Because she orbits between the Earth and Sun, Venus is visible only in the morning or evening sky. Her volcanic 460°C surface lies below a dense atmosphere of carbon dioxide and clouds of water vapour and sulphuric acid. But then we all have our faults.

Though Venus is a planet,
To me she is a star:
Of all the heavenly bodies
Most beautiful by far.

I watch her in the evening
Before the stars come out,
A beacon in the twilight –
The only one about.

Then, as the heavens darken,
And Earth slides into night,
Still Venus blazes brightly
With never-twinkling light.

Her atmosphere is hellish:
You’d choke, be squashed, and fry.
I know; but I see only
Her beauty in the sky.

[Image of Venus (left) and the Moon: Gerhard Hüdepohl, European Southern Observatory]
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