View of Venus from Earth: Radar Image of Maxwell Montes

View of Venus from Earth: Radar Image of Maxwell Montes
Zoom in on the image Zoom    Download this file Download

A radar image of Maxwell Montes, the highest mountain range on Venus. This image is made by using the radar transmitter in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, and receiving the reflected echoes from Venus at the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia. The bright areas are up to 11 km above the average elevation of the planet, and have high radar returns due to a metallic coating that is stable only within a narrow range of altitudes in the atmosphere.  The dark circular feature is the impact crater Cleopatra, 100 km in diameter. The radar data were collected in May 2012 by scientists in our Center for Earth and Planetary Studies.