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Mariner 10 image. Copyright Calvin J. Hamilton 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.

Naming convention
Craters: famous women and common female first names. Most other features are named after goddesses.

ESA Mission
Venus Express


Venus Express
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.



Physical Properties


Property Unit Value Earth = 1
Equatorial radius km 6051.8 0.949
Polar radius km 6051.8 0.952
Flattening   0.000 0.0
Mass  (x1024) kg 4.8685 0.815
Volume  (x1010) km3 92.843 0.857
Mean density kgm-3 5243 0.951
Surface gravity at equator ms-2 8.87 0.905
Escape velocity kms-1 10.36 0.926
Magnetic dipole field at equator T < 10-9  


Orbital Parameters


Property Unit Value
Perihelion  (x106) km 107.48
Aphelion  (x106) km 108.94
Mean distance from the Sun  (x106) km 108.21
Mean distance from the Sun AU 0.723
Eccentricity   0.0067
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
Axial tilt ° 177.36


  • 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.


Last Update: 1 September 2019
13-Jun-2024 04:52 UT

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