Metal plated Venus?

Venus Cloud TopsVenus Cloud Tops
The BBC reported a few weeks ago that parts of Venus may be lead plated. David Whitehouse reports that

"The highlands of Venus are covered by a heavy metal 'frost', say planetary scientists from Washington University.

Because it is hot enough to melt lead at the surface, metals vaporise and condense at cooler, higher elevations.

This may explain why radar observations made by orbiting spacecraft show that the highlands are highly reflective.

Detailed calculations, to be published in the journal Icarus, suggest that lead and bismuth are to blame for giving Venus its bright, metallic skin."

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Copyright 1993-2011 Mark Winter [The University of Sheffield and WebElements Ltd, UK]. All rights reserved.