VENUS: The big picture
Global views from above the atmosphere:

Venus is covered with clouds made of sulfuric acid. These clouds permanently shroud Venus' solid surface. Cloud patterns become distinctive at ultraviolet wavelengths; most prominent is a horizontal "Y"-shaped cloud feature near the equator.  Polar regions are bright, possibly due to a haze of small
particles that lie above the main clouds.  Dark regions are locations near the cloud tops where the level of
sulfur dioxide is greatest. Cloud patterns travel east to west along with the Venus' prevailing winds, making a complete circuit around the planet in four days.

Venus factoids: Global views of the surface: Views of the surface: 3-D views of the surface, constructed from Magellan radar imaging data: Links:
 Venus Fact Sheet
 National Space Science Data Center Venus Home Page  (links to past and future Venus missions and much more)