Venus Basic Facts

Mass0.82 Earths
Radius0.95 Earths
Surface gravity0.9g
Distance from the Sun (km)108 million (152 million for Earth)
Spacecraft travel time (months)3-4
Year length (days)225
Day length (one rotation on its axis)243 Earth days (in the opposite direction)
Temperature on the surface (C/F)465/900 (hottest planet in the Solar System)
Surface pressure (bar)92
Wind speeds (km/h)400
Atmospheric superrotation (days)4 Earth days

Venus Atmosphere Basic Facts

Main Venus atmosphere compositionCO2 - 96.5%; N2 - 3.5%
Temperate cloud deck - altitude range (km)48-60 km
Temperate cloud deck - temp. range (C)80ºC (at 48 km) - 0ºC (at 60 km)
Temperate cloud deck - pressure range (bar)2 (at 48 km) - 0.4 (at 60 km)
Hydrogen depletion (ratio of D to H)The ratio is ~100 times higher than elsewhere in the Solar System - i.e. Venus is very H-depleted.

Phosphine Basic Facts

Composed of 1 phosphorus atom and 3 hydrogen atoms (PH3)
Phosphine on Earth is exclusively associated with anaerobic (O2-free) life or human industry

Phosphine Detection Basic Facts

Amount detected (ppb)20
Where phosphine is detected (km)>53-61 between 53 and 61 km altitude
Life-time of phosphine in the cloudsA few hours in the lower parts of the atmosphere compared to centuries in the >60-80 km layer.

Observations Facts

TelescopesJames Clerk Maxwell Telescope (RxA instrument)
ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (Band 3)
Observation datesJune 2017 (JCMT)
March 2019 (ALMA)
Frequency of observations266.9664 GHz (a wavelength of 1.123 mm)