Environment

The Only Planet That Rotates Clockwise

All planets of our solar system orbit the Sun in a counterclockwise direction with the exception of Venus.

Contrary to many people’s beliefs, not all the planets on the solar system rotate around the sun in an anti-clockwise pathway. It is however interesting to know that there is an exception. Venus is the only planet that rotates around the sun in a clockwise pathway. All planets, when observed from the North Pole are seen to be rotating around the sun in an anti-clockwise direction on their elliptical orbits. Venus is observed to rotate in a clockwise manner. Below is a review of the planet Venus, and the probable reasons as to why it does not rotate in the same direction as the other planets in the Solar System.

Venus

Venus is the second planet from the sun after mercury. The planet is named in honor of the Roman goddess of love and beauty, probably because it is usually very bright. In fact, it is one of the brightest celestial bodies on the sky. For this reason, it is either referred to as the morning star or the evening star.

Physical Description

Venus does not have any natural satellites. Venus and Earth are said to be sister planets because they are both terrestrial planets, their sizes are almost the same, and they are also close to one another. The term terrestrial planet implies that the surface of the planet is rocky, just like that of the earth. Approximately 70% of the surface of Venus is covered with rocks. There are also numerous traces that indicate that there have been a lot of volcanic activities in Venus. In fact, Venus has more volcanoes than earth. The atmosphere of Venus is very dense. It is composed of 96.5% of carbon dioxide and 3.5% of nitrogen. The remaining smaller percentage is occupied by other gases, but dominated by sulfur dioxide.

Rotation Of Venus

It is important to note that the all the orbits of the planets are not circular. They are elliptical in shape. Although the orbit followed by planet Venus is elliptical, it is almost circular. This implies that is has a minute eccentricity of not more than 0.01. Venus rotates the earth retrograde in a period equivalent to 243 earth days. The tilt exhibited by Venus is 177 degrees, and that of earth, one of the planets that rotate in an anticlockwise direction is approximately 23 degrees.

Why Do Venus Rotate In An Anti-Clockwise Direction?

Venus is believed to have been hit by a fast-approaching asteroid. The heavy steroid on high speed is believed to have caused the change of the paths and the rotation direction which planet Venus takes. The asteroid is believed to have hit Venus a long time ago. However, the exact time in history has not been determined yet.

Alternatively, another group of astronomers came up with an explanation that Venus initially rotated on in an anticlockwise direction just like other planets. It thereafter slowed down and became static before it started rotating in a clockwise direction. This second explanation tends to be valid for it also explains why the rotation of planet Venus is slower compared to Earth’s rotation.

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