What is a Planet?
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Facts & Figures
Magellan spacecraft radar data enabled scientists to penetrate Venus' thick clouds and create simulated views of the surface.
10 Need-to-Know Things About Venus:
Venus is only a little smaller than Earth.
Venus is the second closest planet to the sun at a distance of about 108 million km (67 million miles) or 0.72 AU.
Magellan: Mapping Venus
One day on Venus lasts as long as 243 Earth days (the time it takes for Venus to rotate or spin once). Venus makes a complete orbit around the sun (a year in Venusian time) in 225 Earth days.
Venus is a rocky planet, also known as a terrestrial planet. Venus' solid surface is a cratered and volcanic landscape.
Venus' thick and toxic atmosphere is made up mostly of carbon dioxide (CO
) and nitrogen (N
), with clouds of sulfuric acid (H
Venus has no moons.
There are no rings around Venus.
More than 40 spacecraft have explored Venus. The
mission in the early 1990s mapped 98 percent of the planet's surface.
No evidence for life has been found on Venus. The planet's extreme high temperatures of almost 480 degrees Celsius (900 degrees Fahrenheit) make it seem an unlikely place for for life as we know it.
Venus spins backwards (retrograde rotation) when compared to the other planets. This means that the sun rises in the west and sets in the east on Venus.
Read More About Venus
Just the Facts
Orbit Size (semi-major axis):
Missions to Venus
Images of Venus
Videos about Venus
Exploring the Planets - Venus
NASA Planetary Photojournal - Venus
National Space Science Data Center - Venus
National Space Science Data Center Photo Gallery - Venus
StarDate - Venus
Welcome to the Planets
Volcanoes on Venus
Compare Venus to other Planets/Moons
Al Hibbs decided as a five-year-old that he wanted to go to the Moon. He did qualify as an astronaut, but his legacy is in robotic exploration.
Meet More Space Explorers
25 Nov 2013:
Sounding Rocket to Peek at Atmosphere of Venus
20 Jun 2013:
ESA Science Missions Continue in Overtime
18 Jun 2013:
The Fast Winds of Venus Are Getting Faster
18 Jun 2013:
Super-Hurricane-Force Winds on Venus are Getting Stronger
24 Mar 2013:
Venus Vortices Go For Chaotic Multi-Storey Strolls Around The Poles
Science & Technology Features
17 Oct 2013:
10 May 2013:
Planets Aligning in the Sunset Sky
18 Apr 2013:
Solar System Exploration @ 50: What the Experts Picked
6 Feb 2013:
State of the Solar System
28 Dec 2012:
Earth at Perihelion
Awards and Recognition
Solar System Exploration Roadmap
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Last Updated: 6 Mar 2014