Nature Watch: Venus, Beautiful and Bad

There are so many satellites taking pictures in space these days...somebody really needs to do a complete exhibition. Today's imagery comes from the Venus Express (finally, a satellite with a really compelling name), which was launched by the European Space Agency in 2005. Here is one of the satellite's photo's, showing the southern hemisphere of our planet. It's a beautiful looking place, but you don't want to go there--lightning storms, hurricane-force winds, giant cloud vortexes, and an avera

There are so many satellites taking pictures in space these days...somebody really needs to do a complete exhibition. Today's imagery comes from the Venus Express (finally, a satellite with a really compelling name), which was launched by the European Space Agency in 2005. Here is one of the satellite's photo's, showing the southern hemisphere of our "sister" planet. It's a beautiful looking place, but you don't want to go there--lightning storms, hurricane-force winds, giant cloud vortexes, and an average temperature of more than 800 degrees. And of course there's disturbing news: Scientists think Venus used to have watery oceans, but they probably boiled away due to runaway global warming. Enjoy the photo, at least.
--David Schonauer

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