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Earth's Evil Twin

Venus is the second-closest planet to the Sun, orbiting it every 224.7 Earth days. The planet is named after the Roman goddess of love. Apart from the moon, it is the brightest natural object in the night sky and it is often called The Evening Star and The Morning Star because it reaches its maximum brightness before sunset and also before sunrise. Venus is also reffered to as Earth's twin sister as it is similar in size, gravity and bulk composotion. However, during the last few years scientists have found that the kinship ends here. Venus is very different from the Earth. It has no oceans and is surrounded by a heavy atmosphere composed mainly of carbon dioxide with virtually no water vapor. Its clouds are composed of sulfuric acid droplets. At the surface, the atmospheric pressure is 92 times that of the Earth's at sea-level.


Venus has a surface temperature of 482 deg C (900 deg F). The high temperature is caused by the heavy atmosphere of carbon dioxide which allows sunlight to pass through, but not to escape. Therefore, Venus is hotter than Mercury. A single day on Venus is 243 Earth days and Venus actually completes one orbit of the sun in 225 days. Therfore, Venus completes one lap of the sun before the day is over. Oddly, Venus rotates from east to west. To an observer on Venus, the Sun would rise in the west and set in the east.

Facts About Venus

  • Venus is the hottest planet in our Solar System

  • Appart from the sun and moon, Venus is the brightest object in the night sky

  • Venus is the only planet that rotates in the opposite direction to the rest of the planets

  • Many probes have landed on the surface of Venus

  • It was once beleived that there were jungles on Venus

  • Venus has phases like our moon

  • There are very few impact craters on Venus

  • On April 11th, 2006, Venus express landed on the planet's surface. It's mission is to study the atmosphere and surface

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