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15 Interesting Facts about Venus

Updated on November 21, 2016
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Since completing university, Paul has worked as a bookseller; librarian; and freelance writer. Born in the UK, he now lives in Florida.

The second planet from the Sun, Venus has no moons. At one time, it was thought that the planet might have life on it but hopes faded after the Soviet Union landed a probe on it. Gravity is similar to Earth, but atmospheric pressure is much greater.
The second planet from the Sun, Venus has no moons. At one time, it was thought that the planet might have life on it but hopes faded after the Soviet Union landed a probe on it. Gravity is similar to Earth, but atmospheric pressure is much greater. | Source

Venus is sometimes referred to as the Earth's sister planet, as in many ways there are similarities - for example, both are about the same size, have a central iron core and a molten rocky mantle, and also have a similar strength of gravity.

There are also some big differences too, however, especially Venus's nasty atmosphere, which you could say makes it more of Earth's evil twin, rather than a sister!

Here are my 15 interesting facts about Venus, I hope that you enjoy reading them and find them fun!

1. Venus measures 7,522 miles (12,100 km) in diameter, which makes it slightly smaller than the Earth. Compared to the other planets, however, the differences in size are very small.

2. The planet rotates very slowly. That means that a day on Venus lasts a whopping 243 Earth days!

3. One of the strange things about Venus is that it rotates clockwise. That might not sound terribly odd, until you realize that all the other planets in the Solar System move in the opposite direction (counter-clockwise)!

Maat Mons is a massive shield volcano. It is the planet's 2nd highest mountain, and its highest volcano, rising 8 kilometres (5 miles) above the mean planetary radius and almost 5 kilometres above the plains around it.
Maat Mons is a massive shield volcano. It is the planet's 2nd highest mountain, and its highest volcano, rising 8 kilometres (5 miles) above the mean planetary radius and almost 5 kilometres above the plains around it. | Source

4. The planet's atmosphere is very dense, consisting mainly of carbon dioxide with a small amount of nitrogen.

5. The planet is named after one of the most well-known Roman goddesses, who stood for love, beauty, sex, fertility, prosperity and desire.

Roman representation of the goddess: Venus, whose functions included love, desire, beauty, sex, prosperity, and fertility. The image was discovered on a fresco in 1960 at Pompei, and was created in the 1st century AD.
Roman representation of the goddess: Venus, whose functions included love, desire, beauty, sex, prosperity, and fertility. The image was discovered on a fresco in 1960 at Pompei, and was created in the 1st century AD. | Source

6. Venus is the second planet from the Sun and travels on a path between Mercury and the Earth.

7. The gravity on Venus is similar to Earth, but the pressure of the atmosphere is much greater because it is so much denser.

Much of the information that we know about Venus came from space probes, beginning with Mariner 2 which went on its fact-finding mission in the early 1960s. After a 109-day transfer orbit in December 1962 it passed 34,833 km of the planetary surface.
Much of the information that we know about Venus came from space probes, beginning with Mariner 2 which went on its fact-finding mission in the early 1960s. After a 109-day transfer orbit in December 1962 it passed 34,833 km of the planetary surface. | Source

8. The planet has a central iron core and a molten rocky mantle, rather like the Earth.

9. Unlike most planets in the Solar System, including the Earth and Mars, Venus has no moons.

The symbol for Venus is a circle with a cross underneath.  It is the same symbol as that used by biologists to denote the female gender, by feminists, as well as being used in chemistry to denote copper.
The symbol for Venus is a circle with a cross underneath. It is the same symbol as that used by biologists to denote the female gender, by feminists, as well as being used in chemistry to denote copper. | Source

10. Because Venus is easily visible to the naked eye, it features in many world mythologies. The first written accounts of the planet are by the Ancient Babylonians in 1600 BC.

11. Venus is one of the brightest things in the sky, along with the Sun and the Moon. At one time people thought that it was two separate bodies, which they called the morning star and the evening star.

12. Venus is covered by dense clouds of acid. The clouds stop heat escaping and make it the hottest planet in the Solar System.

Venus crescent.  The planet is covered by an opaque layer of very reflective clouds of sulfuric acid, which means that its surface cannot be seen from space in visible light. It may have had oceans previously, but these have long since vaporized.
Venus crescent. The planet is covered by an opaque layer of very reflective clouds of sulfuric acid, which means that its surface cannot be seen from space in visible light. It may have had oceans previously, but these have long since vaporized. | Source

13. Because the planet is covered with cloud, nobody knew what it really looked like until the Soviet Union managed to land a Venera 8 spacecraft on its surface. Before it was discovered how hostile the atmosphere was, Science Fiction writers speculated that there might be tropical jungles on Venus.

The surface of Venus consists mainly of cratered desert.  There are many active volcanoes, some of them huge.  Acidic clouds shroud the planet and rain down sulphuric acid.
The surface of Venus consists mainly of cratered desert. There are many active volcanoes, some of them huge. Acidic clouds shroud the planet and rain down sulphuric acid. | Source

14. The reality is that the surface of the planet is mainly composed of cratered desert. It has many active volcanoes, some of them extremely large. Storms rain down corrosive sulfuric acid.

15. The most recent (successful) Venus exploration mission was launched in 2005. The spacecraft, Venus Express, is funded by the European Space Agency and has been orbiting and sending back information about Venus since 2006.

Our Solar System is believed to be over 4.5 billion years old. It is only one of several billion other solar systems thought to exist in the Milky Way Galaxy.  Venus is the second planet from The Sun. It is between Mercury and The Earth.
Our Solar System is believed to be over 4.5 billion years old. It is only one of several billion other solar systems thought to exist in the Milky Way Galaxy. Venus is the second planet from The Sun. It is between Mercury and The Earth. | Source

Facts About The Solar System

  • Our Solar System is thought to be more than over 4.5 billion years old.
  • It composed of the Sun, 8 planets, 5 dwarf planets, more than 160 moons, 500,000 asteroids, over 3,000 comets, as well as plenty of dust, and gas.
  • There are estimated to be several billion other solar systems in the Milky Way Galaxy.
  • Although there is some disagreement, the solar system is estimated by some to be almost 2 light years across.
  • Scientists have split the Solar System up into a number of regions: the inner region consists of the terrestrial planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars; next comes the the Asteroid Belt; then the outer gas giant planets of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, then the Kuiper Belt, and finally the Oort Cloud.

© 2015 Paul Goodman

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      Jasmine 3 weeks ago

      So cool

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