Saturday, January 24, 2009

Goddess of Love

The Birth of Venus
Sandro Botticelli, c. 1482–1486

Venus and Adonis
Angelica Kauffmann, 1786

She bows her head, the new-sprung flower to smell,
Comparing it to her Adonis' breath,
And says, within her bosom it shall dwell,
Since he himself is reft from her by death:
She crops the stalk, and in the breach appears
Green dropping sap, which she compares to tears.


Venus is the second-closest planet to the Sun, orbiting it every 224.7 Earth days. The planet is named after the Roman goddess of love. It is the brightest natural object in the night sky, except for the Moon. Venus reaches its maximum brightness shortly before sunrise or shortly after sunset, for which reason it is often called the Morning Star or the Evening Star.

Size comparison of terrestrial planets (left to right): Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars

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