Images of the atmosphere of Venus taken by the Mariner 10 probe show a light brown or tan upper layer with some patches of white. The atmosphere is so thick that it does not allow us to see the surface of the planet. Other animations of the planet’s atmosphere on the web show the thick layers in the ultraviolet spectrum of light as taken by NASA’s Pioneer orbiter and not its visible colors.

The following animation does show Venus in its visible light. The animation is fully CGI and no NASA global maps of Venus were used.

Atmosphere In Visible Light

Animation by J.J. Del Mar


The texture image was taken from the mapping done by the NASA / USGS Magellan probe and the color was composed after the USSR Soviet era Venera probe returned images of the surface of  the planet. The real color is a brownish / dark orange surface.  The images were then reprocessed to remove reddish colors and enhance brown ones. This is an approximation to what the human eye would see looking at Venus and standing on its surface.

[The exaggerated golden / orange  models found on the web were  rendered after an artist’s coloring of the surface. However, the photographs by the Soviet-era Venera probe clearly show a brownish color as it would be seen by the human eye, and not a golden / orange surface.]

Venus Surface Real Colors

Animation by J.J. Del Mar

© 2016 Rediscovered Astronomy

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