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Space Station Info :: Nine Planet Solar System :: Venus

Venus

Venus is the second planet from the Sun and it is named after the Roman goddess Venus. Venus is sometimes called as earth's" sister planet", as the two are very similar in size and bulk composition. While all planets orbits are elliptical, Venus's orbit is the closest to circular, with an eccentricity of less than 1%. Venus is nearer to the Sun than the Earth, for all time it appears roughly the similar direction from Earth as the Sun (the greatest elongation is 47.8), hence Earth it can be seen usually a few hours prior to sunrise or a few hours after sunset.Venus is the one among the two heavenly bodies that can be seen both day and night (the other being the Moon). It is sometimes referred to as the "Morning Star" or the "Evening Star", and when it is visible in dark skies it is by far the brightest star-like object in the sky.

Venus

The cycle between one maximum elongation and the next lasts 584 days. After these 584 days Venus is visible in a position 72 degrees away from the previous one. Since 5 * 584 = 2920, this is equivalent to 8 * 365 Venus returns to the same point in the sky every 8 years (minus two leap days). This was known as the Sothis cycle in ancient Egypt. Another association is with the Moon, because 2920 days equal almost exactly 99 lunation (29.5 * 99 = 2920.5).

Venus was well-known to ancient Babylonians around 1600 BC, and to the Mayan civilization (the Mayans developed a religious calendar based on Venus's motion) and it is known in the ancient times, specified that it is the third brightest object in the sky after the Sun and Moon. The Maasai people in Africa named the planet Kileken, and have a legend about it called "The Orphan Boy." Venus was called Lucifer by St. Jerome, who is the fallen angel "cast out of heaven" in the Christian scripture.

The Venus symbol also represents feminity and this sign is used in the biology for the representation of female sex (Unicode: ?).Also ancient alchemy represents copper. Alchemists constructed the symbol from a circle (representing spirit) above a cross (representing matter).

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Physical Characteristics of Venus

Atmosphere
Surface Features
Venus Moons

Observations And Explorations Of Venus

Historical Observations of Venus
Phases Of Venus
Early Flybys of Venus
Early Landings of Venus
Venus Early Orbiters
Pioneer Venus
Further Soviet Successes
Venus Vega Lander
Magellan Venus
Venus Recent Flybys