Venus: Topography and Radar

Venus: Topography and Radar thumbnail


Most of Venus appears to be covered with gently rolling plains. Two areas rise up above the rest of the surface and are referred to as " continents." The first, Ishtar Terra is located in the Northern Hemisphere and is about the size of Australia. The highest point on Venus, the mountain Maxwell Montes is located on Ishtar Terra. The second continent, Aphrodite Terra, is located along the equator and is about the size of South America. There are no small craters in the surface for the apparent reason that the thick surrounding atmosphere disintegrates the meteors as they travel through the atmosphere. Where there are craters on Venus, they are usually bunched together indicating that a large meteor broke up as it traveled through the atmosphere and headed for Venus's surface.

This dataset is actually a combination of two other datasets, utilizing the layering tool available in the SOS 4.0 software. The base layer is the Venus (radar brightness) dataset and the Venus Topography dataset is overlaid. In the radar brightness layer, bright areas are high in radar reflectivity and in the topographic layer color represent heights, with red for high elevations and blue for low elevations. A third layer with the features of Venus can be overlaid on top of both.

Notable Features

  • Contains three layers: Radar Brightness, Topography, and Features
  • There are two "continents" on Venus that rise above the rest of the surface

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