Second planet from the Sun, Venus is also the hottest in the solar system with its exaggerated greenhouse effect creating mean surface temperatures of 480°C.
Its carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere is so thick that atmospheric pressure is 90 times that on Earth. Droplets of water and sulphuric acid form layers of mist and cloud 30 to 70 kilometres above the surface, concealing everything below.
Last updated: May 2003
Venus Fact Sheet, National Space Science Data Center (NASA)
VENUS EXPRESS mission, ESA website
Solar System exploration, NASA website
Planetary photojournal - NASA website
CNES Youth/Education site
Educnet: new information and communication technologies in teaching