MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Internal structure of Venus, cutaway artwork. The inset at lower right shows Earth and Venus on the same scale, showing that they are around the same size. At the centre of Venus is a primarily solid iron core (yellow), which underlies a thick mantle (orange) made mainly of silicate minerals. On top of this is a very thin crust, which is only around 30 kilometres thick (compared to a maximum of around 70 kilometres for Earth's crust). Venus also has a thick, acidic atmosphere, which traps the heat of the Sun (a runaway green house effect). This makes Venus the hottest planet in the solar system, with surface temperatures reaching over 400 degrees Celsius.
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