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Uranus (left), Neptune (right), Earth (lower left), Sirius B (lower center), and Venus (lower right). The smaller planets, Earth's moon, and dwarf planets below, in decreasing size are Mars and Mercury, the Moon, Pluto, and Haumea. All are to scale.

Venus is the second planet from the Sun. It is a terrestrial planet and the third-smallest planet in our Solar System. Venus has a diameter of 12,103 kilometers. It orbits 100 million kilometers away from the Sun.


Venus was named after the Roman goddess of love; the asteroid 433 Eros is named after the goddess's son. In east Asian mythology, the star was known as the "gold star" (金星), due to the planet's yellow atmosphere.


Venus without its atmosphere.
Topography map of Aphrodite Regio, a high-altitude region of Venus.

Venus is the hottest planet in the Solar System. This is because of its atmosphere. 96.5% of Venus's atmosphere is Carbon Dioxide, a greenhouse gas. Because the atmosphere is highly thick, the pressure can be up to 92 times greater than on Earth, which can kill human beings. These conditions make the temperature on Venus 480 °C in temperature;[1] higher than the melting point of lead. It rains sulphuric acid on Venus. Venus is sometimes referred to as Earth's Twin planet, due to their similar size and mass. All of the surface features of Venus, which include volcanoes and lava plateaus called pancakes, are named after famous women. Most of these were discovered by the Mariner 10 probe.

It is impossible to see the Venus's surface from space as the thick atmosphere reflects around 60% of the light that impacts it. The only way scientists are able to see it is by using infrared, ultraviolet, and radar filters.

Transit of Venus[edit]

Venus can pass (transit) in front of the Sun; the last time this happened was in 2012. When transits occur, a "black drop" effect produced by the planet's atmosphere can be observed. Transits usually are hours long. [2]


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