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The Real Colors of Venus without the Clouds

posted Jun 2, 2012, 10:57 PM by Abel Mendez   [ updated Jun 2, 2012, 11:09 PM ]
Here we tried to reproduce the global surface color of Venus as seen by the human eye based on radar imagery from the Magellan spacecraft and surface images by the Venera missions. There are no color global images of the surface of Venus due to its thick atmospheric coverage and colorized radar images are used instead. We combined radar topography and emissivity to generate the surface texture assuming a generalized basalt composition with gray to light brown tones, depending on the iron and sulfur content. In the images we also included the effect of the 'orange sky' of Venus thus given its surface a more dark brown appearance (Figure 1). Under white light the surface should look grayish and more similar to the Moon. We also created a fictional version with a nearly 70% ocean coverage, as Earth, to emphatize the extent of the 'continental' areas (Figure 2). SER was used to create the images at five particular angles used by terrestrial geostationary satellites. High resolution versions (48 megapixels) of these images are available upon request. CREDIT: PHL @ UPR Arecibo, NASA.

Figure 1. Approximate representation of the real colors, as seen by human eyes, of the surface of Venus without clouds but considering atmospherics effects (i.e. Rayleigh Scattering).

Figure 2. Fictional representation of Venus today with a nearly 70% ocean coverage. Its two main 'continental' landmasses, Ishtar Terra in the North and Aphrodite Terra in the equator, are recognizable.