NASA shares stunning image of Venus captured during Magellan mission
NASA has time and time again sent probes to various planets to capture them in all their glory. The Magellan Mission, named after the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, was also launched with this aim and captured some stunning images of Venus during its time orbiting the planet. NASA has recently shared one such image captured by the space agency's probe, showing craters on the surface of the Morning and the Evening Star.
The image, called “Crater Farm”, shows impact craters and layers of volcanic activity on the surface of the planet. According to NASA, “Three impact craters are displayed in this three-dimensional perspective view of the surface of Venus. The center of the image is located at approximately 27 degrees south latitude, 339 degrees east longitude in the northwestern portion of Lavinia Planitia.”
The data sent during the Magellan mission revealed that nearly 85 percent of the surface of Venus is covered in layers deposited by volcanic activity. These geographical features can exist on the planet for millions of years due to the absence of erosion activity.
David Grinspoon, Curator of Astrobiology, Denver Museum of Nature and Science said in the NASA blog, "I remember when I first laid my eyes on a press release image from early on in the Magellan mission of an area informally called the 'Crater Farm.' I could see in that one image that there was something really strange about Venus. It still seems really strange now, even though this image is from the early 90s. The Crater Farm image shows these very pristine looking craters, super-imposed on a volcanic background that are not lapping up at all onto the edge of the craters.”
What was the Magellan Mission?
Launched on May 4, 1989, the Magellan Mission was one of NASA's most successful space probe missions. According to NASA, it was the first spacecraft to image the entire surface of Venus and made several discoveries about the planet. It was also the first deep space probe which was launched with the help of a space shuttle.