A brilliant double planet for the second time in 2015. Venus and Jupiter will engage in a close conjunction, this time separated by just over 1 degree, Venus passing to the southwest (lower right) of Jupiter and shining more than 10 times brighter than the huge gas giant.
Venus is also known as the Morning Star and the Evening Star but it is not really a star.
It is the second planet from the Sun, the second brightest object in the night sky after the Moon, and the second largest terrestrial planet, sometimes referred to as the Earth’s sister planet due the their similar size and mass.
The surface of Venus is obscured by an opaque layer of clouds which reflects the sun brightly.Venus is the hottest planet in our solar system. The average surface temperature is 462 °C.
More than 1,000 volcanoes or volcanic centres larger than 20 km have been found on the surface of Venus.
Venus has no known moons and is unusual in that it rotates anti-clockwise, also known as retrograde rotation.
A day on Venus lasts longer than a year! It takes 243 Earth days to rotate once on its axis and 225 Earth days to orbit the Sun, compared to the Earth’s 365 days.
Mayan astronomers made detailed observations of Venus as early as 650 AD.
In 2006, the Venus Express space shuttle was sent into orbit around Venus by the European Space Agency, which is sending back information about the planet.
For further info on Venus: