Monday, January 07, 2008

The facts about Venus

Venus (Greek: Aphrodite; Babylonian: Ishtar) is the goddess of feel affection and beauty. The planet is so named the majority likely because it is the brightest of the planets recognized to the ancients. Venus has been identified since prehistoric times. It is the brightest thing in the sky not including for the Sun and the Moon. Like Mercury, it was generally thought to be two part bodies: Eosphorus as the morning star and Hesperus as the sunset star, but the Greek astronomers knew better.

Venus' rotary motion is rather unusual in that it is both very slow (243 Earth days per Venus day, somewhat longer than Venus' year) and retrograde. Moreover, the periods of Venus' rotary movement and of its orbit are synchronized such that it for all time presents the same face in the direction of Earth when the two planets are at their neighboring approach.

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