Venus is the second planet from the Sun, orbiting it every 224.7 Earth days. The planet is named after Venus, the Roman goddess of love and beauty. After the Moon, it is the brightest natural object in the night sky, reaching an apparent magnitude of −4.6, bright enough to cast shadows. Because Venus is an inferior planet from Earth, it never appears to venture far from the Sun: its elongation reaches a maximum of 47.8°. Venus reaches its maximum brightness shortly before sunrise or shortly after sunset, for which reason it has been known as the Morning Star or Evening Star.

Venus is classified as a terrestrial planet and it is sometimes called Earth's 'sister planet' due to the similar size, gravity, and bulk composition. Venus is covered with an opaque layer of highly reflective clouds of sulphuric acid, preventing its surface from being seen from space in visible light. Venus has the densest atmosphere of all the terrestrial planets in our solar system, consisting mostly of carbon dioxide.

A younger Venus is believed to have possessed Earth-like oceans, but these evaporated as the temperature rose. Venus's surface is a dusty dry desertscape with many slab-like rocks, periodically refreshed by vulcanism. The water has most likely dissociated, and, because of the lack of a planetary magnetic field, the hydrogen has been swept into interplanetary space by the solar wind. The atmospheric pressure at the planet's surface is 92 times that of the Earth. The CO2-rich atmosphere, along with thick clouds of sulphur dioxide, generates the strongest greenhouse effect in the Solar System, creating surface temperatures of over 460°C. This makes the Venusian surface hotter than Mercury's, even though Mercury is closer to the sun.

The Venusian surface was a subject of speculation until some of its secrets were revealed by planetary science in the twentieth century. It was finally mapped in detail by Project Magellan in 1990–91. The ground shows evidence of extensive vulcanism, and the sulphur in the atmosphere may indicate that there have been some recent eruptions. The planet has few impact craters, demonstrating that the surface is relatively young, approximately 300–600 million years old.

Venus rules both Taurus and Libra astrologically.

Ancient mythology associated the Roman goddess, Venus and her Greek counterpart, the goddess Aphrodite with femininity, love and beauty, receptivity and affection, and sensual pleasures.

Hence, Venus is the planet which concerns our ability to love and relate with other people. She is associated with the need for harmony and the urge to share and co-operate with others. The sign and house placement of Venus in our birth chart show us the way and the environment in which we are most likely to give and receive love. How do we find it easiest to express emotion in our personal relationships? What kind of marriage partner are we attracted to?

Venus also relates closely to our value system. The sign and house placement will tell us a great deal about what we attach most importance to. It also follows then, that Venus is connected with money.

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Last updated by Simon on 10th December 2020  •