Latest Venus Express Stories

A Magnetic Surprise For Venus Express
2012-04-06 04:04:01

Venus is a rarity among planets - a world that does not internally generate a magnetic field. Despite the absence of a large protective magnetosphere, the near-Venus environment does exhibit a number of similarities with planets such as Earth. The latest, surprising, example is the evidence for magnetic reconnection in Venus' induced magnetotail. Planets which generate magnetic fields in their interiors, such as Earth, Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn, are surrounded by invisible...

Earth’s Magnetic Field Provides Vital Protection
2012-03-09 03:00:23

A chance alignment of planets during a passing gust of the solar wind has allowed scientists to compare the protective effects of Earth´s magnetic field with that of Mars´ naked atmosphere. The result is clear: Earth´s magnetic field is vital for keeping our atmosphere in place. The alignment took place on 6 January 2008. Using ESA´s Cluster and Mars Express missions to provide data from Earth and Mars, respectively, scientists compared the loss of oxygen from the two...

Image 1 - NASA Researchers Study Explosions On Venus
2012-03-06 09:16:43

[ Watch the Video ] Venus, often referred to as Earth´s sister planet due to its similar size, gravity, and composition, has been discovered by astronomers to also have a type of space weather event that is commonly found on Earth: a hot flow anomaly or HFA. HFAs are generally associated with the magnetosphere of a planet, such as Earth. But where Venus has no magnetosphere, the phenomenon surprised astronomers. The astronomers, reporting their findings from a recent study in...

2011-10-25 14:10:23

The MESSENGER spacecraft successfully completed its fourth orbit-correction maneuver today to increase the period of the spacecraft's orbit around the innermost planet from 11 hours 46 minutes to a precise 12 hours. MESSENGER was 198 million kilometers (123 million miles) from Earth when the 159-second maneuver began at 6:12 p.m. EDT. Mission controllers at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., verified the start of the maneuver about 11 minutes, 1...

Spacecraft Helps Discover Ozone Layer On Venus
2011-10-06 09:31:01

[ Watch the Video ] The European Space Agency's Venus Express spacecraft has discovered an ozone layer in the atmosphere of Venus. The spacecraft made the discovery while watching stars from the edge of the planet seen through its atmosphere. SPICAV, an instrument aboard Venus Express, analyzed the starlight and found characteristic fingerprints of gases in the atmosphere as they absorbed light. ESA said the ozone was detectable because it absorbed some of the ultraviolet from the...

2011-04-08 11:54:47

New analysis of images taken by ESA's Venus Express orbiter has revealed surprising details about the remarkable, shape-shifting collar of clouds that swirls around the planet's South Pole. This fast-moving feature is all the more surprising since its center of rotation is typically offset from the geographical pole. The results of this study are published online in Science Express today. Several planets in the Solar System, including Earth, have been found to possess hurricane-like polar...

2010-11-23 07:30:37

ESA has decided to extend the productive lives of 11 of its operating space science missions. This will enable ESA's world-class science missions to continue returning pioneering results until at least 2014. ESA's Science Program Committee (SPC) had to make significant decisions at its 18-19 November meeting in Paris: 11 science missions, all of them still working beyond their planned lifetimes, all of them still delivering exceptional science, and yet all coming to the end of their funding....

2010-10-07 09:40:00

The polar atmosphere of Venus is thinner than expected. How do we know? Because ESA's Venus Express has actually been there. Instead of looking from orbit, Venus Express has flown through the upper reaches of the planet's poisonous atmosphere. Venus Express went diving into the alien atmosphere during a series of low passes in July"“August 2008, October 2009, and February and April 2010. The aim was to measure the density of the upper polar atmosphere, an experiment that had never been...

2010-09-27 07:00:00

Despite the great differences between the atmospheres of Venus and Earth, scientists have discovered that very similar mechanisms produce lightning on the two planets. The rates of discharge, the intensity and the spatial distribution of lightning are comparable, thus scientists hope to be able to better understand the chemistry, dynamics and evolution of the atmospheres of the two planets. These results were presented by Dr. Christopher Russell at the European Planetary Science Congress, on...

2010-04-21 08:20:27

Venus Express has completed an 'aerodrag' campaign that used its solar wings as sails to catch faint wisps of the planet's atmosphere. The test used the orbiter as an exquisitely accurate sensor to measure atmospheric density barely 180 km above the hot planet. During five aerodrag measurements last week, Venus Express' solar arrays and control systems were operated as one big flying sensor, with the solar arrays rotated at various angles to the direction of flight. The special configuration...

Word of the Day
  • The prevailing range of a vocal or instrumental part, within which most of the tones lie.
This word is Italian in origin and comes from the Latin 'textura,' web, structure.