The rogue planet that once roamed our solar system appears to have been a stray child of Jupiter.
According to Greek legend, that child is Venus. Born from a storm, and able to throw punches like her father, she caused all sorts of trouble. Beneath her brilliant exterior hides a wild child with a mind of her own.
Could it be that the Greeks had it right? From what we have been able to deduce about the rogue planet, it certainly seems so. The planet we are looking for is a relatively large rock planet, most likely with a thick atmosphere. That sure sounds like Venus.
Taking a closer look at Venus, we notice something odd.
She’s rotating very slowly, and she’s rotating the wrong way.
All planets in the solar system rotate the same way. Their speed of rotation is related to their size and energy level. Big planets with thick atmospheres spin quicker than smaller, rocky planets.
But Venus is hardly spinning at all. In fact, she’s slowing down. She’s being slowed down by the Sun and ordered to spin the other way. It is as if Venus is a newcomer to the solar system, still trying to learn the rules of the game.
But most telling of all is what she’s hiding under her thick atmosphere. There are all sorts of scars on her surface, as if she’s been in several fights with other planets.
The scars are softened and rounded off by the heat and the acid atmosphere, but they are still visible.
It appears that we’ve found our culprit. Venus was the rogue planet that caused so much damage to our solar system, and she really is the daughter of Jupiter, as Greek mythology has it.