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About Venus

Venus, the second planet from the Sun, is named after the Roman goddess Venus. A terrestrial planet, it is sometimes called Earth's "sister planet", as the two are very similar in size and bulk composition. Although all planets' orbits are elliptical, Venus's orbit is the closest to circular, with an eccentricity of less than 1%. As Venus is closer to the Sun than the Earth, it always appears in roughly the same direction from Earth as the Sun (the greatest elongation is 47.8°), so on Earth it can usually only be seen a few hours before sunrise or a few hours after sunset. However, when at its brightest, Venus may be seen during the daytime, making it one of only two heavenly bodies that can be seen both day and night (the other being the Moon). It is sometimes referred to as the "Morning Star" or the "Evening Star", and when it is visible in dark skies it is by far the brightest star-like object in the sky.



Radar image of the surface of Venus, centered at 180 degrees east longitude.

Radar image of the surface of Venus, centered at 180 degrees east longitude.

All text of this article available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details).

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