If your children are fascinated with the solar system, how about sharing some Venus facts for kids! Just like Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, humans have known Venus since the invention of astronomical instruments.
The existence of Venus was first recorded around 3,000 BCE by the Babylonians. The planet was often associated with the goddess Ishtar. Venus was known to many civilizations, such as Chinese, Egyptians, and Greeks.
As Venus is closer to the Earth, astronomers started studying it quite early with the help of probes and telescopes.
This post mentions some interesting facts about Venus that may enlighten your children.
What Is Venus Like?
Venus can be best described as hot and cloudy. It has a thick atmosphere filled with carbon dioxide and thick yellowish clouds of sulfuric acid, which trap the heat, causing a massive “runaway greenhouse effect.” Thus, despite Mercury being the closest to the Sun, Venus is the hottest planet.
20+ Facts About Venus For Kids
Here are some intriguing facts about Venus for kids.
- Moons: Can you guess how many moons does Venus has? You’ll be surprised! Venus does not have any moons and rings.
- Earth’s sister: Earth and Venus are often called twins. This is because they are almost similar in mass, size, gravity, composition, and density.
- Terrestrial planets: Along with Mercury, Earth, and Mars, Venus is also known as a terrestrial planet because of its hard and rocky surface.
- Names of women: Most of the surface features of Venus are named after mythological and real women. For instance, a volcanic crater is named after Sacajawea, the Native American woman who helped the Lewis and Clark expedition, and a deep canyon is named after Diana, the Roman goddess of the hunt.
- Rotation: Venus has an unusual rotation. One day on Venus equals 243 Earth days. This is because Venus has a backward spin or rotation, called retrograde rotation. It rotates from east to west. Venus also has the longest day compared to other planets.
- Orbit around the Sun: Orbit is the path taken by a planet to travel around the sun. Venus orbits around the sun in an almost perfect circle. Venus takes 225 Earth days to complete one orbit, and thus, we can say that one year on Venus is equal to 225 Earth days.
- Life on Venus: The extreme temperatures and acidic environment make Venus an unlikely planet to support life. The temperatures are so high that even the spacecraft wouldn’t be able to last long.
- Size: With a radius of about 3,760 miles or 6,052 kilometers and a total surface area of 460,234,317km2, Venus is roughly the same size as Earth.
- Distance: The distance of Venus from the Sun is 66,782,596 to 67,693,905 miles (107,477,000 to 108,939,000 kilometers). It takes at least six minutes for sunlight to travel from the Sun to Venus.
- Its name: Venus is named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty.
- The morning and evening star: In ancient Greece, Venus was known by two different names—Phosphorus when it appeared as a morning star and Hesperus when it appeared as an evening star. Venus can be viewed through the naked eye from Earth.
- Formation: Venus was formed about 4.5 billion years ago when gravity pulled along swirling gas and dust to form the second planet from the Sun.
- Structure: Venus and Earth share a similar structure. It has an iron core that is approximately 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers) in radius. Above the core is the mantle made of hot rock, which constantly churns due to the planet’s interior heat. The surface is made up of a thin crust of rock that bulges and moves as Venus’s mantle shifts and creates volcanoes.
- Surface: Venus has mountains, valleys, and thousands of volcanoes. The highest peak on Venus, Maxwell Montes, is 20,000 feet or 8.8 kilometers high, similar to Mount Everest, the Earth’s highest mountain.
- Reflection of light: Venus looks bright white from space because it is covered with clouds of sulfur and sulphuric acid that scatter and reflect sunlight.
- Highlands: Venus is believed to have been resurfaced by volcanic activity around 300-500 million years ago. Venus has two large highland areas, namely Ishtar Terra, about Australia’s size, and Aphrodite Terra, about South America’s size.
- Volcanoes: Venus’s surface consists of several active volcanoes. From above, a few volcanoes have a squashed appearance; thus, they are called ‘pancake domes.’ Sif Mons is one of the largest volcanoes on Venus.
- Craters: Venus has many craters of varying sizes, with most craters ranging from 0.9 to 1.2 miles or 1.5 to 2 kilometers across. A few giant craters look like enormous spiders.
- Temperature: The surface temperatures of Venus reach higher than 880 degrees Fahrenheit or 471 degrees Celsius.
- Density: The density of Venus is about 95% of Earth’s density.
- Atmosphere: Venus’s atmosphere is surrounded by carbon dioxide and clouds of sulfuric acid droplets. The atmosphere has many layers with varying temperatures. The clouds are present around 30 miles from the surface.
- Magnetosphere: Although Earth and Venus have a similar-sized core, due to the slow rotation of Venus, it has a weaker magnetic field than that of Earth.
- Other Interesting facts about the hottest planet
- Venus holds no water.
- The atmospheric pressure on the planet is almost 92 times that of Earth’s.
- Out of the eight planets, Venus is the sixth-largest.
- After the Moon and the Sun, Venus is the next brightest object.
- The planet Venus was first observed through a telescope in 1610 by Galileo Galilei.
- Venus’s perihelion (closest) distance to the Sun is 91 million miles.
- Venus’s aphelion (farthest) distance to the Sun is 94.5 million miles.
- Because of its brightness, Venus is often mistaken as a UFO.
- The Americans were the first to land on the Moon, but the Russians were the first to send spacecraft to Venus.
- Any spacecraft sent to Venus can survive only for around an hour because of the scorching temperatures.
List Of Space Missions To Venus
Scientists could make progress in the study of Venus via robotic spacecraft. In 1962, NASA’s Mariner 2 became the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of Venus and return with valuable data. Following this, more than 20 spacecraft missions have been successful to date.
- Akatsuki, 2010
Akatsuki was launched in 2010 to study the weather patterns on Venus, confirm the presence of lightning amidst thick clouds, and search for signs of volcanism. This was Japan’s first successful mission to explore another planet.
- Galileo, 1989
On its way to Jupiter, NASA’s Galileo spacecraft flew by Venus, making a few observations through images at near-infrared wavelengths. It gave a clear and deep view into the atmosphere and showed the top cloud deck’s highly variable opacity.
- Magellan, 1989
NASA’s Magellan mission to Venus was the first deep probe launched by a space shuttle and the first spacecraft to image the planet’s entire surface and make several discoveries about the planet.
- Venera 15 and 16, 1983
The most important Soviet missions were Venera 15 and 16. These twin orbiters carried the first radar systems and produced high-quality images of the planet’s surface. They built a map of the Northern quarter of Venus. We know many of the planet’s features thanks to the data collected by Venera 15 and 16.
- Venera 12, 1978
This mission involved using a flyby spacecraft and a lander to explore the ionosphere, atmosphere, surface, and interplanetary environment of Venus. The lander probed the Venus atmosphere during a parachute descent to the surface. It survived 110 minutes (which was the highest survival record) and sent back vital information.
- Venera 7, 1970
Venera 7 was the first spacecraft to land on Venus and the first to transmit data from the surface of an extraterrestrial planet. It gave scientists the crucial information that the temperature at the surface of Venus was around 475 °C.
Being the closest planet to us, Venus has seen more than 40 spacecraft landings. And due to its proximity to the Earth, it will always attract scientists. As scientists continue to explore the Earth’s twin sister, we will get more pieces of information about it.
2. Venus; European Space Agency
3. Mission to Venus; National Geographic Society
4. Venus; Encyclopædia Britannica
5. Venus – Introduction; Encyclopædia Britannica
6. Venus – planet; Encyclopædia Britannica
7. Venus – In Depth; NASA
8. Venus – By the Numbers; NASA
9. Exploring the Planets – Ancient Times; Smithsonian National Air And Space Museum
10. Akatsuki; NASA
11. Magellan; NASA
12. Venera 7; NASA
- Facts About Pollution For Kids
- Best Short Animal Stories For Kids With Morals
- Facts About Seven Wonders Of The World For Kids
- Fascinating And Little Known Science Facts For Kids