Venus, goddess of Love and Beauty, Springtime and Flowers (second planet from the
The second planet in distance from the Sun, the most brilliant object in the sky,
she appears to welcome both the dawn and the dusk. Her symbol appears below.
Venus is the one goddess whose name was given to an important planet. Venus (corresponds
to the Greek: Aphrodite, and the Babylonian: Ishtar) is the goddess of love and
beauty. The planet is so named probably because it is the brightest of the planets
known to the ancients. With a few exceptions, the surface features on Venus are
named for female figures. This is the planet commonly called the “evening star”
or the “morning star” (depending on which side of the sun it happens to
be). It is considered the brightest and most beautiful object in the heavens next
to the sun and moon, and is far brighter than any star. Originally the Greeks thought
they were two different planets. The morning star was called phosphorus (light-bringer
in Greek) because once it appeared in the eastern skies, the light of dawn would
soon come. The evening star was called Hesperus (west in Greek) because
it always shined in the western sky after sunset. Once the Greeks learned that Phosporus
and Hesperus were really the same planet, they named it Aphrodite as befitted its
beauty; and then the Romans changed the name to Venus which we now use. Her symbol
is said to represent a hand mirror.
Scientific facts about Venus:
Venus is the brightest object in our sky, except for the Sun and the Moon. The upper
clouds of poisonous sulfuric acid swirl in a pattern of yellowish mists on Venus.
Moving at speeds almost three times faster than winds in a hurricane, they race
around the planet once every four days. People once imagined Venus as a Garden of
Eden with lush vegetation, sparkling streams, and life. They regarded Venus as Earth’s twin because its size, mass, and density are so much like Earth’s, but there
the similarities end. Beneath the acid clouds is a planet we could not imagine in
our wildest dreams because day and night, lightning and thunder flash and boom across
a rainless sky. Earth’s clouds consist of water droplets but those upper clouds
of Venus are droplets of sulfuric acid. The atmosphere is so dense we could nearly
swim through it and the pressure is as strong as that which exists one kilometer
below the surface of the oceans on Earth.