Right Drag with your mouse after you run the links above that display planetary orbits to get a good sense of their 3-dimensional aspects.
Are you unfamiliar with our 1.6.x and 1.4.1 links? For an explanation click here.
Venus's surface is so hostile that no lander spacecraft has operated there for more than a few hours! So, few photos of this harsh surface exist.
Here's a cool NASA artist's impression that shows
Here are NASA artist's concepts of the proposed Flagship Mission
Here's another NASA artist's concept of a Proposed Bal- loon Exploration of Venus.
Here's another cool NASA artist's impression that shows an extremely tough Proposed Venus Rover.
The following will help you enjoy this page's 1.6.x and 1.4.1 links that run events directly in CELESTIA. If you're new to the program, these tips will also help you learn to use it.
You'll find more information about many of CELESTIA's controls on our Learning Center page.
Current Views and Conditions from Earth
Current Location in the Constellations (w/ Geo-Coords)
Current Location in Orbit
Current Year's Greatest Elongations
Next Transit Pair: 2117 Dec 10-11 2125 Dec 8
Equatorial Radius: 6,051.8 km
Equatorial Radius (Earth = 1): 0.949
Rotational Flattening: 0
Mass (Earth = 1): 0.815
Volume (Earth = 1): 0.857
Mean Density (Water = 1): 5.24
Mean Density (Earth = 1): 0.951
Surface Gravity (Earth = 1): 0.905
Inclination of Axis to Orbit: 177.36°
Scorching Venus rotates clockwise when viewed from above. Compared
to the rest of the
major planets, that
is retrograde, AKA "backwards"!
Synodic ("Day" in Earth solar* days): 116.75
Sidereal (Earth solar* days): 243.02
Albedo (geometric): 0.67 (highest of any Major Planet)
Magnetic Field (Earth = 1): ~ 0.000015 (very weak)
View Venus in 3-D (showing clouds):
View Venus in 3-D (no clouds): superb 3-D animations from Robert Vanderbei's great site. Drag Venus to see the poles; but if you do, view always rotates left to right, not around Venus's axis. (Requires browser that supports WebGL )
Maps of Venus's Surface:
Global Mosaic (26.4 km per pixel)
USGS Venus Global GIS Mapping Application
NASA / JPL's Photojournal pages for Venus
NOTE: to see Venus's internal structure, hover your cursor over the planet's image at upper-right.
Number of Moons: 0
Ring System: No
Inner Planet (along with Mercury, Earth & Mars)
Terrestrial Planet (primarily Earth-like structure)
Inferior Planet (has smaller orbit than Earth)
Orbit: (1.6.x) (1.4.1)
Period: 224.701 Earth solar* days
Distance from Sun:
Mean (Earth = 1 AU): 0.723 AU
Mean: 108,210,000 km
Perihelion: 107,480,000 km
Aphelion: 108,940,000 km
Mean: 126,072 km/hr
Min: 125,244 km/hr
Max: 126,936 km/hr
Inclination to Ecliptic: 3.39°
Phases of Venus
Transits (in front of the Sun):
Pattern: Pairs 8 Years Apart
Pairs Alternate by 121½ then 105½ Yrs
Last Pair: 2004 Jun 8; 2012 Jun 5-6
Next Pair: 2117 Dec 10-11 2125 Dec 8
Currently all occur in June or December
SunAeon's 2012 Venus Transit (It's AWESOME!)
Nice AP Video on the 2012 June Transit
NASA Graphic of the 2004 and 2012 Transits
2012 June 5-6 Transit Pages:
*Earth mean solar day = 24.0000 hours (24h00m00s)
Earth sidereal day = 23.9345 hr (23h56m4.1s)
Partial Information Source: NASA Fact Sheets
"pertaining to Venus"
Cytherean (from Greek goddess, Cythera)
NASA/RASC Conceptual Mission to Venus
video credit: NASA/RASC
VENUS: Magellan Planet Flyovers/Radar Calibration Results
video credit: NASA/JPL
NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory's
Ultra-high Def View of 2012 Venus Transit
video credit: NASA/Solar Dynamics Obs/Goddard Space Flight Ctr
2012 VENUS TRANSIT OF THE SUN
Let's see how CELESTIA depicts this event, the last of its kind for over a hundred years (1.6.x). Compare it to what is presented in the video directly above.
DIRECT LINKS TO MEDIA
OFFERED ON OTHER SITES
Here's a link to a nice NASA page: Timeline of Venus Exploration Missions. Lots of good background info here!
Interested in political cartoons and humor?
Check out The HIPPLOMATS™.
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SCALE OF THE COSMOS
SKY-FUN / SKY-GAMES
VENUS FUN FACTS
When at its brightest, Venus can be seen in full daylight! But you have to know where to look for it.
On Venus it "rains" sulfuric acid stronger than the acid found in car batteries!
Venus spins backwards on its axis, compared to all of the other major planets!
Due to the size of its orbit, Venus can often provide "slingshot effect" gravity-assists for solar-orbit and interplanetary missions. Its gravity has already assisted at least four missions!
Volcanoes are constantly re-shaping Venus's surface! So it actually has relatively few visible impact craters!
QUICK ACCESS LIST
Note: some links are echoed elsewhere on this page and may include descriptive text.
Links to interactive features that show Venus's orbit in 3-D can be found on our Solar System page
From UNL, this interactive shows How Venus Exhibits Phases as it and Earth orbit the Sun.
SunAeon's 2012 Venus Transit Interactive Tool (It's AWESOME!)
From U. of Colorado's LASP site, here's an exploration of the greenhouse effect and planetary atmospheres in: Goldilocks and the Three Planets! It's excellent, and you'll even see a movie of a "dust devil" on Mars!
For MESSENGER to reach Mercury, it needed a Venus Gravity Assist!
From the USGS, here's the awesome Venus Global GIS Mapping Application!
VIDEOS FEATURING VENUS