Venus is the second planet from the Sun. It is the planet closest to the Earth. It is a rocky planet (like Venus, Earth, and Mars) and not a gas planet (like Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune). It is named after Venus, the goddess of love and beauty.

Size of Venus
Of the nine regular planets in the solar system, Venus is the sixth largest.

Movement of Venus
Isn't it amazing that one Venus day (243 Earth days) is longer than one Venus year (225 Earth days)! Also Venus' rotation is retrograde (i.e. clockwise when viewed from above the north pole), unlike other planets. This makes Venus the only planet that has the Sun rise in the West and set in the East. And oddly enough, the periods of Venus' rotation and of its orbit are synchronized such that it always presents the same face to Earth when the two planets are at their closest approach. Another interesting fact about Venus' movement is that its orbit is the most nearly circular of that of any planet.

Temperature on Venus
The temperature can rise higher than 470 degree Celsius. Despite being nearly twice as far from the Sun, Venus' surface is hotter than Mercury's.

The Atmosphere of Venus
Venus' atmosphere is composed primarily of carbon dioxide. There are several kilometer thick layers of clouds composed of sulfuric acid. The dense atmosphere produces an aggravated greenhouse effect that raises Venus' surface temperature to be hot enough to melt lead!

Gravity on Venus
The gravity of Venus is about the same as that of Earth, only a bit lesser.

Satellites of Venus
Venus has no moons.

Observing Venus
Venus is the brightest planet. Other than the Sun and the Moon, it is the brightest object in the night sky and is very easily visible in the night sky. Like Mercury, ancient people popularly thought that Venus was two separate bodies - Eosphorus - the morning star and Hesperus - the evening star.

Surface of Venus
Venus' surface is largely smooth. The lack of major impacts is explained by the fact that most object headed to Venus are probably burnt up in its atmosphere. There are depressions on the surface of Venus. The impact that external bodies had with planet Venus quite likely caused the rocks to melt and lava to flow. The one notable feature of the surface of Venus is the Mead crater. It is 280km wide. Unlike many volcanic craters on Venus, Mead crater is a meteor crater.

Venus Data
Average distance from the Sun: 108 million km, i.e. about 70% the distance between the Sun and Earth.
Length of a year: 225 days
Rotation period: 243 days
Average speed of travel in orbit: 35 km/s
Diameter: 12,102 km, i.e. about 95% the size of earth.
Number of observed satellites: 0
Mass: 4.869 x 1024 kg, i.e. about 80% the mass of Earth.

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