Venus Facts

Venus Planet Profile

View on Maps:
Distance from Sun:67.24 million mi
Radius: 3,760 mi
Diameter: 7,520.8 mi
Orbital period: 225 days
Mass: 4.867 × 10^24 kg 0.815 M⊕
Surface Temperature: 462 °C
Number of Moons: None
First Recorded: 17th century BCE by Babylon astronomers

Venus is the second planet in our solar system and was named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty.

It’s the only planet that is named after a female and is believed to be named so because it is the one planet of the five known by ancient astronomers to have shown the brightest.

Venus Facts for Kids

  • Venus is the hottest planet in the solar system.
  • It’s a terrestrial planet.
  • The surface is rocky and small.
  • The atmosphere is thick. It traps heat.
  • There are volcanoes on Venus!
  • Venus spins the opposite way from Earth.
  • A day on Venus lasts 243 days on Earth.
  • A year on Venus lasts 225 days on Earth.
  • Venus doesn’t have moons.
  • It’s the second planet from the Sun.

Beautiful Planet

Ancient astronomers often thought that Venus was really two different stars: one that appeared as the morning star and one that was the evening star.

All throughout history, Venus was praised for being so beautiful, however, it wasn’t until the age of space exploration that we found out that Venus has a more hellish environment. Getting close to the planet is difficult due to the intense heat.

Temperatures on Venus

Venus is the hottest planet in the solar system, despite being the second planet from the sun. Because of Venus’s thick, dense cloud layer, it is hotter than even Mercury.

Surface temperatures range from 820 degrees to nearly 900 degrees F. On average, the surface is 847 degrees F.

Surface and Structure

Venus is a bit smaller than Earth. It has mountains, volcanoes, and craters that suggest it’s not that old. Their densities and chemical compositions are similar as well.

Scientists believe that Venus once had a lot of water but boiled away due to high temperatures.

Our planet might have done the same if it had been closer to the Sun. The planet Venus spins in the opposite direction from most other planets, including Earth.

Venus’s surface is mostly flat. It has a few mountains. Lava flows cover most of the surface.

Sif Mons is the largest volcano on Venus. Venus is still home to many active volcanoes

Hostile Planet

Due to its slow rotation on its axis, one day on Venus takes 243 Earth-days to complete one rotation. It is thought that billions of years ago, Venus might have had a similar climate to the one on Earth.

Scientists think that there may have been large amounts of water, even big enough to create oceans on Venus. However, the high temperatures on Venus that produce the extreme greenhouse effect, allowed the water to boil off. This left a planet that is too hostile and hot to sustain life as we know it.

The atmosphere on Venus is in two broad layers: one that is a cloud bank and covers the entire planet and the other is everything that is below the cloud bank.

These clouds are incredibly dense and made of Sulphur dioxide and sulfuric acid. They reflect almost 60% of the sunlight that Venus gets back into space. This makes Venus the hottest planet in the solar system.

Very Strange

One of the very strange things about Venus is that its rotation is in the opposite direction of most of the other planets in our solar system. Only Venus and Uranus rotate clockwise. This type of rotation is called a “retrograde rotation” and may have been caused due to historic collisions with near-Earth objects such as asteroids. A major “hit” could have changed the rotation of each of these planets.

Venus was first radar mapped in 1978 when the spacecraft Pioneer Venus orbited the planet. The information received showed that the surface was made up mostly of plains formed by very ancient lava flows, and only two highland regions were named Aphrodite Terra and Ishtar Terra. The Magellan spacecraft of 1990 orbited Venus, performing more detailed radar mapping.

Venus Quiz

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