In facts of Venus for kids, we will talk about the second planet from the sun, Venus. It’s also the third brightest body in the night sky after the sun and moon. The planet is similar in size and mass as compared to Earth; it’s fondly called Earth’s “twin”. Venus is named after the Roman Goddess of beauty and love. It’s an interesting planet closest to Earth, and now it’s time that you get to know more about Venus and what mysteries it holds.
In the past, you were taught that there were nine planets orbiting around the sun namely Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Other facts of Venus for kids included the 2006 announcement by the International Astronomical Union, that lay down characteristics of planethood like (1) it should orbit around the sun (2) be a round shape, and (3) it shouldn’t be under the gravitational influence of other bodies. From the three characteristics, Pluto did not meet the last one. As a result, it’s now called a dwarf planet; presently, there are eight planets in the solar system.
If you want to know more about Venus, here are more interesting facts about it:
The Physical Characteristics
Venus is considered a terrestrial planet along with Mercury, Earth, and Mars. They are called terrestrial planets because their composition includes metals or silicate rocks. Terrestrial planets are closest to the sun. The diameter of the planet is 12,103.6 kilometer, which is 638.4 less than Earth’s.
Other facts of Venus for kids are the geographical traits; 80% of the planet’s terrain is covered by volcanic plains – 70% with wrinkle-edges steppes and 10% lobate plains. As observed, the planet has two continents. The one lying in its northern hemisphere and the other is south of the equator. The northern continent is called Ishtar Terra named after Ishtar, the Goddess of love in Babylonia; its size is comparable to the size of Australia. The highest mountain on Venus is called Maxwell Montes which is located at Ishtar Terra. The southern continent is referred to as Aphrodite Terra named after Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of love.
This is the largest continent which is compared to the size of South America. It’s still a mystery why there is no evidence of lava flow. Venus has a few impact craters which indicate that its surface is young; scientists believe that the planet is approximately 300 to 600 million years old.
Interesting facts of Venus for kids– In addition to impact craters, Venus also features mountains and valleys. A flat-topped volcano called Farra was observed by scientists; there are star-like fracture systems referred to as Novae. There are also highland regions named Alpha Regio, Beta Regio and Ovda Regio. Most surface features are named after mythological women and historical figures.
You have to know that most of the surface on Venus indicates volcanic activities. In fact, Venus has many volcanoes like Earth. It has about 167 large volcanoes. 85% of the craters here are in good condition. Scientists believe that due to the number of craters and their condition, the planet experienced a global resurfacing event 300 to 600 million years ago. This event is followed by a decay of volcanoes.
The Internal Structure
There is little information available about the internal structure of Venus. Facts about Venus for kids also state that since it’s similar to Earth in terms of size and density, scientists suggest that Earth and Venus share the same structure including a core, mantle, and crust. The only difference is the lack of tectonic plates in Venus. The crust is too strong to move without water. This event led to a reduction of heat from Venus that stops it from cooling down. Hence, the planet cannot generate a strong magnetic field.
The Climate and Atmosphere
The atmosphere around Venus is composed of 96.5% carbon dioxide, 3.5% nitrogen and some trace amounts of sulfur dioxide. The pressure surface of Venus is 92 times than that of Earth. The mass of the planet’s atmosphere is 93 times as compared to Earth. The atmosphere around Venus produces the greatest greenhouse effect in the solar system; which makes the surface of the planet hotter as compared to Mercury, despite its closeness to the sun. Interesting facts of Venus for kids– The temperature on Venus is higher than the temperature used for sterilization.
Venus has an axial tilt that’s less than 3 degrees which decreases the seasonal temperature changes. The surface is isothermal – it retains a constant temperature between day and night. In the case of the planet’s cloud, it’s believed to be capable of generating lightning.
The Magnetic Field
It was mentioned that the planet can’t generate a strong magnetic field. The magnetic field of Venus is actually weaker than Earth. The lack of inherent magnetic field phenomena baffled scientists because it’s similar to Earth in size.
Orbit and Rotation
Venus finishes an orbit every 224.7 days. You must know that all planets orbit the sun in counterclockwise motion. This is viewed above Earth’s north pole; some more interesting facts of Venus for kids- most planets also move in counterclockwise motion, in terms of rotation on their axis. Although this is not the case for Venus, it rotates clockwise once in every 243 Earth days. As a result, it has the slowest rotation of any planet in the solar system.
Looking at Venus
Venus can be seen with the naked eye. It’s the third brightest body in the solar system after the Sun and Moon. Venus was the brightest on April 30, 2017. As a matter of fact, the planet is clear enough to be seen during the mid-day sky; it appears brighter when the sun is setting. This means that it’s hard to miss Venus when it’s at its brightest. The interesting part is that because of its brightness, many people misreport it as an Unidentified Flying Object.
The Phases of Venus
Amazing facts of Venus for kids- When it orbits the sun, the planet features different phases like the moon, as seen in telescopes. The planet looks small when it’s on the opposite side of the sun. It displays a larger disc at its separation between the sun and the planet (with Earth as its reference point). This phase is the brightest phase of Venus; when the planet passes alongside Earth and the Sun, it displays a thin crescent. When Venus is between Earth and Sun, it’s at its largest size.
Early studies of Venus
During the Sumerian era, Venus was well known. In fact, they referred to it as the “morning star” and the “evening star”. At the time, they assumed that these two “stars” were separate objects. It was the Babylonians who understood that the two were the same object; they called Venus the “bright queen of the sky”. Other facts of Venus for kids states that ancient Greeks believed that Venus was made of two separate stars; they called it Phosphorus and Hesperus.
According to the article facts of Mercury for kids, in the 2nd century, Ptolemy hypothesized that Mercury and Venus are situated between the sun and Earth. Many years later, Galileo Galilei first observed the phases of Venus. It was in 1639 when Jeremiah Horrocks and William Crabtree predicted the transit of Venus accurately. In 1761, Mikhail Lomonosov discovered the atmosphere around Venus.
Age of Exploration
The 20th century is the age of exploration. It began in 1961 when the first robotic space probe visited Venus, which was part of the Soviet Venera program. Shortly after that, USA sent Mariner 2 on December 14, 1962, and it became the first successful interplanetary mission. On October 18, 1967, Soviet Venera 4 entered the atmosphere of Venus and conducted science experiments.
The following year, there was space cooperation between Venera 4 and Mariner 5.
Other facts of Venus for kids states that in 1975, Venera 9 and 10 transmitted the first images of the planet’s surface, the pictures were in black and white. In 1982, Venera 13 and 14 transmitted the first colored images of the surface. Several missions and flybys followed such as Vega 1 and 2 in 1985, Galileo in 1990, Magellan in 1994, Cassini-Huygens in 1998, MESSENGER in 2006 and Akatsuki in 2016. It was also announced that there is a plan to send NASA’s Automaton Rover for Extreme Environments. This rover is designed to thrive for an extended time, by taking into account the environmental conditions of Venus.
Venus is an alluring feature in the night sky. It has a significant importance in astrology, mythology and even fiction in different cultures. As a matter of fact, many classical poets like Homer, Virgil, Sappho, and Ovid spoke about the planet as a star. Romantic poets like Robert Frost and William Wordsworth wrote about it. Interesting facts about Venus for kids- Venus is considered as an astronomical symbol and is also used in biology as the female sex. The symbol is a circle with a small cross under it. Venus is an interesting planet, the moment you see it in the night sky, you can’t help but be captivated.