DAVID A. HARDY, FUTURES: 50 YEARS IN SPACE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID A. HARDY, FUTURES: 50 YEARS IN SPACE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Surface of Venus. Artwork of storms and volcanic gases on the surface of Venus. Venus is the hottest planet in the solar system. Despite being further away from the Sun than Mercury, its thick atmosphere traps solar heat, raising the temperature to around 450 degrees Celsius. This process has been described as a "runaway greenhouse effect". Its atmosphere is mainly carbon dioxide, and the pressure at the surface is about 90 times that on Earth. The clouds contain sulphuric acid and it is thought that the planet may still be volcanically active, making Venus an inhospitable place.
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