Tsang, Constantine Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colorado.
- Transits of Venus
- Atmospheric composition
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The second planet in distance from the Sun. Venus has been called “Earth's twin” because it is similar to Earth in gross characteristics, such as mass, radius, and density (see table). In other ways, Venus is apparently different: Its atmospheric mass is almost a hundred times that of the Earth; its atmosphere is mostly carbon dioxide, rather than nitrogen and oxygen; an extensive cloud layer of concentrated sulfuric acid is present; its surface temperature is an unbearable 464°C (867°F); it rotates so that one Venusian day is equal to 243 Earth days and from east to west (clockwise as we look down from the north) in the opposite direction of most other planets. Some of these differences are due more to alternate evolutionary paths of the two planets than to totally different initial conditions.
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