Although Venus is named after the Roman goddess of love, the second planet from the sun is everything but charming except for hospitality. For starters, Venus is the hottest planet in the solar system, with a surface temperature of almost 900 degrees Fahrenheit.

As you can expect, researching Venus has been challenging. Scientists are gradually discovering more about Earth's nearest planetary neighbor. Here are some of the most intriguing mysteries about the brightest object in our sky after the sun and the moon.

 Double Venus Flyby Offers New Opportunity to Study Earth's Hottest Neighbor At Two Different Locations
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Artist impression of Solar Probe Plus during Venus fly-by

Venus Spinning Backwards

When viewed from the sun's north pole, all of the planets in the solar system circle in a counterclockwise direction, and nearly all spin in the same direction on their axes. Not so on Venus. NASA said this planet rotates backward. The sun rises in the west and sets in the east on Venus, in other words.

Science News said that this clockwise rotation of Venus was most likely caused by a cosmic collision early in the planet's history. Many giant planets smashed into each other in the early solar system, and one of these collisions with Earth is assumed to have gouged away the material that created the moon. With data from future lander probes, scientists hope to learn more about Venus' structure and composition, as well as what caused the planet's retrograde rotation.

Climate Gone Wrong

Experts dubbed Venus as the "evil twin" of Earth. Hellish Venus is the planet that most closely resembles our own in terms of size, composition, and orbital location (that we know of). Scientists believe that the planet was similar to Earth early in Venus' history, with seas and a considerably colder environment.

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For a few billion years, though, a runaway greenhouse effect appears to have taken hold. Because Venus is a third the distance from the sun than Earth, it receives twice the quantity of sunshine. The additional heat resulted in more evaporation of the initial surface water. As a result, the water vapor trapped more heat. Hence, the factors further warm the globe, causing more evaporation until the seas evaporate (as Science Times reported). It will be easier to simulate Earth's changing climate and avoid replicating Venus's destiny if scientists determine when and how Venus turned into a fire.

Venus Having a Long Day

Science Times reported that a single Venusian day lasts 243 Earth days, longer than Venus' year. According to CalTech, the winds above Venus' atmosphere tops may reach 360 kilometers (220 miles) per hour, or nearly 60 times the rate of the planet's rotation, despite its moderate spin. If the same gusts blew on Earth, said equatorial cloud winds would reach an incredible 6,000 miles (9,650 kilometers) per hour.

The energy from sunlight must eventually propel Venus' atmospheric super-rotation, but the phenomenon's complete mechanics are unknown.


Other planets, such as Venus, are projected to become the most often viewed exoplanets by the James Webb Space Telescope after its launch. This new information will help us enhance the existing Venus model and better grasp what Venus looks like at different stages of development.

Over the next ten years, NASA plans to deploy two additional investigations to Venus: Da Vinci + and Veritas. We must investigate all of Venus' secrets, as the Da Vinci team's slogan for conducting a complete inquiry, "Venus is arriving here."

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