Jodrell Bank Observatory - Transit of Venus 2004
Photograph of Venus taken by Pioneer

VENUS - within this section - Structure | Surface | Atmosphere | Facts

Planet Venus

Venus is the second planet from the Sun named after the goddess of love and beauty although if you were on its surface you would be crushed, roasted and dissolved.

Venus is slightly smaller than the Earth with a radius of 6052 km compared to 6378 km for the Earth. It is also a rocky planet with an atmosphere and for these reasons, Venus is usually descibed as the Earth's sister planet. However, the atmosphere is very thick - the pressure at the surface is about 90 times that of the atmosphere on the Earth - and consists of carbon dioxide, nitrogen and small amounts of other chemicals such as sulphuric acid.