SGU Science Pic Of The Week: Colorful Venus
What you see here is a gorgeous composite image of the planet Venus.
Please Note: Venus doesn’t really look like this
I wanted to get that out of the was early because I hate finding out at the end of an article that an object in a beautiful scientific image wouldn’t look that way at all in real life.
As I said, this is a composite image of Venus. It is the result of over 10 years of radar images, mostly from the Magellan mission in the early 90s which scrutinized 98% of its surface. The mosaic of Magellan images were then stitched together to form the foundation of what you see here.
Then it was time to prettify that foundation. This is done not to make Venus look good on a magazine cover but to bring out details that our restricted eyes could never see. This is accomplished by processing the image to improve contrast and bring out the tiniest details we’d otherwise miss.
Finally it was color-coded to show differences in elevation. Sure, these colors are arbitrary but whoever decided which colors to use for the various elevations, sure had a good eye.
I think I’ll make this my new background on my computer.
To see the full image above please check out this link
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/USGS