. It must be born in mind that we are over 70million kms away from the Earth at this stage. The journey ahead is so interesting that no question to come back. Here the heat of the scorching Sun is intolerable. Perhaps we should not be here. But, hold on. This tiny dot moving on the golden platter of the Sun is, the Mercury, the first and… the smallest planet of our Solar System. The sky presents a wonderful scene from the surface of the Mercury. The sky from the Mercury appears pitch-black. The darker than the night. At the Mercury you will not get the blue sky of the Earth. But you will be surprised to know that the actual colour of the sky is black. To be more precise, the thing we call sky, does not have any colour. And the sky is nothing in scientific language. It in fact is an indefinitely wide space that does not have any colour. Then why does the sky appear us blue from the Earth? Before learning it you must know that the sunlight consists of seven colours. The difference of these colours in fact, is the difference of their wavelength. The red has the maximum wavelength while the blue and the violet the minimum. The sunlight on entering our atmosphere strikes against the molecules of the oxygen and the nitrogen. The wavelength of the red, orange, yellow and green is intense enough to cross over the molecules. So these colours reach the Earth. But the blue and the violet have insufficient wavelength so they spread all over after striking the molecules. That is reason, the sky appears us blue. Then the question is why not violet appears us in the sky when it also largely spreads in the atmosphere. The answer is, the limit of our eyesight. The biology of our eyesight is more sensitive to pick up length of the blue colour than the violet. Which means our eye perceives the blue more easily. That is why the violet colour in the sky remains invisible to the human eye. It is despite the fact, violet colour is present in the sky. Certain animals are able to pick up every wavelength no matter how little it is. Like the honey bee, falcon, etc. It is quite possible these animals see the sky violet like in this image. The seven-colour sunlight falls straight on the Mercury that does not have the gaseous ring around. From the Mercury the Sun appear golden and the sky pitch-dark. Mercury has no atmosphere but like the Venus, it also does not have any moon. The Mercury has so weak gravitational force that it cannot grip any heavy rock around it. The Mercury cannot attract any space object nor it can force it round its orbit. The meteorites either hit the Mercury or fall into the burning Sun 35million kms away from it. Why it should not happen since our Sun has extraordinary gravitational force. The gravitational force of an object in the Universe is proportionate to its mass. The Mercury is a small planet whose volume and mass is just 6 percent of the Earth’s. But its gravitational force is 40 percent of the Earth’s. That is why you weight of 70kgs on the Earth will come down to 30kgs on the Mercury. You can go the Mercury to cut down your weight. But the problem is, you may not come back to the Earth to show the reduced weight to your friends. Even if you come to the Mercury to cut down the weight, do not stay here more than a day. Because the Mercury is more wonderful than the Venus. Here the days are very long and the years too short. Here a day is over two years on the Earth. The Mercury completes a round on its axis in 176 days of the Earth. It takes about 6 months of the Earth. The same Mercury completes its revolution of the Sun only in 88 days. Thus a day on the Mercury is over two years of the Earth. Being the nearest to the Sun, the Mercury always stays between the two extremes. If it is burning hot at 800 degree in the day, the temperature here reduces to -275 degree at night. The planet has to afford this extreme if it needs to stay as neighbour of the Sun, the king of the Solar system. Despite staying nearest to the Sun, the Mercury does not have any volcano at present. Yet they used to be there once. But they are dead and vanished and for that reason the Mercury is called a dead planet. It does not have any fire, atmosphere or the magnetic field. But look at its cheerfulness that in neighborhood of the blazing Sun the Mercury has ice lakes on its edges. Yes, there are no volcanoes on the Mercury but certainly ice is. But where? Almost the same place where it exists on the Earth. In 1991, when the radars detected the possibility of ice on the Mercury, it boggled mind of the scientists. They were surprised to learn about the ice in a tiny planet right in front of the Sun. How it came? Then millions of dollars were spent to verify this fact. The NASA space mission ‘Messenger’ in 2012 sent pictures that proved existence of ice on the Mercury. This fact created great excitement among the researchers of the space science. The ice existed in deep pits on the norht of the Mercury. These were the sites where the sunlight did not reach over the millions of years. These pits had been in the dark since the time immemorial. That was why the ice remained unaffected by the sunlight and the heat. The discovery of ice, rekindled the hope of those looking for life anywhere in the planets. Many of them also thought of presence of any life cell, germ, amoeba, bacteria, etc. in the layers of this ice. But presence of life on the Mercury could not be verified by NASA missions, the Mariner and the Messenger. After 21 years of research, the Mariner 10 has retired and now is moving uselessly on its orbit around the Sun. But the second mission, the Messenger, that was a robotic spacecraft, after research around the Mercury… and sending its excellent pictures for 4 years ended itself by crashing on the Mercury in April 2015. Whatever information of the Mercury available today are credited to the pictures sent by the Messenger. Many missions have been sent and further are also being sent to the Mercury following these two missions. In front of the blazing, boiling and inflamed Sun, life could not be detected on the tiny planet, Mercury… but the ice was discovered on it. But the question arises where from this ice came here? The answer is, from the same source, the Earth had. Then how did the Earth get the ice? Why is a lunatic planning to erect a sheet around the Sun and how it is possible and what is this plan? Through the Sun, we will lead you to a planet where the man is actually about to reach. He may have come from there? How will the man go and live there and after all why is he planning so? We will show you all this but in the next part of the ‘Whole Universe.’ Our journey from the Earth to the Universe may be called a journey to the past. Since our forward journey to the Universe is, in fact, a travel into the past. You will get its answer as you travel on. In this first episode of the journey we took you to the both bright and the dark side of the Moon,… showed a fantasy tale of the Moon, the scientific experiments by the man and robots and… and also told you the name of which beautiful girl had been inscribed on its surface, and who did it. Click here to see this all in the first episode of the ‘Whole Universe.’ Click here to see the biography of the great hero of Islam Salahuddin Ayubi. Click here to view complete account of the vital turning point in the history of Pakistan, the Kargil war.


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