A global view of the surface of Venus from Magellan.
Click on image for full size
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!
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