'Night Gallery' Painting or NASA Image?

Consider if you will... © Sygma/Corbis

This dark and lovely image would look at home either in Rod Sterling's ghoulish "Night Gallery" as in a NASA gallery. And indeed, despite its abstract qualities and seeming vista of a Lovecraftian cosmos, it's actually a 1991 radar image of Aine Corona and other volcanic features on the planet Venus.

But let's imagine Sterling relating the following to us: "What we're looking at here (the large circular structure) is roughly 125 miles or 200 km across. Scientists believe Aine Corona formed due to the rising movement of molten lava towards the planet's surface, which then cooled and formed this concentric circular effect. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the Night Gallery..."

About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.