What You Need To Know 9.13

  • Venus is the only planet that rotates clockwise.

And since Venus is normally associated with women, what does that tell you! This claim makes the implied assumption that you're only considering planets in our solar system, as well as ignoring more minor bodies, like the dwarf planet Pluto. Also, clockwise assumes a view from above the Sun's north pole (though it would still have a retrograde rotation no matter what your frame of reference). Interestingly, Venus rotates very slowly - it takes 243 Earth days to complete a full rotation, which, coupled with a 243 Earth day Venutian year, means that a solar day on Venus lasts 117 Earth days. A couple caveats - Uranus could technically be considered to have a retrograde rotation, but it's rotation axis is nearly in plane with its orbit, so it's usually considered to more or less rotate "on its side." Also, as mentioned above, the dwarf planet Pluto has a retrograde motion (and I'm sure we'll discover more Kuiper Belt objects with retrograde rotation), so a few years ago, before the IAU redefined planets, this fact would have been technically false.


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