Venus and Neptune may share the same solar system, with Earth and five other planets, but they are both two very different planets. Let’s start by locating the two of them. Venus is the second planet from the sun, with Mercury as its neighbor on one side and Earth as its neighbor on the other. Neptune is the eighth planet from the sun, with Uranus as one of its neighbors and Pluto, the dwarf planet, as its other. So, technically, Neptune is the last planet away from the sun in our solar system. So whilst Venus and Neptune may live in the same town, they very much live in different neighborhoods. What does it mean when we then compare the two? Are they more different than they are similar? What are their similarities? What are their differences? And why is this so? Time to find all of the answers!
So, what are the main differences between Venus vs. Neptune? The main differences to be found when comparing Venus and Neptune relates to their size, orbit, chemical compositions, and temperature. Neptune is the bigger of the two planets, but Venus is the warmest. Venus is defined as a terrestrial planet whereas Neptune is a gas giant. Venus takes a couple of hundred days to orbit the sun, whereas Neptune takes closer to a couple of hundred years to complete the same orbit pattern. There are also many other interesting characteristics and processes that differ between the two.
A lot to learn in more detail, so let’s continue…
- 1 What Are The Differences Between Venus and Neptune?
- 2 What Are The Similarities Between Venus and Neptune?
- 3 Finally
What Are The Differences Between Venus and Neptune?
Venus and Neptune are notably different when it comes to the following features: size, orbit, chemical composition, temperature, number of moons, number of rings, axel tilt, rotation time, and aesthetics.
It would be correct to say that Venus and Neptune are more different than they are similar.
Then again, our solar system is a very diverse place, so this should come as no surprise.
Let’s delve deeper into the specific differences found when you compare these two fantastic planets.
Size and Mass
Some planets are bigger than others. Some planets are, in fact, substantially bigger than others.
Wherever you look in our solar system, you’ll find these variations in planet size.
So, Venus and Neptune vary when it comes to size? Neptune is the bigger planet by some margin.
When we compare planets in terms of size, we look at 3 separate measurements. These are diameter, surface area, and mass.
Let’s start with diameter.
Neptune has a diameter of 49,244km. Compare this Venus’ diameter of 12,104km, and you can see a clear winner here.
Now time for surface area.
Neptune has a surface area of 7.618 billion square kilometers. Once again, compare this to Venus’ 460.2 million square kilometers, and you can see who’s clearly bigger.
Finally, there’s mass.
Neptune has a mass of approximately 102,000,000,000 trillion metric tons. This is much heavier than Venus, which weighs approximately 4870 million million million tonnes.
Where do these figures place these two planets in The Milky Way’s size table?
Neptune is the fourth biggest planet, which means it’s only smaller than Uranus, Saturn, and Jupiter.
Venus is the sixth biggest planet in our solar system, which means it’s only bigger than Mars and Mercury.
Orbit of the Sun
Next, it’s time to take a look at the differences in orbit.
Distance from the sun is a significant factor in determining how long it takes for a planet to orbit the sun.
As we discovered earlier, Neptune is the eighth planet from the sun, and Venus is the second.
So, as Venus is the closer of the two planets, it, therefore, takes much less time for it to orbit the sun compared to Neptune.
How long exactly? Venus takes about 225 days to orbit the sun.
Neptune, however, takes a humongous 165 years to orbit the sun. Yes, that is the longest orbit time out of any planet within our solar system.
There are eight planets in our solar system. Four of these are gas giants. The other four are terrestrial planets.
A gas giant is mainly composed of gasses. Two of the primary gases found in gas giants are hydrogen and helium.
A terrestrial planet is composed primarily of silicate rocks or metals.
So, where do these two planets fit in here?
Well, Venus and Neptune go their separate ways.
Neptune is a gas giant. The other three gas giants in our solar system are Uranus, Jupiter, and Saturn.
Venus is a terrestrial planet. The other three terrestrial planets are Mars, Earth, and Mercury.
An interesting comparison is to be found when looking at the separate temperatures of Venus and Neptune. Before we go any further, let’s establish what we are measuring here.
The first reading we are looking at is the temperature of each planet on its surface and within its atmosphere.
The second reading is the temperature at each planet’s core.
Let’s start with the first reading.
Venus is the hottest planet in our solar system when it comes to the surface and atmospheric temperature. Its temperature here is a very hot 887 degrees Fahrenheit (475 degrees Celsius).
Neptune’s temperature is much colder at approximately -364 degrees Fahrenheit (-220 degrees Celsius).
Distance from the sun plays a significant factor again here in determining how hot these planets are for the first reading.
For example, Venus is warmer because it is closer to the sun than Neptune. The sun’s rays that reach Venus are, therefore, much stronger than those that have reached Neptune but have traveled so far that they have depleted.
Where things get interesting is with the core temperature reading. That is because these two planets are actually quite similar in this regard.
Neptune is warmer than Venus at its core…but only just.
Neptune has a core temperature of approximately 9,212 degrees Fahrenheit (5,100 degrees Celsius). In contrast, Venus has a core temperature of 9,392 degrees Fahrenheit (5,200 degrees Celsius).
Number of Moons
Neptune has moons. Venus does not have moons.
Neptune possesses an impressive array of 14 moons in its orbit.
Neptune has five main rings, mainly consisting of asteroids, comets, and shattered moons.
Venus doesn’t have any rings.
Axel Tilt and Rotation
Not all planets tilt at the same angle. When comparing the axial tilt between Venus and Neptune, a stark difference is to be found.
Venus has an axial tilt of 3 degrees.
Neptune has an axial tilt of 28 degrees.
Another difference is found when you examine how long it takes these planets to complete one rotation on their axes.
Venus takes a massive 243 hours to complete one rotation.
Neptune takes much less time, rotating once on its axis in 16 hours.
Venus is a yellowy-white color and is, in fact, the brightest planet in our solar system.
Neptune is a deep blue, similar to Uranus.
What Are The Similarities Between Venus and Neptune?
Venus and Neptune are notably similar when it comes to the following: orbit pattern, shape, the fact that they both have hotter central cores, a gravitational pull, cannot support human life and humans are yet to visit either of them.
Earlier, we learned that these are two very different planets.
But that’s not to say that they don’t share anything in common; they do.
In fact, there are several interesting similarities shared between Venus and Neptune.
Just like before, let’s delve deeper into each one.
Venus takes much less time to orbit the sun than Neptune does.
However, what they do share in common is orbit pattern.
Venus and Neptune both have circular orbits of the sun.
Both are Spherical in Shape
Although I have said that planets come in different sizes, I didn’t say they came in different shapes as well.
That’s because they don’t.
Just like Earth and the other planets in our solar system, both Neptune and Venus are spherical in shape.
Both Have a Hotter Central Core
Both of these planets have core temperatures that are warmer than their surface temperatures.
This isn’t surprising, as the same is the case for every planet in our solar system.
Venus and Neptune both possess a gravitational pull force that influences their relationships with the rest of the universe.
This gravitational pull force also ensures that Neptune’s rings and moons continue to stay in its orbit.
Can’t Support Human Life
Neither Venus nor Neptune can support and host human life.
Well, for a start, there isn’t any oxygen on either of these planets. If you haven’t noticed by now, oxygen is essential for us humans. Without it, we cannot breathe and go on living.
Then there’s the issue of the hostile temperatures found on these planets. Our bodies simply aren’t designed to survive the environments found on Venus and Neptune.
Of course, we could explore them with the right spacesuits and equipment. But there’s another obstacle that we’d need to overcome first. An obstacle which is the reason for why…
Humans Haven’t Visited
Yes, there’s an obstacle that stops us from being able to visit Venus and Neptune in person.
And that is the sheer distance between Earth and these two planets, especially Neptune.
So far, humanity simply doesn’t have the means to travel this far into space.
Maybe one day, hey?
It’s times like these when you realize how amazing the universe is.
And we’re lucky to live close (relatively speaking) to these two fantastic planets.
Venus and Neptune, keep up the good work!
Other planetary comparisons you may want to read:
- Venus Vs Mercury [How Do The Planets Differ?]
- Venus vs Jupiter [How Do The Planets Differ?]
- Mars vs Venus [How Do The Planets Differ?]
Hey, my name is Chris. I’m a passionate and seasoned astronomer who loves nothing more than observing the night sky. I also love researching, learning, and writing all things Space and the Universe. I created Astronomy Scope to share my knowledge, experience, suggestions, and recommendations of what I have learned along the way while helping anyone to get into and maximize their enjoyment of the hobby.