Skies have cleared across Ohio and Pennsylvania and look for mainly clear skies into Tuesday night. This will be a nice treat to star gazers throughout the region.
One planet we get to see quite often in the western sky through the evening is Venus. If you look toward the west/northwest this evening you will be able to pick out this planet as it glows bright in the sky. It will be visible and slide toward the horizon through the evening and set before midnight.
Venus is the second brightest object in the night sky when viewed from Earth. The moon is the brightest.
Below you will find some fun facts about the planet Venus.
How big is Venus?
Venus is almost as big as the Earth. It is 7,512 miles across. The earth is 7,926 miles across.
Can you live on Venus?
The answer to that is “No”. Venus is extremely hot! The planet has a very toxic atmosphere. The atmosphere is filled with carbon dioxide. There are thick clouds of sulfuric acid that trap in heat causing a runaway greenhouse effect.
Venus is the hottest planet in the solar system.
The surface temperature of Venus is around 900°F, which is hot enough to melt lead.
The atmospheric pressure at the surface of Venus is extremely high. It is 90 times the atmospheric pressure of the surface of Earth. In fact, according to NASA, it is similar to the pressure you may encounter a mile below the ocean on Earth.
How far away is Venus?
Tuesday night’s view of Venus will feature a distance close to 85 million miles away.
The distance will change over a period of 584 days as both Venus and Earth travel in ellipses around the sun.
On average, the closest Venus travels to Earth is around 24 million miles.
On average, the farthest Venus travels from Earth is around 162 million miles.
We will approach the closest point this August and then the planet will start drifting away again in the next 584 day cycle.
What is the surface a Venus like?
The surface of Venus is made up of valleys and mountains. There are thousands of volcanoes according to NASA. One mountain is 36,000 feet!
The surface is a rust color.