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Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 7:51 EDT

Latest Vega program Stories

Mysterious Arc Of Venus To Be Seen During Transit
2012-06-05 09:16:17

When Venus transits the sun on June 5th and 6th, an armada of spacecraft and ground-based telescopes will be on the lookout for something elusive and, until recently, unexpected: The Arc of Venus. "I was flabbergasted when I first saw it during the 2004 transit," recalls astronomy professor Jay Pasachoff of Williams College. "A bright, glowing rim appeared around the edge of Venus soon after it began to move into the sun." For a brief instant, the planet had turned into a "ring of...

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2007-08-28 08:40:00

Scientists hope to learn more about climate changes here on Earth by studying Venus. A prototype balloon could eventually study the planet's surface and examine its atmosphere and the bizarre winds and chemistry within it. A team of JPL, ILC Dover and NASA Wallops Flight Facility engineers designed, fabricated and tested the balloon. Slightly smaller than Earth, Venus is often regarded as Earth's sister planet. Both have similar densities, chemical compositions and gravities. However, its...

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2005-10-03 07:33:19

Jessica Sunshine is the Deep Impact mission scientist responsible for the onboard infrared spectrometer. In the first half of this two-part interview, she discusses what the comet's nucleus looked like before and after impact, and explains why it's so difficult to piece together the spectroscopic data. Astrobiology Magazine -- On July 4th of this year, NASA sent a spacecraft into the path of the comet Tempel 1. When the comet hit the spacecraft, the resulting explosion sent out a huge cloud...