Which is the hottest planet in our solar system?

And the answer: Venus.  
Photo credit: public domain.

Despite only being the second closest planet to the Sun, Venus is the hottest planet in our solar system due to its particularly dense atmosphere. Venus has an average temperature of 464 degrees Celsius, or 867 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s almost twice as hot as an average kitchen oven’s maximum temperature!

Due to its prominent place in the night sky, Venus has occupied a somewhat mythological role throughout the centuries. It was called the most beautiful star in the sky by Homer, author of The Iliad and The Odyssey—some of the oldest and most important works in Greek literature. As the second-brightest object in the night sky (second only to the Moon), Venus was the first planet to have its motions plotted across the sky, as early as the second millennium BC.

Venus has a plethora of other unique qualities. Unlike the other planets in our solar system, Venus rotates clockwise on its axis. Scientists believe this phenomenon is due to an intense collision that occurred millions of years ago—so strong that it actually knocked Venus off its axis (talk about coming in hot!).

Interestingly, a day on Venus is longer than a year on the planet. It takes Venus 243 Earth days to rotate once—the longest rotation of any planet in the Solar System—but only 224.7 Earth days to complete an orbit of the Sun. Recent research suggests that the cause of this is actually Venus’ atmosphere, which is so oppressive that it actually slows down its rotation. Some scientists believe that without its atmosphere, Venus's rotation would speed up to a rate that would match its orbit around the sun in a phenomenon known as tidal locking.

Learn more interesting facts about Venus here.

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