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Rotational Period - Windows to the Universe

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This image shows different objects that rotate. Rotational period is the time it takes for that object to rotate just once.

Rotational Period

Rotational period is the time it takes for a planet or moon to spin around once. On Earth, this time is 1 day.

Venus spins very slowly! Scientists think this is because a long time ago something big hit Venus and slowed down its rotation. Now, Venus spins so slowly that it revolves around the Sun faster than it spins on its own axis. That means that a Venus day is longer than a Venus year!

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF