Astronomy Picture of the Day

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

January 24, 1999
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A Venus Landing
Credit: Soviet Planetary Exploration Program

Explanation: This image is part of the first color panoramic view from Venus. It was transmitted by a TV camera on the Soviet Venera 13 lander which parachuted to thesurface 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: Galaxies and Gamma-ray Bursts

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.