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Latest Venus Stories

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...

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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...

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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...

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2008-12-03 13:45:00

A pale yellow dot to the human eye, Earth's twin planet comes to life in the ultraviolet and the infrared. New images taken by instruments on board ESA's Venus Express provide insight into the turbulent atmosphere of our neighbouring planet. Using Venus Express, it is possible to compare what the planet looks like in different wavelengths, giving scientists a powerful tool to study the physical conditions and dynamics of the planet's atmosphere.   Observed in the ultraviolet,...

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2008-11-25 09:25:00

This story ends with the best sky show of the year--a spectacular three-way conjunction of Venus, Jupiter and the crescent Moon. It begins tonight with a sunset stroll. At the end of the day, when the horizon is turning red and the zenith is cobalt-blue, step outside and look southwest. You'll see Venus and Jupiter beaming side-by-side through the twilight. Glittering Venus is absolutely brilliant and Jupiter is nearly as bright as Venus. Together, they're dynamite. Add another stick of TNT...

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2008-10-30 06:30:00

Stop! Take your finger off that doorbell. Something spooky is happening behind your back. Turn around, tip back your mask, and behold the sunset. It's a Halloween sky show. On Oct. 31st, the crescent Moon will sneak up on Venus for a close encounter of startling beauty. The gathering is best seen just after sunset when the twilight is pumpkin-orange and Halloween doorbells are chiming in earnest. Venus hovers just above the southwestern horizon, the brightest light in the sky, while the...

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2008-10-13 15:30:00

Tidal heating can cook some planets, thaw others, and drive plate tectonics needed for life. Astronomers searching for rocky planets that could support life in other solar systems should look outside, as well as within, the so-called "habitable zone," University of Arizona planetary scientists say. Planets too close to their stars are roasted. Planets too far from their stars are frozen. In between, research models show, there's a habitable zone where planet temperatures approximate Earth's....

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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...

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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...

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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...


Latest Venus Reference Libraries

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2009-07-06 12:24:05

The Pioneer Program is a series of American unmanned space missions designed for planetary exploration. The program included a number of missions, but the most well-known missions were Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11. Both Pioneer 10 and 11 explored the outer planets and left our solar system. Both probes carry a gold plaque, depicting a man and a woman and information about the origin of the probes and their creators. The Pioneer probe was named by Stephen A. Saliga, who was chief designer of Air...

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2008-04-30 23:02:22

The Hard Clam (Mercenaria mercenaria), also known as the quahog, is a bivalve mollusk native to the eastern shores of North America, from Prince Edward Island to the Yucatan Peninsula. Older sources may give it the systematic name Venus mercenaria. It is one of many unrelated bivalves referred to as clams. Hard clams are quite common throughout New England, north into Canada, and all down the Eastern seaboard of the United States to Florida, but are particularly abundant between Cape Cod and...

8_0a0df4f1bee06ec8e535aec78634f0a12
2004-10-19 04:45:44

Terraforming -- Terraforming (literally, "Earth-shaping") is the process of modifying a planet, moon or other body to a more habitable atmosphere, temperature or ecology. The term was first used in a science fiction novel, 'Seetee Shock' (1940?) by Jack Williamson, but the actual concept is older than that. An example in fiction is 'First and Last Men' by Olaf Stapledon in which Venus is modified, after a long and destructive war with the original inhabitants, who naturally object to the...

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2004-10-19 04:45:40

The Planet Venus is the second planet from the sun. It is often called the evening star or morning star and is brighter than any object in the sky except the sun and the moon. Because its orbit lies between the sun and the orbit of the earth, Venus passes through phases like those of the moon, varying from a large bright crescent when the planet is near inferior conjunction (nearest the earth) to a smaller silvery disk when it is at superior conjunction (farthest from the earth). Since...

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2004-10-19 04:45:40

Earth -- in geology and astronomy, fifth largest planet of the solar system and the only planet definitely known to support life. Gravitational forces have molded the earth, like all celestial bodies, into a spherical shape. However, the earth is not an exact sphere, being slightly flattened at the poles and bulging at the equator. The equatorial diameter is c.7,926 mi (12,760 km) and the polar diameter 7,900 mi (12,720 km); the circumference at the equator is c.24,830 mi (40,000 km)....

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Word of the Day
holluschickie
  • A 'bachelor seal'; a young male seal which is prevented from mating by its herd's older males (mated bulls defending their territory).
This comes from the Russian word for 'bachelors.'
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