Venus: Maat Mons and Sappas Mons
David P. Anderson
Southern Methodist University
This picture of Maat Mons and Sappas Mons on the surface of Venus was generated for the
Scientific American Library Series.
The image was created from altimetry and radar data returned
by the NASA Magellan mission to Venus. It has a vertical exaggeration of 20:1 in order to bring
out topographic detail over this large shield volcano near the Venus equator. This is one frame from
fly-by that explores this equatorial region of the planet. Samples of the fly-by animations can be
viewed in mpeg format
The surface detail was created in the Southern Methodist University Geophysical Imaging Laboratory
using a technique developed at SMU for retrieving fine-scale topographic features from radar
reflectivity. The color scheme is derived from the radar patterns and basaltic composition
of the rocks. The clouds are computer generated to give a sense of size and depth.
The obscuring haze was rendered in order to suggest the 900 degree
temperatures common on the surface of Venus.