Astronomy Picture of the Day
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September 27, 1995
A Venus Landing
Soviet Planetary Exploration Program
This image is part of the first color panoramic view from
It was transmitted by a TV camera on the
Soviet Venera 13 lander
which parachuted to the
on March 1, 1982. Venus' clouds
are composed of sulfuric acid droplets
while its surface temperature is about 900 degrees Fahrenheit
(482 degrees C) at an atmospheric
pressure of 92 times that of sea-level on Earth.
Despite these harsh conditions, the
Venera 13 lander survived
long enough to send back a series of images
and perform an analysis of the Venusian soil. Part of the lander itself
is visible in the lower right portion of the image.
An earlier Soviet Venus lander,
Venera 7 (1970), was the first spacecraft to return data
from the surface of another planet.
Tomorrow's picture: A Venusian Landscape
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