Space > Venus
In this composite image provided by NASA,
the SDO satellite captures the path sequence
of the transit of Venus
across the face of the sun at on June 5-6 as
seen from space.
The last transit was in 2004 and the next
pair of events
will not happen again until the year 2117
NASA via Getty Images
Boston Globe > Big Picture > Transit of
Venus June 6, 2012
An image provided by NASA,
the SDO satellite captures
definition image of the Transit of Venus
across the face of the sun at on June 5 from
The last transit was in 2004
and the next
pair of events will not happen again
until the year 2117 and 2125.
Boston Globe > Big Picture > 2012 Year in
Pictures: Part II December 19, 2012
The Guardian p. 1 9
UK / USA
transit of Venus across the Sun
Mariner 2 was
first successful interplanetary spacecraft.
Launched Aug. 27, 1962,
on an Atlas-Agena rocket,
Mariner 2 passed
about 34,000 kilometers (21,000 miles) of Venus,
sending back valuable new information
about interplanetary space
and the Venusian atmosphere.
Mariner 2 recorded
the planet's temperature
for the first time,
revealing the its very hot atmosphere
of about 500 degrees Celsius
solar wind experiment
was the first to measure
the density, velocity,
composition and variation
over time of the solar wind.
Venus Has Frequent
Bursts of Lightning
November 28, 2007
Filed at 10:14 p.m. ET
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
The New York Times
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Nearby Venus is looking a bit more
Earth-like with frequent bursts of lightning confirmed by a new European space
For nearly three decades, astronomers have said Venus probably had lightning --
ever since a 1978 NASA probe showed signs of electrical activity in its
atmosphere. But experts weren't sure because of signal interference.
Now a magnetic antenna on the European Space Agency's Venus Express probe proved
that the lightning was real.
''We consider this to be the first definitive evidence of abundant lighting on
Venus,'' David Grinspoon of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science told
reporters Wednesday at a briefing in Paris.
The finding is significant because lightning affects atmospheric chemistry, so
scientists will have to take it into account as they try to understand the
atmosphere and climate of Venus, he said.
The lightning is cloud-to-cloud and about 35 miles above the surface, said
University of California, Los Angeles geophysics professor C.T. Russell, lead
author of a paper on the Venusian fireworks. It is being published in Thursday's
issue of the journal Nature.
Bursts of electrical energy from lightning are something that scientists have
long theorized could provide the spark of life in primordial ooze.
But not on Venus.
''If life was ever something serious to talk about on Venus, it would be early
in its history, not in its current state,'' said Sean Solomon of the Carnegie
Institution of Washington, who was not part of the research team. ''It's a very
The idea of Earth-like lightning is fascinating, Russell said. However, you
couldn't see it from Venus' surface, nor would you want to look because the
Venusian atmosphere is 100 times more dense than Earth's, is about 900 degrees
hotter and has clouds of sulfuric acid, he said.
''It may be Earth's 'evil twin,' but it is in many respects Earth's twin,''
What excites astronomers most about the lightning discovery is simply the
Venus' weather forecasts have long thought to be ''kind of boring ... steady
winds for the next 400 years,'' said Allan Treiman, a senior scientist at the
Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, who isn't affiliated with the
research. The idea of lightning, he said, adds a spark to Venus' weather.
AP science writer Malcolm Ritter in New York
contributed to this report.
On the Net:
Venus Express: http://www.esa.int/venus
Venus Has Frequent
Bursts of Lightning, NYT, 28.11.2007,
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-Venus-Lightning.html - broken URL
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