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.

September 28, 1995
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A Venusian Landscape
Credit: NASA, JPL Magellan Project

Explanation: This computer generated view of a Venusian volcano was created using data from NASA's Magellan spacecraft. Magellan used its onboard radar to map the surface of Venus which is hidden from telescopic observations by a perpetual cloud cover. Using this radar data to provide three dimensional information, a computer was then able to produce this view of Maat Mons, a 5 mile high volcano, from a dramatic perspective. The colors used to render the surface are based on earlier color images transmitted by TV cameras on the Soviet Venera 13 and 14 Venus landers.

Tomorrow's picture: The International Ultraviolet Explorer

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (GMU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA).
NASA Technical Rep.: Sherri Calvo. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC