Popular Science

Massive atmospheric wave on Venus could explain the planet's weird rotation

More than a light Venusian breeze.
yellow mountains and surface of planet against black background

A 3D computer rendering of Maat Mons, a mountain on Venus.

rotation has always been weird. While it completes an orbit around the sun in the equivalent of 225 days on Earth, it takes around 243 Earth-days for the solid part of the planet to make one complete spin around its axis. And that’s far from the oddest thing about it. One of the oddities is that the 243 day rotation of Venus’ solid surface isn’t quite exact. Estimates of its rotation have changed over time, much

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