NOVA Online: Hunt for Alien Worlds (see bottom of page for navigation)
Worlds sidebar (see bottom of page for navigation)

VenusNope. You've picked Venus, the solar system's sixth largest planet in diameter and the brightest object in the sky (not counting the Sun and the Moon). In addition to its carbon dioxide atmosphere, Venus has several layers of sulfuric acid clouds. Venus is nearly twice as far from the Sun as Mercury, yet Venus' dense atmosphere causes its temperature to be hotter than that of the closest planet to the Sun. Venus has been visited by more than 20 spacecraft. Mariner 2 was the first one to fly by in 1962.

Back to Readings II

Photo courtesy NASA

Worlds Home | Alone? | Stargazer
Constellations | Star Map | Planets
Life | Resources | Table of Contents

Support provided by

For new content
visit the redesigned
NOVA site

NOVA Home | WGBH Home | PBS Home
Search | Feedback | Shop | Printable Page
© 1997 WGBH