Planet Venus Facts: A Hot, Hellish & Volcanic Planet

With conditions on Venus that could be described as infernal, the ancient name for Venus — Lucifer — seems to fit. However, this name did not carry any fiendish connotations; Lucifer means “light-bringer,” and when seen from Earth, Venus is brighter than any other planet or even any star in the night sky because of its highly reflective clouds and its closeness to our planet.

The Venusian year — the time it takes to orbit the sun — is about 225 Earth-days long. Normally, that would mean that days on Venus would be longer than years. However, because of Venus’ curious retrograde rotation, the time from one sunrise to the next is only about 117 Earth-days long. [Gallery: Transit of Venus from June 5, 2012, when the planet transited in front of the sun for the last time until the year 2117.


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