Venus is the second planet from the Sun and almost a twin of Earth in size. It is the brightest object in the sky after the Sun and the Moon, and is popularly known as the Evening Star or the Morning Star depending on when it is on view.
Venus has a slow retrograde (east-to-west) spin, opposite in direction to that of every other planet in the Solar System and presumably the result of a massive ancient collision. Venus is also the hottest planet – a result of of its dense atmosphere, predominantly of carbon dioxide, which traps the heat radiating from the surface. The runaway greenhouse on Venus gives rise to temperatures high enough to melt lead, while the weight of the atmosphere results in a surface pressure 90 times greater than that of Earth (equivalent to standing on the ocean floor at a depth of about 900 m, or 3000 ft.). Due to the thermal inertia and convection of its atmosphere, Venus' surface temperature, averaging about 464 °C (867°F) alters very little between the night and day sides of planet despite the extremely slow rotation.
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