There are many things to learn about Venus, from its extremely high temperatures to its low wind speeds, there are a lot of different Venus facts for us to learn. We don’t know as much about Venus as we do about Mars, but thanks to spacecrafts like Magellan, we know a lot more now than we once did.
Venus is the second planet from the Sun, yet it’s actually the hottest in our universe by quite some distance. Ever wonder why that’s the case? Well, you’ll find out that and a lot more in our list of the top Venus facts that you should know.
- Venus is the third smallest planet, as it is bigger than both Mercury and Mars.
- Venus is the closest planet to Earth in terms of size and mass. It is only slightly smaller than Earth, with its diameter being 95% that of our planet.
- Because of its similar size and close proximity to Earth, we sometimes refer to Venus as our sister planet.
- If we are looking at Venus, then its color appears to us as light yellow and white. Looking at Venus from space, it’s white, as it is covered by clouds. However, we’re not 100% sure what the color is on the surface.
- Venus is a massive 68 million miles (108km) away from the Sun.
- Venus has a total radius of 6052km, which is very close to the 6371hm radius of the Earth.
- We know Venus for being one of the brightest objects in the night sky. In fact, only the moon is brighter than Venus.
- A full year on Venus is equal to 225 days on Earth.
- However, just one DAY on Venus is equal to 243 Earth days, so one day is longer than one year! This is because Venus rotates very, very slowly.
- Unlike most of the other planets, Venus actually rotates in the opposite direction. We think this is likely due to the gravitational pull from the Sun.
- Venus travels around the Sun at a speed of 78,341 miles (126,077km) per hour.
The core of Venus has fascinated astronomers for a long time, as it was always deliberated what it must be made from. We have long assumed that the core of Venus is made up of iron and nickel, similar to that of Earth. We know this because the density of Venus is very similar to the density of Earth.
Venus has an approximate 1800 miles of primarily iron core, which is surrounded by an equally thick mantle made up of rock. Outside of this, there is a thin crust made up of silicious rocks (rocks that contain silicone). This crust has some craters, but less than many other planets that have rock on it’s exterior. This crust is heavily effected by volcanoes, as Venus has more volcanoes than any other planet.
The Atmosphere on Venus (Greenhouse)
Another aspect that is often talked about with Venus is it’s atmosphere, as we know that’s a contributing factor to it’s high temperatures. It actually has the highest temperature of any planet, and many people wonder why, seeing as Mercury is closer to the Sun. The atmosphere on Venus is heavier than any other planet, and consists primarily of carbon dioxide, with a small trace of nitrogen.
All of the energy from the Sun, and the heat that Venus itself produces, are trapped by its atmosphere; this is what astronomers call the “Greenhouse effect”. This is the same on other planets, but it is much more effective on Venus because of the high amount of carbon dioxide. This is why scientists are so concerned about rising carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere.
More Facts about Venus
- The surface gravity on Venus is actually very similar to Earth, at roughly 90% of our gravity. This means that a 200lb man would weigh approximately 180lbs on Venus.
- Out of all of the planets, Venus’s Orbit is the closest to a perfect circle, with very little variation.
- The name Venus is derived from the Roman Goddess of Love – the Greek equivalent of Venus is Aphrodite.
- The core of Venus is made up of iron, surrounded by molten rock, with similar dimensions to Earth.
- The temperature on Venus can actually be hotter than Mercury, which is closer to the Sun. Temperatures can reach higher than 470°.
- Because winds move very slowly across the planet, the temperatures in the nighttime are typically very similar to that in the daytime.
- The atmosphere on Venus is actually the reason why it’s so hot. The thick atmosphere, made primarily from Carbon Dioxide, traps the heat from the Sun so the surface of Venus is extremely hot.
- Like Mercury, Venus does not have any moons orbiting it. It is theorized that a collision with Venus in the past may have produced a moon. However, another collision is said to have reversed the spin of Venus, causing this moon to fall inwards and become part of the planet.
- Venus doesn’t have any rings either, because it is too close to the Sun to have the ability to have rings, which are made up of ice and rock.
- There are more than 900 named craters on Venus. All of them are named either after famous women, or just first names of women in general. The largest recorded crater in diameter on Venus is named Addams, after the American activist Jane Addams.
- Some say that Venus is being neglected in further exploration, as NASA seems to currently focus on finding water sources elsewhere in the solar system.
Most commonly asked Questions about the Planet Venus
Could we live on the planet Venus?
With Venus being the hottest planet, it’s very unlikely or near impossible for humans in their current form to live on Venus. Venus has an atmosphere that literally rains down sulfuric acid. So, not only would you die immediately, but your body wouldn’t be around for long either!
Can you see Venus from Earth?
As mentioned earlier, Venus is the second brightest object in the sky, after the Moon. Therefore, Venus is one of the easiest things to see in the sky, so much so that’s it’s commonly been referred to as the ‘evening star’. You can typically see Venus at different times throughout the year, typically from January through to May and then again after June.
Why is Venus upside down?
Venus actually rotates in the opposite direction to all of the other planets, except Uranus. So whilst Earth and the other planets rotate in an anti clockwise fashion, Venus actually rotates in a clockwise fashion. We aren’t 100% sure why it does this, however scientists think that Venus is essentially just done a 180 degree flip, and still rotates as it always has – it’s just upside down! This could be caused by gravity and it’s proximity to the Sun, or even from a collision with another object.
Who named Venus the planet?
Venus takes its name from Venus, the Goddess of Love. Back in Roman times, there were only a few different objects in the sky bright enough to identify. They named these after their Roman Gods, with Venus being chosen for the very brightest planet in the Sky. Other planets named after Roman Gods are Mercury, the God’s messenger, Mars, the God of War, Jupiter, the God of Thunder and Saturn, God of Agriculture and Wealth. Neptune and Uranus are also named after God’s, but they were discovered much later.
How many volcanoes are there on Venus?
There are more than 1600 verified volcanoes on Venus. However, to our knowledge none of them have erupted recently. Although a little different, they’re surprisingly similar to the volcanoes you’ll find on Earth.
So, Venus is one of the most interesting planets in our solar system. Despite being second from the Sun, it remains the hottest planet, with the longest day length by some distance. It’s clockwise spinning and high temperatures make Venus one of the most fun planets to learn about.