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Venus

Venus' gravity is similar to the Earth's and this gravity would make you weigh 9% less than you do here on Earth.

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Venus has a thick and toxic atmosphere. Venus' thick clouds and closeness to the Sun (only Mercury is closer) make it the hottest planet - much hotter than the Earth.

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There isn't any water on the surface, but trace amounts of water have been found in Venus' thick atmosphere.

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Surface temperatures can be as high as 880 degrees Fahrenheit (471 degrees Celsius).

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225 Earth days long.

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Very long: 243 Earth days pass in the time it takes Venus to rotate or spin once (complete one day).

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Yes, several: Missions to Venus

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Venus is Earth's twin: They are both about the same size, but are two very different worlds.

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Venus is one of two planets (the other one is Uranus) to have a retrograde rotation. This means that Venus rotates east to west -- most planets rotate west to east.

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Similar to an eclipse, a Venus transit is when we see Venus passing across the face of the sun in the form of a shadow. These transits only happen about twice every century. The next transit of Venus will not take place until the 22nd century.

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Yes, Venus is a planet with many volcanoes.

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Venus has a magnetic field, but even though Venus is similar in size to the Earth and has a similarly-sized iron core, Venus' magnetic field is much weaker than the Earth's due to Venus' slow rotation.

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No human has visited Venus, but the spacecraft that have been sent to the surface of Venus do not last very long there. Venus' intense atmospheric pressures crushed these spacecraft, so it seems unlikely that a person could survive on the Venusian surface.

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From space, Venus is a bright white because it is covered with clouds. At the surface, the rocks are different shades of grey, like rocks on Earth, but the thick atmosphere filters the sunlight so that everything would look red.

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Venus' surface would probably looks different in different places, just like different places on Earth look different. We know there are mountains and valleys and many, many volcanos. We have pictures of a couple of places on the surface and these places have eroded volcanic rocks.

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Venus is dusty because there isn't any rainfall -- it is too hot for liquid water. On Earth, rain clears the dust off of everything and washes it into the oceans.

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Up in the atmosphere there are different layers at many different temperatures. At the level where the clouds are, about 30 miles up from the surface, it's the same temperature as on the surface of the Earth.

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Tens of thousands.

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They come in all shapes and sizes, but the largest volcanos on Venus are about the same as the largest volcanic mountains on Earth -- about 20,000 feet high.

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Craters on Venus cover a range in sizes, but they are not very small - small being less than about 3 miles across -- because asteroids small enough to make those size craters get stopped by Venus' thick atmosphere.

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About six months - it all depends on the type of orbit and how much energy you have to spend.

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Last Updated: 3 Feb 2014