Q:

What is the bright planet in the western sky?

A:

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.

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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