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Name: Rick Kiper
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Question:
Why does Venus rotate in a direction opposite the other planets?



Replies:
Class, this is a very good question. There is no good reason for the direc- tion of rotation of any of the planets except what the motion of the matter locally that formed the planet was. It is actually surprising that so many of the other planets have similar rotations directions. Since there are only very small forces that slow planets down, the rotations we see tell us something about the early motion of the matter in the local region. It is really fun to ask interesting questions. This is what scientists spend most of their time doing. Keep up the good work.

Samuel P Bowen



The latest ideas I have read about are that planets from dust particles and similar things hitting each other and sticking together till they get bigger and bigger. A planet like Venus probably got to be it is present size from the collision of smaller "planets". The last two small planets to collide in forming the planets we see today determine it is rotation by how they happen to hit each other. This is the best idea we have right now, but maybe someday you or someone like you will come up with a better one.


Daniel N Koury Jr


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