Astrophysics: Venus Revealed

Out of the raw data transmitted back to earth from Russia's Venus 4 and the U.S.'s Mariner 5 spacecraft, scientists last week pieced together a picture of Venus as a place of unbearable heat, a dense and noxious atmosphere, and nightmarish optical effects.

If a visitor to Venus were insulated and refrigerated against the 536° F. surface temperature, he might survive long enough to see both a sunset and a sunrise, which occur 59 earth days apart. When it was high in the sky, the sun would appear as a familiar disk—if it...

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