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Why is Venus compared to Earth?

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Quick Answer

According to Universe Today, Venus is often called a sister planet to Earth because both planets share a number of physical similarities. They have a similar size, mass, density and volume and may have formed at around the same point in the solar system's history. While they share some similarities, Venus and Earth are also vastly different in many important ways.

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Why is Venus compared to Earth?
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Full Answer

Earth and Venus are both terrestrial planets, formed out of rocky elements and metals left over from the formation of the sun. Venus has a diameter of about 7,500 miles, making the planet approximately 95 percent as large as Earth. Venus has approximately 82 percent of Earth's mass and 91 percent of Earth's gravitational force.

At some point in Venus' history, however, its development diverged from Earth's. Venus' planetary crust solidified, ending plate tectonics and reducing the ability of the evolving planet to sequester carbon. This led to the development of an incredibly dense atmosphere, and the surface pressure of Venus is 92 times greater than that of Earth. Its temperatures are also much higher, averaging 860 degrees Fahrenheit. Venus also rotates very slowly in the opposite direction of the Earth, meaning the sun rises in the west every 243 Earth days, according to the European Space Agency.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How large is Venus compared to other planets?

    A:

    Venus is the third smallest planet in the solar system and is around 95 percent of the total size of the Earth. Both Earth and Venus are dwarfed by the largest planet in the solar system, Jupiter, which is more than 13 times their size.

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  • Q:

    What planets are visible from Earth?

    A:

    The five planets which are visible from Earth, using the naked eye, include Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus and Mercury. Because of difference in their orbits, though, it is rare for all of them to be visible in the night sky at the same time, explains National Geographic.

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    What planets have shorter days than Earth?

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    The outer planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune all have shorter days than Earth. Among the terrestrial planets, Mars has a slightly longer day than Earth at 24 hours 37 minutes. Mercury's day lasts 59 Earth days, while a day on Venus lasts 243 Earth days.

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    How is Earth different from other planets?

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    Earth is unique in that scientists have found the planet to be the only one to have liquid water on its surface, intelligent life forms living on it, a moon that helps regulate surface temperatures, an atmosphere with 21 percent oxygen and plate tectonics, according to Space.com. Scientists believe Earth exists in a "Goldilocks zone" where conditions are just right to support life.

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