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Vocapedia > 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 and 2125.


NASA via Getty Images

Boston Globe > Big Picture > Transit of Venus        June 6, 2012


















An image provided by NASA,

the SDO satellite captures

a ultra-high definition image of the Transit of Venus

across the face of the sun at on June 5 from space.


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 June 2004















Venus        UK / USA
















transit of Venus across the Sun        2012








Mariner 2


Mariner 2 was the world's

first successful interplanetary spacecraft.


Launched Aug. 27, 1962,

on an Atlas-Agena rocket,

Mariner 2 passed within

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

(900 degrees Fahrenheit).


The spacecraft's

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
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 probe.

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 unforgiving atmosphere.''

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,'' Russell said.

What excites astronomers most about the lightning discovery is simply the coolness factor.

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:

Nature: http://www.nature.com/nature

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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space, astronomy