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Venus is the second-closest planet to the Sun, orbiting it every 224.7 Earth days.

It is the brightest object in the night sky, except for the Moon, reaching an apparent magnitude of -4.6.

Venus reaches its maximum brightness shortly before sunrise or shortly after sunset, and is often referred to as the Morning Star or as the Evening Star.

A terrestrial planet, it is sometimes called Earth's "sister planet", as the two are similar in size and bulk composition.

The planet is covered with an opaque layer of highly reflective clouds and its surface cannot be seen from space in visible light, making it a subject of great speculation until some of its secrets were revealed by planetary science in the twentieth century.

Venus has the densest atmosphere of the terrestrial planets, consisting mostly of carbon dioxide, and the atmospheric pressure at the planet's surface is 90 times that of the Earth.

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Venus", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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November 30, 2015

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