Visible-light image made by the Galileo spacecraft as it passed Venus in February 1990.  Sulphuric acid clouds completely shroud the planet.  Sulphur dust particles color the atmosphere.

Orbital Elements
Mean distance from Sun108,200,000 km    =    0.7233 astronomical unit
Perihelion distance107,480,000 km=    0.7185 astronomical unit
Aphelion distance108,940,000 km=    0.7282 astronomical unit
Eccentricity of orbit0.0068
Inclination of orbit3.394relative to Earth's orbit
Period of orbit224.7 days
Synodic period583.92 daysrelative to Earth
Mean orbital speed35.02 km/s
Minimum orbital speed34.79 km/s
Maximum orbital speed35.26 km/s
Physical Properties
Diameter12,103.6 km=    0.9499  Earth diameter
Radius6,051.8 km
Mass4.8685 x 1024 kg=    0.8152  Earth mass
Mean density5.25 g/cm3
Rotational period243.0185 days
Length of day116.75 days
Inclination of axis177.36relative to the axis of its orbit
Gravity at surface8.87 m/s2
Escape speed10.36 km/sfrom cloud tops
Visual geometric albedo0.65
Visual magnitude (Vo)-4.4maximum, as seen from Earth
Mean surface temperature    464C
Atmospheric pressure92 bars
Atmosphere   composition near surface, by volume
Carbon dioxide (CO2)96.5%
Nitrogen (N)3.5%
Sulfur dioxide (SO2)150 ppm
Argon (Ar)70 ppm
Water vapor (H2O)20 ppm
Carbon monoxide (CO)17 ppm
Helium (He)12 ppm
Neon (Ne)7 ppm

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Jeff Root
September 4, 2003