Geek Trivia

What Distinguishes Venus and Uranus From All Other Planets In Our Solar System?

Temperature Extremes
Iron Cores
Rotation Direction
Magnetospheres
What Was The Killer Application That Drove 1990s CD-ROM Drive Sales?

Answer: Rotation Direction

Despite wildly different temperatures, atmospheric conditions, and compositions, there’s something the majority of planets in our Solar System have in common: rotational direction. Every planet in the Solar System orbits the sun in a counter-clockwise direction and almost every planet also rotates on its axis in a counter-clockwise direction. Every planet except Venus and Uranus that is (and, honorarily mentioned despite being demoted to a dwarf planet/planetoid several years ago, Pluto). The rotation of Venus and Uranus is completely counter to that of Earth and known as “retrograde rotation”.

If Earth had a matching rotational pattern, the Sun would rise in the West and set in the East.