What Planet Is Closest to Earth?

Venus is the planet that is closest to Earth. Venus is about 23.6 million miles away from Earth when it's at its closest, though it can be as far as 162 million miles away.

Venus is also about the same size and has the nearly the same surface area and volume as the Earth. However, where the Earth harbors life, no life could live on Venus. The surface temperature on Venus is about 863 degrees Fahrenheit and it is covered in clouds made of sulfuric acid. There is no liquid water on Venus. The atmosphere is made up almost entirely of carbon dioxide, and because there's no carbon cycle, the carbon dioxide is trapped.

Unlike Earth, Venus has no moon and rotates backwards. This means that the sun, which is a little over .7 astronomical units (AU) from the planet, appears to rise in the west and set in the east. An astronomical unit, or AU, is the distance from the Earth to the sun, which is about 93 million miles.

In spite of this, the planet is lauded for its beauty when it's seen in the morning and evening skies. It has a magnitude of - 4.6, and this brilliance allows the planet to cast shadows.