Clouds on Venus Made of Sulfuric Acid


venus-cloudsLike Earth, and many other planets, Venus has an atmosphere.  It even includes clouds and other atmospheric objects that Earth has as well. Some clouds on Venus include sulfuric acid in their composition, although recently it has become known that sulfuric acid actually only makes up a small percentage of the clouds on Venus.

In order to understand how the clouds on Venus relate to the planet itself, it is important to understand the composition of the atmosphere of Venus as well as other properties of the atmosphere.  The atmosphere of Venus is made up mostly of carbon dioxide.  The remainder of the atmosphere is made up mainly of nitrogen.  While both Earth and Venus have atmospheres, the atmospheric mass of Venus is 93 times larger than the atmosphere of planet Earth.

Venus

The high mass and density of the atmosphere surrounding Venus causes the planet to have the strongest greenhouse effect of all planets in our solar system.  Beyond the dense carbon dioxide layer near Venus’ surface, thick clouds are present.  These clouds are made up mainly of sulfur dioxide and sulfuric acid.  The density of these clouds causes much of the light from the sun to be reflected away from the planet, so despite being closer to the Sun than Earth, the planetary surface is poorly lit.

One final interesting fact about the clouds on Venus is that like the clouds on Earth, they are capable of creating lightning!  This fact had long been widely debated, but recent data collected has shown that the creation of lightning by the clouds on Venus was in fact true.



2 Responses to “Clouds on Venus Made of Sulfuric Acid”

  • Mrs.Davis says:

    If There are clouds on Venus wouldn’t that mean that there may actually be Water too as clouds are also made of water?

    [Reply]

  • Dameetis says:

    Does the outer amprstheoe of Venus really contain sulfuric acid or is it sulfurous acid? Absorption of sulfur dioxide in water forms sulfurous acid, not sulfuric. Does ultraviolet radiation from the Sun contribute to the additional oxidation of sulfur dioxide to sulfur trioxide, which does form sulfuric acid?

    [Reply]

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