If you arent up on these things, the planet Venus is shrouded under dense, lethal clouds. As a result, humans have never really seen what it looks like. Do not be fooled: we have maps and topographies and all sorts of neat, orangey-brown looking thingsbut these are simulations of the surface based on radar data and liberal use of a coloring pen.
In fact, we know very little about the appearance of Venus surface. The Soviets managed to get a few of their Venera probes to take some photographs of it before they melted. But the Soviets were not the best imagers, and the very best of their stuff produced a distorted mess like this:
Recently, retired Microsoft research scientist Don P. Mitchell got hold of that original image data, and by combining that data with Photoshop CS2 and some pretty advanced knowledge of image transformation, he managed to correct some of these pictures.
The result is stunning, and the most astonishing pictures of Venus ever seen. Check out this sample:
It actually looks like a real place. The Czar is confused as to why this is not making more news. Check out how much work and genius went into it.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.