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Venus: Overview
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Color image showing Venus topography
Magellan spacecraft radar data enabled scientists to penetrate Venus' thick clouds and create simulated views of the surface.

Venus is a dim world of intense heat and volcanic activity. Similar in structure and size to Earth, Venus' thick, toxic atmosphere traps heat in a runaway "greenhouse effect." The scorched world has temperatures hot enough to melt lead. Glimpses below the clouds reveal volcanoes and deformed mountains. Venus spins slowly in the opposite direction of most planets.

Featured Mission: Akatsuki
Japan's Akatsuki is the next planned mission to Venus. The orbiter will follow Venus' thick cloud layers as they are whipped around the planet by hurricane-force winds.

Read More About Venus Blue arrow

 
Just the Facts
Orbit Size (semi-major axis): 108,209,475 km
Mean Radius: 6,051.8 km
Volume: 928,415,345,893 km3
Mass: 4,867,320,000,000,000,000,000,000 kg
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1 Mar 2012 - 31 Mar 2012:
YSS Theme: Shadows of the Sun
6 Jun 2012:
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Steve Squyres Steve Squyres
Steve is best known as principal Investigator for the Mars Exploration Rovers, but he's contributed to many of the greatest robotic missions. Read More...
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Last Updated: 6 Feb 2012
 


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