Ever wondered about the landscape of Venus. Find out about the landscape of Venus.
Venus is an intriguing place. It is our closest planetary neighbour. It some ways it is like the Earth. It has a similar density, size and mass. It is a similar distance from the sun. Unlike the Earth, there is no water and the greenhouse effect takes surface temperatures to a scorching 450°C (842°F) day and night.
This planet is a punishing place to explore. It is enveloped in a dense carbon dioxide atmosphere. Carbon dioxide contributed to a greenhouse effect that warms the planet. Corrosive clouds contain sulphuric acid. The surface pressure is 90 times that of Earth, the surface temperate is about 450°C (842°F). Moderate winds brace the surface. At altitude winds circulate the planet every four days at an average speed of 500 km/hour (311 mph).
We can not see through the atmosphere using a conventional telescope. We can not make a controlled descent to the surface because of the high winds. When our spacecraft reaches the surface it fails to function after a few hours because of the harsh conditions.
Our explorations rely upon the ability for radar to penetrate to the surface. In 1961 NASA began to study Venus from the Goldstone Observatory using radar. Late,r between August 1990 and September 1994, the Magellan probe circled the planet and used radar to map the surface.
The surface of Venus is relatively flat and barren. Bare rocks cover three quarters of the surface. There are extensive lowlands. Four fifths of the topography lies within 1 kilometre (0.6 mi) of the median radius. There are large inclined plains. Some ten percent of the surface is mountainous.
The Impact Craters
Unlike the moon, Mercury or Mars the surface of Venus has comparatively few impact craters. Whereas small meteors burn up in the dense atmosphere large meteors ought to leave their mark on the surface. The rarity of meteorite craters suggests that the surface of Venus is relatively young. Geologists suggests an age of 300 – 500 million years old. Their interpretation is that there must have been a major reforming event that wiped out the earlier impact scars.