Science: Venus Observed

Astronomers are full of facts about far-distant stars, but they know almost nothing about Venus, the earth's nearest (26 million miles) planetary neighbor. Its size, density and period of rotation are all uncertain, and no one has glimpsed its surface, which is always covered with clouds as opaque as marshmallows. In the latest Astrophysical Journal, Astronomer Gerard P. Kuiper of Yerkes Observatory tells how he learned at least a few facts about cloud-wrapped Venus.

Using the 82-in. telescope of McDonald Observatory near Fort Davis, Texas, Dr. Kuiper took 260 pictures with a filter that excluded all but violet light. Most of them...

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