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9 surreal images of Venus

Jan. 21, 2011, 12:10 p.m.
multicolored view of Venus

Photo: NASA/JPL/USGS

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Hemispheric view

NASA sent the Magellan spacecraft to Venus in 1990. For the next four years, Magellan took pictures of more than 98 percent of the planet. This hemispheric view is color coded to illustrate elevation. Magellan showed that Venus has a "relatively young" surface, making it only 300 million to 600 million years old. Venus does not experience plate tectonics and shifting as Earth does. Pressure builds until the planet effectively recycles its crust. Some experts think that Venus may completely resurface itself every few hundred million years.