Venus – THE VEILED PLANET
Venus is the second-closest planet to the Sun. After the Moon, it is the brightest natural Object in the night sky, reaching an apparent
magnitude of —4.6, bright enough to cast shadows and easily seeable. Classified as a terrestrial planet, it is sometimes called Earth’s
“sister planet” because they are similar in size, gravity, and bulk composition.
Venus is covered with an opaque layer of highly reflective clouds ofsulfuric acid, preventing its surface from being
seen from space in visible light.
Venus has the densest atmosphere of all the terrestrial planets, consisting mostly of carbon dioxide, as it has no carbon cycle to lock carbon back into rocks and surface features, nor organic life to absorb it in biomass.
The C02-rich atmosphere, along with thick clouds of sulfur dioxide, generates the strongest greenhouse effect in the Solar System, creating surface
temperatures ofover460 C° (860 F°).
This makes Venus’s surface hotter than Mercury’s which has a minimum surface temperature of —220 °C and maximum surface temperature of 420 °C.