Venus: Solar System’s Hottest Planet

Venus, the second planet from the Sun, holds the title of the hottest planet in our Solar System, featuring an extreme greenhouse effect due to its thick atmosphere composed mainly of carbon dioxide. We can easily spot Venus from Earth because of its shiny clouds. It looks like a super bright white object in the night sky. Explore the unique characteristics of Venus and its fascinating mysteries in this comprehensive guide.


  • Venus, the second planet from the Sun, is located approximately 67.2 million miles (108.2 million kilometers) away.
  • Despite being the closest planet to Earth in terms of distance, Venus differs vastly from our home planet.
  • The dense atmosphere of Venus traps heat, resulting in surface temperatures hot enough to melt lead.
Position of Venus
Position of Venus


  • Venus formed about 4.5 billion years ago from the same cloud of gas and dust that gave birth to the rest of the Solar System.

Physical Characteristics

  • Venus is often referred to as Earth’s “sister planet” due to its similar size and composition.
  • It has a diameter of approximately 12,104 kilometers (7,521 miles), making it slightly smaller than Earth.
  • Venus’ mass is about 81.5% that of Earth’s, while its gravity is about 90% that of Earth’s.

Atmosphere and Climate

Surface Features

  • Venus’ surface is characterized by vast plains, highland regions, and thousands of volcanoes, including large shield volcanoes and massive lava flows.
  • Venus consists of a central iron core and a rocky mantle, akin in composition to Earth. However, its turbulent atmosphere primarily comprises carbon dioxide (96%) and nitrogen (3.5%), accompanied by small quantities of carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, water vapor, argon, and helium, constituting the remaining 0.5%.
Surface of Venus

Rotation and Orbit

  • Venus rotates very slowly on its axis, taking about 243 Earth days to complete one rotation.
  • A day on Venus (one rotation) is longer than a year, as it orbits the Sun every 225 Earth days.

Facts about Venus

Size0.95 Earths
Diameter12,104 kilometers
Mass4.867 × 10^24 kg (0.815 Earths)
Aphelion0.728 Astronomical Units (AU)
Perihelion0.718 AU
Gravity0.91 times Earth’s gravity
Orbital Period225 Earth days
Rotational Period243 Earth days
Surface Temperature462 °C (864 °F) at its hottest
Atmosphere Composition96.5% carbon dioxide, 3.5% nitrogen
0.015% sulfur dioxide, traces of other gases
Surface FeaturesVolcanoes, lava plains, vast impact craters
Geological ActivityExtensive volcanism, limited tectonic activity
Magnetic FieldWeak magnetic field
Factsheet on Venus

These characteristics offer insights into Venus’ unique environment and geological features, shaping its status as Earth’s closest planetary neighbor and one of the most inhospitable worlds in the Solar System.


  • Numerous space missions, including NASA’s Magellan and the Soviet Union’s Venera program, have provided valuable insights into Venus’ atmosphere and surface.

Future Missions

  • Future exploration missions to Venus aim to study its atmosphere, surface, and geological activity more comprehensively.
  • Venus remains a fascinating celestial body, offering scientists valuable insights into the dynamics of planetary atmospheres and climate systems.
  • Continued exploration and study of Venus hold the potential to unlock further mysteries about the evolution of rocky planets in our Solar System.

Comparison between Earth and Venus

SizeApproximately 12,742 km in diameterSlightly smaller, about 12,104 km in diameter
Distance from the SunApproximately 149.6 million kmCloser to the Sun, about 108.2 million km
AtmosphereMostly nitrogen (about 78%) and oxygen (about 21%)Dominated by carbon dioxide (about 96%) with nitrogen (about 3.5%) and traces of other gases
Surface TemperatureAverage surface temperature around 14°C (57°F)Extremely hot, averaging about 462°C (864°F)
Surface FeaturesDiverse, including oceans, mountains, and continentsMostly volcanic plains with few impacts craters
MoonsOne natural satellite, the MoonNo moons
Magnetic FieldStrong magnetic fieldWeak magnetic field
Rotation and OrbitRotates once every 24 hours, orbits the Sun once every 365.25 daysRotates very slowly, one rotation takes about 243 Earth days, orbits the Sun once every 225 Earth days
Atmospheric PressureAbout 101.3 kilopascals (kPa) at sea levelExtremely high, about 92 times greater than Earth’s
Comparison between Earth and Venus

FAQS on Venus

Q: What is Venus?

A: Venus is the second planet from the Sun in our Solar System, named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty.

Q: How far is Venus from the Sun?

A: On average, Venus orbits about 67.2 million miles (108.2 million kilometers) from the Sun.

Q: How does Venus compare in size to Earth?

A: Venus is very similar in size to Earth, with a diameter of approximately 12,104 kilometers (7,521 miles).

Q: What is a day like on Venus?

A: A day on Venus, defined as one rotation on its axis, lasts about 243 Earth days, making it longer than its year.

Q: What is the atmosphere of Venus composed of?

A: Venus’ atmosphere is predominantly composed of carbon dioxide (CO2), with traces of nitrogen and other gases.

Q: What is the surface temperature of Venus?

A: Venus has a scorching surface temperature that averages around 900°F (475°C), making it the hottest planet in our Solar System.

Q: Does Venus have any moons?

A: No, Venus does not have any moons orbiting around it.

Q: Why is Venus sometimes called Earth’s twin?

A: Venus is often referred to as Earth’s twin due to its similar size and composition, although its extreme conditions make it vastly different.

Q: What makes Venus’ atmosphere so thick?

A: Venus’ thick atmosphere is primarily due to the buildup of carbon dioxide, which creates a potent greenhouse effect, trapping heat and leading to extreme temperatures.

Q: Have there been any missions to explore Venus?

A: Yes, several space missions, including NASA’s Magellan spacecraft and the Soviet Union’s Venera probes, have been sent to explore Venus and study its atmosphere, surface, and geological features.

Binod G C

I'm Binod G C (MSc), a PhD candidate in cell and molecular biology who works as a biology educator and enjoys scientific blogging. My proclivity for blogging is intended to make notes and study materials more accessible to students.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *