Why is the planet Venus rotating the other way around than most other planets in our solar system? 

In mythology, Venus is considered the goddess of love and she is thought to be of extraordinary beauty and grace. The planet Venus was named after her. Venus is the brightest object in the space after the sun and moon. It is best visible from Earth in the morning and evening. That is why it is both our morning and our evening star. And just like the goddess, the planet Venus is unusual in several ways.

Venus | Why Does Venus Spin Backwards
Source: Jenny Mottar / NASA

First of all, Venus has the longest period of rotation of all planets, so it rotates extremely slowly around its own axis. One day i.e. one revolution lasts as long on Venus as 243 days on earth. That in itself is remarkable. But it is even more astonishing that a Venus day lasts longer than a Venus year. The planet revolves around the sun faster than it does itself, but why does Venus rotate the other way around.

Also Read: Why Does Saturn Have Rings And The Earth Does Not?

The year of Venus is shorter

The year of Venus is shorter than an earth year as it is over after 225 earth days. There are no seasons on Venus. Another special feature is that Venus has no moon. In our solar system, it only shares this property with its neighboring planet Mercury. And that’s not enough. The morning star has another peculiarity. On Venus, the sun rises from the opposite direction as on earth, the west, although it cannot be seen through the thick, permanent cloud cover on the surface of Venus. 

Venus | Why Venus Is Spinning In Wrong Direction
Source: pixabay.com

This brings us to the question asked at the beginning. The fact that the course of the sun on Venus is different is due to the fact that Venus rotates the other way around than most of the other planets and moons in our solar system. Their rotation is referred to as retrograde. The only other planets or ex-planets with a retrograde sense of rotation are Uranus and Pluto.

Asteroid impact as the cause? – Why Does Venus Spin Backwards?

Researchers have not been able to understand why Venus’s rotation is opposite. According to the current theory, it is assumed as likely that Venus was hit by a large asteroid in the early days of the solar system about 4.5 billion years ago. The impact of this asteroid was so violent that the original rotation of Venus was stopped and even reversed.

Venus | Why Venus Spins The Wrong Way
Source: pixabay.com

The researchers suspect that in the early days of our planetary system, impacts by large bodies on planets were the rule rather than the exception. In such a collision between the earth and another celestial body, the earth’s moon was very likely formed.

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No traces

Venus once had a satellite that was created in this way. However, a few million years later, there should have been another impact on Venus, which changed the direction of rotation of the planet. That was not without effects on the Venusian moon and according to the experts, it fell back on the planet. There are interesting theses and theories but they cannot be proven. Venus has a volcanically active surface. And also, all traces that may have existed in the past are now gone.

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