Venus in Infrared Light

The Venusian cloud layers block a direct view of the surface in visble light, but a few infrared windows have been found. Through these, radiant heat from the surface can be viewed on the night side of Venus.

The large structures show that the thick lower cloud layer is very uneven in density, probably due to the churning of heat convention in the lower atmosphere. The Infrared camera (NIMS) on the Galileo probe made this image of Venus on its way to Jupiter.

Infrared images have also been made from earth-based telescopes.

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Copyright 2003 Don P. Mitchell. All rights reserved.