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tato_713

Venus with known topography scaled one in sixty million

by tato_713 May 7, 2019
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I find this thing particularly interesting. It triggered a decades old memory where I read that if you were to take the Earth and shrink it down to the size of a billiard ball, the Earth would be more spherical and smoother than the billiard ball. In other words, except for colors the Earth would become featureless. No mountains. No valleys.

Just wondering. Does Venus have greater variations in its topographic features than Earth?

That's a good analogy, the variation of the Earth radius without the polar flattening is about 0.3% from the Mariana Trench to the Everest, this is about 18 km, which in the scale of 1:60 million is 0.3mm when the Earth is 20 cm in diameter. Even the polar flattening is 2 or 3 times this size only, so it whould be unnoticeable too. That's why I do most of my models with exagerated topography.

Between Venus and Earth, the topography range about the same, I think the variation of the venussian terrain is 15 km, but the way they vary is quiet different. Venus has the slowest rotation of the planets (also retrograde) so it has not polar flattening. The Earth is shaped by the continental drift, thank to the molten core, and thank to the water in the surface, that exist thank to the life. Venus, in the other hand is shaped by a volcanos and lava flow, but has no sign of tectonical activity, the relief is softer in some way.

I will update this model soon since I've found a better topographical map of Venus. The Earth model is coming.

Thank you for your explanation. I thought the features expressed in your model may have been a bit amplified, but your mathematical details were beyond my ability to be certain. To be clear, I do not have any issue with exaggerating topographic details for the sake of clarity. Guys do it all the time. :)

I appreciate your response and the education. Thank you and keep up the great work.