Ten Facts about Venus
Venus and Mercury are the only two planets in the Solar System not to have moons orbiting them.
If you were able to stand on the surface of Venus, it would feel like being 1 kilometre under the sea on Earth, a depth deep enough to sink a submarine. A person or a creature would immediately be crushed by Venus' amazingly strong pressure.
Venus may have such a thick atmosphere because it spins so slowly. In fact, a year on Venus is shorter than its day. It takes the planet longer to turn on its axis than it takes it to orbit the Sun. The slow rotation means that atmosphere does not have a force to spin off into space.
Venus is the only planet in the Solar System to turn clockwise. All other planets turn anti-clockwise. It rotates clockwise on its axis extremely slowly, suggesting that something might have once collided with it to disrupt its regular rotation.
People once believed Venus to be two different stars known as the Morning Star and the Evening Star, because it can be seen in the morning and the evening.
The Americans have only ever landed one probe on Venus. This was Pioneer Venus 2, launched on 8th August 1978 which was to probe the planet's atmosphere, not examine its surface. All other landings on Venus were made by the Russians.
There are more volcanoes on Venus than on any other planet in the Solar System, although it is not yet known whether any of these volcanoes are still active.
Venus may now resemble what Earth will become in millions of years time, when the Sun expands, heats the Earth, turning all of its surface water into a vapour which will trap sunlight and heat in its atmosphere, causing suffocating conditions like those on Venus.
The atmosphere of Venus rotates much much faster than Venus itself rotates. Its atmosphere fully rotates around the surface of the planet once every four Earth days. Venus however takes 243 days to rotate.
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Venus Statistics Table
|Meaning of Name||Roman goddess of love and beauty (Greek equivalent is Aphrodite)|
|Name in Foreign Languages||Vénus (French), Venus (Spanish, German, Latin), Vênus (Portuguese), Venere (Italian), Venera (Russian), Aphrodite (Greek)|
|Average Distance from the Sun||
108,208,930 km / 67,237, 910 miles / 0.723 A.U.
Comparison with Earth: 149,597,890 km / 92,955,820 miles / 1.000 A.U.
|Closest Distance to the Sun (Perihelion)||107,476,000 km / 66,782,000 miles / 0.718 A.U.
Comparison with Earth: 147,100,000 km / 91,400,000 miles / 0.983 A.U.
|Farthest Distance from the Sun (Aphelion)||
108,942,000 km / 67,693,000 miles / 0.728 A.U.
Comparison with Earth: 152,100,000 km / 94,500,000 miles / 1.017 A.U.
|Diameter across equator||12,104 km / 7,521 miles
Comparison with Earth: 12,756 km / 7,926 miles
|Diagram showing planet's size compared to the size of Earth|
|Circumference around equator||
38,025 km / 23,627 miles
Comparison with Earth: 40,074 km / 24,901 miles
Comparison with Earth: 5,973,700,000,000,000,000,000,000 kg
|Time to spin on Axis||243 days (in retrograde)
Comparison with Earth: 23 hours, 56 minutes
|Time to orbit the Sun||224 days, 17 hours
Comparison with Earth: 365 days, 6 hours
|Distance planet travels to complete one orbit||675,300,000 km / 419,600,000 miles
Comparison with Earth: 924,375,700 km / 574,380,400 miles
|Gravity (Earth = 1)||0.91
|Escape Velocity||37,300 km/h / 23,200 mph
Comparison with Earth: 40,248 km/h / 25,009 mph
|Minimum Surface Temperature||462 °C / 864 °F / 735 K
Comparison with Earth: -88 °c / -126 °F / 185 K
|Maximum Surface Temperature||462 °C / 864 °F / 735 K
Comparison with Earth: 58 °c / 136 ° F / 331 K
|Weather Conditions||Venus is very hot - the hottest planet in the Solar System - with the temperature staying the same, regardless of the time of year or whether it is day or night. Everyday is dull and hazy. Despite the clouds being full of acid rain, this rain evaporates before reaching the surface. Thunder and lightning is very common on Venus.|
|Contents of Atmosphere||96.5% carbon
dioxide (CO2) and 3.5% nitrogen (N2). Other gases
are present in very small quantities: 0.015% sulfur dioxide (SO2),
0.007% argon (Ar), 0.002% water (H2O), 0.0017% carbon
monoxide (CO), 0.0012% helium (He) and 0.0007% neon (Ne)
|Known moons||There are no known moons orbiting Venus|
|Past Missions (including nationality and year of launch - failed missions in red)||Sputnik 7 (USSR, 1961), Verena 1 (USSR, 1961), Mariner 1 (USA, 1962), Mariner 2 (USA, 1962), Zond 1 (USSR, 1964), Venera 2 (USSR, 1965), Venera 3 (USSR, 1965), Venera 4 (USSR, 1967), Mariner 5 (USA, 1967), Venera 5 (USSR, 1969), Venera 6 (USSR, 1969), Venera 7 (USSR, 1970), Venera 8 (USSR, 1972), Mariner 10 (USA, 1973), Venera 9 (USSR, 1975), Venera 10 (USSR, 1975), Pioneer 12/Pioneer Venus 1 (USA, 1978), Pioneer 13/Pioneer Venus 2 (USA, 1978), Venera 11 (USSR, 1978), Venera 12 (USSR, 1978), Venera 13 (USSR, 1981), Venera 14 (USSR, 1981), Venera 15 (USSR, 1983), Venera 16 (USSR, 1983), Vega 1 (USSR, 1984), Vega 2 (USSR, 1984), Magellan (USA, 1989), MESSENGER (USA, 2004), Venus Express (Europe, 2005), IKAROS (Japan, 2010 - now orbiting the Sun), Shin'en (Japan, 2010)|
|Present Missions||Akatsuki (Japan, 2010)|
|Future Missions||BepiColumbo (Europe, 2017), Indian Venusian orbiter mission (India, 2017 - 2020), VERITAS (USA, 2021), DAVINCI (USA, 2021), Venera-D (Russia, 2025)|