PIA00245: Venus - 600 Kilometer Segment of Longest Channel on Venus
Target Name: Venus
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: Magellan
Spacecraft: Magellan
Instrument: Imaging Radar
Product Size: 2048 x 2048 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: JPL
Producer ID: P38851
Addition Date: 1996-03-13
Primary Data Set: Magellan MIDRs
Full-Res TIFF: PIA00245.tif (3.233 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA00245.jpg (1.415 MB)

Click on the image above to download a moderately sized image in JPEG format (possibly reduced in size from original)

Original Caption Released with Image:

This compressed resolution radar mosaic from Magellan at 49 degrees north latitude, 165 degrees east longitude with dimensions of 460 by 460 kilometers (285 by 285 miles), shows a 600 kilometers (360 mile segment of the longest channel discovered on Venus to date. The channel is approximately 1.8 kilometers (1.1 miles) wide. At more than 7,000 kilometers (4,200 miles) long, it is several hundred kilometers longer than the Nile River, Earth's longest river, thus making it the longest known channel in the solar system. Both ends of the channel are obscured, however, so its original length is unknown. The channel was initially discovered by the Soviet Venera 15-16 orbiters which, in spite of their one kilometer resolution, detected more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) of the channel. These channel-like features are common on the plains of Venus. In some places they appear to have been formed by lava which may have melted or thermally eroded a path over the plains' surface. Most are 1 to 3 kilometers (0.6 to 2 miles) wide. They resemble terrestrial meandering rivers in some aspects, with meanders, cutoff bows and abandoned channel segments. However, Venus channels are not as tightly sinuous as terrestrial rivers. Most are partly buried by younger lava plains, making their sources difficult to identify. A few have vast radar-dark plains units associated with them, suggesting large flow volumes. These channels, with large deposits appear to be older than other channel types, as they are crossed by fractures and wrinkle ridges, and are often buried by other volcanic materials. In addition, they appear to run both upslope and downslope, suggesting that the plains were warped by regional tectonism after channel formation. Resolution of the Magellan data is about 120 meters (400 feet).

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL

Image Addition Date:
1996-03-13