Given its strange atmosphere, calculating the length of a day on Venus is not easy.
After 15 years of observations, researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles (United States) declared that one day on Venus (the time it takes for the planet to turn once around its axis) equals about 243.0026 days, or about 2/3 the length of a sidereal year on Earth.
The reason why a day on Venus is long is because the rotation of the planet is quite slow, the direction is opposite to that of the Earth and many other planets.
According to Digital Trends, scientists used radar to project radio waves onto the planet and analyze when the waves bounced back to Earth. Not only for a day, they also calculated that the axis of Venus was tilted 2,6392 degrees, the core is about 3,500 km thick, which is equivalent to the core of the Earth.
“We turned Venus into a giant disco ball, lighting it up with a super powerful flashlight (over 100,000 times brighter than a conventional flashlight). By following the light reflected from the ‘sphere’, we can give the properties of the planet “, said Jean-Luc Margot, professor of Earth, planet and space sciences and principal researcher.
As the closest planet to Earth in the solar system, however, the dense atmosphere that covers the surface prevents us from studying much about Venus. Some questions about Venus remain unanswered, including the length of the day.
“Venus is Earth’s neighbor, but some basic characteristics are still unknown,” Margot said.
Researchers say that Venus’ rate of rotation varies over time, with daylength differences of up to 20 minutes. Therefore, calculating the exact length of a day on Venus is not easy.
The strange and thick atmospheric cloud of Venus may be responsible for the varying length of the day. The rotation of the atmosphere on Venus is faster, which can affect the rotation of the planet.