Facts about Planet Venus for Kids
Venus is quite an interesting planet that is similar in many ways to the earth and is even close to the earth. It has been given many names like the morning star, the evening star, the stormy dessert and some other names.
Let’s check out what makes this planet special and interesting.
1. How it got its name
The Roman goddess of love and beauty was known as Venus. Because of her brightness, the planet Venus was given this name.
2. Its the 2nd planet for the Sun
Venus is the second planet from the sun after Mercury. It is 67 million miles from the sun.
Venus has a gravitational pull just like that on earth.
3. The Size of Venus
Venus and earth are sometimes called sisters or twins because they have almost the same size and mass. Venus however, is slightly smaller than the earth.
While the circumference of earth is 7962miles, that of Venus is 7520miles.
The earth’s surface is covered with water and atmosphere, that of Venus is covered with a cloud of poisonous gas known as sulphuric acid, water vapor, and other chemicals. These are responsible for the acidic rains found all over the solar system.
4. The Morning Star
Ever heard about the morning star?
Venus it is. This is because Venus is the brightest of all planets and can be seen even during the day if you check keenly. In the solar system, Venus is the third brightest object after the sun and the moon.
But Venus is also an evening star. When she rises in the west before the sun, she’s the morning star. When she sets in the East after it is dark, she is the evening star.
5. A Day and a year in Venus
It takes 365 days for the earth to go round the sun and 24hrs for it to rotate in its axis.
For Venus, it takes 225 earth-days for it to go round the sun and 243 earth days for it to rotate on its axis. So, a day in Venus is actually longer than a year!
Did you know that while other planets rotate in one direction on their orbits, Venus rotates in the opposite?
6. The Phases of Planet Venus
If you ever imagined that only the moon has faces, then here’s some news.
Venus too has phases because its orbit comes between the sun and the moon.
When Venus shows a crescent shape, like that of the crescent moon, this is when she is most bright because of her nearness to the earth.
7. Venus and the Greenhouse Effect
What is greenhouse effect?
When warms a planet through radiation, the planet absorbs some heat and reflects some of it in the atmosphere. When the reflected radiation is trapped by greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, this is what is known as the greenhouse effect.
Because the surface of Venus is made up of mostly carbon dioxide, greenhouse effect takes place to a great extent.
8. The Hottest Planet
Because of the greenhouse effect explained above, Venus happens to be the hottest planet in the solar system even though it is not the closest to the sun. Would you survive in temperatures as high as 460oC? This is how hot the surface of this planet is.
9. Venus Features
Like the earth, Venus too has continents, craters, and mountains but no life can survive here because of extremely high temperatures.
All craters and mountains on Venus have female names for example Billie Holiday Crater which was named after female Jazz singer. Only the Maxwell Mountains have been given a male name after a Scottish scientist James Clerk Maxwell.
Aphrodite is the name that was given to the largest continent on Venus after the Greek goddess of love and beauty.
Venus has no single moon
10. Venus’ Stormy Dessert
Because the planet Venus has many active volcanic mountains, as many as 1600, on its surface it is ever experiencing volcanic eruptions.
This is why it was nicknamed the ‘stormy dessert’ while others refer to it as molten lead.
We conclude our Venus adventure with an account of the many attempts that have been made to see, study and take photographs of planet Venus.
Perhaps the first attempt was by Mariner 2 in 1962 which passed near Venus at a distance of 22,000 mi.
In 1966, Venera 3 literally crashed on the surface of Venus and this was the first known real encounter.
By 1975, Mariner 5, Venera 7, and Mariner 10 managed to flow just near Venus.
The first official landing on Venus was by Magellan in 1990.
Eventually in 1993, NASA’s Magellan managed to complete the entire map of Venus.
So what are Magellan, Venera, and Mariner?
These are the names of spacecrafts that were launched from earth with a discovery mission to the planet Venus.
Have you learnt something new about Venus?