Dave's ASH Archive - Venus

Last Updated: 10/24/13

Venus Planetary Map

    This map is based on radar altitude maps of Venus, such as the one found here. I painted it as a Winkel Tripel Projection, rather than the Mercator style in the radar map. I didn't try to get it exactly right, as I figure that the arrival of the Leviathan rearranged some of the planetary features over the course of ASH #56-60. Prior to September 2024, Venus looked exactly as the real world maps show. Between September 2024 and August 2025, it was almost exactly the same, but the mystically domed city of Montreal sat in a depression at the top of Maxwell Montes. Leviathan arrived on Venus some time between August and November. Magical terraforming took place from November 2025 through early December 2025.

    And now for a grayscaled smaller version of the map with a key. The names of places will start as the real world ones, or close analogues. But as the various Terran factions start staking claims, names may change. Note: Montreal is that little green dot in the small lake near the North Pole. Probably not to scale, but I wanted it to be big enough to see.

1. Lakshmi Planum
2. Maxwell Montes
3. Fortuna Tessera
4. Tethus Regio
5. Guinevere Sea
6. Sedna Sea
7. Bell Regio
8. (no name)
9. Tellus Regio
10. Niobe Sea
11. (no name)
12. Vifrun Regio
13. New Menuush (formerly Vifrun Regio)
14. Asteria Ocean
15. Beta Regio
16. Navka Ocean
17. Eistla Regio
18. Eistla Regio
19. (no name)
20. (no name)
21. (no name)
22. Atla Regio
23. Asteria Ocean
24. Phoebe Regio
25. Alpha Regio
26. Tritonis (formerly Ouda Regio)
27. Thetis Regio
28. Dali Archipelago
29. (no name)
30. Aino Sea
31. Artemis Archipelago
32. (no name)
33. Themis Regio
34. Helen Sea
35. Pele Regio
36. (no name)
37. (no name)
38. Imdr Regio
    Entries 1-3 are collectively the Ishtar Terra. 26, 27, 28 and 31 are part of Aphrodite Terra. 35-37 are the mostly sunken Lada Terra. And I've replaced "Planitia" with "Sea" or "Ocean" for underwater stuff. If the map I was using for reference has no name for a feature, I listed it as (no name), but I expect the area has been named. You'll also notice some names twice, that's because it's a single region officially, but due to submersion effects I figure will eventually get split, name-wise.

Closeup of North polar region.


    Venus is a hot, jungle planet for the most part. However, with days that last a few hundred Terran days, there's a much more homogenous climate, since there's little rotation to power the sorts of weather systems seen on Earth. Instead, hot air on dayside rises and flows fairly uniformly back to nightside, where it sinks again. The strongest winds are at the day/night terminator, especially at the equator. The poles tend to have the most chaotic weather patterns in general, similar to temperate zones on Earth. Typical dayside temperatures reach 50C, while high humidity means even nightside tends to be around 30C. The arctic zones tend to be about 30C on dayside and 15C on nightside. Storms can temporarily drop temperatures by as much as 10C, but it never gets below freezing on Venus, even in the high mountains of Maxwell Montes.

    The ecosystem is far more vibrant than it has any right to be. This is due to the spirits of the Leviathan and Photosynth that infuse the planet. These energies make nightside livable and may also blunt the heat of dayside. All living things have some potential for self-awareness as well, although they rarely exhibit it. Except near the poles, flora tends towards a jungle pattern, with much of the larger animal life being reptilian as a result of being spawned from tiny fragments of the Leviathan's lifeforce. At the north pole the climate supports a deciduous forest, more or less, possibly a result of the presence of Montreal "contaminating" the inrush of life energy. Fauna is still mostly reptilian, and therefore sparser due to the cooler temperatures. Invasive species from Montreal, now free to leave the city itself, have started filling ecological niches that the reptiles can't defend. The seas support a full range of terran-style marine life, that being the environment that the Leviathan prefers, but with a larger number of reptilian predators (including the sea serpent spawn of the Leviathan).

    As mentioned above, the day is very long on Venus, longer than the year, in fact. The Sun rises in the west due to its retrograde rotation, and as of late December 2025 the day/night terminator crosses through Ouda Regio for dawn and in the Asteria Sea for dusk. (This may not match up with reality, but for dramatic purposes it's where I want dayside to be, so that's where it's gonna be. The planet shuddered arbitrarily in its rotation when the Leviathan hit. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.)

Approximate location of dawn and sunset lines for 2026 (middle of each month).
Daylight is left of the dawn line and right of the sunset line.

    Update 10/24/13: Mortifyingly, I discovered while teaching Introductory Astronomy that planetary astronomers always define north and south by having the sunrise in the east. And here I thought I was so clever in working out the progression of sunrise and sunset terminators in the image above. However, for dramatic and symbolic reasons, the rotation direction I've been using for years now works well, so my explanation is this: the restarted magnetodynamo is prograde ("correct" direction of spin), and has dragged the surface along with it to some degree. So now Venus has a slow prograde rotation, with days about as long as it used to have, but in the opposite direction. Since the maps had already labeled north and south, the sunrise is in the west. The fact this took place over several months during whcih the skies were still opaque means that my arbitrary choice of where sunrise was in 2025 is explained by the same mechanism. However long it actually took to reverse was just long enough to reset the terminator. Because SCIENCE! or whatever. ;)

    Venus is about the size of Earth, with a surface gravity that is close enough that it'll only matter to sensitive instrumentation. Before the arrival of the Leviathan, there was no magnetic field, but its arrival triggered the restarting of the planet's dormant magnetodynamo. The magnetic north pole is precisely at the rotational north pole. The magnitude of the planetary magnetic field is approximately 0.8 Gauss at the surface, although at the location of Montreal the component parallel to the surface (and therefore usable for navigation) is only about 0.3 Gauss. For reference, Earth's magnetic field at midlatitudes is about 0.5 Gauss. The stronger planetary magnetic field blocks the solar wind almost exactly as well as Earth's does (closer planet, stronger field), but the Auroras are much more vibrant.

    The atmosphere is rather dense, so at sea level the pressure is a somewhat uncomfortable 1200 millibars. On the other hand, this leaves higher altitudes like Maxwell Montes or the mountains of Atla Regio at a more livable 900 millibars (1000 millibars is standard Earth atmospheric pressure at sea level). The air is 25% oxygen, 74% nitrogen and 1% other elements, a somewhat richer blend than humans are used to. There is no noticeable ozone layer, but the sheer thickness of the atmosphere blunts most of the UV, rendering UV hazards only slightly higher than on Earth. Some suspect a slight magical shielding as well.

    The only confirmed active volcano so far is Infernion's home on Pele Regio, near the South Pole. The gigantic lava lion tends to treat it as a den, resting in the magma. In April 2010 real world, it was discovered that there's some avtive vulcanism on Venus after all, so this might be one area where "Leviathan's arrival changed things" doesn't have to be invoked so much. :)

    The Adler Planetarium has a good general information page on Venus, where you can find information about things that haven't changed, like the length of the day and distance from the Sun.

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