Venus is the second planet from the Sun and is named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty. As the brightest natural object in Earth's night sky after the Moon, Venus can cast shadows and can be visible to the naked eye in broad daylight. Venus' orbit is smaller than that of Earth, but its maximal elongation is 47°; thus, it can be seen not only near the Sun in the morning or evening, but also a couple of hours before or after sunrise or sunset, depending on the observer's latitude and on the positions of Venus and the Sun.
The third smallest planet in the Solar System, Venus is a terrestrial planet and is sometimes called Earth's "sister planet" because of their similar size, mass, proximity to the Sun, and bulk composition. It is radically different from Earth in other respects. It has the densest atmosphere of the four terrestrial planets, consisting of more than 96% carbon dioxide. The atmospheric pressure at the planet's surface is about 92 times the sea level pressure of Earth, or roughly the pressure at 900 m (3,000 ft) underwater on Earth.
Even though Mercury is closer to the Sun, Venus has the hottest surface of any planet in the Solar System, with a mean temperature of 737 K (464 °C; 867 °F). Venus is shrouded by an opaque layer of highly reflective clouds of sulfuric acid, preventing its surface from being seen from space in light.