Top 5 Facts: Venus
1) Venus has phases like a moon
When closest to the Earth, Venus appears bright and crescent-shaped. When it is further away, the planet is dim and round.
2) It rotates backwards
Venus has a retrograde, or west to east, rotation. This is actually the opposite direction of its revolution around the Sun.
3) Venus was the first ‘probed’ planet
NASA’s Mariner 2 probe was launched in 1962. It passed within 30,000 kilometres of Venus and took microwave and infrared readings.
4) It has no moons
Venus probably had a moon billions of years ago, but it was destroyed when the planet’s rotation direction reversed.
5) Venus is brighter than the stars
Venus is brighter than any star and can be easily seen in the middle of the day, especially when the Sun is low in the horizon.
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