Photo: Venus (Some rights reserved)
Spotlight on the second planet from the sun: Venus
10 Things to know 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.
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 (CO2) and nitrogen (N2), with clouds of sulfuric acid (H2SO4) droplets.
Venus has no moons.
There are no rings around Venus.
More than 40 spacecraft have explored Venus. The Magellan 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
Elsewhere on the Web
Your guide to the transit of Venus – ABC
Transits of Venus, 1631 to 2125
Watching the Rare Transit of Venus From 1639 to Today
The Transit of Venus from Sydney Observatory
Akatsuki Reveals a Hot, Dynamic Venus