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    Venus is the second closest planet to the sun.  This planet was also known to the ancients: Venus was the Roman goddess for fertility (known as Aphrodite in Greek mythology).  Like Mercury, Venus is never far from the sun: the maximum separation angle is 37 apart.  Unlike Mercury, Venus can very often be seen with the naked eye as either the "morning star" or "evening star".  Here are some quick facts about this gorgeous planet:


Mass -- 4.87 x 1024 kg   (0.815 earth masses)


Radius -- 3,760 mi   (6,052 km or 0.949 earth radii)


Distance from the sun (average) -- 67,237,910 mi   (108,208,930 km or 0.723 AU)


Gravity -- 29.1 ft/sq. sec   (8.87 m/sq. sec)

    An adult weighing 140 lbs on Earth would weigh 127 lbs on Venus.


Surface temperature -- 850 F

    The surface temperature stays fairly constant on Venus because of the thick atmosphere around the planet.


Orbital velocity -- 78,341 mph   (126,077 km/hr or 1.176 earth speed)


Orbital eccentricity -- 0.0068

    This is how off-circular the moon's orbit around the Earth is.  An eccentricity of 0.00 would be a perfect circle.  An eccentricity of nearly 1 would be a very flattened oval.  For a fun project on ellipses and eccentricity, click here.


Sidereal rotation -- 5,832 hr   (243 earth days)   retrograde

    A day on Venus would be equivalent to 243 Earth days.  In addition, Venus spins opposite the way of the Earth ... clockwise when viewing the solar system from the top.


Sidereal orbit -- 5,392.8 hr   (224.7 earth days or 0.615 earth years)

    A year on Venus would only take up January through July on Earth.


Moons -- none



For more information on Venus, please visit SEDS' website and NASA's website  Both websites are wonderful resources. 


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Website last updated March 16,  2006.  Hosted by Anthony Watts, KMXI Radio.  Webmasters Tiara Norris and Brendan Diamond.