Lunar and Planetary Institute






 

Compiled by
Robert R. Herrick and Maribeth H. Price


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Introduction

Venus is similar to Earth in terms of size and distance from the Sun. However, a thick carbon dioxide atmosphere on Venus makes the surface extremely hot, prevents water from existing on or below the surface, and makes surface wind velocities very low. The Magellan mission was designed to provide data on the geology of Venus by collecting radar imagery at a resolution of ~100 meters, altimetry at a horizontal resolution of ~10 kilometers, and gravity data at a horizontal resolution of a few hundred kilometers. The data revealed a planet whose diversity of geologic features rivals Earth’s, but whose overall appearance is markedly different. This slide set provides an overview of the contents of this valuable dataset. Unless otherwise noted, all images used in this slide set were produced by the authors using Magellan data.


 
Venus
Earth

Distance from Sun (AU)
0.72
1.0
Mean radius (km)
6052
6371
Mass (1024kg)
4.87
5.98
Surface temperature (K)
735
295
Surface gravity (m s-2)
8.9
9.8

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank all those who contributed images to this slide set, and we thank the Magellan project for producing a high-quality dataset. Virgil L. Sharpton, Benjamin C. Bussey, and several members of the staff of the Lunar and Planetary Institute made many helpful suggestions and improvements.

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