Venus and its cloud cover, illustration

Venus and its cloud cover, illustration

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Credit: JOE TUCCIARONE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Venus and its cloud cover, illustration. Venus, the second planet from the Sun, is a rocky world that is only slightly smaller than the Earth. Sulphuric acid cloud layers obscure the surface. The dense carbon dioxide atmosphere traps the Sun's heat, leading to surface temperatures of over 500 degrees Celsius, the hottest planetary surface in the solar system. In addition, the atmospheric pressure on the surface is 90 times that on Earth. Venus is the brightest planet seen from Earth, and is often visible to the naked eye. The clouds obscure the surface. Here, the day-night terminator is shown, separating night and day.

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