2. VENUS No, that super bright object radiating over the Pacific is not a star. It’s Venus, the hottest planet in our little solar system. These pics were taken from a spacecraft we launched in 1989 called Magellan. Magellan was the first explorer to circumnavigate Earth on a boat over 500 years ago. This is Maat Mons – the largest volcano on Venus. It’s eight kilometers tall. Nobody really knows if it’s active and there is some evidence to suggest it could be. These are volcanoes on the Lavinia Platinia – one of the eight quadrangles of Venus. Venus is just a bit smaller than home – but way hotter! Because its atmosphere is so thick, heat gets trapped very quickly.