Astronomy Picture of the Day

Venus' Once Molten Surface

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Venus' Once Molten Surface

If you could look at Venus with
radar eyes - this is what you might see.

This computer reconstruction of the surface of
Venus was created from data from the
Magellan spacecraft.

Magellan orbited Venus and used
radar to map our
neighboring planet's surface between 1990 and 1994.

Magellan found many interesting surface features,
including the large circular domes,
typically 25-kilometers across, that are depicted above.

is thought to have created the
domes, although the precise mechanism remains unknown.

Venus' surface is so hot and
hostile that no surface probe
has lasted more than a few minutes.

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