Three images of Venus have been returned so far by the Galileo spacecraft following an encounter with the planet on UT February 10, 1990. The images, taken at effective wavelengths of 4200 and 9900 A??, characterize the global motions and distribution of haze near the Venus cloud tops and, at the latter wavelength, deep within the main cloud. Previously undetected markings are clearly seen in the near-infrared image. The global distribution of these features, which have maximum contrasts of 3%, is different from that recorded at short wavelengths. In particular, the "polar collar," which is omnipresent in short wavelength images, is absent at 9900 A??. The maximum contrast in the features at 4200 A?? is about 20%. The optical performance of the camera is described and is judged to be nominal. ?? 1992.
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Imaging of Venus from Galileo: Early results and camera performance