We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Some Prominent Features of Venus?

Michael Anissimov
By
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Venus, called Earth's "sister planet" for its similar size, has a surface nothing like ours. Venus's atmosphere is 96.5% carbon dioxide, with 3.5% nitrogen making up the rest. The surface temperature is 462°C (863°F), well above that of a typical oven broiler, and surface pressure is 90 atmospheres, about equivalent to the pressure underneath a kilometer of water on Earth. The cloud tops experience 300 km/h (186 mph) winds regularly. Its surface consists of red-hot basalt plains, and plenty of evidence of past and present volcanism, although no eruptions have been observed directly.

To the naked eye, Venus appears milky white, its relatively high albedo, or reflectance, and proximity to Earth and the Sun making it the brightest object in the night sky except for the Moon. This has earned it the name "Morning Star," or "Evening Star," as it gets brightest near sunrise or sunset.

Humanity has been familiar with Venus since prehistoric times and references to it can be found in our oldest texts, from Babylonian cuneiform. Named after the Roman goddess of love, its designation strongly contrasts with that of Mars, named after the Roman god of war. It is the only planet in the solar system named after a female figure.

On 14 December 1962, the first successful interplanetary mission, Mariner 2, sent by NASA, passed close to Venus and was able to measure the surface temperature, confirming its extreme heat and discarding the notion of any life there. Throughout the 1960s, the Soviets sent several Venera probes to the surface, which took images of the surface and measured the content of the atmosphere before quickly succumbing to the high pressure. Only a few submarines are even capable of operating at these pressures, although bathyscapes - specially designed divers - can, opening up the eventual possibility of a long-term probe stay on the Venusian surface, a la the Mars rovers.

In late 1990, the United States' Magellan probe reached orbit around Venus, mapping its surface extensively using radar, providing images of similar quality to visible light photographs of other planets. Numerous volcanic surface features were found, but no active volcanoes. Like other rocky planets, Venus has highlands, valleys, plains, and its own unique features, including star-like fracture patterns called novae.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Michael Anissimov
By Michael Anissimov
Michael Anissimov is a dedicated WiseGeek contributor and brings his expertise in paleontology, physics, biology, astronomy, chemistry, and futurism to his articles. An avid blogger, Michael is deeply passionate about stem cell research, regenerative medicine, and life extension therapies. His professional experience includes work with the Methuselah Foundation, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence, and Lifeboat Foundation, further showcasing his commitment to scientific advancement.
Discussion Comments
Michael Anissimov
Michael Anissimov
Michael Anissimov is a dedicated WiseGeek contributor and brings his expertise in paleontology, physics, biology,...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.