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The Color of the Surface of Venus

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Science  12 Dec 1986:
Vol. 234, Issue 4782, pp. 1379-1383
DOI: 10.1126/science.234.4782.1379

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Abstract

Multispectral images of the basaltic surface of Venus obtained by Venera 13 were processed to remove the effects of orange-colored incident radiation resulting from interactions with the thick Venusian atmosphere. At visible wavelengths the surface of Venus appears dark and without significant color. High-temperature laboratory reflectance spectra of basaltic materials indicate that these results are consistent with mineral assemblages bearing either ferric or ferrous iron. A high reflectance in the near-infrared region observed at neighboring Venera 9 and 10 sites, however, suggests that the basaltic surface material contains ferric minerals and thus may be relatively oxidized.