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VENUS

Seen from Earth shining brightly in the west at sunset, Venus is called the evening star. It is a rocky planet, and the second-closest planet to the Sun.

Table 6. VENUS DATA

Diameter (width) at equator7,521 miles (12,104 km)
Average distance from Sun67.2 million miles (108.2 million km)
Time to orbit Sun224.7 days
Time to spin around own axis243 days
Mass0.82 x Earth’s mass
Gravity0.9 x Earth’s gravity
Average surface temperature867°F (464°C)
Number of moons0

WHY CAN’T WE SEE VENUS’S SURFACE?

Thick clouds in Venus’s atmosphere stop us from seeing the surface. Radar probes, such as Magellan, can peer through the clouds, revealing a planet dotted with volcanoes and covered with rolling lava plains.

HOW HOT IS VENUS?

Temperatures on Venus soar to over 860°F (460°C), making it hotter than any other planet. Its carbon dioxide atmosphere, which is 100 times heavier than Earth’s, traps heat like a greenhouse.

Copyright © 2007 Dorling Kindersley

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