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Magellan map with area mapped by Venus Express indicated
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- Title Magellan map with area mapped by Venus Express indicated
- Released 09/11/2007 10:06 am
- Copyright NASA/Magellan
The region mapped by Venus Express’ Venus Monitoring Camera, VMC, is indicated on this Venus topographic map created with radar data from NASA’s Magellan orbiter.
The area mapped by the VMC includes some of the most typical geological units on Venus. Beta Regio and Phoebe Regio represent tesserae – some of the oldest terrain on the planet. The radar on board Magellan radar detected anomalously high reflectivity of the tops of Rhea and Theia mountains, indicating the presence of conductive, semiconductive, ferroelectric or ferromagnetic materials.
Devana Chasma, the elongated feature connecting Beta Regio and Phoebe Regio, is a rift zone, resembling the East-African rift on Earth. Such rifts are expected to be the centres of current volcanic activity on Venus.
The surface mosaics are currently used to study variation of mineralogical composition and its correlation with topography and radar reflectivity. They are also used to search for ongoing volcanic activity – a few square-kilometre flows of hot lava can be detected in such images as bright spots.