VENUS TECTONIC ACTIVITY (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 – Geography)

News-CRUX-10     28th October 2023        

Context: A recent study suggests that Venus, often referred to as Earth's sister planet, may have experienced tectonic activity about 4.5 billion to 3.5 billion years ago.

Key Points

  • Plate tectonics: Instrumental in creating its carbon dioxide- and nitrogen-rich atmosphere on Venus, according to the new report published in the journal Nature Astronomy noted. 
  • Planet’s atmospheric composition: Mainly composed of carbon dioxide (96.5%) and nitrogen (less than 3.5%).
  • Plate tectonics gave rise to oceans, continents and mountains, along with playing a critical role in nourishing life on Earth.
  • The new findings suggest that ancient Venus may have been home to microbial life. That means Earth and Venus may have been even more alike than thought.


  • About: Venus is the second planet from the sun, and it is sixth in the solar system in size and mass.
  • It is similar in structure but slightly smaller than Earth (Earth’s Twin).
  • Venus has a thick and toxic atmosphere that consists primarily of carbon dioxide, with clouds of sulfuric acid droplets.
  • Temperature: 465 degrees Celsius, hot enough to melt lead.
  • Rotation: Venus is one of just two planets that rotate from east to west. Only Venus and Uranus have this “backward” rotation.
  • Life on Venus: Venus’s extreme temperatures and acidic clouds make it an unlikely place for life.
  • Venus does not have any moons, a distinction it shares only with Mercury among the planets in the Solar System.
  • It is the hottest planet in the solar system because of the high concentration of carbon dioxide which works to produce an intense greenhouse effect.