(A gravity wave is an undulation triggered in a fluid--such as the atmosphere--by the interaction of gravity and other forces.) The wave's longitude corresponded with the western slope of Aphrodite Terra
, the largest of Venus's three continent-size highlands, whose surface area is comparable to Africa's.
#Maat Mons - a volcano in a highland region named Aphrodite Terra
- is 5.7 miles tall and120 miles wide.That's taller than Mount Everest and as long as the drive from Edinburgh to Aberdeen.
There is another and even larger plateau in the equatorial region called Aphrodite Terra
. It too has mountains.
Nonetheless, the spectrometer identified such highland features as Maxwell Montes (at 11 km the tallest mountain on Venus), Bell Regio (at an elevation of 2 to 3 km), and the western edge of Aphrodite Terra
(2 to 2.5 km tail).
In August, scientists at JPL spotted a mismatch between a pair of radar photographs, taken eight months apart, depicting an equatorial highland called Aphrodite Terra. A bright line in a November 1990 picture, thought to be a fracture, seemed to have evolved into a bright, rocky patch in the later image.
All of the most severely fractured craters and some of the more moderately fractured ones lie in highly disrupted, upland terrains, such as Aphrodite Terra and Beta Regio in the equotorial highlands.
Comparing Magellan images of an inclined region associated with a plateau called Aphrodite Terra, recorded last November and again in July, researchers had found a striking difference.
Such conditions prevailed both times that Magellan flew by Aphrodite Terra. In July, because Magellan's viewing angle was smaller than the area's incline, the craft orbited closer to the top of the hill than to the bottom.
Jeffrey Plaut of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., says he discovered the landslide while comparing two radar images of Aphrodite Terra
, an equatorial plateau.
The area in question is a vast belt of equatorial highlands called Aphrodite Terra
. Running 16,000 kilometers in length and about 2,000 kilometers in width, Aphrodite Terra
wraps nearly one-third of the way around Venus' waistline.
Four examples of such blobs may underlie Aphrodite Terra
, a hilly region that stretches at least 10,000 kilometers along Venus' equator, Herrick and Phillips say.
For example, radar maps of a vast, near-equatorial highland on Venus called Aphrodite Terra
, which extends more than a third of the way around the planet, indicate what James W.