Commonly called Earth’s twin, Venus is also our closest neighbor
Venus, named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty, was first observed by the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei in 1610. With its size and density, it is often compared to our own planet, making it one of the four inner rocky planets.
Despite its similarities to Earth, Venus has a number of characteristics that would make life impossible. According to NASA, it has a dense and toxic atmosphere filled with carbon dioxide. Additionally, it is enveloped in thick yellowish clouds of sulfuric acid, resulting in an intense greenhouse effect. As a result, Venus is not only the warmest planet, but its surface temperature reaches a scorching 475 degrees Celsius.
Another peculiar feature of Venus is its retrograde rotation, opposite to that of Earth and most other planets. It has a slow rotation period of approximately 243 Earth days, while its orbital period around the Sun is only 225 days. As NASA explains, on Venus, a day lasts longer than a year.
Being our nearest neighbor, Venus became the first planet to be explored by a terrestrial spacecraft on December 14, 1962, during the early days of the space race. Despite challenging conditions, various space agencies have conducted missions to Venus over the years, although they have been limited in duration.
- Does not have any moons or natural satellites.
- Has been visible since ancient times, without the need for a telescope.
- Is the second planet from the Sun.
- Scientists believe it could potentially host life in its clouds, as evidence of phosphine has been observed, indicating the presence of living organisms.
- Has a relatively young average surface area, less than a billion years in geological time.
- Is the brightest planet in the solar system.
- Was once believed to be two separate objects due to its persistence in the sky at dawn and dusk.
- According to NASA, it has a “rusty” hue.
- Has a metallic interior that spans about 6,000 kilometers wide.
- Boasts the heaviest known atmosphere, exerting pressure similar to the depths of the ocean.
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