Venus is the second planet from the Sun and the sixth-largest. Together with Mercury, they are the only planets without a satellite, even though Mercury is closer to the sun, Venus is the hottest planet.
Venus orbits the Sun at an average distance of about 0.72 AU and completes an orbit every 224.7 days. Though most planetary orbits are elliptical, Venus’s orbit is the closest to circular with an eccentricity of less than 0.01. When Venus lies between Earth and the Sun in inferior conjunction, it makes the closest approach to Earth of any planet at a distance of 41 million km or 25 million miles. Venus spends most of its time away from Earth. This paradoxically makes Mercury the closest planet to Earth, a plurality of the time.
Venus has a retrograde rotation, moving in the opposite direction than most planets, only Uranus also does this. They both move from East to West, clockwise. Venus does this rotation once every 243 Earth days, having the slowest rotation out of all the planets in the solar system. This slow rotation also influences its shape, making Venus very spherical. One Venusian day is longer than one Venusian year – 225 Earth days. As a comparison, Venus’s equator rotates at 6.52 km/h while Earth’s rotates at 1,674.4 km/h. It has been observed that it’s even getting slower. In 16 years between the Magellan spacecraft and Venus Express visits, the rotation of Venus has slowed down up to 6.5 minutes in that time span.
- Diameter: 12,104 km
- Mass: 4,867,320,000,000,000 billion kg
- Moons: None
- Orbit Distance: 108,209,475 km (0.73 AU)
- Orbit Period: 224.7 days
- Surface Temperature: 462°C
- First Record: 14th century
- Recorded By: Babylonian astronomers