Venus is the second planet from the Sun and is the brightest planet in the solar system. It is sometimes referred to as the sister planet to Earth, because of the similar mass and size. The planet is named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty. In this article, we will be discussing the characteristics and a few astonishing facts of Venus.

Discovery of Venus

Venus is the brightest planet and is easily noticeable with unaided eyes. Ancient people likely knew about it. One of the earliest Babylonian astronomical documents speaks about Venus. Galileo Galilei was the first person to aim a telescope at Venus in 1600. The first aircraft to visit Venus was NASA’s Mariner 2 in 1962. Most recently, NASA’s Magellan visited Venus and mapped out the surface with the help of radar.

Physical Characteristics

Although Venus is the second closest planet to the Sun, it is still the hottest. It consists of an atmosphere full of carbon dioxide and clouds made of sulfuric acid. The atmosphere traps heat and keeps the planet toasty warm. The temperature on Venus’s surface can soar over 880 degrees Fahrenheit. The surface pressure is 90 times that of Earth. Despite the unusual scorching conditions, Venus shares a surprising number of features with Earth. Venus has roughly the same diameter as Earth and sports a rocky surface and has an iron core. However, the planet doesn’t rotate fast enough to generate an Earth-like magnetic field.

Structure and Surface
  • Venus is the hottest planet in the solar system.
  • Venus has an active surface, including volcanoes.
  • Venus spins in the opposite direction of Earth and most other planets.
Time on Venus
  • A day on Venus lasts 243 Earth days.
  • A year on Venus lasts 225 Earth days.
Venus’s Neighbour
  • Venus doesn’t have any moons.
  • Mercury and Earth are the neighboring planets of Venus.

Due to slow rotation on its axis, it takes 243 Earth days to complete one rotation. The orbit of the planet takes 225 Earth days making a year on Venus shorter than a day.

Facts About Venus

Venus Fact

    • Billions of years ago, the climate of Venus may have been similar to that of Earth

Scientists assume that Venus once possessed water and oceans. However, due to the high concentration of greenhouse gases, this water may have evaporated, and now the surface terrain is too hot and hostile for living creatures to inhabit.

    • Venus rotates in the opposite direction

Most planets rotate counter-clockwise on their axis while Venus, like Uranus, rotates clockwise. This is known as the retrograde reaction, most likely caused due to the collision of the planet with an asteroid or other objects.

    • The atmospheric pressure of Venus is 92 times stronger than Earth’s

Any asteroids entering the planet will be crushed by the enormous pressure, which is why there are no surface craters on the planet.

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