cool-facts-about-venus

Cool Facts About Venus

tl;dr: check out our 10 Facts About Venus Infographic.

It’s been said that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. While that statement hasn’t been proven, what’s more likely is that the fairer sex is said to be from Venus because of her name.

The planet Venus was named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty; Venus. What better place for women to be from than a place known for those two things?

 

cool-facts-about-venus-clouds

Photo by NASA, http://goo.gl/WHVdYM

 

In this article, we’re going to learn some Cool Facts About Venus and why it’s one of humanity’s favorite planets. Let’s get started and find out what makes Venus such a unique planetary body in our Solar System.

Venus’s Planetary Profile:

  • Planetary Mass: 4,867,320,000,000,000 billion kg (0.815 x Earth)
  • Planetary Diameter: 7,521 miles
  • Planetary Radius: 3,760.5 miles
  • Planetary Circumference: 23,627.6 miles
  • Planetary Moons: None
  • Average Solar Orbital Distance: 67,238,250 miles
  • Solar Orbit Period: 224.70 Earth days
  • Planetary Surface Temperature: Average 864 degrees Fahrenheit
  • First Record of Venus: 1600 BC
  • Recorded By: The Babylonians
  • Distance From Earth: 24 – 162 Million Miles

Cool Facts About Venus – Fact #1:

Venus is the Brightest Planet in the Night’s Sky.

Venus is actually the second brightest object in the night’s sky, but only second to the Moon, which is significantly closer than the planet Venus; 238,900 miles versus 24 million miles, respectively.

Venus has a highly dense cloud cover of sulfuric acid over its surface, which helps reflects the light from the Sun. Because Venus is so close to the Earth, it appears to be brighter than any other planet or star.

Cool Facts About Venus – Fact #2:

Venus is the Hottest Planet in the Solar System.

Even though Venus isn’t the closest planet to Sun, like Mercury (see this article for Cool Facts About Mercury), it’s actually the hottest planet in the Solar System and can get so hot lead would melt on its surface.

Venus has a very dense atmosphere of mercury, ferric chloride hydrocarbons and sulfuric acid which contains the heat from the Sun’s energy output.

 

cool-facts-about-venus-hottest-planet

Photo by NASA, http://goo.gl/DHyjWR

 

Venus’s atmosphere acts very similar to the greenhouse effects which take place on Earth and cause global temperature rises.

Venus has an average temperature of about 864 degrees Fahrenheit. To put that into perspective, lead melts at a temperature of 621.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cool Facts About Venus – Fact #3:

1 Day is Longer than 1 Year.

Everyone knows that Earth spins around its axis every 24 hours, resulting in 365 days in a single orbit around the Sun (1 Earth year). What most people don’t know is that on Venus, a single day is longer than 1 Venus year.

 

 

cool-facts-about-venus-sun-rotation

Photo by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, https://flic.kr/p/c8iA9h

 

Venus completes an orbit around the Sun every 225 Earth days. It takes 243 Earth days for Venus to rotate around its axis once.

While we say there are 365 days in a year on Earth; Venusian’s would say that there are 1.08 years in a day on Venus.

Cool Facts About Venus – Fact #4:

Venus has the Most Volcanoes of any Planet.

Venus has hundreds and maybe even thousands of Volcanoes on its surface, the most of any planet. While more than 1,600 volcanoes are known and recorded as of today, there are many small ones which haven’t been mapped and classified, yet.

It’s believed that some of the volcanoes on Venus’s surface are even active as today. These volcanoes can range between less than 1 mile wide to over 150 miles wide.

 

cool-facts-about-venus-volcanoes

Photo by NASA, http://goo.gl/UBVgZY

 

The recent lava flows on the surface of Venus suggest that the most recent and active of volcanoes could have erupted as recent as just a few hundred years ago, all the way to as long as a few million years ago – it’s tough to say, but research continues to help answer this question.

Cool Facts About Venus – Fact #5:

The Soviets were the First to Venus.

Well, the Soviets beat the American to Venus, not with humans of course, but spacecraft. The Venera 1 was sent to Venus by the former Soviet Union on February 12, 1961. Regardless of this amazing step in the progression of aeronautics, the spacecraft lost communication 7 days after launch, roughly 62,000 miles from Venus.

The Americans came to the rescue, two attempts later. NASA launched Mariner 1 on July 22, 1962 and was destroyed only 4 minutes and 53 seconds into its mission due to a faulty steering component.

5 weeks later on August 27, 1962 Mariner 2 was launched by NASA and became the first spacecraft to successfully make planetary contact with Venus and transmit back data.

Cool Facts About Venus – Fact #6:

Venus is Under Serious Pressure.

Some say the infamous song by Queen, Under Pressure was about Venus, others do not. Nonetheless, Venus is under some serious pressure.

The pressure on Venus is more than 90 times what it is on Earth. Imagine the pressure of all of the water on top of you if you were over half a mile below the surface of an ocean on Earth.

Due to the massive amount of pressure on Venus, when small comets or asteroids enter into Venus’s atmosphere, the pressure crushes them before impact. Because of this, there are only large craters on Venus’s surface.

 

cool-facts-about-venus-craters

Photo by NASA, http://goo.gl/D2dbMz

 

Cool Facts About Venus – Fact #7:

Venus Rotates in Reverse.

Venus rotates around the Sun in the opposite direct as the other planets. All planets in the Solar System orbit the Sun in a counter-clockwise direction around their axes, Venus rotates in a clockwise rotation around its axis.

The cause for Venus’s opposite rotation is likely due to an earlier impact with a large object, possibly an asteroid or even an early planet which is no longer part of our Solar System.

 

cool-facts-about-venus-rotation

Photo by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, https://flic.kr/p/c8iAif

 

Assuming you could observe a sunset and a sunrise on Venus, the Sun would rise in the west and set in the east. Due to the thick cloud cover on Venus, you would not be able to view the Sun from its surface.

Cool Facts About Venus – Fact #8:

Venus has the Slowest Rotation.

The planetary body of Venus rotates slower than another planet in the Solar System. The equator on Venus rotates at only 4 miles per hour. To put this into perspective, the equator on Earth rotates nearly 1,040 miles per hour.

Something else that will blow your mind, Venus’s rotation has slowed down by roughly 6 and a half minutes in the last 16 years.

Between the time the Magellan spacecraft was launched on May 4, 1989 and the time the Venus Express was launched November 9, 2005 – Venus’s rotation has been slowing down.

Cool Facts About Venus – Fact #9:

Venus is Earth’s Sister Planet.

The Earth and Venus have been called sister planets for a long time. With many similarities, Earth and Venus have many differences.

Venus and Earth are the 2nd and 3rd planets from the Sun, respectively. They are also both very similar in size and mass; less than 403 miles in diameter smaller than the Earth and 80% the mass of Earth. Venus and Earth are also both terrestrial planets, meaning they have a rocky surface and volcanoes. It’s also thought that billions of years ago the climate on Venus would have been very tropical and to have contained water.

 

cool-facts-about-venus-compared-to-earth

“Venus, Earth size comparison” by NASAVenus image: NASA / JPL (from Magellan) – The Earth seen from Apollo 17.jpgVenus globe.jpg. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – https://goo.gl/46872g

 

However, Venus’s surface is much different from that of Earths. Venus has no water on its surface and an atmosphere nearly entirely made up of carbon dioxide, 96.5% of its total atmosphere and the other 3.5% made of nitrogen. Plus, it’s like 10 times hotter on Venus, making an average day over 800 degrees Fahrenheit.

Venus also has a central core of molten mantle and crust, much like that of Earth’s core. Venus’s core is about 2,400 miles wide, its mantle is about 1,200 miles thick and its crust is thought to be between 6 and 12 miles thick.

 

cool-facts-about-venus-mantle-core-crust

“Venus structure”. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons – https://goo.gl/8HaFcD

 

Cool Facts About Venus – Fact #10:

Venus is More Windy Than Chicago.

Ok, while we don’t know if Venus’s politics change with the direction of the wind; we do know that the planet has wicked fast winds.

Venus’s climate is pretty interesting in that it has upper and lower atmospheric winds. The upper atmosphere has very fast winds, reaching nearly 230 miles per hour. The lower atmospheric winds are pretty slow, as slow as just a few miles per hour.

 

cool-facts-about-venus-solar-winds

Photo by NASA, http://goo.gl/X2dGuA

 

The winds in the upper atmosphere of Venus rotate around its surface 60 times faster than the planet rotates around its axis. What this means is that the clouds surrounding Venus rotate around the planet every 4 Earth days, while the planet rotates around its axis every 243 Earth days.

Other Random Cool Facts About Venus:

  • We won’t be able to see Venus’s next transit across the Sun until December, 2117.
  • Venus has a magnetic field 0.000015 times that of Earth’s.
  • Venus has a very circular orbit, its Perihelion is only 66,782,000 miles from the Sun and its Aphelion is only 67,693,000 miles from the Sun.
  • There is lightning on Venus, caused by the sulfuric acid in the clouds.
  • Venus is so bright, it’s sometimes falsely reported as a UFO.
  • Venus’s atmosphere is so mean, it destroys spacecraft rapidly.
  • From Earth, you are unable to see Venus’s surface with your eye. It requires special radar to see and map its surface.
  • Venus is lonely, it has no rings and no moons. Mercury is the only other planet not to have a moon.
  • Venus basically has the same temperature in the day as it does at night.
  • Venus’s surface is thought to be between 300 and 400 million years old, Earth’s surface is about 100 million years old.
  • Venus is the only planet in our Solar System to be named after a female.
  • The Maat Mons mountain range on Venus is more than 5 miles tall.
  • The mountain ranges on Venus make up over 30% of its surface.
  • The Maxwell mountain range on Venus is over 540 miles long and over 7 miles tall in some places.
  • Venus’s density is 5.243 grams per cubic centimeter, compared to Earth’s density of 5.514 grams per cubic centimeter.
  • The surface gravity on Venus is pretty similar to Earth. If you weighed 100 LBS on Earth’s surface, you’d weigh 91 LBS on Venus’s surface.

 

Featured image by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, https://flic.kr/p/ch8rR9
Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus
http://www.space.com/18526-venus-temperature.html
http://space-facts.com/venus/
http://www.space.com/44-venus-second-planet-from-the-sun-brightest-planet-in-solar-system.html
https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Venus&Display=Facts
http://www.space.com/15988-venus-planet-weird-facts.html
http://www.universetoday.com/14070/interesting-facts-about-venus/
http://theplanets.org/venus/
http://www.bobthealien.co.uk/venusten.htm
http://www.livescience.com/33356-weight-on-planets-mars-moon.html
https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Venus&Display=Facts

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