In relation to the Sun, Venus is the second planet after Mercury, just in front of the Earth. No planet approaches closer to Earth than Venus; at its nearest it is the closest large body to Earth other than the Moon. It is the only planet that shines stronger than the Sirius star, with a magnitude that can exceed -4.5 when it is close to the Earth (lower opposition).
Like Mercury but in a much brighter way because more brilliant, Venus is the first “star” that appears above the western horizon at night or the last that disappears in the morning above the eastern horizon.
Observed in a small telescope (50 mm in diameter) or even in 7×50 binoculars, we can observe the evolution of its disc that gradually changes from the shape of a small sphere to that of a large crescent moon 6 times more great.
Closer to Earth, Venus is only 41 million kilometers, which explains the large size of its crescent (60-66 “) which is 1.5 to 2 times larger than the apparent diameter of Jupiter (30-50 “) and takes on a cream-yellow color with slightly fuzzy edges due to its thick atmosphere.
Venus gravitates 108 million kilometers from the Sun. Its year lasts 224.7 days and it turns on itself in 243 days. In other words, on Venus the day lasts 117 terrestrial days. In addition, Venus is inclined 178 ° in its orbit, which means that on Venus the South Pole is … to the north and the Sun rises … to the West and sets to the East!
With a diameter of 12104 km, Venus is the twin sister of the Earth. Unfortunately it hides its surface under a thick atmosphere with dark stripes.