|The poetry of reality|
|Extraordinary claims with|
|Hot from the|
the great and wonderful Roman goddess of heterosexual love the second closest planet to the Sun in the Solar System, and is almost the same size (being slightly smaller) as its more easy-going (climate-wise) neighbor, Earth.
To the naked eye, it looks like a bright star and often is the third brightest object in the sky after the sun and moon—though recently it jostles for that position with the International Space Station. The thing is, while it and the latter can be seen during twilight, they can't be seen during most of the night, hence Jupiter remains the brightest nighttime planet.
Because it's closer to the sun than the Earth is, it's never more than 45 degrees away from the sun when viewed from the Earth. It can be seen during full daylight, if it's near the point of maximum brightness in its orbit and you know exactly where to look. Because it is easily noticeable around sunrise and sunset, many cultures have called it "morning star" — the Bible might refer to it when it refers to "Lucifer, Star of the Morning", because Lucifer brings forth light — and "evening star."
A lot of people who rarely look up, have Daylight Saving Time, or live in severely light-polluted areas have no idea how bright Venus can be, so it is often misidentified as an UFO (or a big 'ol jet plane taking a long long time to land).
The proper adjectival form of "Venus" is "Venereal". However, people turn liguistic handsprings to avoid using that, for some reason, and contrive alternative demonyms, the three most widely used of which are "Venusian", "Venerean", and, the odd one, "Cytherean".
 Role in Disproving Geocentrism
Galileo's observations of Venus through his telescope were the final devastating blow that disproved the geocentric model of the universe. When seen through a telescope, Venus passes through all of the same phases as Earth's moon. According to the incredibly contrived model Ptolemy constructed to explain how a geocentric universe could match naked-eye observations, no more than half of Venus should be illuminated at any one time: the new, first quarter, third quarter, and crescent phases should be observable, but the gibbous and full phases should be physically impossible. Being a scientist, Galileo put this idea to the test, and observed Venus over the course of the year. The geocentric model claimed that Venus should begin darkening back into a crescent once it reached the first quarter phase. Instead, it continued its progression into a waxing gibbous, passed into a point where it could not be observed at all (due to being directly behind the sun), reappeared in a waning gibbous, and continued darkening until it was back in the new phase. In order to appear in the gibbous phases, Venus must be on the other side of the sun than Earth, but in order to appear in the crescent phases, Venus must be on the same side of the sun as Earth; it is not possible for both to be true in a geocentric universe. Despite opposition from the Church and governments at the time, Galileo's provable claims that Venus passes through every phase marked the end of geocentrism as a credible scientific model.
 Not a place you want to live
Venus is often described as a "hell hole"; it's said to be worse than Detroit, Baghdad, North Korea, and a high school bathroom combined. Its average surface pressure is about 90 times that of Earth, and its average surface temperature is in the region of 740 K (467°C, 872°F). The atmosphere is almost pure carbon dioxide, with clouds composed of sulphur dioxide and droplets of sulphuric acid. On the other hand, if you aren't crushed or burned to a crisp, you can fly/swim in the Venusian air, and the future might have humans living in balloon colonies in the upper atmosphere. It's also been speculated that the atmosphere, which is about 82°F, might have microbial (bacteria-like microorganisms) life.
Venus' surface is geologically very young, just a couple hundred million years, and the preferred way to explain it is that, as it lacks any form of plate tectonics to get rid of internal heat, the planet's mantle gets so hot that massive lava flows cover most of the planet with lava until the mantle cools and everything starts over.
 Global warming gone amok
Venus is hotter than Mercury, despite being farther away from the Sun. This is due to the greenhouse effect- in fact, the side of Mercury facing away from the Sun actually gets cold because the planet's pretty much nonexistent atmosphere is unable to retain radiated heat; in contrast, Venus's greenhouse gases keep much of the heat in, which is part of the reason why Venus is hotter
There's some evidence that suggests Venus could have had continents and oceans in the past, and recent research suggests it could have been habitable up to 700 million years ago (thank its current hellish conditions to its closeness to the Sun and/or the lack of a magnetic field leaving no water to seal its carbon dioxide beneath the surface)
 Nutty claims
Before we discovered that its surface conditions can fry a rugged Russian probe in a little over two hours, Venus was a fashionable place for UFOs and aliens to come from; lush jungles and a population consisting principally of lascivious scantily-clad women made it the scene for people to
shag come in contact with aliens. This is mainly because Venus looks like a big white blob, and it's difficult to see much below the cloud layer with an ordinary telescope. George Adamski claimed that he was in contact with Venusians and even went to Venus with their spaceships. It's unclear how he survived the acid rain. Probably had a good umbrella. Nowadays, such Venusians live at a higher vibration to avoid the heat, a bit like Australians.
Velikovsky claimed that Venus was spat out of Jupiter, followed a ridiculously complicated path around the Solar system -- which, thanks to a couple of close encounters with Earth, caused the infamous sun-standing-still-in-the-sky episode from Joshua 10:13 -- and then settled into its current almost-perfectly-circular orbit.
It is also common scientific knowledge that human females are originally from Venus, which is why they spit sulphuric acid when you cross them.
 One Pair of Eyes
In 1969, Patrick Moore made a one-off special for the BBC, called One Pair of Eyes, featuring what Moore called "independent thinkers". These included a man from the Aetherius Society who claimed to be able to speak Venusian.
 Notable Venusians
Omnec Onec came from Venus in the 1950s. She survived the harsh conditions there by existing in the 5th Dimension, in which Venus is a lush paradise with crystal cities.
 See also
- Venera: The Soviet Exploration of Venus, a fun page with lots of pictures. The bloody commies couldn't resist putting Lenin's mug on the surface!
- ↑ or maybe some other satellites or airplanes in the sky.
- ↑ And even considerably brighter than Venus from Earth plus going accompanied with the Moon, that would shine as Jupiter. Of course, another thing is to be able to spot all that with so many clouds in the middle.
- ↑ And as the Sun gets more luminous as it ages and volcanism means more greenhouse gas in the atmosphere... you get the picture.
- ↑ Venus surface endurance record: 127 minutes, Venera 13, 1981.
- ↑ Women are from Venus, after all.
- ↑ On the Cosmos episode about Venus, Carl Sagan remarked: "Observation: You couldn't see a thing. Conclusion: Dinosaurs."
- ↑ On the plus side, they hold up under a lot of pressure. <rimshot>