HAVING AN IMPACT
Like every planet, Venus lias been struck repeatedly by meteorites. The craters uncovered m Magellan's images show a spectrum of types. many tainiliar from other moons and planets.
The largest is a Hooded basin called Mead which is 175 miles (280 km) wide. Most craters show signs of post-impact lava floods, almost as if they tapped a source of molten material below the surface.
Venus's atmosphere is dense enough to filter out smaller meteorites, and all its
creaters appear to be bigger than 3 miles (5 km) in diameter. Magellan did. however, find dark splotches where the surface seems to have been pulverized. The culprit may have been a shock wave—an aerial hammerblow from a meteorite that broke up before striking the ground.