Venus is often called Earth’s evil twin, and for good reason. The two planets are eerily similar. But why exactly do we think of them as twins? According to a new video from NASA, a lot of it comes down to where the planets formed, how they formed, and what they’re made of.
It might seem silly to refer to another planet as an “evil twin,” but when you really think about it, that’s how things shape up with Venus and Earth. According to NASA Director of Planetary Science, Dr. Lori Glaze, the two planets had every reason to be twins. Yet, Venus turned out quite differently from our planet.
According to Dr. Glaze, Earth and its evil twin both developed within the same region of space. Additionally, both planets are made up of the same types of materials. Unlike Earth, though, Venus has a toxic atmosphere filled with carbon dioxide and yellowish clouds of sulfuric acid that keep heat in, making the planet extremely hot.
In fact, Earth’s evil twin is the hottest planet in our solar system, even though Mercury is even closer to the Sun than it is. Further, Venus’ rotation sees the planet rotating backward compared to Earth and other planets. As such, it sees the Sun rising in the west and setting in the East.
So how did this planet that is Earth’s closest neighbor and is so similar to our planet turn out so differently? Scientists don’t know. However, Dr. Glaze says that some believe something went wrong on Venus, turning it into Earth’s evil twin as we know it. However, Dr. Glaze believes that something good happened on Earth instead, thus making it ripe for life to grow.
No matter which way you look at it, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that Venus is often called Earth’s evil twin. If you want to learn more about the planet, check out these gorgeous images NASA captured of Earth’s closest neighbor.