Top 10 Things You Should Know About Venus
Venus whose Greek equivalent was Aphrodite was
the Roman goddess of love and beauty. It probably got its name
from being the brightest object in the sky except for the Sun
and the Moon. Venus has always been considered a feminine
planet, with many legends and stories concerning its
inhabitants. Even one modern doctor says that women are from
1) Venus is the second planet from the
Venus orbits 108,200,000 km (0.72 AU)
from the Sun. Its path carries it around the Sun between
Mercury and the Earth.
2) Venus is the sixth largest. planet
Venus has a diameter of 12,103.6 km and a
mass of 4.869e24 kg, 95% of Earth's size.
3) Venus has been called Earthís sister
Itís fairly close in size (95%), has a
similar density and chemical composition, and has few
craters, indicating a similar young age. This led many
to believe that there might even be life hidden under
the thick layer of clouds. This has since been proven to
4) Earth and Venus are similar in density
and chemical compositions
Both have relatively young surfaces, with
Venus appearing to have been completely resurfaced 300
to 500 million years ago.
5) At one time, Venus was thought to be
two separate bodies
Venus was known as the morning star (Eosphorus)
and the evening star (Hesperus).
6) On the surface of Venus, the
atmospheric pressure is 90 atmospheres.
Venus' atmosphere is composed mostly of
carbon dioxide. The surface of the planet is obscured by
several layers of clouds many kilometers thick composed
of sulfuric acid. This creates a greenhouse effect that
brings Venus' surface temperature to over 740 K.
7) Venus' rotation is 243 Earth days and
its orbit is 225 days
Venus's day is longer than its year!
Besides that, it rotates retrograde, or "backwards,"
spinning in the opposite direction of its orbit around
the Sun. From its surface, the Sun would seem to rise in
the west and set in the east.
8) Features on Venus are named for
Venus' features have received names of
women from all of Earth's cultures, including Atalanta
Planitia, Guinevere Planitia, Lavinia Planitia, Ishtar
Terra, Aphrodite Terra, and Lakshmi Planum among others.
9) There are no known satellites of Venus
Between the 1670s and the 1770s, there
were several observations of what appeared to be a
satellite approximately 1/4 the size of Venus. Many
theories exist to explain these sightings as well as one
in 1892 by E. E. Barnard, including optical illusions,
stars, and even a tenth planet, but recent observations
have not revealed any satellite.
10) Venus has been visited by several
Past probes to visit Venus included
Mariner 2, Pioneer Venus Orbiter & Pioneer Venus
Multiprobe (Pioneer 12 & 13), and Magellan while another
mission, called Venus Express, is in the works by the
European Space Agency.