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How Well Do You Know Venus?

How Well Do You Know Venus?

Similar in structure and size to Earth, Venus’ thick, toxic atmosphere traps heat in a runaway greenhouse effect. A permanent layer of clouds traps heat, creating surface temperatures hot enough to melt lead.

How did Venus get its name? It is named for the ancient Roman goddess of love and beauty. It is believed that Venus was named for the most beautiful of the ancient gods because it shone the brightest of the five planets known to ancient astronomers.

Here are a few fun facts that you might not know:

  • One day on Venus lasts as long as 243 Earth days (aka the time it takes for Venus to rotate or spin once)
  • Venus is a rocky planet, also known as a terrestrial planet
  • Venus’ thick and toxic atmosphere is made up mostly of carbon dioxide and nitrogen, with clouds of sulfuric acid droplets
  • Venus has no moons or rings
  • More than 40 spacecraft have explored the planet
  • No evidence of life has been found on Venus. The planet’s extreme high temperatures of almost 480 degrees Celsius (900 degrees Fahrenheit) makes it seem an unlikely place for life as we know it
  • Venus spins backwards when compared to the other planets. This means that the sun rises in the west and sets in the east

Night Light

Did you know that Venus is the brightest planet in Earth’s dark skies? Only the moon — which is not a planet — is brighter. Venus outshines the other planets because it is closer and its thick cloud cover is excellent at reflecting sunlight.

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