Dark Side of Venus Revealed in New NASA Photos

Images taken of Venus’ “night side,” or the side facing away from the sun, offer a never-before-seen look at Earth’s neighbor

Venus dark side
NASA/APL/NRL (left), Magellan Team/JPL/USGS (right)
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has taken its first visible light images of the surface of Venus from space.

A NASA spacecraft has captured never-before-seen images of Venus, providing stunning views of the hellishly hot surface of the second rock from the sun.

Appearing radiant against the cosmic backdrop, the images show Venus in visible light, which is the part of the electromagnetic spectrum that the human eye can see. A detailed analysis of the images, taken of Venus' "night side," or the side facing away from the sun, was published Wednesday in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

In addition to revealing characteristics of Venus' landscape and geological makeup, the photos could help scientists understand more about Earth's neighbor and "twin," including why Venus ended up so inhospitable despite being a similar size and density to Earth.

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