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Venus is the second planet from the Sun and is the second brightest object in the night sky after the Moon. It is named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty. Venus is the closest planet to Earth and is sometimes referred to as the Earth’s sister planet due to their similar size and mass. The surface of the planet is obscured by an opaque layer of clouds made up of sulphuric acid.
See the fact file below for more information on the Venus or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Venus worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
PLANET VENUS PROFILE
- Diameter: 12,104 km
- Mass: 4.87 x 10^24 kg (81.5% Earth)
- Moons: None
- Orbit Distance: 108,209,475 km (0.73 AU)
- Orbit Period: 225 days
- Surface Temperature: 462 °C
DISCOVERY OF VENUS
- In 2006, the Venus Express spacecraft was sent into orbit around Venus by the European Space Agency, and sent back information about the planet. Originally planned to last five hundred Earth days, the mission was extended several times before the craft was finally deorbited in 2015. More than 1,000 volcanoes or volcanic centres larger than 20 km have been found on the surface of Venus.
- The Russians sent the first mission to Venus – the Venera 1 space probe was launched in 1961, but lost contact with base. The USA also lost their first probe to Venus, Mariner 1, although Mariner 2 was able to take measurements of the planet in 1962. The Soviet Union’s Venera 3 was the first man-made craft to land on Venus in 1966.
- At one point, it was thought Venus might be a tropical paradise. The dense clouds of sulphuric acid surrounding Venus make it impossible to view its surface from outside its atmosphere. It was only when radio mapping was developed in the 1960s that scientists were able to observe and measure the extreme temperatures and hostile environment. It is thought that Venus did once have oceans but these evaporated as the planets temperature increased.
- Venus does not have any moons or rings.
- One hypothesis, proposed by Alex Alemi and David Stevenson of the California Institute of Technology in 2006, claims that in the early days of the formation of the solar system, Venus must have been bombarded by many asteroids, which released large quantities of ejecta into Venus’ orbit. These countless pieces would have then coalesced to form a moon, which is basically how Earth’s moon was formed millions of years ago. However, due to the retrograde spin of the planet (which was caused by another asteroid impact), the moon’s orbit might have been destabilized, causing it to crash into Venus, leaving the planet ‘moonless’.
MORE DETAILED FACTS
- Venus is the hottest planet in the solar system with an average surface temperature of 462°C (863°F). Also, Venus doesn’t tilt on its axis which means there are no seasons either. The atmosphere is a dense 96.5% carbon dioxide which traps heat and caused the greenhouse effect which evaporated any water sources billions of years ago.
- The surface temperature on Venus can reach 471 °C.
- A day on Venus lasts longer than a year. It takes 243 Earth days to rotate once on its axis (sidereal day).
- Venus’ orbit around the Sun takes 225 Earth days, compared to the Earth’s 365. A day on the surface of Venus (solar day) takes 117 Earth days. Venus rotates in the opposite direction to most other planets. This means that Venus is rotating in the opposite direction to the Sun, this is also known as a retrograde rotation. A possible reason might be a collision in the past with an asteroid or other object that caused the planet to alter its rotational path. It also differs from most other planets in our solar system by having no natural satellites.
- Atmospheric pressure on Venus is 92 times greater than the Earth’s. While its size and mass are similar to Earth, small asteroids are crushed when entering its atmosphere, meaning no small craters lie on the surface of the planet. The pressure felt by a human on the surface would be equivalent to that experienced deep beneath the sea on Earth.
- Venus is also known as the Morning Star and the Evening Star. Early civilisations thought that Venus was two different bodies, called Phosphorus and Hesperus by the Greeks, and Lucifer and Vesper by the Romans. This is because when it orbits around, the Sun overtakes Earth’s orbit, and it changes from being visible after sunset to being visible before sunrise. Mayan astronomers made detailed observations of Venus as early as 650 AD.
- The Earth and Venus are very similar in size with only a 638 km difference in diameter. As with other terrestrial planets, Venus’ interior is essentially composed of three layers: a central core, a molten mantle, and a crust. It is believed that Venus’ crust is 50 km thick, its mantle 3,000 km thick, and the core has a diameter of 6,000 km.
- An unanswered question about the Venusian interior is whether or not the planet’s core is liquid or solid. On one hand, because Venus and Earth are so alike, it is reasonable to conclude that since Earth has a liquid core, Venus does as well.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Venus across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Venus worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Venus which is the second planet from the Sun and is the second brightest object in the night sky after the Moon. It is named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty. Venus is the closest planet to Earth and is sometimes referred to as the Earth’s sister planet due to their similar size and mass. The surface of the planet is obscured by an opaque layer of clouds made up of sulphuric acid.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Venus Facts
- Venus’ Profile
- Sister Planet
- Goddess of Love
- Fact or Bluff
- No Moon, No Ring
- The Interior
- Discovering Venus
- Letter Jumble
- The Hottest Planet
- What Can I Say
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Link will appear as Venus Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, April 1, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.