Latest Venus Express Stories

2010-04-14 09:07:53

Scientists from the University of Leicester have used observations from NASA's STEREO and ACE satellites to come up with more accurate predictions of when blasts of solar wind will reach Earth, Venus and Mars.  Anthony Williams will present the results at the RAS National Astronomy Meeting in Glasgow on Wednesday April 14th. We have recently been experiencing an unusually quiet and long-lasting solar minimum, and solar storms caused by Coronal Mass Ejections have been scarce. ...

2009-02-24 10:35:00

ESA's Venus Express spacecraft has observed an eerie glow in the night-time atmosphere of Venus. This infrared light comes from nitric oxide and is showing scientists that the atmosphere of Earth's nearest neighbor is a temperamental place of high winds and turbulence. Unfortunately, the glow on Venus cannot be seen with the naked eye because it occurs at the invisible wavelengths of infrared. ESA's Venus Express, however, is equipped with the Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer...

2009-02-10 12:47:09

The European Space Agency says it is extending the operations of its Mars Express, Venus Express and Cluster missions until at least Dec. 31. The ESA said the Mars Express spacecraft, launched in 2003, has produced breathtaking, high-resolution images of the planet's surface in 3-D and in color. The spacecraft, carrying the first radar instrument flown to Mars, was also the first spacecraft to detect methane in the planet's atmosphere from orbit. The Mars Express mission has been extended...

2009-02-10 08:45:00

ESA's Science Program Committee has extended the operations of ESA's Mars Express, Venus Express and Cluster missions until December 31, 2009. The decision to extend the three successful missions was taken on February 4 this year.  Mars Express "” global view of the Red Planet Mars Express, launched in June 2003, has been orbiting the Red Planet since the end of 2003, and has produced a treasure of discoveries. The first European mission to Mars, it has taken...

2008-12-18 06:20:00

Venus Express has made the first detection of an atmospheric loss process on Venus's day-side. Last year, the spacecraft revealed that most of the lost atmosphere escapes from the night-side. Together, these discoveries bring planetary scientists closer to understanding what happened to the water on Venus, which is suspected to have once been as abundant as on Earth. The spacecraft's magnetometer instrument (MAG) detected the unmistakable signature of hydrogen gas being stripped from the...

2008-10-10 11:20:21

Scientists using ESA's Venus Express are trying to observe whether Earth is habitable. Silly, you might think, when we know that Earth is richly stocked with life. In fact, far from being a pointless exercise, Venus Express is paving the way for an exciting new era in astronomy. Venus Express took its first image of Earth with its Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) soon after its launch in November 2005. About a year after the spacecraft established itself in Venus's...

2008-09-18 10:10:00

It is well known that winds on Venus are extremely fast and powerful. Now, ESA's Venus Express has, for the first time, put together a 3-D picture of the venusian winds for an entire planetary hemisphere. The most powerful atmospheric investigator ever sent to Venus, Venus Express has an advantageous orbit around the planet and a unique set of instruments. The spacecraft has the ability to peer through Venus's thick atmospheric layers and obtain a truly global picture. The spacecraft has...

2008-09-02 16:25:00

Venus is a planet similar in size to the Earth. Nevertheless, it is quite different in other aspects. On the one hand, it spins very slowly on its axis, taking 224 terrestrial days and, moreover, it does so in the opposite direction to that of our planet, i.e. from East to West. Its dense atmosphere of carbon dioxide with surface pressures 90 times that of Earth (equivalent to what we find at 1000 meters below the surface of our oceans), causes a runaway greenhouse effect that raises the...

2008-07-17 08:15:00

Starting this week, spacecraft controllers have been executing a series of maneuvers to gradually bring Venus Express closer to its host planet. In its modified orbit, the spacecraft will be able to observe unexplored regions and investigate phenomena that were not within its reach before. The operational maneuvers to bring the spacecraft closer will be executed through the month of July, settling it into its new orbit by 4 August. Until now, Venus Express has occupied a highly eccentric...

2008-05-15 10:50:00

Venus Express has detected the molecule hydroxyl on another planet for the first time. This detection gives scientists an important new tool to unlock the workings of Venus's dense atmosphere.Hydroxyl, an important but difficult-to-detect molecule, is made up of a hydrogen and oxygen atom each. It has been found in the upper reaches of the Venusian atmosphere, some 100 km above the surface, by Venus Express's Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer, VIRTIS.The elusive molecule was...

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