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Venus Facts


  • The planet is named for Venus, the Roman goddess of love.
  • To the Teutonic peoples, the planet was known as Frig, the goddess wife of Woden. Friday (Frigdaeg) is named for her.
  • Venus is about the same size as Earth.
  • Venus rotates in a retrograde (backward) direction.
  • At its closest, Venus is only 42 million kilometers (26 million miles) from Earth.
  • Venus has a thick atmosphere of carbon dioxide. Atmospheric pressure at the surface is 90 times that of Earth.
  • Because Venus is nearer the Sun than Earth and has a very thick atmosphere, the surface temperature is extremely high, as much as 475 Celsius (900 Farenheit).
Mean distance from the Sun: 0.7233 AU (108,200,000 km/67,240,000 mi)
Length of year: 225 days
Rotation period: 243 days (retrograde)
Mean orbital velocity: 35 km/sec (21.8 mi/sec)
Inclination of axis: 177.3
Diameter: 12,104 km (7500 mi)
Number of observed satellites: 0
Comparisons with Earth:
Mean distance from Sun: 0.723 x Earth's
Diameter: 0.96 x Earth's
Mass: 0.81 x Earth's
Density: 0.9 x Earth's

Earth-based Observations || Seeing Through The Clouds || Volcanism || Craters
Other Surface Features || A Global View || Missions To Venus || Mysteries Remain
Venus Facts || Imagery Index

Venus Home

1998 National Air and Space Museum