Venus is the second planet from the sun in the Solar System. It is named after the roman goddess of love and beauty. Venus is the second brightest object in the night sky after the moon and has been known for centuries as the Morning or the Evening star. Venus is similar in size to Earth and is the closest planet to Earth. It completely rotates the sun in 224.7 Earth days. Let’s find out some more fun facts about Venus.
Interesting facts about Venus
- Venus is most visible in the sky shortly before sunrise and shortly after sunset and it is at this time that Venus is at its brightest. Venus is so bright that on a moonless night the light from the planet will cast a shadow.
- Venus is a terrestrial planet meaning that it has a rocky body and is similar in size, mass and gravity to the Earth.
- Venus outer atmosphere is made up mostly of carbon dioxide and an opaque layer of sulfuric cloud which gives the planet a silver appearance.
- Venus has the strongest greenhouse effect of all the planets of the solar system and has the hottest surface temperatures. The average daily temperature on Venus is 462 °C (864 °F). This makes the surface hotter than mercury which is twice as close to the sun.
- Due to the windy nature of the planet the surface temperature of Venus does not differ much between the day and night.
- Venus has a double atmospheric vortex located at its south pole. This is similar to a hurricane except at the atmospheric level.
- The atmospheric pressure on the surface of Venus is 92 times that of earth. This is equivalent to the pressure found at a depth of 1 kilometer under the ocean on Earth.
- Venus is a very volcanically active planet with much of the surface being regenerated by volcanic eruptions. It is desert like and consists of large slabs of rock. 80% of the surface of Venus is volcanic plains. Venus has 167 volcanoes that are over 100km in diameter.
- There are two continents one in the northern hemisphere and one in the southern hemisphere. The continent in the northern hemisphere, Ishtar Terra, is named after the Babylonian goddess of love Ishtar. The southern continent Aphrodite Terra is named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. This continent is the bigger of the two and is roughly the size of South America. Ishtar terra is approximately the size of Australia.
- On the planet Venus it never rains, but research has shown lightning and thunder do occur.
- Venus is only tilted on its axis 3 degrees compared to earths 23, meaning it experiences little variation in temperature during the seasons.
- Venus only rotates on its axis every 243 earth days. This is the slowest of any major planet in the solar system. This rotation has slowed down by 6.5 minutes every day since the Magellan spacecraft visited it 16 years ago.
- Venus rotates in a clockwise direction which it the opposite direction to every other planet in the solar system.
- Venus has no natural satellites or moons; this is due to strong solar tides which would push any natural satellites out of the planets orbit.
- Venus’ orbit of the sun is the closest to being completely circular with a variation of only 0.01.
- Venus has an ozone layer which exists high above the surface in the planet’s atmosphere.