CHRIS BUTLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHRIS BUTLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Venus. Artwork of the surface of Venus. This is the hottest planetary surface in the solar system, with temperatures of nearly 500 degrees Celsius. This is due to its dense carbon dioxide atmosphere that traps the Sun's heat. The surface atmospheric pressure, around 90 times that on Earth, distorts views of distant objects. Clouds of sulphuric acid obscure the Sun and the rest of the sky. The surface is geologically active, with several large volcanoes. Venus is the second planet from the Sun, next in from Earth and around two- thirds of the distance at about 108 million kilometres from the Sun. At around 12, 100 kilometres across, it is slightly smaller than Earth.
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