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What is the bright planet in the western sky?

A:

Quick Answer

The bright planet in the western sky is Venus. Because Venus’s orbit is between the Earth and the sun, it has phases like the moon.

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Full Answer

Depending on its orbit, Venus can be either a morning or evening star. Although astronomers in ancient times believed the bright objects that appeared sometimes in the morning sky and sometimes at night were two different objects, Pythagoras was the first to suggest that it was only one celestial object.

Being the second planet from the sun, Venus has a high surface temperature and an atmospheric pressure that is over 90 times that of the Earth’s. There are some similarities between the Earth and Venus, however, including their similar relative sizes and the fact that they both have a core, mantle and crust.

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Related Questions

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    How did Mercury get its name?

    A:

    The planet Mercury derived its name from the Roman god Mercury by virtue of being the fastest planet that travels across the sky. Due to Mercury's proximity to the sun, the planet is able to revolve quickly around the massive heavenly body. The Romans likened and named the planet after their swift-footed god, who is often portrayed in Roman mythology as a lad wearing winged sandals and a winged hat, and holding a caduceus.

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  • Q:

    What is the surface temperature of Venus?

    A:

    Venus is the hottest planet in the solar system, with an average surface temperature of 872 degrees Fahrenheit. The average temperature for the whole planet is 864 F. The reason for its high temperatures is not its proximity to the sun, but its heavy atmosphere composed mainly of carbon dioxide.

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  • Q:

    How far are the planets from the sun?

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    The eight described planets all orbit the Sun at different distances; Mercury is the closest planet to the sun, followed by Venus, then Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. The distances of the planets are normally measured in kilometers, because scientists use metric measurements. However, scientists also use a unit called an “astronomical unit,” which is equal to the distance between Earth and the sun.

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  • Q:

    What is the brightest planet in the night sky?

    A:

    Venus is the brightest planet in the night sky. It is the second-brightest object visible to the naked eye after the moon and is visible in the hours just before sunrise and after sunset. These hours of visibility are due to the planet's proximity to the sun.

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