Venus

BepiColombo photographs Venus in flight Life

BepiColombo photographs Venus in flight

The ESA-JAXA mission BepiColombo has completed the first of two flybys of Venus needed to put it on course for the innermost planet of the solar system, Mercury. The closest approach to the Earth's hot sister took place this morning (15. 10.) at 03:58 GMT at a distance of about 10 720 km from the planet's surface. Launched on 20 October 2018, the spacecraft will require nine gravity assist fly-bys - one to Earth, two to Venus and six to Mercury - before it can enter orbit around Mercury in 2025. The flybys will use the gravitational pull of…
Signs of life from the clouds of Venus? Life

Signs of life from the clouds of Venus?

Our hot sister planet, Venus, basically has no potential for life on its surface – the pressure and temperature are much too high. Nevertheless, in “The Clouds of Venus,” a team from NASA made an interesting discovery. I was reminded of this when I read a new press release from Cardiff University. Astronomer Jane Greaves and her colleagues have been analyzing Venus’s atmosphere for years and stumbled across an interesting substance: phosphane (older, but chemically incorrect name: phosphine). On Earth, phosphane, a compound of phosphorus and hydrogen (PH3), is a gas produced predominantly by anaerobic biological sources. The conditions on…
NASA wants to visit Triton, Io, and Venus Space

NASA wants to visit Triton, Io, and Venus

NASA has unveiled four new research missions that could set flight under the Discovery Program – if their feasibility can be confirmed. They highlight three locations that you will already know from my books: Venus (two proposals), Io, and Triton. However, a maximum of two of the four proposals will be developed. Here are the details: DAVINCI+ (Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging Plus) DAVINCI+ will analyze Venus’s atmosphere in order to understand how it formed and developed and whether Venus ever had an ocean. To do this, DAVINCI+ will plunge into Venus’s inhospitable atmosphere and…
Gliding in the clouds of Venus: NASA studies two Venus missions Life

Gliding in the clouds of Venus: NASA studies two Venus missions

Every year, NASA uses the “NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts” program (NIAC) to finance interesting projects that might someday become a reality. Projects in Phase 1 are subject to a nine-month study on their general feasibility, while in Phase 2, projects receive a two-year grant to develop their designs in detail. At the end, they aren’t required to be commercially marketable just yet – the transition to that level of development is done in Phase 3. Currently, the list includes two projects whose destination is Venus, Earth’s hellish little sister. (more…)
Gigantic patterns in the clouds of Venus – and how they are formed Space

Gigantic patterns in the clouds of Venus – and how they are formed

Venus is often called “Earth’s hot sister.” It is called “sister” because it is similar to our home planet in size and shape. But its atmosphere is characterized by extreme pressure and high temperatures. On the surface, temperatures can reach up to 460 °C (860 °F). The planet needs 243 Earth days to make one revolution about its axis, while Earth needs only one day, but the Earth always takes its atmosphere along with it like a good, well-behaved planet. On Venus, however, a fast, 360 km/h (224 mph) easterly wind roars at an altitude of 60 kilometers (37…