Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day we feature a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

August 22, 1995
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
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Venus UnVeiled
Credit: NASA, Magellan Project

Explanation: The surface of Venus is perpetually covered by a veil of thick clouds and remains hidden from even the powerful telescopic eyes of earth-based astronomers. However, using an imaging radar technique, the Magellan spacecraft was able to lift the veil from the Face of Venus and produce spectacular high resolution images of the planet's surface. The bright area running across the middle of this picture represents the largest highland region of Venus known as Aphrodite Terra. The large highland regions are analogous to continents on Earth. Scientists are particularly interested in exploring the geology of Venus because of its similarity to Earth. For more information about Venus and this image see the Overview of Venus.

Tomorrow's picture: A Venusian Tick

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Astronomy Picture of the Day (TM) is created and copyrighted in 1995 by Robert Nemiroff and Jerry Bonnell who are solely responsible for its content.

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