The planet Venus is our solar system’s second planet, and also a unique and interesting one. Though this planet is not closest to the Sun, it is the hottest planet.
Also, after the Moon, it is the brightest natural object in the night sky of our Earth.
This planet is home to extreme temperatures, numerous volcanos, winds, and a dense temperature full of toxic gases. This planet is a lot to our Earth in many aspects. So, in this article, we will now explore some amazing facts about the interesting planet Venus.
Interesting Venus Facts:
It is Earth’s sister planet:
A really interesting fact about the planet Venus is that this planet is known as Earth’s “twin planet” or “sister planet.” The reason is this planet doesn’t differ a lot from Earth in terms of mass and size.
The average radius of Venus is almost 6051.8 kilometers, or 3760.4 miles, which is around 95 percent of our Earth’s radius at the equator. The mass of Venus is roughly 81.5 percent of Earth’s mass.
Venus is named after the Roman goddess:
Venus got its name from the Roman goddess of love and beauty because of its beautiful, bright, and jewel-like appearance. Venus is the brightest among the five planets, which ancient astronomers knew. Aside from Gaia, another name for our Earth, Venus is the only planet in the solar system that got its name from a feminine figure.
Moreover, the names of many of its surfaces also came from important women in mythology and history. Its southern highland is called Aphrodite Terra, and its northern highland continent is called Ishtar Terra.
It is one of the brightest objects:
In most cases, you have already seen Venus while stargazing. The reason is Venus is the brightest natural object in the sky next to the Sun and the Moon. Planet Venus has a magnitude of -4.92 to -2.98, which makes it bright enough to cast shadows on the Earth.
You can see Venus even without a telescope. Sometimes, you can see Venus on a clear day and in broad daylight. Due to its brightness, several people mistakenly refer to it as a UFO or unidentified flying object.
Days on this planet are longer than its years:
Interestingly, a day on Venus is longer than one year. The reason is that Venus rotates on its axis slowly, and then it goes around the Sun much faster than it spins.
In our solar system, the planet Venus is the slowest rotating planet, and it spins at the speed of only 6.52 kilometers or 4.05 miles per hour. In contrast, our Earth spins at a speed of 1674.4 kilometers or 1040.4 miles per hour. Thus, one day on Venus means 243 days on Earth. However, Venus takes only 225 Earth days to rotate around the Sun.
Venus has phases just like the Moon:
Italian Physicist Galileo Galilei discovered that Venus appears in phases like the Moon. Similar to the Moon, Venus’ phases differ from crescent to gibbous to full and the other way around. This planet shows its new phase when it comes directly in between Earth and the Sun.
These phases of Venus are only possible if this planet is orbiting the Sun. Due to this, the discovery of Galileo regarding Venus’ phases served as evidence that planets rotate around the Sun, not the Earth, as many people believed back in the day.
The ancient Greeks and Egyptians regarded Venus as two separate celestial bodies:
Due to Venus’ close proximity to the Earth’s orbit, we see this planet relatively close to the Sun. When Venus is present on one side of the Sun, it trails behind it, becoming visible during sunsets.
However, every 584 days, Venus appears on the Sun’s other side, and when this happens, it rises in the morning before the Sun rises. Hence, people of ancient Greece and Egypt thought it as two different entities. Those see this planet as two separate objects, the evening and the morning star.
The Bringer of light and the Star of the Evening:
When Venus was seen before sunrise, the ancient Greeks called it the “Bringer of Light” or the morning star Phosphorus. In contrast, when this plant shows itself after sunset, it is known as the “Star of the Evening” or Hesperos.
On the other hand, though the ancient Romans knew that these two objects were a single object, Venus, they still adopted the aspects of morning and evening stars like Lucifer and Vesper, respectively.
Planet Venus has a very dense atmosphere:
Despite the surprising similarities between Earth and Venus, there are also several differences. For example, the atmosphere of Venus is very dense and difficult to see through. Moreover, most of our Earth’s atmosphere consists of oxygen and nitrogen, but Venus’ dense atmosphere mostly consists of carbon dioxide.
Almost 96.5% of Venus’ atmosphere is carbon dioxide, which is a toxic element to humans. Also, this planet has thick clouds that are mostly made of sulfuric acid.
Venus receives less sunlight than Earth:
Due to its dense atmosphere, scientists did not know the actual look of Venus’ surface for a long time. Also, its thick cloud prevents sunlight from hitting the surface of Venus. This means that the ground of Earth receives more sunlight than the ground of Venus, despite Venus being closer to the Sun than Earth.
Venus’s dense atmosphere even dampens the impact of asteroids and meteorites hitting the planet’s surface. Venus’ atmosphere can slow down those incoming objects so much that some of them break down or burn up in the atmosphere.
Venus rotates on its axis clockwise:
Just like most planets, the Earth rotates on its axis in a counterclockwise direction. However, Venus rotates clockwise, just like another planet Uranus.
According to scientists, this rotation is known as a “retrograde rotation.” Due to this opposite rotating motion of Venus, if someone stands on its surface, they would see the Sun setting in the east and rising from the west.
Venus has the highest surface temperature:
Even though the planet Mercury is much closer to the Sun than Venus, Venus is still our solar system’s hottest planet. The average temperature on Venus’ surface is almost 737 K or 867 degrees Fahrenheit.
In contrast, Mercury is twice as close to the Sun as Venus but has a maximum surface temperature of only 700 K or 801 degrees Fahrenheit.
There is a lot of carbon dioxide:
Venus’ extreme temperature is because of the fact that most of the Venusian atmosphere is made up of carbon dioxide. It is a greenhouse gas that can trap heat in the atmosphere and radiate it back to the planet’s surface.
As Venus’ atmosphere is rich in carbon dioxide, it can have the strongest greenhouse effect among the planets in the solar system. Hence, it also can generate the highest surface temperature of any other planet.
The pressure on Venus is really extreme:
The planet Venus is home to extreme pressures. At Venus’ surface, this pressure is almost 93 bar or 1350 psi. This is around 90 times greater than Earth’s atmospheric sea-level pressure.
Also, this pressure is almost equivalent to the pressure at 900 m or 3000 feet below the surface of Earth’s ocean. However, its upper atmosphere is about 50 to 65 kilometers above the surface and faces a much more Earth-like pressure.
Venus is home to the largest number of volcanoes:
Venus’s surface is rocky and can be seen in different shades of gray. However, because of the thick atmosphere, we would see everything with an orange shade. Two-thirds of this planet’s surface is made of up flat plains, and there is a large absence of tectonic plates.
According to scientists, volcanic activities play a vital role in shaping a lot of the surface of this planet. They indicated that Venus is home to a large number of volcanoes, a lot more than Earth. Actually, Venus has the largest number of volcanoes in the solar system.
Venus’s orbit is mostly circular:
Another interesting fact about Venus is that it rotates around the Sun in a relatively circular pattern instead of a more elliptical shape. Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.007, meaning it can maintain a relatively consistent distance from the Sun.
The distance between its nearest and farthest points from the Sun is the smallest among any other planet in our solar system.
People know very little about Venus’ internal structure:
Studying Venus’ surface is really challenging for scientists due to the extreme environmental conditions of this planet. Hence, we know very little about this planet and its geochemistry.
From its similarity with Earth in mass and size, scientists think it has a very similar structure, like a core, a mantle, and a crust. Also, according to them, Venus’ core is partially liquid, like Earth’s core.
Venus has no natural satellites:
Other than Mercury, Venus is the only other planet that doesn’t have any moons or rings. In the 17th century, Italian astronomer Giovanni Cassini talked about seeing a moon orbiting Venus and called it Neith.
Some other astronomers also reported seeing this moon, but later scientists discovered that these sightings were mostly the stars near Venus’ position.
Therefore, we still know very little about the planet Venus in our solar system, and hence, scientists are trying their best to discover some other interesting facts about this sister planet of our Earth.
At the end of this article, we learned about 17 amazing facts about this significant planet of our solar system called Venus. These facts offer us a clear picture of this important part of our universe. To know more, you may visit our website.
I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for creating engaging and educational activities for children. I strongly understand child development and know how to create activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.