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Portrait of Venus
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Portrait of Venus

February 6, 2013
On Feb. 5, 1974, Mariner 10 took this first close-up photo of Venus.

Made using an ultraviolet filter in its imaging system, the photo has been color-enhanced to bring out Venus's cloudy atmosphere as the human eye would see it. Venus is perpetually blanketed by a thick veil of clouds high in carbon dioxide and its surface temperature approaches 900 degrees Fahrenheit.

Launched on Nov. 3, 1973 atop an Atlas-Centaur rocket, Mariner 10 flew by Venus in 1974.

Image Credit: NASA