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Which Planets Rotate Clockwise? The Answer is Fascinating!

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solar system

There are many bizarre yet intriguing facts about our solar system; one of them is that all planets in our solar system, except Venus and Uranus, spin counterclockwise. That occurs because planets follow the direction in which the Sun rotates.

So, what makes Venus and Uranus so unique that they’re not following this rotation pattern?

Keep reading to learn why Venus and Uranus rotate clockwise and what makes them so special.

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The Planets That Rotate Clockwise

While many believe that only Venus rotates clockwise, that’s also true for Uranus. Also, some state that the dwarf planet Pluto also rotates clockwise, although it’s not counted as a planet in our solar system anymore.

planet venus

Image Credit: Sabino Parente, Shutterstock

Venus

Venus is the Earth’s closest neighbor and the second planet away from the Sun. Many refer to Venus as the Earth’s twin due to its size and density, although the planets have various differences.

Venus has a toxic atmosphere, with sulfuric acid clouds that trap heat. It has a rusty surface and crushing air pressure. That makes it the hottest planet in our solar system. Another thing that makes Venus stand out is that it rotates clockwise. But why does this strange occurrence happen?

Why Does It Spin Clockwise?

As Venus spins clockwise, the Sun rises in the west while it sets in the east. There are various theories regarding the actual reason this planet rotates clockwise. 

Theory 1

Some people believe Venus spins clockwise because of the Sun’s gravitational pull on the planets. The Sun’s strong pull could’ve caused an atmospheric tide that made Venus flip its rotational pattern.

Theory 2

Another common belief is that Venus had a collision with another planet that made it spin clockwise. The early solar system had more planets, and they weren’t in a stable orbit, so a collision was likely to occur. This collision could also be why Venus rotates slower than other planets.

Theory 3

There’s also a hypothesis that Venus rotates clockwise because the planet is flipped upside down. Because of that, the planet turns the correct way, but it’s not positioned like other planets, making us see the spinning as clockwise instead of counterclockwise.

Fun Facts About Venus

Venus is a unique planet, and other than rotating clockwise, a couple of other factors make it stand out. Here are some of the most intriguing facts about Venus:

  • Venus is the brightest planet in our solar system
  • Venus has a high atmospheric pressure
  • Venus is the hottest planet in our galaxy
  • One day on Venus lasts more than 200 days on Earth
  • Venus has phases
  • Venus always faces the Earth on the same side

Uranus

planet uranus

Image Credit: buradaki, Shutterstock

Uranus is the seventh planet away from the Sun. It was the first planet viewed by a telescope, although people believed it was a star rather than a planet. It is an icy giant with short days and long years.

This intriguing planet has 27 moons and 13 rings, which also makes it stand out. Another, and probably the most intriguing, fact about Uranus is that, similarly to Venus, it rotates east to west. However, Uranus turns on its side, which makes it even more unique.

Why Does It Spin Clockwise?

While there are theories about why Venus spins clockwise, there are not many theories about this spinning pattern in Uranus. While some believe it’s also a cause of an atmospheric collision that happened in the past, for most, this occurrence remains a mystery.

Most astronomers believe the planet was hit, but there is no scientific evidence to prove this theory.

Fun Facts About Uranus

Besides the fact that Uranus rotates clockwise and tilts, there are a couple of other things that make this planet unique:

  • Uranus is also known as the planet that represents an ice giant
  • Uranus is the second least dense planet in our solar system
  • Uranus is the coldest existing planet in our galaxy and solar system
  • Uranus has 27 moons
  • Uranus has 13 rings
  • Uranus was the first planet discovered by a telescope

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Conclusion

While most planets in our solar system spin counterclockwise, Venus and Uranus are the black sheep in the family. Instead of spinning counterclockwise, they spin clockwise, while Uranus has a tilt while turning. These planets are genuinely interesting, and we’re likely to learn more as technology improves.


Featured Image Credit: Vadim Sadovski, Shutterstock

About the Author Visnja Radosavljevic

Visnja is a creative, adaptable content writer that covers various topics such as DIY, pets, home improvement, travel, gardening, and more. As a young mom and a college student, she didn’t have enough time to balance her personal and work life, so after multiple years of working a regular 9 to 5 job, she decided to pursue her passion and make a living out of it. She has been writing for a couple of years now, helping people to find valuable and interesting information online.

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