Second nearest planet to the Sun, Venus is the third brightest object in the night sky at a mean distance of 108 million km from the Sun. The planet is covered in an extremely thick atmosphere consisting of mainly carbon dioxide which makes observations of the planet's surface from Earth based telescopes hopeless. Almost all the information gathered about what lies below the atmosphere has been gained through the use of spacecraft. The pressure on the surface of Venus is almost 100 times that of the earth and its temperature varies little from a uniform 462 degrees celsius.
In UFO culture and science fiction Venus has been provided as the home of a race of human-like aliens called 'Venusians'.
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