Why is the axial tilt of Venus 177° and not 3° (or Uranus 97° instead of 83°)?

1 Answer

Venus has retrograde spin.


Most objects in the solar system rotate anti-clockwise when looking down from the north pole. If a planet rotates in the opposite direction is is called retrograde rotation.

Venus rotates in a clockwise direction. It is simpler to view Venus as rotating anti-clockwise but with an axial tilt of #177^@#

It is thought that Venue originally rotate in the same direction as the other planets. At some time in the past it was toppled over by the gravitational effect of the sun or another planet. This is consistent with a #177^@# axial tilt.

The same principle has been applied to the axial tilt of Uranus.