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  The second brightest object in the sky, after the sun and moon, Venus reflects over 75% of the sunlight that hits its dense cloud cover. It is known as the "evening star" or the "morning star". At its closest to earth, it can be seen as a crescent as in the picture. It has phases like our moon and when at its fullest, it is furthest away from earth. 

  It takes 225 days to orbit the sun and takes 243 days to turn on its axis.  Its diameter is about 12 300 km.
    The atmosophere is mainly carbon dioxide with smaller amounts of nitrogen and the noble gases. The temperature in the top cloud layers is around -50° C and that on the surface around 500° C.