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This image shows some of the cratered terrain of Venus.
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NASA/JPL

Venus Cratered Terrain

This is an example of the cratered terrain on Venus.

Venusian craters are a little unusual in that there is a large amount of impact melt around the crater. This means either that the temperature of the surface is high enough, coupled with the energy of the impact to melt the surface near the crater, or that objects are slowed by the thick atmosphere of Venus that they blow up in the atmosphere prior to the impact with the ground, and create a small crater and a spotch of material.

The other unusual feature of craters on Venus is that the entire Venusian terrain seems to have the same amount of cratering, and that amount of cratering is the same as cratering on the Earth's surface today. Since we know that the Earth has an active and young surface, this piece of evidence suggests that the surface of Venus is active too.


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Science, Evolution, and Creationism

How did life evolve on Earth? The answer to this question can help us understand our past and prepare for our future. Although evolution provides credible and reliable answers, polls show that many people turn away from science, seeking other explanations with which they are more comfortable....more

Venus Tectonism

Like Mars, there is no plate tectonics on the surface of Venus. The surface of Venus does not *seem* to have changed or moved in billions of years. Unlike the case of Mars, however, careful examination...more

Venus Global Geography

This is a map of the surface of Venus (turned sideways!). Lowlands in the map are similar to an ocean bottom, and highlands resemble continents. As can be seen in the image, the surface of Venus consists...more

Alpha Regio

Alpha Regio and Ovda Regio are examples of what is known as a "Plateau Highland" of Venus. Among the volcanic features of Alpha Regio is Eve Mons. Unlike volcanic rises, plateau highlands have few volcanoes,...more

Aphrodite Terra

Aphrodite Terra, the Greek name for the goddess Venus, is about half the size of the African continent, and is to be found along Venus' equator. Aphrodite Terra is different from Ishtar Terra in that,...more

Beta Regio

Beta Regio and Atla Regio are examples of what is known as a volcanic rise. Volcanic rises are broad, sloping highlands over 1000 km across. They are cut by deep troughs 100-200 km across. These troughs...more

Ishtar Terra

Ishtar Terra is one of the Plateau Highlands of Venus, is found near the north pole, and is about the size of the continental United States. Ishtar Terra contains the four main mountain ranges of Venus...more

Venus Channels

This image clearly shows a channel where something once flowed. Without proper measurements, scientists can only guess what sort of liquid may have flowed through this channel. On Earth, such channels...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA