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Venus Qualifies as the Brightest Planet in the Sky

Location of Venus - The Brightest Star

Location of Venus – The Brightest Star

The first of our fascinating Venus facts tells us about how it appears to us on Earth in the sky. Although it is by no means the biggest planet in the solar system, its proximity to earth means that it appears to be one of the most brightly illuminated in the sky. It also holds the distinction of being the second brightest object in the sky to us on Earth, after the moon.

Venus Has at Least 1,600 Volcanoes – More Than Any Other Planet

The next of our interesting Venus facts tells us about the number of volcanoes the planet has. Astronomers believe that the planet has at least 1,600 volcanoes on its surface. However, they also point out that this is a conservative estimate and that there could be many thousands more that remain undiscovered. It is thought that only a handful of the volcanoes are still active, and most are dormant.

The Planet Has Its Own “Greenhouse Effect” Because Temperature Are so High

Venus Atmosphere and Temperature

Venus Atmosphere and Temperature

In terms of its atmosphere, Venus is 96% carbon dioxide. This means that the surface of the planet has its own Greenhouse Effect taking place. Temperatures on average reach 870 Fahrenheit there on a daily basis. This means that the surface of the planet is actually hot enough to melt lead and turn it molten.

Days Last Longer than Years on Venus!

The length of one day across planets

The length of one day across planets

One day on Venus lasts for the equivalent of 243 days on Earth as that is how long it takes for the planet make one single rotation. By contrast, its period of revolution around sun is a little shorter, at 224.7 earth days. So, although it may seem strange, days last longer than years on this planet!

Winds on Venus Can be Stronger than Tornadoes

The next of our Venus facts tells us all about the wind speeds on the planet. If we track the middle cloud layer of Venus, we can see that the winds that cross it reach terrifying speeds. Sometimes gusts can reach a staggering 450 miles an hour, making them faster and far more dangerous than the deadliest speeds tornado winds here on Earth ever reach.

Visiting Spacecraft Would Not be Able to Survive on Venus

The pressure on the planet is so great that any visiting spacecraft would need protective shielding to survive a mission there. The Soviet Union launched a mission to Venus called Venera during the 1960s. Several probes were sent over a period of more than 20 years but most were destroyed before they could transmit data from the planet. Venera 7, in 1970, became the first probe to transmit from Venus but only managed 23 minutes of transmission.

Venus Actually Rotates Backwards!

The next of our Venus facts tells us a little about the strange rotation it has compared to other planets. It actually rotates backwards. Not only this, but it travels at a much slower rate than many of the other planets in the solar system. As of 2014 it appears that the rotation is also actually starting to slow down. In that year, the rotation speed was 6.5 minutes slower than in any previous year.

Your Weight Wouldn’t Alter Much on Venus

Your Weigh on Other Planets

Your Weigh on Other Planets

It would be highly unlikely a human would ever be able to land on Venus (and survive) due to its totally inhospitable climate, but if we could, our weight would be virtually the same as it is here on Earth. As an example of this, if your weight was around 70 pounds on Earth, it would only be marginally less at 63 pounds on Venus.

Venus Is a Totally Dry Planet

This is one of our particularly interesting Venus facts. On Earth, we have something above us called the Ozone Layer which protects us from the UV rays that the sun emits and which can be very dangerous for us. Venus has no Ozone Layer, so the sun finds its way directly into the atmosphere on the planet. This, over billions of years, has had the effect of drying up the planet by turning any water there into hydrogen and oxygen molecules.

The Earth Will “Turn Into” Venus – but Not for Millions of Years

No need to worry just yet! But astronomers and scientists do believe that because the two planets are so similar in their makeup, over millions of years Earth will turn into a second Venus. This will be due to the Sun beginning to expand and starting to heat the Earth. All of our planet’s surface water will then turn into vapor, which will trap sunlight and make the atmosphere incredibly hot. The conditions will then become too suffocating for anything to survive here.

Venus Is Sometimes Called “Earth’s Twin”

Atmosphere of Venus - Earth Twin

Atmosphere of Venus – Earth Twin

The next of our Venus facts shows us how similar the planet is to Earth. If you were to compare the two planets, you might think they were twins. They are largely the same in terms of their core composition and are almost the same in size. The two planets both have “thick” atmospheres with clouds. However, the main telling difference is that Venus’ clouds are made of a thick layer of sulfuric acid, which would be poisonous to breathe and is one reason why the planet can’t support human life!

The Air Pressure on Venus Is 90 Times Stronger than on Earth

In terms of the air pressure on the planet, it is unusually strong. It is on average 90 times stronger than it is on Earth. To put this into context, the overall pressure on Venus is about the same as the water pressure would be 0.6 of a mile (1KM) under the surface of the ocean on earth.

Wow! Venus Is One of the Few Planets We Can See Crossing the Sun

When compared to other planets in the solar system, Venus is a rarity in that we can actually see it crossing the sun. There is only one other planet that we can see doing this, and that is Mercury. However, these transits are relatively rare. Since the telescope was invented this has only happened seven times in total. The last time it occurred was on June 6 2012 when the transit and crossing of the sun could be seen in parts of North and South America, west Asia, east Africa and most of Europe.

Venus Was First Tracked and Observed in 1600BC!

Sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint when planets were first observed or noticed in the sky. However, with Venus we can be sure. It seems that the ancient Babylonians recorded its presence as far back as 1600BC. It also seems that the Greek mathematician Pythagoras was aware of it, noting that it appeared to be the brightest star in the sky in the morning and in the evening.

Scary! The Planet Produces the Most Corrosive Acid Rain in the Solar System

Acid Clouds on Venus

Acid Clouds on Venus

The final one of our Venus facts tells us a bit about the planet’s weather systems. The clouds that surround the planet are largely made up of ferric chloride hydrocarbons, mercury and sulfuric acid. These clouds are so very thick that they don’t let any light penetrate through to the surface of the planet. Not only that, but this potent combination of elements produces the most toxic and corrosive acid rain in the entire solar system.

Venus Facts – Facts about Planet Venus Summary

Venus FactsFacts about Venus show us that it qualifies as being the brightest star in the sky, and that because of its rotation, days actually last for years on the planet. Winds on Venus can reach speeds which would out run the fastest tornadoes. Venus is a totally dry planet because of how it has evolved – and in millions of years’ time, Earth will heat to the same levels as Venus and become totally inhospitable. Finally, Venus is the planet that produces the most corrosive acid rain in the solar system.