Venus
Venus Pioneer 13

Venus Pioneer 13

The Pioneer Venus Multiprobe, also known as Pioneer Venus 2 or Pioneer 13 was a spacecraft launched in 1978 to explore Venus as part of NASA's Pioneer program. It carried several 'miniprobes' to be dropped into the dense atmosphere.

Venus Primeval Earth

Venus Primeval Earth

Because it surface could not be seen through a telescope, many different theories were advanced on its surface. Maybe it had water and jungles, like a Carboniferous Earth?

Venus - Dustbowl

Venus - Dustbowl

Or, because there is no water, was it a windswept dustbowl, with its rocks etched into weird sculptures?

Volcanoes of Venus1

Volcanoes of Venus1

Venus was once thought to be Earthlike, possibly even with oceans or vegetation beneath its eternal clouds. Probes started to visit Venus as early as 1962 (Mariner 2), and, together with radar and radio measurements starting in 1968 and continued in 1977 by the Arecibo radio telescope. . .

Venus '78

Venus '78

. . . a picture was gradually built up of a 'hell planet', with temperatures of up to 200C, clouds of sulphur and sulphuric acid, constant lightning and crushing pressures. The surface is highly volcanic, though no active volcanoes have yet been detected. Images sent back by Soviet probes are surprisingly bright ~ hence rays of sunlight are shown briefly penetrating the dense cloud layers. (From New Challenge of the Stars, 1978)

Venus Volcanoes 2

Venus Volcanoes 2

A digital view of Venus based on modern radar observations and the results from several probes. The landscape is basically volcanic, with wide shield volcanoes and huge lava-flows. Lightning flashes in the dense clouds of sulphuric acid, and some thermal activity ca be seen in the right foreground. From Futures.

Venus surface '70

Venus surface '70

This gouache painting of the surface of Venus was made for the June 1970 issue of Vision of Tomorrow, edited by Philip J. Harbottle, who kindly provided a copy of the magazine to be scanned. The printing was done in 3 colours – no black! It was accompanied by an article written by Hardy; one of his first forays into writing.

Terraforming Venus 1

Terraforming Venus 1

Just as there are proposals to terraform Mars (see Mars), our sister world Venus could be given water and oxygen, and its rotation rate altered to be more Earthlike. One suggestion is to impact comets or ice asteroids ('iceteroids'), in order to speed up its spin and to provide water. Oxygen could then be released using forms of algae, then more advanced vegetation. This cover for Analog, November 1985, shows a stage when heavy rain is falling, creating the first oceans. (Gouache; private collec

Terraforming Venus 2

Terraforming Venus 2

An interior lllustration (gouache) for an article entitled 'The Postdiluvian World' by Dr. Stephen L. Gillett in Analog, November 1985, showing the thermal effects of the heated water created when terraforming Venus, as in the previous cover painting. Hardy drew upon his experiences, photos and sketches from Iceland in 1981.

Second from the Sun, Venus is almost Earth's twin in size. But it roasts under toxic clouds of suphuric acid, and its surface is covered with massive shield volcanoes. It has been called the Hell Planet!

Text & images copyright © 2015 AstroArt by David A. Hardy. All Rights Reserved.

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