Orbit of Venus

by Fraser Cain on May 17, 2008


The orbit of Venus is the most circular in the entire Solar System. In mathematical terms, the eccentricity of Venus is less than 0.01. A year on Venus lasts 223 days.

As Venus travels around the Sun, it ranges in distance from 107 million km to 109 million km. The average distance is 108 million km. This is 72% the distance of Earth to the Sun.

Venus can get as close as 40 million km from the Earth. This is called an inferior conjunction every 584 days, on average.

One of the most unusual things about Venus is that it rotates backwards from the rest of the planets in the Solar System. Seen from above, all of the planets rotate counter-clockwise, but Venus turns clockwise. Of course, Venus orbits so slowly that its day is actually longer than its year. A day on Venus lasts 243 Earth days, while its year is 224.7 Earth days.

About 

Fraser Cain is the publisher of Universe Today. He's also the co-host of Astronomy Cast with Dr. Pamela Gay.

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