ROGER HARRIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROGER HARRIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Venus. Computer artwork of a radar map of the surface of the planet Venus (left), partially illuminated by the Sun (upper right). Venus is the second planet from the Sun, next in from Earth and around 42 million kilometres further in, at about 108 million kilometres from the Sun. Its diameter of about 12, 100 kilometres is slightly smaller than Earth's. Venus' dense atmosphere of carbon dioxide has sulphuric acid clouds that obscure the rocky surface. The atmosphere traps the Sun's heat and leads 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.
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