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Venus Inside and Out

Venus is the second planet from the Sun, and is Earth's closest neighbor in the solar system. Venus is the brightest object in the sky after the Sun and the Moon, and sometimes looks like a bright star in the morning or evening sky. The planet is slightly smaller than Earth, and its interior is similar to Earth. We can't see the surface of Venus from Earth, because it is covered with thick clouds that strongly reflect sunlight. However, space missions to Venus have shown us that its surface is covered with craters, over 1600 major volcanoes, mountains, large highland terrains, and vast lava plains. The surface of Venus is not where you'd like to be, with temperatures reaching more than 450C (approaching 900F - high enough to melt lead), an atmosphere 90 times heavier than our own, and clouds of sulfuric acid floating around to top it off!

Last modified May 19, 2009 by Randy Russell.

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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