More Mystery Surrounding Venus

I’ve always been fascinated with Venus, the planet closest to Earth in size that is different in every other respect. It rotates in the opposite direction, not just from Earth but from every planet in the Solar System. A day on Venus is longer than a year – its day is 243 Earth days while its year is only 225. It’s also hot with an average surface temperature of 460 degrees Celsius. (Left, Venus.)

Now, a new piece of Venus’ mysterious puzzle has come to light. The planet’s rotation is slowing down. Its day has gotten 6.5 minutes longer in the last 16 years. The rate of a planet’s rotation varies, but this is a significant change for so short a time. So what exactly is going on with Venus? Check out my full article on Motherboard.

Comments

  1. Stu Young says

    Amy,
    That’s the most bizarre space factoid I’ve read in quite a while! It would be interesting to extrapolate that backwards, and see if the slowing of Venus’ rotation has been constant over time; if not, than perhaps the density of Venus’ atmosphere has varied over time.

    • says

      It’s a fascinating development. I’d love to find a physicist willing to tackle possible models of an ancient Venus taking into account this development – maybe I’ll put feelers out on that one.

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