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Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Earth's neighbouring planet, once thought very similar but now known to be extremely volcanic with a surface temperature of 450C.

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the planet Venus which is both the morning star and the evening star, rotates backwards at walking speed and has a day which is longer than its year. It has long been called Earth’s twin, yet the differences are more striking than the similarities. Once imagined covered with steaming jungles and oceans, we now know the surface of Venus is 450 degrees celsius, and the pressure there is 90 times greater than on Earth, enough to crush an astronaut. The more we learn of it, though, the more we learn of our own planet, such as whether Earth could become more like Venus in some ways, over time.


Carolin Crawford
Public Astronomer at the Institute of Astronomy and Fellow of Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge

Colin Wilson
Senior Research Fellow in Planetary Science at the University of Oxford


Andrew Coates
Professor of Physics at Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London

Produced by: Simon Tillotson and Julia Johnson

Available now

50 minutes

Last on

Thu 27 Dec 2018 21:30


Carolin Crawford at the University of Cambridge

Colin Wilson at the University of Oxford

Andrew Coates at University College London

Venus – NASA Science

Venus Facts

NASA Image and Video Library

Venus Express mission – European Space Agency

Venus III

Venus – Wikipedia



J. K. Beatty, C. C. Petersen and A. Chaikin (eds.), The New Solar System (Cambridge University Press, 1999)

Steven W. Bougher, Donald M. Hunten, Roger J. Phillips (eds.), Venus II: Geology, Geophysics, Atmosphere, and Solar Wind Environment (University of Arizona Press, 1997)

Fredric W. Taylor, The Scientific Exploration of Venus (Cambridge University Press, 2014)



  • Thu 27 Dec 2018 09:00
  • Thu 27 Dec 2018 21:30

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