Venus: Global Surface Radar Reflectivity

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Science  13 Aug 1982:
Vol. 217, Issue 4560, pp. 640-642
DOI: 10.1126/science.217.4560.640


Observations of the surface of Venus, carried out by the Pioneer Venus radar mapper at a wavelength of 17 centimeters, reveal a global mean reflectivity at normal incidence of 0.13 ± 0.03. Over the surface, variations from a low of 0.03 ± 0.01 to a high of 0.4 ± 0.1 are found, with Theia Mons, previously identified as possibly volcanic, showing a value of 0.28 ± 0.07. Regions of high reflectivity may consist of rocks with substantial inclusions of highly conductive sulfides.