A new look at old data of Venus has added weight to the theory that the planet’s higher elevations are coated with a frost of heavy metals.
The research not only confirmed a radar brightening at higher altitudes, thus suggesting a frost coating of some kind, it also showed many dark spots whose cause remains completely unknown. As the article notes,
Years ago it was proposed that some sort of ferro-electric compound might be the cause of the brightening and the dark spots, but so far no specific compound has been identified which does the trick. Then again, with the surface of Venus being at almost 900 °F (500 °C) under more than 90 times the air pressure of Earth’s atmosphere at sea level, with occasional showers of acid, it’s not easy to test the properties of materials under Venusian conditions. “No one knows what explains the sudden darkness,” said Harrington, who will be presenting the work at the meeting of the Geological Society of America in Vancouver, B.C., on Monday, Oct. 20.
From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.
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