Geek Trivia

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

Temperature Extremes
Iron Cores
Rotation Direction
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.