The orbits of Venus and Earth result in the lowest gravitational potential difference and lowest delta-v needed to transfer between them than to any other planet. This has made Venus a prime target for early interplanetary exploration. It was the first planet beyond Earth that spacecraft were sent to, starting with Venera 1 in 1961, and the first planet to be reached, impacted and in 1970 successfully landed on by Venera 7. As one of the brightest objects in the sky, Venus has been a major fixture in human culture for as long as records have existed. It has been made sacred to gods of many cultures, gaining its mainly used name from the Roman goddess of love and beauty which it is associated with. Furthermore, Venus has been a prime inspiration for writers, poets and scholars. Venus was the first planet to have its motions plotted across the sky, as early as the second millennium BCE. Plans for better exploration with rovers or atmospheric missions, potentially crewed, at levels with almost Earth-like conditions have been proposed.
About 80% of the Venusian surface is covered by smooth, volcanic plains, consisting of 70% plains with wrinkle ridges and 10% smooth or lobate plains. Two highland "continents" make up the rest of its surface area, one lying in the planet's northern hemisphere and the other just south of the equator. The northern continent is called Ishtar Terra after Ishtar, the Babylonian goddess of love, and is about the size of Australia. Maxwell Montes, the highest mountain on Venus, lies on Ishtar Terra. Its peak is 11 km (7 mi) above the Venusian average surface elevation. The southern continent is called Aphrodite Terra, after the Greek goddess of love, and is the larger of the two highland regions at roughly the size of South America. A network of fractures and faults covers much of this area.
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Gray further asserts men and women view giving and receiving love differently, how individual actions intended as loving expressions are "tallied up." According to Gray, women and men are often surprised to find their partners "keep score" at all, or that their scoring methods widely differ.
He says women use a points system which few men are aware of. Each individual act of love gets one point, regardless of magnitude. Men, on the other hand, assign small acts, small expenditures, fewer points. Larger blocks of points (20, 30, 40 points, etc.) go to what they consider bigger expenditures. To a woman, the emotional stroke delivered by sincere attention is inseparable from the act. The different perception of expenditure can lead to conflict when the man thinks his work has earned him, say, 20 points and deserves corresponding recognition, while the woman has assigned him only 1 point and recognizes him accordingly. The man tends to think he can do one Big Thing for her (scoring 50 points) and not do much else, assuming he has "banked" points and can afford to "coast." The woman should be satisfied with his performance and give him credit for it. Instead, the woman would rather have many little things done for her on a regular basis, because women like to think their men are thinking of them and care for them more constantly. Gray clarifies how these two perceptions of "strokes" cause conflict. He encourages talking about these issues openly.
While dreamy Neptune is retrograde from Friday, June 30, to Wednesday, December 6, you're tasked with spiritually caring for yourself. Even if you aren't religious, this simply asks you to ensure that your emotional needs are met. Then, nurture yourself through meditation, connecting with ancestors, using tarot cards, praying, or all of the above. Just don't make any major changes to your appearance or beauty rituals while Venus is retrograde from Saturday, July 22 to Sunday, September 3. Because Venus rules love, beauty, and money, this transit may leave you feeling stagnant in romantic or financial matters, but fear not, it will pass. Finally, when the lucky planet Jupiter goes retrograde from Monday, September 4 to Saturday, December 30, you feel more philosophical than usual and may take a new approach to problem-solving or embark on adventures. Remember, retrogrades aren't all bad and even those that can bring frustrations are nothing to fear. You've survived them all before and can do so in 2023.
You're a rock star, Aquarius. The new year teaches that you can encourage others to be their best selves through positive reinforcement. You have a reputation for neglecting your personal life while you're busy saving the world. One of your lessons this year is that change often begins at a personal level. This is especially true while your ruling planet, rebellious Uranus, goes retrograde. Thankfully, the stars indicate that you succeed in nurturing your relationships this year and, as a result, see growth in your social circle, love life, and career. Read your full 2023 horoscope here.
When it comes to love, 2023 asks you to go ahead and have the tough conversations, Pisces. As the last sign of the zodiac, you're often called the wisest star sign. So, you should know by now that define-the-relationship talks only become more stressful the longer you procrastinate. Regarding your friendships, don't get so caught up in the business of your love life this year that you neglect them. This year also encourages you to accept professional praise (as some may come your way) and admit that you enjoy fame and recognition, even if you are the final and wisest sign of the zodiac. Read your full 2023 horoscope here.
When 2023 begins, your ruling planet, Mars, will be retrograde. Lean into this as an excuse to rest up early in the new year. Things get busy quickly. Soon, Mars injects passion into stagnant relationships, while Venus helps keep the romance flowing. The new year sees you becoming sincere and assertive regarding your needs in love and other areas of your life. Your friends will provide a crucial foundation that helps you in love and steadies you in your career. And, speaking of your professional life, several days indicate abundance is coming your way. Just prepare to release a bad habit (or bad relationship) when Pluto goes retrograde. Read your full 2023 horoscope here.
When your ruling planet, Venus, is retrograde, not only should you avoid making significant changes to your appearance, but your love and professional life could be affected, too. However, the main lesson Venus wants to convey in 2023 is the importance of celebrating yourself, Taurus, so this year's birthday may be extra special. Regarding love, try to be as honest and authentic as possible. Not only does this avoid miscommunication and make the several Mercury retrogrades that go down this year more leisurely, but it also keeps you in control. If you're not the one ending unfulfilling relationships, the lunar eclipse in your sign most definitely will. Read your full 2023 horoscope here.
When the year begins, your ruling planet Mercury is retrograde, Gemini. From there, 2023 brings three more Mercury retrogrades. Rather than worry about these times, which bring back exes and trigger miscommunication, learn how to navigate them stress-free. Regarding matters of love, this year reminds you that intimacy and hot sex can coexist even in casual set-ups, and the importance of human connection. In particular, 2023 sees you establishing a support system through friendships. But to maintain them you want to read how to navigate the chaotic eclipse that falls in Aries and your 11th House of Friendship. Plus, there's reason to celebrate your career early in the new year. Read your full 2023 horoscope here.
Because you're ruled by the moon, you must pay extra attention to the lunar eclipses this year, Cancer. In particular, there's also a full moon and lunar eclipse in Scorpio on Friday, May 5, in your 5th House of Pleasure, which could bring major shakeups to your sex and love life. But don't worry, the stars want what's best for you and not just in romance. The new year sees you not only expanding your social circle but discovering that your new friends love your old friends. And while no astrologer can promise money in this economy, read on to learn what dates are the most promising for your career. (Hint: Leo season is important.) Read your full 2023 horoscope here.
The new year has the potential to bring major passion to your love life, Leo. However, for this to happen, you must channel the influence of warrior Mars in healthy ways, such as through kinky sex or pillow fights, rather than through actual bickering. But don't get so caught up in sex marathons that you forget to nourish your friendships. Not only is your social circle the pillar of your support system, but 2023 sees you finding networking opportunities through friends. And, yes, it's okay to accept a little help even if you are a prideful lion. Just don't forget to schedule time for catnaps, as this busy year requires plenty of rest. Read your full 2023 horoscope here.
While our country's economy is far too messed up for an astrologer to promise cash, there are still days the stars indicate are beneficial for your career and abundance. After a successful summer, you see professional momentum in the fall, especially around your season, Virgo. But your career is not the only thing on your mind. This is a year for the record books regarding love, especially as the seasons change around the time the sun enters Virgo. Can a summer fling show long-term potential and can you survive the eclipses without jeopardizing your friendships? You'll have to read your entire horoscope to find out. Read your full 2023 horoscope here.
Remember, Libra, try to avoid making any major changes to your appearance while your ruling planet, pretty Venus, is retrograde in 2023 (Saturday, July 22 - Sunday, September 3). Any other time is excellent for switching up your hair or your entire look. Your wellness routine is one of many areas of your life to undergo changes in 2023. This year sees movement in your social circle. You're making new friends, but don't worry, you're pleased to see that they get along fabulously with your established ones. And while every month contains romantic moments, by the time Mars enters your sign at the end of August, you will find yourself happy in love and sex, even if it doesn't look like what you expected. Read your full 2023 horoscope here.