Last updated on January 14th, 2024
Venus is named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty (the only planet to be named after a female figure.) Astronomers believe Venus was formed roughly the same time as the rest of the solar system. According to these experts, the planet Venus is about 4.6 billion years old. Venus is the second planet from the Sun (Order of the planets from the Sun: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto (the dwarf planet)). With these facts about Venus let us learn more about its composition, atmosphere, temperature, and much more.
Facts about Venus
1. Even though the planet Venus is much closer to the Sun, it absorbs much less sunlight than the Earth. That is due to the thick, cloudy atmosphere found on Venus.
2. On an interesting note, regardless of the fact that the Earth absorbs more sunlight, it is still much colder than Venus. The bright planet in our skies gets so hot because of its atmosphere.
3. Venus is the hottest planet in the solar system while Mercury is the second hottest. But Venus is not hotter than all the planets because it is closer to the Sun. As mentioned, the gas atmosphere of Venus is the reason why it is so hot.
4. Venus is the brightest object in the sky after the Sun, and Earth’s moon. The temperature on Venus (425 degree Celsius) is sufficient enough to melt Lead.
5. There is no end to the high temperatures on Venus; it is locked in a never-ending heat wave day and night. You can blame that on the planet’s heavy gas atmosphere.
6. Another difference between Venus and the Earth is that our planet releases infrared radiation back into space. Venus, on the other hand, traps it in the atmosphere, causing heat build-up. Thus, the greenhouse effect makes it the hottest of all the planets.
7. The light from the Sun takes almost 6 minutes to reach Venus.
8. Besides the earth’s moon, Venus is the brightest object in the night sky.
9. Sometimes, Venus is so bright that it actually casts shadows on the Earth. These shadows are known as ‘Venetian Shadows.’ They are not very visible, and few people have seen them.
10. Venus is known as the Evening star as well as the Morning star because it is the first cosmic body to be visible in the skies at evening and is the last one to vanish from the sky at sunrise.
11. Ancient cultures like the Greeks and Egyptians believed Venus to be two different celestial bodies due to the different viewpoints. Luckily, Pythagoras discovered in 550 BC that the evening and the morning stars are both Venus.
12. Because Venus is so bright and everybody can see it, there is not a single person credited for discovering it. The first person to look at it through a telescope was likely Galileo.
13. When Galileo observed the planet Venus for the first time, he saw that it appeared to change in size. When closer to the Earth, it looks bigger because we observe the night side of the planet.
14. An interesting fact about Venus is that it has the most circular orbit of any planet in the Solar System.
15. Did you know that for every eight orbits the Earth completes around the Sun, Venus does nearly thirteen of them? Unfortunately, observers from Earth can’t really see when Venus overtakes the Earth in its way.
16. Venus does not experience any seasons because of its limited axial tilt of just 3 degrees.
17. Venus rotates on its axis from East to West similar to that of Uranus’ direction of rotation.
18. That is the reason, when on Venus, you would not see the Sun rising in the East but rather in the West. Because it spins in the opposite direction.
19. Scientists believe that something collided with Venus many million years ago to make it spin in the opposite direction. They believe the planet is now upside down.
20. A day longer than a year: Venus has the longest day of any planet in the Solar System. It takes 243 Earth days for Venus to rotate on its own axis. Moreover, it takes 225 Earth days for Venus to complete one revolution around the Sun.
21. That means the Sun only comes up twice in the course of an Earth year on Venus. All this happens on the same day on Venus!
22. The temperature variation on Venus is minimal during day and night because of the planet’s slow rotation.
23. Due to its slow speed of rotation, Venus’ magnetic field is much weaker than that of the Earth.
24. Because of the weak magnetic field of Venus, it is exposed to solar wind. The lack of protection allows the solar wind to strip away atoms from the planet’s atmosphere.
25. Venus is almost the shape of a perfect sphere, which also means that there is not much difference in its equatorial and polar diameters.
26. At its nearest Venus, is 38 million miles (about 61 million km) from Earth.
27. Venus is slightly smaller than the Earth.
28. Venus and the Earth have roughly the same density and, therefore, the same composition. What that means is that Venus weighs roughly the same as the Earth; in fact, it weighs about 95 percent of Earth’s weight.
29. Venus is also referred to as sister planet to Earth (because of the similarity in their mass and size.)
30. Venus, like Mercury, Mars and Earth is a terrestrial planet. Venus is made up of a rocky mantle and a central iron core, similar to that of the Earth. About 80 percent of the central core of the planet is made up of iron.
31. Venus’s core is about 1860 miles in diameter, a little bigger than that of the Earth. Experts believe it contains not just iron but also nickel, like the Earth.
32. Venus’ core cools at the same rate as the Earth’s because they are about the same age. What it means is that it also has a partially cooled core like the Earth’s.
33. Billions of years ago, Venus had tectonic plates much like that of the Earth. New studies found that there might have been the same type of tectonic movements on early Venus. The crust on Venus appears to be locked in place without any movement, like Earth’s. That is because there is no longer any tectonic activity on the planet.
34. Due to the fact that there is no tectonic activity on Venus’ surface, it is not replenished with new material. It simply grows thicker as the mantle cools close to the surface.
35. Venus has mountains, valleys and hundreds of volcanoes.
36. It is estimated that Venus has about 1600 volcanoes, which is more than any other planet in the solar system. These are only the major ones; there are many more smaller volcanoes, and most of them are dormant. They also believe that more than 70 percent of the planet’s surface consists of lava planes.
37. Its highest mountain – Maxwell Montes, is in fact, 8.8 kilometres high. Now, this mountain can be compared to the Mount Everest on Earth which also has a similar height.
38. The biggest volcano on Venus, Theia Mons, is nearly as high as Mount Everest. Theia Mons is about five miles high, while Mount Everest is about 5.4 miles high.
39. Did you know that there are six mountain ranges on Venus? These mountains are, in many ways, the same as those found on Earth. They are also of similar height.
40. Experts believe that Venus may have had an ocean that was boiled away many millions of years ago. They believe it lost the ocean when the planet was only 600 million years old because it’s closer to the Sun and is much more exposed to the heat.
41. Venus and Mercury neither have any moons nor do they have any rings.
42. The atmosphere on Venus is very dense.
43. If one were to visit the planet, they would not be able to see the Sun or the Earth because of the dense clouds that always cover the skies of the planet. And if at all, they are able to see the Sun, it would be a slight smear of light.
44. And on your visit to Venus, if you smell the rotten eggs, then don’t worry. There are no eggs! This smell is due to the presence of Sulphuric acid clouds there.
45. A night glow on Venus is caused by the ultraviolet light of the Sun. It streams into the planet’s atmosphere and then breaks the molecules up into atoms, which causes the haze.
46. The atmosphere on Venus rotates about 60 times faster than the surface of the planet. It causes a phenomenon known as super-rotation, and the highest speeds are observed in the cloudy area.
47. Between about 31 and 36 miles above the surface of Venus, the atmosphere is roughly the same as on Earth. It means that it may be possible for microbes to survive in these conditions.
48. If you ever wondered about whether humans will be able to live on Venus, it’s not possible. According to the experts, the surface of Venus is a scorching wasteland.
49. Atmospheric pressure on the surface of Venus is 92 times greater than that on the Earth. This intense pressure on the planet does not allow any visiting spacecraft to stay on its surface for long – not just more than 2 hours. Learn more about the Venere probes sent by the Soviet Union.
50. The more than 90 times pressure on Venus is roughly equivalent to 3300 feet below the sea’s surface. Most things will be crushed at that pressure, including most life forms from Earth.
. . . continue reading facts about Venus on the next page