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|Mercury •||Venus •||Earth •||Mars •||Jupiter •||Saturn •||Uranus •||Neptune|
Venus and Earth are similar in size.
Venus is the second planet from the Sun, orbiting it every 224.7 Earth days. It has the longest rotation period (243 days) of any planet in the Solar System and rotates in the opposite direction to most other planets. It is the second-brightest natural object in the night sky after the Moon, bright enough to cast shadows.
Venus is a terrestrial planet and is sometimes called Earth's "sister planet" because of their similar size and mass. It is radically different from Earth in other respects. It has the densest atmosphere of the four terrestrial planets ( Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars) consisting of more than 96% carbon dioxide. The atmospheric pressure at the planet's surface is 92 times that of Earth. Venus is by far the hottest planet in the Solar System even though Mercury is closer to the Sun. Venus is shrouded by an opaque layer of highly reflective clouds of sulfuric acid, preventing its surface from being seen from space in visible light. Venus is one of the four terrestrial planets in the Solar System, meaning that it is a rocky body like Earth.
Until just recently, Venus' dense cloud cover has prevented scientists from uncovering the geological nature of the surface. Developments in radar telescopes and radar imaging systems orbiting the planet have made it possible to see through the cloud deck to the surface below. Venus is scarred by numerous impact craters distributed randomly over its surface. Small craters less than 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) are almost non-existent due to the heavy Venusian atmosphere. The exception occurs when large meteorites shatter just before impact, creating crater clusters.
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