Pictures of Planet Venus

by Fraser Cain on May 7, 2008

Venus is one of the brightest objects in the night sky, so it’s not surprising that it’s been photographed many times. Some pictures of Venus have been taken from here on Earth, while other Venus pics have been taken from spacecraft orbiting the planet. You might be surprised to know that spacecraft have even landed on Venus (they didn’t last long), and took images of Venus from the surface.


Surface Image of Venus
This is a picture of Venus captured by NASA’s Magellan spacecraft. It shows the entire surface of the planet, imaged by the spacecraft’s radar instrument, which can penetrate the thick clouds to reveal the surface below. Magellan was launched from the cargo bay of the space shuttle Atlantis in May 1989, and arrived at Venus on August 10, 1990. It orbited the planet for 4 years before plunging to the surface.


3-D Image of Venus’ Surface
This is another photograph of Venus taken by NASA’s Magellan spacecraft. Planetary scientists used the radar data captured by Magellan to build up 3-dimensional images of the planet’s surface. This is an image of the Eistla Regio region, which contains volcanos and impact craters.



Photo of Venus from Pioneer Venus Spacecraft
This was one of the first ever close-up photographs of Venus, captured by NASA’s Pioneer Venus spacecraft. It’s actually a false color image made from ultraviolet images of the planet Venus by the spacecraft. The Pioneer Venus Orbiter went into orbit around Venus on December 4, 1978, and released several probes into Venus’ atmosphere to study it.


The Surface of Venus by Venera
You might be amazed to know that spacecraft have actually landed on the surface of Venus and sent pictures back. The Soviets sent a fleet of Venera spacecraft to Venus, and several actually made it down to the surface. Here’s a color photograph of Venus captured by the Venera 13 spacecraft, which landed on the surface of Venus on March 3, 1982.



Picture of Venus by Venus Express
This is a false-color image of Venus taken by the Venus Monitoring Camera on board ESA’s Venus Express spacecraft. It’s showing the planet’s southern hemisphere, including its south pole. The spacecraft captured the image when it was 35,000 km from the surface of Venus.

About 

Fraser Cain is the publisher of Universe Today. He's also the co-host of Astronomy Cast with Dr. Pamela Gay.

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