The Sun
2003 UB313
Venus - Second planet from the Sun
Venus Image Courtesy
Venus is the brightest planet in our night sky! At a distance of only .28A.U., Venus is the closest planet to earth, but Venus' atmosphere traps in such intense heat that it is doubtful that any person will ever land there. Another factor for mankind never having set foot on the closest neighbor to Earth is the intense surface pressure which would make standing on the surface of Venus feel like you were 900 meters deep in Earth's oceans (figure from: NASA).

Unmanned landers that have been sent to Venus have only lasted a few hours before being so effected by the heat and surface environment factors that they no longer operate. The surface temperature of Venus is hot enough to melt lead and this causes the internal mechanics of the landers to not function for very long.

If you were to be standing on the surface of Venus your body would feel slightly lighter than it does on earth because gravity on Venus is about ~91% of the gravity on earth. There is no water on the surface of Venus, and no oceans, but there are slight traces of water vapor in the atmosphere. The atmospheric water vapor never condenses because of the constantly high temperatures the planet experiences.

The atmosphere of Venus is a poisonous mixture of carbon dioxide and sulfuric acid clouds. Consistently fast winds erode the surface much like a wind-blown desert here on earth, producing rolling sand dunes at the base of rocky mountain ranges.

The rotation of Venus is retrograde (exactly opposite) that of earths rotation, and our Sun sets in the east and rises in the west. The clouds on Venus rotate the opposite direction of the normal rotation of the planet, and this phenomenon has been the subject of scientific study and debate as the cause of it is currently unknown.

Discuss Venus in our forums: Venus


Venus Statistics Table:
    Things to keep in mind:
  • 1 A.U. is the distance from the Earth to the Sun, or 93 million miles ( 149.6 million km )
  • Planets have elliptical orbits, and distances given are the average distance from the sun.
  • Measurements given in earth terms. If read "days" or "years," earth days and earth years are implied
Date of Discovery Known by the Ancients
Average Distance from the Sun 108,208,930 km
67,237,910 miles
Equatorial Radius 6,051.8 km
3,760.4 miles
Equatorial Circumference 38,025 km
23,627 miles
Density 5.24 g/cm3
Surface Area 460,200,000 km2
177,700,000 mi2
Gravity 8.87 m/s2
29.1 ft/s2
Rotation Period (Length of Day) 243 days
5832 hours
Orbit Period (Length of Year) 0.615 years
224.7 days
Orbital Velocity (avg) 126,077 km/h
78,341 mph
Orbital Circumference 675,300,000 km
419,600,000 miles
Min/Max Surface Temperature 462 C
864 F
735 K

Article written by IceCreamTruck and was compiled after extensive reading and study. This article is formatted to include information that isn't obvious from looking at most facts and figures sheets. Exact figures about the planet courtesy of JPL NASA and have been shortened to include only the most useful information. Please visit NASA's website for further detailed information on this planet NASA Venus Pages

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