The Planet Venus

(See also: The Soviet Exploration of Venus)


Telescope image by Damian Peach Visible Images

Mariner 10 Image of Venus Ultraviolet Images

Galileo NIMS Image Infrared Images

In 1967, the Soviet planetary probe Venera 4 was unexpectedly crushed by atmospheric pressure while nearly 16 miles above the surface of Venus.

Venus is not the lush tropical world imagined by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Its surface temperature is 860º F, and its atmosphere is an ocean of Carbon Dioxide with a pressure 92 times greater than Earth's.

At high altitudes, layers of sulphuric-acid clouds hide the surface from view. Below this canopy, a rocky surface is bathed in a dim orange light.

Radar imaging has revealed that Venus is surprisingly volcanic. A lack of meteor craters has lead scientists to believe that its crust catastrophically melted about 500 million years ago.

Many images are from JPL and appear courtesy of their image use policy.

Magellan Radar Images Radar Images

Pioneer UV Image of Pole The Atmosphere

Venera 13 Image The Russian Landers

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Copyright 2003 Don P. Mitchell. All rights reserved.