<i>Sky & Telescope</i>'s 15-cm Venus Globe

Sky & Telescope's 15-cm Venus Globe

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The nearest planet to us is like Earth in some ways — for example, Venus has nearly the same size, mass, and density. But the planet's dense, cloud-choked atmosphere permanently hides its surface from view.

Fortunately, radar can penetrate that opaque global blanket, and this globe shows the surface as revealed by radar imaging performed by NASA's Magellan orbiter (1990–94) and other spacecraft.

This globe is labeled with the official, IAU-approved names of more than 150 craters and other geologic features. Also shown are the landing sites and dates for 13 U.S. and Soviet spacecraft.

The simulated color is based on surface images taken in 1982 by the Venera 13 and 14 landers. Bright areas show locations that are rough at scales of about 12 cm (5 inches) and thus strong reflectors of radar energy. These regions tend to mark ancient, rocky terrain. Dark regions are relatively smooth and usually indicate broad plains of solidified lava.

The globe comes with a freestanding, clear plastic base and an information card describing key Venus facts and how the globe was made.

Did You Know?
Venus has relatively few craters on its surface. That's partly because all but the largest incoming asteroids break up in the dense atmosphere before ever reaching the surface. And because the atmosphere consists almost entirely of carbon dioxide, surface temperatures on Venus average a hellish 460°C (860°F) — hot enough to melt lead!

ISBN 13: 9781940038605