Venus unveiled with radar

Venus unveiled with radar

Fig. 2.9 . A cloud-penetrating radar system on board the Magellan spacecraft has mapped the global landforms and features on Venus with a resolution of 120 meters, more completely than any planet including Earth. This hemisphere, centered at 180 degrees east longitude, shows the bright, planet-wide, equatorial highlands that contain towering volcanoes, long lava flows and deep faults and fractures. They run from lower left to upper right through Aphrodite Terra (left of center), a continent sized highland, and the bright highland Atla Regio (just right of center) to Beta Regio (far right and north). Dark areas correspond to terrain that is smooth on the scale of the radar wavelength (0.13 meters); bright areas are rough. The orange tint, based on color images taken by the Venera 13 and 14 landers, simulates the color of sunlight at ground level after being filtered through the planet's thick atmosphere and clouds. (Courtesy of NASA/JPL.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University