What is the Radius of Venus Planet ?

moon and venus in sky

moon and venus in sky

The planet of Venus has been named in honor of the Roman goddess, Venus, who epitomizes love and beauty. This planet of our solar system is positioned between Mercury and Earth which is the second planet from the sun, the first being Mercury.

Because of a smaller orbit, it takes 224.7 earth days to complete one revolution around the sun and is the brightest shining natural object visible in the sky at night. It is also known as the morning and evening star since it is at its brightest just before sunrise and just after sunset.

Some Properties of Venus:

Some facts about Venus as they are known to us includes:

a)      Venus is similar to Earth in mass, size and composition too.

b)      97% of its atmosphere is made up of carbon dioxide.

c)      It is hotter than Mercury and with surface temperatures above 450 degrees

d)      Venus takes 243 Earth days to complete one rotation

e)      Venus rotates in a backward direction from east to west causing the sun to rise in the west and set in the east

Facts related to the radius of Venus

Venus is said to be the twin of the planet Earth primarily because its radius is almost similar to that of the Earth. When we say almost similar what we mean is that it is about 95% of the Earth’s radius which comes to approximately 6052 km or 3760 mi.

One unique fact about the radius of Venus is that it does not suffer from variations in its radius. While all the other planets have their equatorial radii different from their polar radii, Venus has one constant radius throughout its surface. This is primarily because :

  • For the other planets, which rotate at a very high speed, the centrifugal force generated causes a bulging at the equator thereby flattening the poles which in turn make a difference in the measurement of their radii when taken at the two different regions—the equator and the poles.
  • Venus rotates at an extremely slow speed taking 243 Earth days to complete one rotation in comparison to the 24 hours taken by the Earth to do the same. That is why there is no distortion happening at its equator and poles making it have the same radius throughout.

The radius when doubled gives the diameter of Venus which as on date stands at 12104 km or 7520 mi. Hence it can be rightly said that the measurement of the diameter of Venus will automatically give us the radius of the same.

Peculiarities in the measurement of the diameter of Venus

The determination of the diameter and thereby the radius of Venus has been carried out innumerable times with measured levels of success. But in spite of all the efforts put in by the scientists all across the world, there are still some unanswered questions related to it. Some of the peculiarities seen in the measurement of the diameter of Venus areà

  • There are times when the geocentric distance of Venus changes drastically thereby bringing about variations in the diameter.
  • Forming accurate contact images with the help of the Helio meter and the Micrometer have proved to be very difficult.
  • When a near inferior conjunction, due to the enlargement of the crescent, the apparent diameter becomes less thereby causing an error in the measurement.
  • Alternately when Venus id near superior conjunction, the difficulties faced in inferior conjunction diminish but so does the diameter.
  • It is only during its transit across the sun that we are able to get accurate images of Venus but during this time also the diameter is affected by the causes like irradiation which are till date unknown to man.
  • In fact the brightness of Venus tends to act against it thereby making it impossible to get good pictures of the planet making it difficult to calculate the diameter of Venus.
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