3...2...1...Let's go! (Credit: Dr James O'Donoghue)

  1. Venus probably got wrecked so hard in the early days of the solar system it started rotating in retrograde relative to the other players.

  2. I learned recently that one of the leading theories as to why Venus spins the wrong way is because of friction from the insanely thick atmosphere! After eventually slowing down to a stop, differences in temperature from the hot side to the cold side produce intense winds, which must have conspired to start spinning the planet in the “wrong” direction. How neat is that?

  3. So would humans age faster on Jupiter & age slower on Venus? im curious especially cause of my favorite movie Interstellar where 1 hour on those planets was 7 years on Earth

  4. I always wondered why we didn't find a way to calculate an even number proportionate to our home planet spin. I know every 4 years we add a day to make up for it. I just think it's silly that we can't find a way to math out that 4 minute offset

  5. Isn't it because the earth is also turning around the sun so a full rotation on its own adds up to the rotation around the sun ? And so we need those 4 minutes to be facing the sun again?

  6. Those 4 minutes are because the earth moves around its orbit while it's spinning. Without those 4 minutes the peak of the "day" would get later every rotation. Leap days having nothing to do with this effect. Leap days occur because the earth takes 365.25 rotations to return to the same position around the sun. Without leap days the time of the seasons would change slowly over the decades. These two phenomena are different effects that are unrelated. One is caused by the earth's rotational speed on its axis, the other is caused by the earth's orbital period around the sun

  7. The diameter is bigger thus the outer layer travels faster than the ones close to the axis and due to being a gas giant, the gasses have caused the momentum of inertia to lower as time went by (try spinning with your arm open and closed in a chair)

  8. Jupiter is big.[citation needed] When all the planets were collapsing and forming out of the original cloud of gas and dust that the solar system came from, Jupiter took a WHOLE LOT of mass. As it collapsed, the gas ball that would become Jupiter had some angular momentum. As it collapsed further, that momentum needed to be conserved. But now the gas ball is smaller, and so it has to spin faster. More mass = more momentum = more spin.

  9. All else being equal, heavier planets will tend to spin faster, because they've capture more matter, and therefore collected more angular momentum from that matter. So Jupiter is kind of "as expected" -- heaviest, spinning fastest.

  10. It’s a dwarf planet! Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt and the only dwarf planet that is permanently closer to the Sun than Neptune.

  11. I wonder if Jupiter is spinning so fast that if we could stand on it we'd just constantly be sick, like on a gravitron 🤔

  12. Doesn't the Earths wobble throughout the year, which causes the seasons? Pointed away from the sun, then pointed toward the sun?

  13. Why do the giant planets spin faster? More angular momentum of particles away from the Sun during the formation of the planets?

  14. The earth simultaneously orbits the sun and rotates. It's doing these in the same direction -- if you were looking down from above the north pole, Earth rotates counterclockwise and orbits counterclockwise.

  15. So the giant outer planets have vastly more angular momentum than the terrestrial planets. Wonder why?

  16. Because they weigh more. The crap they formed from all had angular momentum, which was conserved when they became planets.

  17. How's the rotation speed determined? I wonder if in the case of the giants we're looking at the atmosphere being "very fast" in that direction rather than the inside/core of the planet rotating.

  18. It's difficult with fluid planets but we can measure the collective top atmosphere movement at the equator, or the bulk of the mantle motion (for that we need to use a probe right at the planet).

  19. This is a stellar day (see edit, it is actually sidereal day), not a solar day. They are slightly different.

  20. Not entirely sure why Pulto was included but not Eris. Also if you wanted to include all objects (that we know of in our solar system) that have achieved hydrostatic equilibrium there should be 13

  21. the dust they formed from was all (or vast, vast majority anyway) orbiting east. Or looking down from the North pole, everything was going counterclockwise.

  22. Yes. Angular momentum is conserved, so a planet that gathered more crap when it formed will tend to have more angular momentum.

  23. Why are all of them anti-clockwise if looking from their tops? And why do we choose their north poles to be their tops?

  24. Before there were planets, there was a disk of dust around the sun that generally all rotated orbited in the same direction. When planets formed from this dust, angular momentum was conserved, resulting in planets generally spinning the same direction. That's also why the heavier planets tend to spin faster -- they collected more angular momentum. Venus spins backwards. It's weird.

  25. We evolved and base our entire society on a 24 hour day. Wonder how other lifeforms may have evolved and adapted their lives to shorter or longer days. Just curious what life would be like. I guess it would just be shorter or longer lol.

  26. Why do the more massive planets spin faster? I'd expect the larger planets to have more similar day lengths to the sun, but I just looked it up and the sun revolves every 24.5 Earth days. How the heck does the physics on that work?!

  27. Planets collected angular momentum from the dust they gobbled up in the early solar system. Planets that collected more dust also collected more angular momentum.

  28. Uranus would be cool place to live in. No butt think about it. It would be so easy to navigate. Cardinal directions based on magnetic north. It will always be dark or sunny in one of the N or S heading (not sure about seasonal shifts or what not).

  29. Why are the rotation speeds not in order of the size of planets? I'm surprised Pluto and ceres moves so quickly. Does speed =distance at equator /time?

  30. Is there a reason why all the planets seem to tilt in a similar direction? Has it got to do with the solar system's movement through the galaxy?

  31. Utter layman here, but I'd guess it has more to do with what happened during their forming stages and later development. The early solar system was a colossally violent environment. Assuming a star and its satellites form on a roughly uniform plane within the accretion disk with similar orientiations, looking at Venus and Uranus, they must've gotten hit pretty bloody hard by something really big in the past to tilt so far out of whack.

  32. Venus is odd. Poles inverted, which makes it appear as if it’s spinning clockwise/opposite of all the other planets

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