The Planet Venus has been the source of much speculation throughout human history. Due to this constant speculation and follow-up attempts to learn more there are many facts now known about Venus.
1. Venus is Considered to be Earth’s Twin.
These two planets have a similar size and mass. They have similar orbits. The main superficial differences between the two are in the length of their days, years, and overall size. Venus is roughly 650 km smaller in size overall than the earth. It is also around 81.5% of the Earth’s mass as well.
There are a few major differences as well however. The atmosphere on Venus is roughly 96.5% carbon dioxide. The temperature reaches 461 degrees Celsius. The total atmospheric pressure is around ninety-three times that of the Earth as well.
2. Venus is Bright Enough to Occasionally Cast Shadows.
Astronomic observers measure the brightness of objects in the sky at night via orders of magnitude. Venus is so bright in the night Sky that only the Earth’s moon and the Sun are brighter celestial bodies. The brightness of the planet Venus can vary between -3.8 and -4.6 magnitude. However, it is always the brightest star in the sky at night. This level of brightness is sufficient that it can cast shadows on a moonless night when there is no cloud cover blocking it.
3. The Atmosphere is Exceptionally Hostile Toward Life as We Know it.
Venus is similar to Earth in many ways such as size and mass. However, the dissimilarities between the two planets become quite clear when face with their atmospheric natures. The mass of Venus’ atmosphere is ninety-three times that of the Earth’s. This means that an individual attempting to stand on the surface of Venus would have the same pressure crushing down on them as an individual swimming one kilometer below the surface of Earth’s oceans.
If the pressure alone isn’t enough to convince an individual of the differences the toxic heat and chemicals might. The entire planet’s surface is obscured by thick clouds of sulfur dioxide that rain pure sulfuric acid down upon its non-existent inhabitants. Add to this the 460 degree Celsius temperature and Venus becomes a hellish seeming place indeed.
4. Venus Rotates Differently Than the Other Planets.
The planet Venus rotates on a very slow basis. One day on Earth measures roughly 24 hours. However, on Venus a single day takes roughly 243 Earth standard days to complete a rotation. On an even stranger note, Venus is the only planet to rotate clockwise in this solar system. All of the other planets rotate counter-clockwise.
5. Many Probes Have Landed on the Surface of Venus
Considering the density and overall hellishness of Venus’ surface it can be hard to believe that any vehicle could safely land on its surface. This belief is justified in that many of the early attempts to discover what was on Venus met with disaster after each craft sent was destroyed in the atmosphere. It wasn’t until the eighth iteration of the Russian Venera series of spacecraft was launched that a vehicle managed to land.
As the years passed more vehicles were sent and color photos of the planet’s surface began to appear. Landing a craft on Venus successfully is very difficult but it has proven to be possible.
6. People Once Thought Venus Was a Tropical Planet
Until the first spacecraft began to successfully send back information and photos from the surface of the planet no one was aware of what it truly looked like. Many famous science fiction writers and even a few noted scientists suggested that it might be a lush tropical world with dense foliage. The atmospheric pressure and hellish temperatures proved to be quite a surprise to people in general.
7. Venus Has no Natural Orbiting Satellites
While Venus might seem to be Earth’s twin on a superficial level the many differences continue to crop up. Venus has no moons. Most of the planets in this solar system have moons. Venus does not.
8. Venus Has Phases Like The Earth’s Moon
While most people see Venus as simply being a very bright star in the night sky, though it isn’t a star, there is a curious phenomenon that may appear when it is viewed through a telescope. When viewing Venus in this manner the viewer can see that the planet goes through its own phases. When the planet is at its closest point to the Earth and at its brightest magnitude it resembles a thin crescent. When it is furthest away and dimmest it is a circular shape.
9. The surface of Venus Has Few Impact Craters
While the surface of several planets, such as Mercury and Mars, are heavily dotted with impact craters Venus’ surface has relatively few of them. Many planetary scientists estimate that the surface of the planet Venus is only half a billion years old. The constant volcanic activity continually covers impact craters and the dense atmosphere destroys the smaller meteorites as they assault the planet.
10.There are More Volcanoes on Venus than any other planet in the solar system.
No other planet in the solar system has been noted as having nearly the number of volcanoes that Venus has. While it is not known whether they are currently active or dormant though the lack of surface craters has indicated that they most likely are active or at least were active in the relatively recent past of the planet.