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Did a Rogue Moon Alter Venus’s Rotation? Exploring the Fascinating Possibility


As it sped away from Venus, NASA's Mariner 10 spacecraft captured this seemingly peaceful view of a planet the size of Earth, wrapped in a dense, global cloud layer. But, contrary to its serene appearance, the clouded globe of Venus is a world of intense heat, crushing atmospheric pressure and clouds of corrosive acid.

Venus spins in the opposite direction to all of the other planets in the solar system


Venus rotates in the opposite direction to the other planets in the solar system, and astronomers aren’t sure why – but it may have been caused by the drag of an ancient moon in a backwards orbit.

The early solar system was a chaotic place, with rocks hurtling around at extraordinary speeds. Valeri Makarov at the United States Naval Observatory in Washington DC and Alexey Goldin at Teza Technologies in Chicago performed a series…

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