| Origin of name |
Venus is named after the goddess of love by the Romans who considered it to be the brightest and most beautiful planet.
Venus Express is ESA's first mission to Earth's nearest planetary neighbour, Venus. In terms of size and mass, Venus is Earth's twin and yet it has evolved in a radically different manner, with a surface temperature of up to 480 °C and a mixture of noxious gases for an atmosphere. Venus Express will make unique studies of the atmosphere and surface.
|Property||Unit||Value||Earth = 1|
|Surface gravity at equator||ms-2||8.87||0.905|
|Magnetic dipole field at equator||T||< 10-9|
|Mean distance from the Sun (x106)||km||108.21|
|Mean distance from the Sun||AU||0.723|
|Sidereal orbit period||d||224.70|
|Sidereal rotation period||d||R 243.02|
|Length of day||d||116.75|
|Orbit inclination to Ecliptic||°||3.39|
|Mean orbital velocity||kms-1||35.02|
|Maximum orbital velocity||kms-1||35.26|
|Minimum orbital velocity||kms-1||34.79|
- Sidereal orbit period
The time taken by the planet to complete exactly one orbit around the Sun with respect to the celestial sphere.
- Sidereal rotation period
The time in which the planet rotates around its axis exactly 360° with respect to the celestial sphere.
- Length of a day
Defined as the time between two successive sunrises over the meridian.
- Magnetic dipole moment
Calculated as the ratio of the magnetic field strength at the equator divided by the cube of the equatorial radius.