Scientists already knew that Venus has the record of the longest day in our solar system. However, a new study has just revealed that a day on Venus lasts longer than a year, which is frankly crazy to think about.
In the study, data was obtained by bouncing radio waves off the planet. Scientists have also measured the size of the planet̵
Yes, you read that right. A single day on Venus equals 243.0226 Earth days, where a single year on our sister planet can be completed in just 225 Earth days. But how does that work, you probably ask?
A day is measured by how long it takes for a planet to rotate once on its axis. For us here on earth it only takes 24 hours; However, Venus, as we mentioned above, lasts much longer. Likewise, a year is measured by how long it takes for a planet to orbit its star. Earth can complete a full orbit in 365 days, and Venus can do it in just 225 days.
To determine this, scientists at NASA’s Goldstone Antenna sent radio waves toward Venus 21 times between 2006 and 2020 and analyzed the corresponding echoes. These measurements provided the researchers with information about various planetary properties.
“Each individual measurement was obtained by treating Venus like a giant disco ball. We lit Venus with a giant flashlight, Goldstone’s radar, and observed the reflections as they fell across the Earth’s surface, ”said Jean-Luc Margot, UCLA professor of planetary astronomy, who led the study. “Venus is a great laboratory for understanding the formation and evolution of planets, and it is a stone’s throw away. There are probably billions of Venus-like planets in the galaxy. “
The study also revealed that Venus’s core is about 4,360 miles (7,000 km) in diameter, which is comparable to the size of Earth’s core. The core of Venus is most likely made up of nickel and iron, but we have yet to confirm this or know whether it is solid or molten.
In terms of studies, Venus tends to get less attention than Mars, our other planetary neighbor, and the other planets in our solar system.
“I don’t think Venus would be more difficult to understand than other planets if we had enough data, but there is a deplorable scarcity of data about Venus,” added Margot. “There have been no NASA missions to Venus in nearly 30 years, and about a dozen missions to Mars in this time interval.” Margot also noted that these new findings will help us better plan future landing attempts.