Sample records for venus express mission

  1. Venus Express Mission Scenario

    Microsoft Academic Search

    H. Svedhem; D. McCoy; D. Titov; J. Rodríguez-Canabal; J. Fabrega

    2004-01-01

    The Venus Express mission will be launched in October 2005 to study the atmosphere and the plasma environment and some properties of the surface of Venus both on a global level and on a detailed regional level. After a 5 months cruise phase, Venus orbit insertion will take place in April 2006, followed by a nominal operational phase of two

  2. The ESA Venus Express Mission

    Microsoft Academic Search

    H. Svedhem; R. Schmidt; D. Titov; J. Rodríguez-Canabal; A. Clochet

    2003-01-01

    The Venus Express mission will be launched in November 2005 to study the atmosphere and the plasma environment of Venus both on a global level and on a detailed regional level. Venus orbit insertion will take place in April 2006 followed by a nominal operational phase of two Venus days (~500 earth days) and a possible extension of another two

  3. Venus Express—The first European mission to Venus

    Microsoft Academic Search

    H. Svedhem; D. V. Titov; D. McCoy; J.-P. Lebreton; S. Barabash; J.-L. Bertaux; P. Drossart; V. Formisano; B. Häusler; O. Korablev; W. J. Markiewicz; D. Nevejans; M. Pätzold; G. Piccioni; T. L. Zhang; F. W. Taylor; E. Lellouch; D. Koschny; O. Witasse; H. Eggel; M. Warhaut; A. Accomazzo; J. Rodriguez-Canabal; J. Fabrega; T. Schirmann; A. Clochet; M. Coradini

    2007-01-01

    Venus Express is the first European mission to planet Venus. The mission aims at a comprehensive investigation of Venus atmosphere and plasma environment and will address some important aspects of the surface physics from orbit. In particular, Venus Express will focus on the structure, composition, and dynamics of the Venus atmosphere, escape processes and interaction of the atmosphere with the

  4. Venus Express: a proposed ESA mission to Venus in 2005

    Microsoft Academic Search

    D. Titov; J. Lebreton; E. Lellouch; F. Taylor

    2002-01-01

    The Venus Express mission was proposed in response to the ESA Call for Ideas to reuse the Mars Express spacecraft and available instruments. The mission aims at a global investigation of Venus' atmosphere and plasma environment from polar orbit, and addresses several important aspects of the geology and surface physics. Reuse of the Mars Express bus offers an excellent and

  5. VIRTIS imaging spectrometer for the ESA\\/Venus Express mission

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Pierre Drossart; Giuseppe Piccioni; Angioletta Coradini; Jean-Michel Reess; Alain Semery; Enrico Suetta; Massimo Cosi; Michele Dami; Gabriele Arnold; Gisbert Peter; Florence Henry

    2004-01-01

    The selection of the Venus Express mission by ESA in 2002 was the occasion to propose the VIRTIS imaging spectrometer for the payload of this mission to Venus. After the discovery of the infrared windows in the near infrared from ground based observations in the 80ies, it was realized that the surface of Venus is accessible to infrared observation on

  6. Venus Express : Scientific goals, instrumentation, and scenario of the mission

    Microsoft Academic Search

    D. V. Titov; H. Svedhem; D. McCoy; J.-P. Lebreton; S. Barabash; J.-L. Bertaux; P. Drossart; V. Formisano; B. Haeusler; O. I. Korablev; W. Markiewicz; D. Neveance; M. Petzold; G. Piccioni; T. L. Zhang; F. W. Taylor; E. Lellouch; D. Koschny; O. Witasse; M. Warhaut; A. Acomazzo; J. Rodrigues-Cannabal; J. Fabrega; T. Schirmann; A. Clochet; M. Coradini

    2006-01-01

    The first European mission to Venus (Venus Express) is described. It is based on a repeated use of the Mars Express design with minor modifications dictated in the main by more severe thermal environment at Venus. The main scientific task\\u000a of the mission is global exploration of the Venusian atmosphere, circumplanetary plasma, and the planet surface from an orbiting\\u000a spacecraft.

  7. Venus Express: scientific goals and payload of the mission

    Microsoft Academic Search

    D. V. Titov; E. Lellouch; F. W. Taylor; H. Svedhem

    2003-01-01

    The Venus Express mission aims at a global investigation of Venus' atmosphere and plasma environment from polar orbit, and addresses some aspects of the surface physics. More specifically the scientific goals of the mission are as follows. (1) Study of the atmospheric structure between 40 and 180 km by means of thermal IR sounding, and radio\\/solar\\/stellar occultation techniques. (2) Study

  8. Venus Surface Investigation Using VIRTIS Onboard the ESA/Venus Express Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marinangeli, L. L.; Baines, K.; Garcia, R.; Drossart, P.; Piccioni, G.; Benkhoff, J.; Helbert, J.; Langevin, Y.

    2004-01-01

    Venus Express Mission is the first ESA mission to Venus that will be launched in November 2005. In April 2006 after 150 days of cruise the spacecraft will be inserted into highly elliptical polar orbit around Venus. The observational phase will begin after about one month of commissioning phase. The nominal mission orbital life-time is two Venus sidereal days (486 Earth days). The scientific goals of Venus Express are related to the global atmospheric circulation and atmosphere chemical composition, the surfaceatmosphere physical and chemical interactions, the physics and chemistry of the cloud layer, the thermal balance and role of trace gases in the greenhouse effect, and the plasma environment and its interaction with the solar wind.

  9. Scientific goals for the observation of Venus by VIRTIS on ESA\\/Venus express mission

    Microsoft Academic Search

    P. Drossart; G. Piccioni; A. Adriani; F. Angrilli; G. Arnold; K. H. Baines; G. Bellucci; J. Benkhoff; B. Bézard; J.-P. Bibring; A. Blanco; M. I. Blecka; R. W. Carlson; A. Coradini; A. Di Lellis; T. Encrenaz; S. Erard; S. Fonti; V. Formisano; T. Fouchet; R. Garcia; R. Haus; J. Helbert; N. I. Ignatiev; P. G. J. Irwin; Y. Langevin; S. Lebonnois; M. A. Lopez-Valverde; D. Luz; L. Marinangeli; V. Orofino; A. V. Rodin; M. C. Roos-Serote; B. Saggin; A. Sanchez-Lavega; D. M. Stam; F. W. Taylor; D. Titov; G. Visconti; M. Zambelli; R. Hueso; C. C. C. Tsang; C. F. Wilson; T. Z. Afanasenko

    2007-01-01

    The Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) on board the ESA\\/Venus Express mission has technical specifications well suited for many science objectives of Venus exploration. VIRTIS will both comprehensively explore a plethora of atmospheric properties and processes and map optical properties of the surface through its three channels, VIRTIS-M-vis (imaging spectrometer in the 0.3–1?m range), VIRTIS-M-IR (imaging spectrometer in

  10. A dynamic atmosphere revealed by the Venus Express mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, Colin; Svedhem, Håkan; Drossart, Pierre; Piccioni, Giuseppe; Markiewicz, Wojciech; Pätzold, Martin; Titov, Dmitrij; Bertaux, Jean-Loup

    ESA’s Venus Express orbiter has achieved a mission lifetime of eight years, well in excess of its original nominal science mission duration of 500 days. The science payload was selected to focus on atmospheric investigations from the deep atmosphere - probed using near-infrared spectral windows - up to the mesosphere and exosphere. While initial analyses focussed on first detections and mean atmospheric states, subsequent analyses have revealed variability on timescales ranging from diurnal to seasonal to multiannual. In the upper atmosphere, VEx/VIRTIS shows dramatic maps of O_{2} nightglow spatial distribution changing location on scales of minutes to hours, as well as gravity waves high in polar regions high above the core of the polar vortex. Thermospheric and mesospheric densities, revealed through solar and stellar occultation as well as by the VEx Atmospheric Drag Experiment, are observed to vary by over 100% on a day-to-day basis. The Southern polar vortex was revealed to change shape on a day-to-day basis, taking sometimes the previously observed wavenumber-2 shape (“polar dipole”) but changing rapidly also to wavenumber-1 or wavenumber-3 shapes. In the lower / middle cloud layer Venus Express was able to map the formation and dissipation of regions of thin and thick cloud on timescales of hours to days. But it is the long-term changes on periods of several years which are perhaps the most intriguing. Mean zonal wind speed at low latitudes at cloud-top altitude, as revealed by cloud tracking in UV imagery, is found to have increased by 30% over the period 2007-2013. Mesospheric sulphur dioxide abundances were found to increase fourfold during 2006-2008 followed by a tenfold decrease in 2008-2012, echoing a pattern seen earlier from Pioneer Venus and Hubble observations. There may also be associated long-term changes in the UV albedo of Venus - this is still under investigation. But to date no long-term trend has been observed in the abundance of other trace gas species, notably of water vapour, which might be expected to vary alongside mesospheric sulphur dioxide abundances. Explaining this combination of observations provides constraints and challenges for our understanding of the Venus atmosphere. In this presentation we review the highlights of Venus Express atmospheric science results, with particular focus on temporal variability.

  11. Venus winds at cloud level from VIRTIS during the Venus Express mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hueso, Ricardo; Peralta, Javier; Sánchez-Lavega, Agustín.; Pérez-Hoyos, Santiago; Piccioni, Giuseppe; Drossart, Pierre

    2010-05-01

    The Venus Express (VEX) mission has been in orbit to Venus for almost four years now. The VIRTIS instrument onboard VEX observes Venus in two channels (visible and infrared) obtaining spectra and multi-wavelength images of the planet. Images in the ultraviolet range are used to study the upper cloud at 66 km while images in the infrared (1.74 ?m) map the opacity of the lower cloud deck at 48 km. Here we present our latest results on the analysis of the global atmospheric dynamics at these cloud levels using a large selection over the full VIRTIS dataset. We will show the atmospheric zonal superrotation at these levels and the mean meridional motions. The zonal winds are very stable in the lower cloud at mid-latitudes to the tropics while it shows different signatures of variability in the upper cloud where solar tide effects are manifest in the data. While the upper clouds present a net meridional motion consistent with the upper branch of a Hadley cell the lower cloud present almost null global meridional motions at all latitudes but with particular features traveling both northwards and southwards in a turbulent manner depending on the cloud morphology on the observations. A particular important atmospheric feature is the South Polar vortex which might be influencing the structure of the zonal winds in the lower cloud at latitudes from the vortex location up to 55°S. Acknowledgements This work has been funded by the Spanish MICIIN AYA2009-10701 with FEDER support and Grupos Gobierno Vasco IT-464-07.

  12. Missions to Venus

    Microsoft Academic Search

    D. V. Titov; K. H. Baines; A. T. Basilevsky; E. Chassefiere; G. Chin; D. Crisp; L. W. Esposito; J.-P. Lebreton; E. Lellouch; V. I. Moroz; A. F. Nagy; T. C. Owen; K.-I. Oyama; C. T. Russell; F. W. Taylor; R. E. Young

    2002-01-01

    Venus has always been a fascinating objective for planetary studies. At the beginning of the space era Venus became one of the first targets for spacecraft missions. Our neighbour in the solar system and, in size, the twin sister of Earth, Venus was expected to be very similar to our planet. However, the first phase of Venus spacecraft exploration in

  13. Venus Express science planning

    Microsoft Academic Search

    D. V. Titov; H. Svedhem; D. Koschny; R. Hoofs; S. Barabash; J.-L. Bertaux; P. Drossart; V. Formisano; B. Häusler; O. Korablev; W. J. Markiewicz; D. Nevejans; M. Pätzold; G. Piccioni; T. L. Zhang; D. Merritt; O. Witasse; J. Zender; A. Accomazzo; M. Sweeney; D. Trillard; M. Janvier; A. Clochet

    2006-01-01

    Venus Express is the first European mission to the planet Venus. Its payload consists of seven instruments and will investigate the atmosphere, the plasma environment, and the surface of Venus from orbit. Science planning is a complex process that takes into account requests from all experiments and the operational constraints. The planning of the science operations is based on synergetic

  14. Venus Aerobot Multisonde Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cutts, James A.; Kerzhanovich, Viktor; Balaram, J. Bob; Campbell, Bruce; Gershaman, Robert; Greeley, Ronald; Hall, Jeffery L.; Cameron, Jonathan; Klaasen, Kenneth; Hansen, David M.

    1999-01-01

    Robotic exploration of Venus presents many challenges because of the thick atmosphere and the high surface temperatures. The Venus Aerobot Multisonde mission concept addresses these challenges by using a robotic balloon or aerobot to deploy a number of short lifetime probes or sondes to acquire images of the surface. A Venus aerobot is not only a good platform for precision deployment of sondes but is very effective at recovering high rate data. This paper describes the Venus Aerobot Multisonde concept and discusses a proposal to NASA's Discovery program using the concept for a Venus Exploration of Volcanoes and Atmosphere (VEVA). The status of the balloon deployment and inflation, balloon envelope, communications, thermal control and sonde deployment technologies are also reviewed.

  15. The Pioneer Venus Missions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Mountain View, CA. Ames Research Center.

    This document provides detailed information on the atmosphere and weather of Venus. This pamphlet describes the technological hardware including the probes that enter the Venusian atmosphere, the orbiter and the launch vehicle. Information is provided in lay terms on the mission profile, including details of events from launch to mission end. The…

  16. Venera-D -the future Russian mission to Venus

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Ludmila Zasova; Lev Zelenyi; Oleg Korablev; N. F. Sanko; Victor V. Khartov; Victor A. Vorontsov; A. T. Basilevsky; Konstantin M. Pichkhadze; Konstantin S. Elkin; Victor V. Voron

    2010-01-01

    Venus was actively studied by Soviet and US mission in 60-80-th years of the last century. The investigations carried out both from the orbit and in situ were highly successful. After a 15-years break in space research of Venus, the ESA Venus Express mission, launched in 2005, successfully continues its work on orbit around Venus. In 2010 the launch of

  17. From Mars Express to Venus Express

    Microsoft Academic Search

    C. Koeck; V. Poinsignon

    2002-01-01

    Venus Express, an Orbiter for the study of the atmosphere, the plasma environment, and the surface of Venus, is a mission which was proposed to ESA in response to the Call for ideas to re-use the Mars Express platform issued in March 2001. This mission was selected by ESA in June 2001 for an assessment study which was carried out

  18. Future Drag Measurements from Venus Express

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Gerald Keating; Ingo Mueller-Wodarg; Jeffrey M. Forbes; Roger Yelle; Sean Bruinsma; Paul Withers; Miguel Angel Lopez-Valverde; Stephen Bougher

    2008-01-01

    Beginning in July 2008 during the Venus Express Extended Mission, the European Space Agency will dramatically drop orbital periapsis from near 250km to near 180km above the Venus North Polar Region. This will allow orbital decay measurements of atmospheric densities to be made near the Venus North Pole by the VExADE (Venus Express Atmospheric Drag Experiment) whose team leader is

  19. Magellan Mission to Venus

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    NASA's Magellan spacecraft used a sophisticated imaging radar to make the most highly detailed maps of Venus ever captured during its four years in orbit around Earth's sister planet from 1990 to 1994. After concluding its radar mapping, Magellan also made global maps of Venus's gravity field. Flight controllers also tested a new maneuvering technique called aerobraking, which uses a planet's atmosphere to slow or steer a spacecraft. Craters shown in the radar images that Magellan sent to Earth tell scientists that Venus's surface appears relatively young -- resurfaced about 500 million years ago by widespread volcanic eruptions. The planet's present harsh environment has persisted at least since then, with no features detected suggesting the presence of oceans or lakes at any time in the planet's past. Scientists also found no evidence of plate tectonics, the movements of huge crustal masses on Earth that cause earthquakes and result in the drifting of continents over time spans of hundreds of millions of years. In October 1994 Magellan's mission is expected to end with a dramatic plunge to the planet's surface, the first time an operating planetary spacecraft has ever been intentionally crashed. The purpose of the maneuver is for Magellan to gather data on Venus's atmosphere before it ceases to function during its fiery descent.

  20. Future Venus exploration: mission Venera-D

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zasova, Ludmila

    Venus was actively studied by Soviet and US missions in 60-90-th years of the last century. The investigations carried out both from the orbit and in situ were highly successful. After a 15-year break in space research of Venus, the ESA Venus Express mission, launched in 2005, successfully continues its work on orbit around Venus, obtaining spectacular results. However, many questions concerning the structure and evolutions of the planet Venus, which are the key questions of comparative planetology and very essential for understanding the possible evolution of the terrestrial climate, cannot be solved by observations only from an orbit. Venera-D includes orbiter, lander, subsatellite, long living station on the surface. Venera-D is focused for both in situ and remote investigations of Venus of surface and atmosphere, as well plasma environment and solar wind interaction. Practically all experiments for Venera-D, will be provided by international teams. A Russia-US Venera-D Joint Science Definition Team has been formed in February 2014 to recommend a possible collaborative and coordinated implementation by considering the common aspects of Venera-D mission as presently defined, as well as the Venus Climate Mission recommended by the US Academies Decadal Survey of Planetary Science and the Venus Flagship mission studied by NASA in 2009. The team will provide its report by March 2015 and will likely lead to a coordinated or joint call for instruements and/or mission elements.

  1. Magnetic field investigation of the Venus plasma environment: Expected new results from Venus Express

    Microsoft Academic Search

    T. L. Zhang; W. Baumjohann; M. Delva; H.-U. Auster; A. Balogh; C.T. Russell; S. Barabash; M. Balikhin; G. Berghofer; H. K. Biernat; H. Lammer; H. Lichtenegger; W. Magnes; R. Nakamura; T. Penz; K. Schwingenschuh; Z. Vörös; W. Zambelli; K.-H. Fornacon; K.-H. Glassmeier; I. Richter; C. Carr; K. Kudela; J. K. Shi; H. Zhao; U. Motschmann; J.-P. Lebreton

    2006-01-01

    The Venus Express mission is scheduled for launch in 2005. Among many other instruments, it carries a magnetometer to investigate the Venus plasma environment. Although Venus has no intrinsic magnetic moment, magnetic field measurements are essential in studying the solar wind interaction with Venus. Our current understanding of the solar wind interaction with Venus is mainly from the long lasting

  2. The Magellan Venus mapping mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cutting, E.; Fordyce, J.; Licata, S.; Lyons, D.

    1989-01-01

    The April 1989 Magellan (MGN) Mission to Venus will initiate a new phase in the exploration of the solar system. In addition to being the first U.S. planetary mission in 10.5 years, it will also be the first such mission to use the Space Shuttle and IUS 2-Stage as launch vehicles. Upon arrival at Venus the spacecraft will begin a systematic mapping of the surface of that planet using side-looking SAR. This paper discusses some of the interesting trade-offs in mission design for this mission in the areas of launch and injection, interplanetary cruise, Venus Orbit insertion, and mapping. The Magellan mapping strategy is discussed briefly along with a few special experiments being considered for the MGN extended mission.

  3. The Venus Radar Mapper (VRM) mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cutting, E.; Kwok, J. H.; Mohan, S. N.

    1984-01-01

    The Venus Radar Mapper (VRM) mission is sponsored by NASA to put a single spacecraft in orbit around Venus to map the surface of Venus using a synthetic aperture mapping radar. The spacecraft is scheduled to be launched in April 1988 using a Shuttle-Centaur G combination. The spacecraft arrives at Venus in late July 1988 and begins its mapping mission which lasts for one Venus rotation or 243 days. This paper describes the VRM mission at its present state of design. The science objectives and project constraints are described. Key features of the spacecraft system and radar system are discussed. The interplanetary and mapping orbit design are covered. Navigation strategy is explained, including trajectory maneuvers and mapping phase orbit determination. Finally, the mapping sequences to optimize planet coverage are described.

  4. The Analyser of Space Plasmas and Energetic Atoms (ASPERA-4) for the Venus Express mission

    Microsoft Academic Search

    S. Barabash; J.-A. Sauvaud; H. Gunell; H. Andersson; A. Grigoriev; K. Brinkfeldt; M. Holmström; R. Lundin; M. Yamauchi; K. Asamura; W. Baumjohann; T. L. Zhang; A. J. Coates; D. R. Linder; D. O. Kataria; C. C. Curtis; K. C. Hsieh; B. R. Sandel; A. Fedorov; C. Mazelle; J.-J. Thocaven; M. Grande; Hannu E. J. Koskinen; E. Kallio; T. Säles; P. Riihela; J. Kozyra; N. Krupp; J. Woch; J. Luhmann; S. McKenna-Lawlor; S. Orsini; R. Cerulli-Irelli; M. Mura; M. Milillo; M. Maggi; E. Roelof; P. Brandt; C. T. Russell; K. Szego; J. D. Winningham; R. A. Frahm; J. Scherrer; J. R. Sharber; P. Wurz; P. Bochsler

    2007-01-01

    The general scientific objective of the ASPERA-4 (Analyser of Space Plasmas and Energetic Atoms) experiment is to study the solar wind–atmosphere interaction and characterise the plasma and neutral gas environment in the near-Venus space through energetic neutral atom (ENA) imaging and local charged particle measurements. The studies to be performed address the fundamental question: How strongly do the interplanetary plasma

  5. The 1989 Magellan mission to Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, Charles D.; Parker, Gary L.

    1987-01-01

    The primary objective of the Magellan mission is to provide the needed topographical data at resolutions and coverages adequate to shed light on the geological history and formation of Venus. Altimetry and gravity experiments are also planned. The Magellan mission consists of the launch phase, the cruise phase, the Venus orbit insertion, and mapping. The prospective launch vehicle is the Shuttle 'Atlantis' with an IUS upper stage.

  6. The Venusian induced magnetosphere: A case study of plasma and magnetic field measurements on the Venus Express mission

    Microsoft Academic Search

    E. Kallio; T. L. Zhang; S. Barabash; R. Jarvinen; I. Sillanpaaa; P. Janhunen; A. Fedorov; J.-A. Sauvaud; C. Mazelle; J.-J. Thocaven; H. Gunell; H. Andersson; A. Grigoriev; K. Brinkfeldt; Y. Futaana; M. Holmström; R. Lundin; M. Yamauchi; K. Asamura; W. Baumjohann; H. Lammer; A. J. Coates; D. R. Linder; D. O. Kataria; C. C. Curtis; K. C. Hsieh; B. R. Sandel; M. Grande; H. E. J. Koskinen; T. Säles; W. Schmidt; P. Riihelä; J. Kozyra; N. Krupp; J. Woch; J. G. Luhmann; S. McKenna-Lawlor; S. Orsini; R. Cerulli-Irelli; A. Mura; A. Milillo; M. Maggi; E. Roelof; P. Brandt; C. T. Russell; K. Szego; J. D. Winningham; R. A. Frahm; J. R. Scherrer; J. R. Sharber; P. Wurz; P. Bochsler

    2008-01-01

    Plasma and magnetic field measurements made onboard the Venus Express on June 1, 2006, are analyzed and compared with predictions of a global model. It is shown that in the orbit studied, the plasma and magnetic field observations obtained near the North Pole under solar minimum conditions were qualitatively and, in many cases also, quantitatively in agreement with the general

  7. PLANET-C: Venus Climate Orbiter Mission of Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ueno, M.; Nakamura, M.; Imamura, T.; Iwagami, N.; Satoh, T.; Watanabe, S.; Taguchi, M.; Takahashi, Y.; Suzuki, M.; Yamada, M.; Hashimoto, G.; Kasaba, Y.; Fukuhara, T.; Uemizu, K.; Abe, T.; Ishii, N.; Oyama, K.

    2006-08-01

    Venus is one of the most attractive targets in the solar system when we seek to understand the formation of the terrestrial environment. Venus is our nearest neighbor, and has a size very similar to the Earth's; however, previous spacecraft missions discovered an extremely dense (~90 bar) and dry CO[2] atmosphere with H[2]SO[4]-H[2]O clouds floating at high altitudes, and exotic volcanic features covering the whole planet. The abundant gaseous CO[2] brings about a high atmospheric temperature (~740 K) near the surface via greenhouse effect. The atmospheric circulation is also much different from the Earth's. The mechanisms which sustain such conditions are unclear and considered to be the keys to understand the origin of the terrestrial environment. In spite of the many previous missions that explored Venus, such as the Venera, Pioneer Venus, Vega and Magellan, most of the fundamental questions raised so far still remain unsolved. The Venus Climate Orbiter mission (PLANET-C), one of the future planetary missions of Japan, aims at understanding the atmospheric circulation of Venus. Meteorological data will be obtained by globally mapping clouds and minor constituents successively with 4 cameras at ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths, detecting lightning with a high-speed imager, and observing vertical structures of the atmosphere with radio science technique. The equatorial elongated orbit with westward revolution fits the observations of the movement and temporal variation of the Venusian atmosphere which rotates westward. The systematic, continuous imaging observations will provide us with an unprecedented large dataset of the Venusian meteorology. Additional targets of the mission are the exploration of the ground surface and the observation of zodiacal light. The mission will complement the ESA's Venus Express, which also explores the Venusian environment with different approaches. The spacecraft will be launched and arrive at Venus in 2010, and will perform 2 years of operation.

  8. Planet-C: Venus Climate Orbiter mission of Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, Masato; Imamura, Takeshi; Ueno, Munetaka; Iwagami, Naomoto; Satoh, Takehiko; Watanabe, Shigeto; Taguchi, Makoto; Takahashi, Yukihiro; Suzuki, Makoto; Abe, Takumi; Hashimoto, George L.; Sakanoi, Takeshi; Okano, Shoichi; Kasaba, Yasumasa; Yoshida, Jun; Yamada, Manabu; Ishii, Nobuaki; Yamada, Takahiro; Uemizu, Kazunori; Fukuhara, Tetsuya; Oyama, Koh-ichiro

    2007-10-01

    The Venus Climate Orbiter mission (PLANET-C), one of the future planetary missions of Japan, aims at understanding the atmospheric circulation of Venus. Meteorological information will be obtained by globally mapping clouds and minor constituents successively with four cameras at ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths, detecting lightning with a high-speed imager, and observing the vertical structure of the atmosphere with radio science technique. The equatorial elongated orbit with westward revolution fits the observation of the movement and temporal variation of the atmosphere which as a whole rotates westward. The systematic, continuous imaging observations will provide us with an unprecedented large data set of the Venusian atmospheric dynamics. Additional targets of the mission are the exploration of the ground surface and the observation of zodiacal light. The mission will complement the ESA's Venus Express, which also explores the Venusian environment with different approaches.

  9. Thermal structure of Venus atmosphere from Venus Express observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bertaux, J. L.; Drossart, P.; Grassi, D.; Häusler, B.; Mahieux, A.; Migliorini, A.; Montmessin, F.; Pätzold, M.; Piccialli, A.; Piccioni, G.; Tellmann, S.; Vandaele, A. C.; Wilquet, V.

    2014-04-01

    The thermal structure of Venus atmosphere has been investigated since the early 1960s by several groundbased campaigns and spacecraft missions, such as Pioneer Venus (PV) orbiter [1], PV probes [2], Galileo flyby [3], Venera 15 and 16 [4]. Based on these early and sparse observations, a Venus International Reference Atmosphere (VIRA) model was published in 1983 [5]. The VIRA model splits the atmosphere into three different dynamical regions: (1) the lower atmosphere, from the surface to the upper cloud top (˜ 70 km), (2) the middle atmosphere, extending between the cloud tops and 110 km, and (3) the upper atmosphere, above ~110 km. Vertical temperature profiles below 40 km of altitude are quite similar over the entire planet, with latitudinal and local time variations less than 5 K. On the other hand, the thermal structure of the middle and upper atmosphere shows a significant variability with latitude and local time. The VIRA model presents an atmosphere temperature that decreases from values of ˜ 240 K at the cloud top to 170 K at ˜ 90 ? 100 km altitudes on the dayside of the planet and reaching minimum values of less than 120 K during the nighttime in the upper atmosphere[5]. More recently, several experiments on board the European mission to Venus, Venus Express (VEx) [6], and ground-based campaigns [7,8,9] have extensively studied the thermal structure of Venus upper atmosphere over a long time scale revealing a far more complex situation. Three different methods are used to sound remotely atmospheric temperatures: (1) the VeRa radio occultation instrument studies the upper troposphere/mesosphere (40 - 90 km) of both the north and south hemispheres with a vertical resolution of ~500 m [10,11]; (2) the nightside mesosphere (60 - 90 km) is investigated also by VIRTIS thermal emission spectroscopy [12,13]; (3) finally, SPICAV-SOIR stellar/solar occultations sound Venus upper atmosphere (70 - 150 km altitude) on the nightside and at the terminator [14,15,16]. Together, these three techniques sound Venus atmosphere in the altitude range from 40 km up to 150 km with different altitude coverage, resolution, temporal and spatial sampling. Observations acquired by these experiments will be compared and their differences and similarities will be analyzed with the main goal to improve and update the reference model of Venus atmosphere.

  10. Venus Atmospheric Circulation: Update after Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limaye, Sanjay

    Venus Express orbiter has provided new insights into the atmospheric circulation of Venus from its very first observation from the insertion orbit on 12 April 2006 and has continued until now. The very first observation showed the complete vortex organization of the circulation on day and night side in a single image. By summer 2014, the spacecraft will have observed the planet for slightly more than half a solar cycle, during which the strength of this circulation has been observed to vary, suggesting periodic activity. Global cloud morphology, cloud motions from visible and infrared images from Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC) and the Visible InfraRed Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) have yielded information about the variability of the atmospheric superrotation near and slightly below the cloud top level. Deduced balanced flow from the radio occultation temperature profiles indicate high vertical shear in certain layers and faster balanced zonal flow. Gradual increase in the day side cloud latitudinally averaged cloud motions is observed, but it is not known whether this is an artifact of the limited data or actual changes in the atmospheric circulation. Small scale gravity waves have been observed at high latitudes at the cloud tops and show some preferred regions (Ishtar Terra) for their occurrence. Other gravity waves have also been observed in mid-latitude near the peak zonal or angular speed of the clouds. Much remains unknown about the processes that maintain this circulation. Several numerical circulation efforts are making progress, but no confirmation or improved estimates of meridional momentum transport are available from the observations at hand. An effort is being organized to arrive at a synthesis picture of the atmospheric circulation to reflect both Doppler observations of line-of-sight flow above the clouds and the Venus Express observations in the cloud region.

  11. The Surface of Venus After VIRTIS on Venus Express: Laboratory Analogs and the Venus Emissivity Mapper

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferrari, S.; Helbert, J.; Maturilli, A.; Dyar, D. M.; Mueller, N.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.

    2014-05-01

    A combination of laboratory work and remote sensing will be able to determine the large-scale compositional variations of the surface of Venus and will provide valuable input for any landing site selections for future Venus lander missions.

  12. Systems Analysis for a Venus Aerocapture Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lockwood, Mary Kae; Starr, Brett R.; Paulson, John W., Jr.; Kontinos, Dean A.; Chen, Y. K.; Laub, Bernard; Olejniczak, Joseph; Wright, Michael J.; Takashima, Naruhisa; Justus, Carl G.

    2006-01-01

    Previous high level analysis has indicated that significant mass savings may be possible for planetary science missions if aerocapture is employed to place a spacecraft in orbit. In 2001 the In-Space Propulsion program identified aerocapture as one of the top three propulsion technologies for planetary exploration but that higher fidelity analysis was required to verify the favorable results and to determine if any supporting technology gaps exist that would enable or enhance aerocapture missions. A series of three studies has been conducted to assess, from an overall system point of view, the merit of using aerocapture at Titan, Neptune and Venus. These were chosen as representative of a moon with an atmosphere, an outer giant gas planet and an inner planet. The Venus mission, based on desirable science from plans for Solar System Exploration and Principal Investigator proposals, to place a spacecraft in a 300km polar orbit was examined and the details of the study are presented in this paper.

  13. Venera-D -the future Russian mission to Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zasova, Ludmila; Zelenyi, Lev; Korablev, Oleg; Sanko, N. F.; Khartov, Victor V.; Vorontsov, Victor A.; Basilevsky, A. T.; Pichkhadze, Konstantin M.; Elkin, Konstantin S.; Voron, Victor V.

    Venus was actively studied by Soviet and US mission in 60-80-th years of the last century. The investigations carried out both from the orbit and in situ were highly successful. After a 15-years break in space research of Venus, the ESA Venus Express mission, launched in 2005, successfully continues its work on orbit around Venus. In 2010 the launch of the Japanese Climate Orbiter (Planeta-C) mission is planned. However, many questions concerning the structure, and evolu-tions of planet Venus, which are the key questions of comparative planetology, very essential for understanding the evolution of the terrestrial climate, cannot be solved by observations from an orbit. Now in Russia the new investigation phase of Venus begins: the mission Venera-D is included in the Russian Federal Space Program to be launched in 2016. This mission includes the lander, balloons, and the orbiter. The long living balloons are planned to be deployed at different heights, in the clouds and under the clouds. Scientific goals of the mission include: -investigation of structure, chemical composition of the atmosphere, including noble gases abundance and isotopic ratio, structure and chemistry of the clouds; -study of dynamics of the atmosphere, nature of the superrotation, radiative balance, nature of an enormous greenhouse effect; -study of structure, mineralogy and geochemistry of the surface, search for seismic and volcanic activity, the lightening, interaction of the atmosphere and the surface; -investigation of the upper atmosphere, ionosphere, magnetosphere, and the escape rate; -study of the evolution of the atmosphere and the surface of Venus. The complex of experiments on the orbiter includes, among the others, several spectrometers in the spectral range from UV to MW, the mapping spectrometers and the plasma package. On the lander there are instruments to work during the descent, and on the surface: gas-chromatograph, PTW (meteo), nephelometer and the particle sizes spectrometer, optical package, active gamma-spectrometer, TV-complex, which includes panoramic, high resolution and descending cameras.. On the balloon which has to work near the lower boundary of clouds, the devices will be installed to study the lower atmosphere and to get the surface images with high resolution at 1 mkm. Successful realization of the project Venera-D will allow to solve the important scientific problems of comparative planetology. In particular it will help to understand why do Venus and the Earth (sister-planets), similar in many aspects, being formed at similar conditions in the protoplanet nebula, evolve by such a different way.

  14. The Magellan Venus radar mapping mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saunders, R. S.; Sjogren, W. L.; Johnson, W. T. K.; Pieri, L.; Pettengill, G. H.; Arvidson, R. E.

    1990-01-01

    The NASA Magellan Venus Radar Mapper spacecraft, which will be placed into orbit around Venus on August 10, 1990, is described and its mission is discussed. The orbiter's 12-cm wavelength, multimode radar system is examined and the applications of its modes are addressed. In the SAR mode, it can image most of the Venus surface at a resolution of better than 300 m, approaching 120 m over more than half the planet. In the altimeter mode, the radar will determine topographic relief to a vertical accuracy of better than 50 m averaged over a surface resolution cell approximately 10 km in diameter. In the radiometer mode, the radar receiver can determine the surface radio emission brightness temperature with an absolute accuracy of 20 K, at a resolution of 2 K. The nature of the data products and the archiving plans are also considered.

  15. Coordinated HST, Venus Express, and Venus Climate Orbiter Observations of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jessup, Kandis

    2010-09-01

    Currently, there is an unprecedented opportunity to observe the atmosphere of Venus. The Japanese Venus Climate Orbiter {VCO} mission, successfully launched on May 21, 2010, will be observing Venus simultaneously with Venus Express {VEx} Mission from December 2010 onward. A campaign for Earth-based observations coincident with the arrival of VCO at Venus is currently under-way. Fortuitously, the window for observing Venus with HST at a solar elongation greater than 45 degrees is December 25, 2010, thru January 28, 2011. Thus, we are applying to use HST/STIS during that time to observe Venus upper cloud deck {65-75 km} in the ultraviolet {200-600 nm} at high spectral {0.3-0.6 nm} and spatial {40-60 km/pixel} resolution using the G230LB {0.17-0.31 microns} and G430L {0.30-0.57 microns} gratings, with the 52x0.1 slit and the CCD detector. By observing Venus with the slit in its nominal 45 degree orientation, we will map, as a function of latitude, longitude, and time of day, variations in the spatial distribution of the SO2, SO and S2 gases, which absorb strongly between 200 and 320 nm, and an un-identified ultraviolet {UV} absorber known to absorb strongly above 320 nm. Because the spatial distribution of all of the UV absorbers {named and un-named} is tied to the motion of the upper cloud, VCO plans to image the spatial distribution of the UV absorbers and their relationship with the cloud structure and the wind field, in order to derive the wind vectors at the cloud top {Rossow et al., 1990}. However, neither VEx nor VCO has the capability to obtain high spectral and spatial resolution spectroscopy of Venus upper clouds at 200-600 nm. The proposed HST observations will characterize and quantify the absorbers responsible for the cloud features recorded in the UV {200-600 nm} images to be obtained by the VCO/UVI and VEx/VIRTIS instruments, mapping the spatial distribution of these UV absorbers as function of the zonal cloud motion. Additionally, photodissociation of each of the identified UV absorbers is a key component of the system of reactions that leads to the formation of sulfur-oxides, the loss of atomic oxygen, and the subsequent formation of Venus H2SO4 clouds via the reaction of the sulfur-oxides with H2O. The density of H2O and OCS, the remaining atmospheric species that directly impact the rate of sulfur-oxide production and H2SO4 cloud formation within Venus atmosphere, will be obtained via ground-based and VEx/SOIR measurements. Thus, the proposed HST observations, when combined with VCO, VEx, and ground-based observations, will provide a complete picture of the latitudinal, longitudinal, time of day, and wind-driven variation of each of the key species involved in the sulfur-oxidation cycle. These results will be used to inform and develop models designed to i} investigate outstanding questions regarding the formation of Venus global sulfuric acid clouds and the abundance of oxygen in the atmosphere and ii} investigate the climatic evolution of Venus atmosphere.

  16. Venus Orbital Imaging Radar mission analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nock, K. T.; Bender, D. F.

    1977-01-01

    Mission objectives for the Venus Orbital Imaging Radar (VOIR) project are outlined with attention to its scientific instrumentation. Design parameters of the SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) are described, including a high resolution capability of 200 m from a circular orbit of 375 km, which will be able to map the entire surface of the planet. Nineteen atmospheric experiments are foreseen, among them: CO2 stability assays, measurements of vertical mass transfer rates, observations of cloud circulation and composition, and an evaluation of solar wind effects on atmospheric dynamics. Navigation and orbital injection plans are reviewed, noting that the 1983 launch window (using STS) is optimum.

  17. Planet-C: Venus Climate Orbiter mission of Japan

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Masato Nakamura; Takeshi Imamura; Munetaka Ueno; Naomoto Iwagami; Takehiko Satoh; Shigeto Watanabe; Makoto Taguchi; Yukihiro Takahashi; Makoto Suzuki; Takumi Abe; George L. Hashimoto; Takeshi Sakanoi; Shoichi Okano; Yasumasa Kasaba; Jun Yoshida; Manabu Yamada; Nobuaki Ishii; Takahiro Yamada; Kazunori Uemizu; Tetsuya Fukuhara; Koh-Ichiro Oyama

    2007-01-01

    The Venus Climate Orbiter mission (PLANET-C), one of the future planetary missions of Japan, aims at understanding the atmospheric circulation of Venus. Meteorological information will be obtained by globally mapping clouds and minor constituents successively with four cameras at ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths, detecting lightning with a high-speed imager, and observing the vertical structure of the atmosphere with radio science

  18. Observing the surface of Venus with VIRTIS on Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helbert, J.; Mariangeli, L.; Baines, K. H.; Garcia, R.; Erard, S.; Piccioni, G.; Drossart, P.; Müller, N.; Hashimoto, G.; Kostama, P.; Virtis Team

    The M channel of VIRTIS will allow the first systematic mapping of the surface and of the near-surface atmosphere of Venus in the near infrared wavelengths range This will be done using the atmospheric windows located at 1 10 1 18 mu m and if possible additionally using the window at 1 02 mu m Wattson and Rothman 1986 Kamp et al 1988 Moroz 2002 The latter is unfortunately right at the low end of the wavelength range of the IR channel and at the upper end of the VIS channel Therefore the usability of this window is unclear until first data from Venus are obtained The atmospheric windows will allow measuring the thermal emission of the surface as was demonstrated by Galileo NIMS Carlson et al 1991 and Cassini VIMS Baines et al 2000 While the atmospheric windows show no or little CO 2 absorption the radiance from the surface is still affected by scattering in the clouds This effect varies based on the optical thickness of the clouds We have developed a quicklook processing procedure which allows deriving surface emissivity variations from nighttime observations correcting for the atmospheric effects We will present the first version of this algorithm During the mission the algorithm will be refined based on the data returned from the different instruments on Venus Express The final goal is to derive maps of the absolute surface emissivity Based on these data two main science tasks for the surface analysis will be pursued Classification of the surface composition and study the interaction between low atmosphere and

  19. Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hunten, D. M. (editor); Colin, L. (editor); Donahue, T. M. (editor); Moroz, V. I.

    1983-01-01

    The present conference concerning the study of Venus discusses stellar magnitude and albedo data for the planet, radio astronomical studies, results of the Venera 13 and 14 missions, Venus optical properties, topography, surface properties and tectonic evolution, the tectonic implications of the interior of Venus, the thermal structure, photochemistry, composition, general circulation, and electrical activity of the Venus atmosphere, and the thermal balance of the lower, middle and upper atmoshere of Venus. Also discussed are the observation and interpretation of the Venus ionosphere, its model calculation, the interaction of the solar wind with the ionosphere of Venus in light of flow field models, the origin and evolution of the Venus atmosphere, and the problem posed by rare gases in the atmosphere of Venus.

  20. Your Mission: Investigate the geographical features on Venus and map the locations of space missions to Venus using a computer mapping program called Jules Verne Voyager

    E-print Network

    Smith-Konter, Bridget

    1 Your Mission: Investigate the geographical features on Venus and map the locations of space missions to Venus using a computer mapping program called Jules Verne Voyager Venus. Your Task: 1. Using the internet, navigate to the following webpage: http://jules.unavco.org/Voyager/Venus

  1. Reassessment of planetary protection requirements for Venus missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szostak, J.; Riemer, R.; Smith, D.; Rummel, J.

    In 2005 the US Space Studies Board SSB was asked by NASA to reexamine the planetary protection requirements for spacecraft missions to Venus In particular the SSB was tasked to 1 Assess the surface and atmospheric environments of Venus with respect to their ability to support the survival and growth of Earth-origin microbial contamination by future spacecraft missions and 2 Provide recommendations related to planetary protection issues associated with the return to Earth of samples from Venus The task group established by the SSB to address these issues assessed the known aspects of the present-day environment of Venus and the ability of Earth organisms to survive in the physical and chemical conditions found on the planet s surface or in the clouds in the planet s atmosphere As a result of its deliberations the task group found compelling evidence against there being significant dangers of forward or reverse biological contamination as a result of contact between a spacecraft and the surface of Venus or the clouds in the atmosphere of Venus regardless of the current unknowns The task group did however conclude that Venus is a body of interest relative to the process of chemical evolution and the origin of life As a result the task group endorses NASA s current policy of subjecting missions to Venus to the requirements imposed by planetary protection Category II rather than the less restrictive Category I recommended by COSPAR

  2. ESA's Venus Express to reach final destination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2006-04-01

    First step: catching Venus To begin to explore our Earth’s hot and hazy sister planet, Venus Express must complete a critical first step, the most challenging one following launch. This involves a set of complex operations and manoeuvres that will inject the spacecraft into orbit. The Venus Orbit Insertion (VOI) manoeuvre allows the spacecraft to reduce its speed relative to Venus, so that it can be captured by the planet’s gravitation. The manoeuvre is a critical one which must proceed at precisely the right place and time. The VOI phase officially started on 4 April and will not be completed until 13 April. It is split into three main sub-phases. The first consists in preparing or initialising the spacecraft for the actual capture manoeuvre so as to avoid the risk of the spacecraft going into safe mode, should parameters unrelated to VOI go off-range. The capture manoeuvre itself consists of a main-engine burn lasting about 50 minutes on the morning of 11 April starting at 09:17 (Central European Summer Time). This is the second main VOI sub-phase. The final sub-phase will be restoring all spacecraft functions, notably resuming communications with Earth and uplinking the commands to be executed during the preliminary ‘capture’ orbit. Orbital capture is controlled by an automatic sequence of predefined commands, uploaded to the spacecraft four days prior to VOI. This sequence is the minimum set needed to perform the main-engine burn. All spacecraft operations are controlled and commanded by the ground control team located at ESA’s European Spacecraft Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany. Timeeline of major VOI events (some times subject to change) 4 Aprilacecraft transmitter connected to low gain antenna is switched on. During its interplanetary cruise and during the scientific part of the mission to come, Venus Express communicates with Earth by means of its two high gain antennas. However, during the orbit capture phase (11 April), these two antennas become unusable because of the spacecraft’s required orientation at that time. The low gain antenna, carrying a feeble but instantly recognisable signal, will be transmitting throughout all VOI manoeuvres. This will allow ground controllers to monitor the velocity change during the burn, using NASA’s Deep Space Network’s 70-metre antenna near Madrid, Spain. No other means of communication with the Earth is possible during the capture burn. 5 and 9 April, targeting control manoeuvres. Two time slots are available to adjust course if needed. Given the high accuracy of the course correction performed end of March, Venus Express is currently on the right trajectory for a successful capture into orbit and it is therefore unlikely that either of these two extra slots will be required. 10 to 11 April, final preparations for VOI manoeuvre. 24 to 12 hours before VOI, spacecraft controllers will command Venus Express into its final configuration for the burn. Over the final 12 hours, they will monitor its status, ready to deal with any contingencies requiring last-minute trajectory correction or any revising of the main-engine burn duration. 11 April, 08:03 (CEST), ‘slew’ manoeuvre. This manoeuvre lasts about half an hour and rotates Venus Express so that the main engine faces the direction of motion. Thanks to this, the burn will slow down (rather than accelerate) the spacecraft. 11 April, 09:17 (CEST), main-engine burn starts. A few minutes after firing of the spacecraft thrusters to make sure the propellant settles in the feed lines to the main engine, the latter will begin its 50-minute long burn, ending at 10:07. This thrust will reduce the initial velocity of 29 000 kilometres per hour (in relation to Venus) by 15 percent, allowing capture. Venus Express will settle into its preliminary, elongated nine-day orbit. On capture, it will be at about 120 million kilometres from the Earth and, at its nearest point, within 400 km of the surface of Venus. During the burn, at 09:45 (CEST), Venus Express will disappear behind the planet and will not be visi

  3. Lightning on Venus? Searching for optical evidence with VIRTIS on Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardesín Moinelo, A.; García Muñoz, A.; Piccioni, G.

    2013-09-01

    The Venus Express mission has been observing the Venusian Atmosphere continuously since 2006, producing great amounts of hyper-spectral data from the Visible to the Near InfraRed. Although the occurrence of lightning in the Venus atmosphere has been published several times in the past years, always on the basis of detected electromagnetic pulses, the subject is still controversial. It is generally agreed that an optical observation of the phenomenon would settle the issue. We will show here some details of the analysis of the whole data collection of hyperspectral images produced by the VIRTIS instrument in the visible and infrared range, with description of the method and preliminary results.

  4. Venus Express observations of ULF and ELF waves in the Venus ionosphere: Wave properties and sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russell, C. T.; Leinweber, H.; Hart, R. A.; Wei, H. Y.; Strangeway, R. J.; Zhang, T. L.

    2013-11-01

    Electrical activity in a planetary atmosphere enables chemical reactions that are not possible under conditions of local thermodynamic equilibrium. In both the Venus and terrestrial atmospheres, lightning forms nitric oxide. Despite the existence of an inventory of NO at Venus like the Earth’s, and despite observations of the signals expected from lightning at optical, VLF, and ELF frequencies, the existence of Venus lightning still is met with some skepticism. The Venus Express mission was equipped with a fluxgate magnetometer gradiometer system sampling at rates as high as 128 Hz, and making measurements as low as 200 km altitude above the north polar regions of Venus. However, significant noise levels are present on the Venus Express spacecraft. Cleaning techniques have been developed to remove spacecraft interference at DC, ULF, and ELF frequencies, revealing two types of electromagnetic waves, a transverse right-handed guided mode, and a linearly polarized compressional mode. The propagation of both types of signals is sensitive to the magnetic field in ways consistent with propagation from a distant source to the spacecraft. The linearly polarized compressional waves generally are at lower frequencies than the right-handed transverse waves. They appear to be crossing the usually horizontal magnetic field. At higher frequencies above the lower hybrid frequency, waves cannot enter the ionosphere from below when the field is horizontal. The arrival of signals at the spacecraft is controlled by the orientation of the magnetic field. When the field dips into the atmosphere, the higher frequency guided mode above the lower hybrid frequency can enter the ionosphere by propagating along the magnetic field in the whistler mode. These properties are illustrated with examples from five orbits during Venus Express’ first year in orbit. These properties observed are consistent with the linearly polarized compressional waves being produced at the solar wind interface and the transverse guided waves being produced in the atmosphere.

  5. A Cubesat Mission to Venus: A Low-Cost Approach to the Investigation of Venus Lightning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Majid, W.; Duncan, C.; Kuiper, T.; Russell, C. T.; Hart, R. A.; Lightsey, E.

    2013-12-01

    The occurrence of Venus lightning has been detected by atmospheric probes and landers on Venus; by ionospheric satellites; by an orbiting visible spectrometer; at radio frequencies by the Galileo spacecraft while flying by Venus; and by an Earth-based telescope. However, none of these detectors has enabled us to determine the global occurrence rate of lightning in the atmosphere of Venus, nor the altitude at which this lightning is generated. Such measurements are needed in order to determine the processes that generate Venus lightning and to establish the importance of Venus lightning in controlling the chemical composition of the Venus atmosphere. A simple and affordable mission to perform this mapping could be achieved with CubeSat technology. A mother spacecraft with at least three CubeSat partners using RF detection could map the occurrence of lightning globally and determine its altitude of origin, with triangulation of precisely timed RF event arrivals. Such a mission would provide space for complementary investigations and be affordable under the Discovery mission program. We are embarking on a program to develop CubeSat-based instrumentation for such a mission. The initial task is to develop a lightning detector in a CubeSat development kit using a software defined radio (SDR) operating at decameter wavelengths (5-50 MHz). This involves algorithm development as well as selecting or developing radio hardware for a CubeSat. Two units will be tested on the ground in a lightning zone such as New Mexico, where the Long Wavelength Array operates in the same frequency range. When the concept has been proven, flight subsystems such as solar panels, attitude sensing and communication radios will be added to the CubeSats to test performance in low Earth orbit. Experience gained from flight would enable a cluster of sensors to be proposed for a future Venus mission.

  6. Mapping Venus: Modeling the Magellan Mission.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Richardson, Doug

    1997-01-01

    Provides details of an activity designed to help students understand the relationship between astronomy and geology. Applies concepts of space research and map-making technology to the construction of a topographic map of a simulated section of Venus. (DDR)

  7. A conceptual venus rover mission using advanced radioisotope power system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Evans, Michael; Shirley, James H.; Abelson, Robert Dean

    2006-01-01

    The primary goal of this study is to examine the feasibility of using the novel Advanced RPS-driven Stirling thermoacoustic system to enable extended science operations in the extremely hostile surface environment of Venus. The mission concept entails landing a rover onto the Venus surface, conducting science measurements in different areas on the surface, and returning the science data to Earth. The study focused on developing a rover design to satisfy the science goals with the capability to operate for 60 days. This mission life influences several design parameters, including Earth elevation angle and the maximum communications range to Earth.

  8. Venus atmospheric and surface studies from VIRTIS on Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arnold, Gabriele E.; Drossart, Pierre; Piccioni, Giuseppe; Haus, Rainer

    2011-09-01

    The Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) on Venus Express, after five years in a polar Venus orbit, provided an enormous amount of new data including a three-dimensional view of the atmosphere and information on global surface properties of the planet. VIRTIS is a complex imaging spectrometer that combines three unique data channels in one compact instrument. Two of the channels are committed to spectral mapping (VIRTIS-M) and a third one to high spectral resolution studies (VIRTIS-H). The paper gives an overview about the experimental goals and the instrument performance. It discusses some selected scientific results achieved by VIRTIS, among them thermal structure and properties of the lower, middle and upper atmosphere including dynamics, polar vortex, nightglows, and NLTE effects as well as surface features obtained from nightside emission measurements in the NIR atmospheric windows.

  9. Nuclear Electric Propulsion Application: RASC Mission Robotic Exploration of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McGuire, Melissa L.; Borowski, Stanley K.; Packard, Thomas W.

    2004-01-01

    The following paper documents the mission and systems analysis portion of a study in which Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) is used as the in-space transportation system to send a series of robotic rovers and atmospheric science airplanes to Venus in the 2020 to 2030 timeframe. As part of the NASA RASC (Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts) program, this mission analysis is meant to identify future technologies and their application to far reaching NASA missions. The NEP systems and mission analysis is based largely on current technology state of the art assumptions. This study looks specifically at the performance of the NEP transfer stage when sending a series of different payload package point design options to Venus orbit.

  10. The Venus Neutral Atmosphere from the Radio Science Experiment VeRa on Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tellmann, Silvia; Haeusler, Bernd; Paetzold, Martin; Bird, Michael; Tyler, G. L.; Andert, Thomas; Remus, Stefan

    The Venus Express Radio Science Experiment VeRa performs regular radio-sounding experi-ments in the Venus neutral atmosphere and ionosphere using the spacecraft radio subsystem in the one-way radio mode at X-band (8.4 GHz) and S-band (2.3 GHz). An Ultra-Stable Oscilla-tor (USO) provides a high quality on-board frequency reference for refractivity measurements, from which electron density profiles in the ionosphere and profiles of pressure, temperature and neutral number density of the neutral atmosphere are derived. Radial profiles of neutral number density from the atmospheric-induced Doppler shift during the occultations cover the altitude range 40-90 km. These are then used to derive vertical profiles of temperature and pressure. The polar orbit of Venus Express provides the opportunity to study the troposphere and meso-sphere at all planetocentric latitudes under varying illumination conditions. Seven occultation seasons have occurred thus far during the Venus Express mission, resulting in a data set with more than 320 neutral atmospheric profiles. The thermal structure is investigated with regard to the latitudinal and temporal variability. The Venus mesosphere shows a high variability resulting from atmospheric waves and turbulence. Profiles of atmospheric static stability are found to be latitude dependent and nearly adiabatic in the middle cloud region. Abrupt changes in the static stability can occur at the boundaries of the middle cloud layer, the vertical dis-tribution of which shows a distinct latitudinal dependence. Correlations of wave activity with the static stability profile will be investigated

  11. Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1995-01-01

    VENUS CLOUD TOPS VIEWED BY HUBBLE. This is a NASA Hubble Space Telescope ultraviolet-light image of the planet Venus, taken on January 24 1995, when Venus was at a distance of 70.6 million miles (113.6 million kilometers) from Earth. Venus is covered with clouds made of sulfuric acid, rather than the water-vapor clouds found on Earth. These clouds permanently shroud Venus' volcanic surface, which has been radar mapped by spacecraft and from Earth-based telescope. At ultraviolet wavelengths cloud patterns become distinctive. In particular, a horizontal 'Y'-shaped cloud feature is visible near the equator. Similar features were seen from Mariner 10, Pioneer Venus, and Galileo spacecrafts. This global feature might indicate atmospheric waves, analogous to high and low pressure cells on Earth. Bright clouds toward Venus' poles appear to follow latitude lines. The polar regions are bright, possibly showing a haze of small particles overlying the main clouds. The dark regions show the location of enhanced sulfur dioxide near the cloud tops. From previous missions, astronomers know that such features travel east to west along with the Venus' prevailing winds, to make a complete circuit around the planet in four days. Because Venus is closer to the Sun than Earth, the planet appears to go through phases, like the Moon. When Venus swings close to Earth the planet's disk appears to grow in size, but changes from a full disk to a crescent. The image was taken with the Wide Field Planetary Camera-2, in PC mode. False color has been used enhance cloud features.

  12. Study of the nightside Venus upper haze from VIRTIS-M / Venus Express limb observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorinov, D.; Ignatiev, N.; Zasova, L.; Piccioni, G.; Drossart, P.

    2014-04-01

    This work studies the structure of the aerosol in the upper haze of Venus (75-95 km). According to several nightside limb observations made by VIRTIS (IR imaging spectrometer on-board the Venus Express spacecraft) a haze of particles can sometimes be seen on the planet's limb. These observations are also confirmed by the similar results, gained by SPICAV/SOIR, another experiment on the same mission, operating however in a different geometry. By using the model ARS [2], which simulates the radiative transfer in the venusian atmosphere, we were able to create the intensity profiles and to try to fit them (forward modeling) into the experimental data. As a result of these calculations, a lot of particle parameters were found out, including their size distribution, altitude distribution and number density.

  13. Venus winds at cloud level from UV, visible and near infrared observations from VIRTIS on Venus Express over 2006-2012

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hueso, R.; Peralta, J.; Garate-Lopez, I.; Bandos, T. V.; Sánchez-Lavega, A.

    2014-04-01

    After more than 6 years orbiting Venus the Venus Express mission (VEX) has provided the largest database of observations of Venus atmosphere at different cloud layers with the combination of VMC and VIRTIS instruments. We present measurements of cloud motions in the South hemisphere of Venus analyzing images from the VIRTIS-M visible channel at different wavelengths sensitive to the upper cloud haze at 65-70 km height (dayside ultraviolet images) and the middle cloud deck (dayside visible and near infrared images around 1 mm) about 5-8 km deeper in the atmosphere.

  14. A Conceptual Venus Rover Mission Using Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, Michael; Shirley, James H.; Abelson, Robert Dean

    2006-01-01

    This concept study demonstrates that a long lived Venus rover mission could be enabled by a novel application of advanced RPS technology. General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules would be employed to drive an advanced thermoacoustic Stirling engine, pulse tube cooler and linear alternator that provides electric power and cooling for the rover. The Thermoacoustic Stirling Heat Engine (TASHE) is a system for converting high-temperature heat into acoustic power which then drives linear alternators and a pulse tube cooler to provide both electric power and coolin6g for the rover. A small design team examined this mission concept focusing on the feasibility of using the TASHE system in this hostile environment. A rover design is described that would provide a mobile platform for science measurements on the Venus surface for 60 days, with the potential of operating well beyond that. A suite of science instruments is described that collects data on atmospheric and surface composition, surface stratigraphy, and subsurface structure. An Earth-Venus-Venus trajectory would be used to deliver the rover to a low entry angle allowing an inflated ballute to provide a low deceleration and low heat descent to the surface. All rover systems would be housed in a pressure vessel in vacuum with the internal temperature maintained by the TASHE at under 50 °C.

  15. Composition and chemistry of the Venusian atmosphere after Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcq, Emmanuel

    The ESA/Venus Express orbiter mission is expected to end before the end of this year (2014), and time has come to summarize its results and examine how they changed our view of this planet. Venus Express instruments (especially the spectrometers VIRTIS and SPICAV/SOIR) have been addressing numerous scientific issues since 2006, among which remote sensing of many minor species from the lower troposphere up to the mesosphere at various latitudes and local solar time, often evidencing spatial or temporal variability. In preparation of a new synthesis of our current knowledge about Venusian atmospheric chemistry and composition to be included in the Venus III book (expected to be published in 2015), we shall present an overview of the most significant updates in this domain. A non-exhaustive list of the sub-topics we would like to address is; (1) Lower tropospheric measurements: Venus Express has been able to study in detail most of the thermal infrared windows, yielding extensive night side measurements of some key minor species (CO, OCS, H_2O, HDO, SO_2) (2) Profiles at an unparalleled vertical resolution of many minor species in the lower mesosphere thanks to stellar and solar occultation techniques. (3) Spatial and temporal variability of minor species at various scales, the most striking example being SO_2 above cloud top. (4) New theoretical understanding and modeling of the interplay between the various chemical cycles (carbon, sulfur, halogens) and the condensed phase particulate matter from the clouds and hazes, based on the newest available observational constraints from Venus Express and ground-based telescopes.

  16. Plasma transition at the flanks of the Venus ionosheath: Evidence from the Venus Express data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pérez-de-Tejada, H.; Lundin, R.; Barabash, S.; Sauvaud, J.; Coates, A.; Zhang, T. L.; Winningham, D.; Reyes-Ruiz, M.; Durand-Manterola, H.

    2011-01-01

    Measurements conducted with the Analyzer of Space Plasmas and Energetic Atoms (ASPERA-4) instrument in the Venus Express spacecraft reveal the presence of a plasma transition within a boundary layer that extends along at the flanks of the Venus ionosheath and where the solar wind exhibits changes similar to those reported from previous missions (Mariner 5, Venera, and Pioneer Venus). At the plasma transition there is a sharp downstream decrease in the density of the solar wind electrons and a sudden increase in their temperature embedded within the boundary layer where more gradual changes in the speed, temperature, and density of the solar wind ions are observed. The ASPERA-4 data also show important fluxes of planetary ions measured downstream from the plasma transition and whose dominant velocity component is in the Sun-Venus direction. The speed of those ions is slower than the local solar wind speed and thus is different from that expected from the convective electric field acceleration in which both speed values should be comparable. The boundary layer is interpreted as representing a feature that results from the transport of solar wind momentum to the Venus upper ionosphere, and the ASPERA-4 data provide information on the kinetic properties of the eroded planetary ion population that is seen to stream mostly in the Sun-Venus direction. From the comparison of the ASPERA-4 measurements with those of the magnetic field obtained with the magnetometer of the Venus Express, it is found that in the near wake crossing of the plasma transition the magnetic field intensity decreases to lower values with downstream distance from the planet in agreement with measurements conducted with the Mariner 5 and the PVO. From the analysis of data for orbits with evidence of the plasma transition within the boundary layer, it is found that the momentum flux of planetary ions measured in the wake can be accounted for from the incident momentum flux of the solar wind protons implying an approximate balance as would result from the transport of solar wind momentum to the planetary particles.

  17. ESA to present the latest Venus Express results to the media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2007-11-01

    The launch of Venus Express back in November 2005 represented a major milestone in the exploration of Venus — a planet unvisited by any dedicated spacecraft since the early 1990s. One of the fundamental questions being addressed by the Venus Express mission is why a world so similar to Earth in mass and size has evolved so differently, to become the noxious and inhospitable planet it is today. Since it started its scientific observations in July 2006, Venus Express has been making the most detailed study of the planet’s thick and complex atmosphere to date. The latest findings not only highlight the features that make Venus unique in the solar system but also provide fresh clues as to how the planet is — despite everything — a more Earth-like planetary neighbour than one could have imagined. The results will appear in a special section of the 29 November issue of the journal Nature containing nine individual papers devoted to Venus Express science activities. Media organisations interested in attending the press conference are invited to register via the form attached below. Media that cannot attend will have the opportunity to follow the press conference via the following phone line: +33 1 58 99 57 42 (listening-mode only).The results presented at the press conference are embargoed until 28 November 19:00 CET. For more information ESA Media Relations Office Tel: +33 1 5369 7299 Fax: +33 1 5369 7690 Media event programme ‘Venus: a more Earth-like planetary neighbour’ Latest results from Venus Express 28 November 2007, 15:00, room 137 ESA Headquarters, 8-10 rue Mario-Nikis, Paris 15:00 Introduction, by Håkan Svedhem, ESA Venus Express Project Scientist 15:07 Venus: What we knew before, by Fred Taylor, Venus Express Interdisciplinary Scientist 15:15 Temperatures in the atmosphere of Venus, by Jean-Loup Bertaux, SPICAV Principal Investigator 15:25 The dynamic atmosphere of Venus, by Giuseppe Piccioni, VIRTIS Principal Investigator 15:40 Venus’s atmosphere and the solar wind, by Stas Barabash, ASPERA Principal Investigator 15:50 Climate and evolution, by David Grinspoon, Venus Express Interdisciplinary Scientist 16:00 Conclusion, by Dmitri Titov, Venus Express Science Coordinator and VMC scientist 16:05 Questions and Answers 16:25 Individual interviews 17:30 End of event

  18. Venus winds from ultraviolet, visible and near infrared images from the VIRTIS instrument on Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hueso, Ricardo; Garate-Lopez, I.; Peralta, J.; Bandos, T.; Sánchez-Lavega, A.

    2013-10-01

    After more than 6 years orbiting Venus the Venus Express mission has provided the largest database of observations of Venus atmosphere at different cloud layers with the combination of VMC and VIRTIS instruments. We present measurements of cloud motions in the South hemisphere of Venus analyzing images from the VIRTIS-M visible channel at different wavelengths sensitive to the upper cloud haze at 65-70 km height (dayside ultraviolet images) and the middle cloud deck (dayside visible and near infrared images around 1 ?m) about 5-8 km deeper in the atmosphere. We combine VIRTIS images in nearby wavelengths to increase the contrast of atmospheric details and measurements were obtained with a semi-automatic cloud correlation algorithm. Both cloud layers are studied simultaneously to infer similarities and differences in these vertical levels in terms of cloud morphologies and winds. For both levels we present global mean zonal and meridional winds, latitudinal distribution of winds with local time and the wind shear between both altitudes. The upper branch of the Hadley cell circulation is well resolved in UV images with an acceleration of the meridional circulation at mid-latitudes with increasing local time peaking at 14-16h. This organized meridional circulation is almost absent in NIR images. Long-term variability of zonal winds is also found in UV images with increasing winds over time during the VEX mission. This is in agreement with current analysis of VMC images (Kathuntsev et al. 2013). The possible long-term acceleration of zonal winds is also examined for NIR images. References Khatuntsev et al. Icarus 226, 140-158 (2013)

  19. An Atmospheric Variability Model for Venus Aerobraking Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tolson, Robert T.; Prince, Jill L. H.; Konopliv, Alexander A.

    2013-01-01

    Aerobraking has proven to be an enabling technology for planetary missions to Mars and has been proposed to enable low cost missions to Venus. Aerobraking saves a significant amount of propulsion fuel mass by exploiting atmospheric drag to reduce the eccentricity of the initial orbit. The solar arrays have been used as the primary drag surface and only minor modifications have been made in the vehicle design to accommodate the relatively modest aerothermal loads. However, if atmospheric density is highly variable from orbit to orbit, the mission must either accept higher aerothermal risk, a slower pace for aerobraking, or a tighter corridor likely with increased propulsive cost. Hence, knowledge of atmospheric variability is of great interest for the design of aerobraking missions. The first planetary aerobraking was at Venus during the Magellan mission. After the primary Magellan science mission was completed, aerobraking was used to provide a more circular orbit to enhance gravity field recovery. Magellan aerobraking took place between local solar times of 1100 and 1800 hrs, and it was found that the Venusian atmospheric density during the aerobraking phase had less than 10% 1 sigma orbit to orbit variability. On the other hand, at some latitudes and seasons, Martian variability can be as high as 40% 1 sigmaFrom both the MGN and PVO mission it was known that the atmosphere, above aerobraking altitudes, showed greater variability at night, but this variability was never quantified in a systematic manner. This paper proposes a model for atmospheric variability that can be used for aerobraking mission design until more complete data sets become available.

  20. Image processing and products for the Magellan mission to Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clark, Jerry; Alexander, Doug; Andres, Paul; Lewicki, Scott; Mcauley, Myche

    1992-01-01

    The Magellan mission to Venus is providing planetary scientists with massive amounts of new data about the surface geology of Venus. Digital image processing is an integral part of the ground data system that provides data products to the investigators. The mosaicking of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) image data from the spacecraft is being performed at JPL's Multimission Image Processing Laboratory (MIPL). MIPL hosts and supports the Image Data Processing Subsystem (IDPS), which was developed in a VAXcluster environment of hardware and software that includes optical disk jukeboxes and the TAE-VICAR (Transportable Applications Executive-Video Image Communication and Retrieval) system. The IDPS is being used by processing analysts of the Image Data Processing Team to produce the Magellan image data products. Various aspects of the image processing procedure are discussed.

  1. Venus Interior Structure Mission (VISM): Establishing a Seismic Network on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stofan, E. R.; Saunders, R. S.; Senske, D.; Nock, K.; Tralli, D.; Lundgren, P.; Smrekar, S.; Banerdt, B.; Kaiser, W.; Dudenhoefer, J.

    1993-01-01

    Magellan radar data show the surface of Venus to contain a wide range of geologic features (large volcanoes, extensive rift valleys, etc.). Although networks of interconnecting zones of deformation are identified, a system of spreading ridges and subduction zones like those that dominate the tectonic style of the Earth do not appear to be present. In addition, the absence of a mantle low-viscosity zone suggests a strong link between mantle dynamics and the surface. As a natural follow-on to the Magellan mission, establishing a network of seismometers on Venus will provide detailed quantitative information on the large scale interior structure of the planet. When analyzed in conjunction with image, gravity, and topography information, these data will aid in constraining mechanisms that drive surface deformation.

  2. The Ninevah Mission: A design summary for an unmanned mission to Venus, volume 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    The design summary for an unmanned mission to the planet Venus, with code name Ninevah, is presented. The design includes a Hohmann transfer trajectory analysis, propulsion trade study, an overview of the communication and instrumentation systems, power requirements, probe and lander analysis, and a weight and cost analysis.

  3. Venus Express Contributions to the Study of Planetary Lightning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russell, C. T.; Hart, R. A.; Zhang, T. L.

    2014-04-01

    Jupiter, and Saturn are expected to generate the electrical potential differences in their clouds sufficient to cause a breakdown in the atmosphere,creating a conducting path for the electric potential to discharge. This high-energy phenomenon creates a hot, high-pressure channel that enables chemical reactions not possible under usual local thermodynamic conditions. Thus it is of some interest to determine if lightning occurs in an atmosphere. While Venus is not usually considered one of the wet planets, lightning has been an object of interest since the Venera landers. It was observed with electromagnetic coils on Venera 11, 12, 13, 14 landers [2]. It was observed with a visible spectrometer on the Venera 9 orbits [1]. It was mapped during solar occultations by the electric antenna on the Pioneer Venus Orbiter [4]. These measurements revealed extensive lightning activity with an electromagnetic energy flux similar to that on Earth. However, the observations were limited in number in the atmosphere and to the nightside from orbit. In order to improve the understanding of Venus lightning, the Venus Express magnetometer was given a 128-Hz sampling rate that could cover much of the ELF frequencies at which lightning could be observed in the weak magnetic fields of the Venus ionosphere [5]. This investigation was immediately successful [3], but mastering the cleaning of the broadband data took several years to accomplish. Furthermore, the high polar latitudes of VEX periapsis were not the ideal locations to conduct the more global survey that was desired. Fortunately, after precessing poleward over the first few years the latitude of periapsis has returned to lower latitudes(Figures 1 and 2) and active electrical storms are now being studied. The charged constituent of the Venus atmosphere need not be water. In fact, we believe it is H2SO4 which polarizes much as water does and which freezes and melts at similar temperatures. If it is H2SO4, we would expect the constituent to be sensitive to the rate of Venus volcanism releasing sulfur and sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere. This is one correlation we are anxious to pursue on future missions.

  4. Monday, March 23, 2009 SPECIAL SESSION: VENUS ATMOSPHERE

    E-print Network

    Rathbun, Julie A.

    Monday, March 23, 2009 SPECIAL SESSION: VENUS ATMOSPHERE: VENUS EXPRESS AND FUTURE MISSIONS 2:30 p Y. J. Daniels J. T. M. Barabash S. Zhang T. L. Venus Express: Atmospheric Loss and Electrodynamics [#1408] The solar wind interaction with Venus is eroding the Venus atmosphere in several different ways

  5. Tracking Clouds on Venus using Venus Express Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pertzborn, Rosalyn; Limaye, Sanjay; Markiewicz, Wojciech; Jasmin, Tommy; Udgaonkar, Nishant

    2014-05-01

    In the US, a growing emphasis has been placed on the development of inclusive and authentic educational experiences which promote active participation by the K-12 learning community as well as the general public in NASA's earth and space science research activities. In the face of growing national and international budgetary constraints which present major challenges across all scientific research organizations around the world, the need for scientific communities to dramatically improve strategies for effective public engagement experiences, demonstrating the relevance of earth and space science research contributions to the citizenry, have become paramount. This presentation will provide an introduction to the online Venus Express Cloud tracking applet, an overview of feedback from educational users based on classroom/pilot implementation efforts, as well as the concept's potential viability for the promotion of expanded public participation in the analysis of data in future planetary exploration and research activities, nationally and internationally. Acknowledgements: We wish to acknowledge the contributions of Mr. Nishant Udgaonkar, a summer intern with the S.N. Bose Scholars Program, sponsored by the Science and Engineering Board, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, the Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. We also wish to acknowledge the Space Science and Engineering Center as well as NASA for supporting this project.

  6. Search for active lava flows with VIRTIS on Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mueller, N. T.; Helbert, J.; Stofan, E. R.; Smrekar, S. E.; Piccioni, G.; Drossart, P.

    2012-12-01

    There are several lines of evidence suggesting that effusive volcanism still shapes the surface of Venus but the rate is not well constrained. The preservation of impact craters is consistent with a rate of 1 km3/year (comparable to Earth intraplate volcanism) as well as a rate several orders of magnitude less. It has been proposed to search images of the Venus nightside near 1 ?m for the excess thermal emission of active lava flows. The scattering of photons in the optically thick cloud cover is similar in effect to a Gaussian blur with a Full Width Half Maximum (FWHM) of 90 km. This reduces the maximum intensity of the anomalies introduced by eruptions, making detection more difficult than in a clear atmosphere, but also provides larger targets for imaging. The VIRTIS instrument on Venus Express observed surface thermal emission at 1.02 ?m wavelength between April 2006 and October 2008 at a spatial resolution of typically a few tens of km. We have searched the ~1000 images for the signatures of active lava flows in form of transient excess emission measured in several adjacent pixels. We estimate that eruptions with 1GW/?m/sr total excess specific thermal emission would be clearly visible compared to the instrumental and atmospheric noise but no such anomalies were detected. It has been shown that the total thermal emission of eruptions on Earth can be related to the lava discharge rate. We adjust this model to the Venus surface environment by adjusting observed lava surface temperature distributions and estimate that a discharge rate on the order of 1000 m3/s is required to produce an anomaly clearly identifiable in VIRTIS data. This is a relatively high value for effusive volcanism but a few historical eruptions on Earth surpassed it. Adopting a fit to the discharge rates of historical eruptions on Hawaii as a model, 4% to 10% of the eruptions in the field of view of VIRTIS images would have been detectable. In addition to the low detection probability, the low surface coverage of on average 1% of the surface per day over a period of 800 days indicates that the probability of an eruption imaged by VIRTIS was low to begin with. Therefore the VIRTIS data set fails to provide a useful constraint on the rate of volcanism on Venus. Venus Express continues to observe surface thermal emission with the Venus Monitoring camera. For future missions, near infrared imaging would profit from more frequent images of the same area than is possible from the excentric 24h orbit of Venus Express. The superrotation of the cloud cover allows to reduce atmospheric noise by averaging of images taken hours apart and the detection of eruptions with 100 m3/s lava or less might then be possible. Nevertheless, searching for lava flows emplaced between two observations of the same surface by high resolution radar imaging, altimetry or interferometry generally provides a better constraints than infrared imaging for the same observation duration and surface coverage. However, high resolution radar and low resolution infrared observations are highly complementary and could be accommodated on the same mission, preferably with a low circular polar orbit.

  7. MESSENGER and Venus Express Observations of the Solar Wind Interaction with Venus: A Dual Spacecraft Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slavin, James A.; Acuna, M. H.; Anderson, B. J.; Barabash, S.; Benna, M.; Boardsen, S. A.; Fraenz, M.; Gloeckler, G.; Gold, R. E.; Ho, G. C.; Korth, H.; Krimigis, S. M.; McNutt, R. L., Jr.; Raines, J. M.; Sarantos, M.; Solomon, S. C.; Zhang, T.; Zurbuchen, T. H.

    2007-01-01

    At 23:08 UT on 5 June 2007 the MESSENGER spacecraft reached its closest approach altitude (338 krn) during its second flyby of Venus en route to its 201 1 orbit insertion at Mercury. Whereas no measurements were collected during MESSENGER'S first Venus flyby in October 2006, the Magnetometer (MAG) and the Energetic Particle and Plasma Spectrometer (EPPS) operated successfully throughout this second encounter. Venus provides the solar system's best example to date of a solar wind - ionosphere planetary interaction. Pioneer Venus Orbiter measurements have shown that this interaction affects the upper atmosphere and ionosphere down to altitudes of - 150 km. Here we present an initial overview of the MESSENGER observations during the - 4 hrs that the spacecraft spent within 10 planet radii of Venus and, together with Venus Express measurements, examine the influence of solar wind plasma and interplanetary magnetic field conditions on the solar wind interaction at solar minimum.

  8. Power Conversion with a Stirling Cycle for Venus Surface Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mellott, Ken

    2004-01-01

    The light-filtering characteristic of the dense, mostly-CO2 atmosphere of Venus, combined with the high atmospheric cloud cover, relegates the surface mission use of photovoltaic power systems and beckons for the independence and reliability of a nuclear-powered energy source. A multi-faceted Venus mission study was completed at NASA GRC in December of 2003 that resulted in the preliminary design of a helium- charged, kinematic Stirling converter, which is powered by nuclear, General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules. The kinematic, Stirling power converter is configured to drive an electronics and sensor cooler in addition to a generator for electrical power. This paper briefly describes the design process and also describes and summarizes key features of the Stirling power converter preliminary design concept. With an estimated total efficiency of 23.4%, the power converter drives the electronics and sensor cooler, and also produces 100 watts of electricity. The converter rejects waste heat at a hot sink temperature of 500 C.

  9. Composition of the Venus mesosphere measured by Solar Occultation at Infrared on board Venus Express

    Microsoft Academic Search

    A. C. Vandaele; M. De Mazière; R. Drummond; A. Mahieux; E. Neefs; V. Wilquet; O. Korablev; A. Fedorova; D. Belyaev; F. Montmessin; J.-L. Bertaux

    2008-01-01

    Solar Occultation at Infrared (SOIR), which is a part of the Spectroscopy for Investigation of Characteristics of the Atmosphere of Venus (SPICAV) instrument on board Venus Express, combines an echelle-grating spectrometer with an acoustooptical tunable filter. It performs solar occultation measurements in the IR region at a high spectral resolution better than all previously flown planetary spectrometers. The wavelength range

  10. Aerocapture Performance Analysis of A Venus Exploration Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Starr, Brett R.; Westhelle, Carlos H.

    2005-01-01

    A performance analysis of a Discovery Class Venus Exploration Mission in which aerocapture is used to capture a spacecraft into a 300km polar orbit for a two year science mission has been conducted to quantify its performance. A preliminary performance assessment determined that a high heritage 70 sphere-cone rigid aeroshell with a 0.25 lift to drag ratio has adequate control authority to provide an entry flight path angle corridor large enough for the mission s aerocapture maneuver. A 114 kilograms per square meter ballistic coefficient reference vehicle was developed from the science requirements and the preliminary assessment s heating indicators and deceleration loads. Performance analyses were conducted for the reference vehicle and for sensitivity studies on vehicle ballistic coefficient and maximum bank rate. The performance analyses used a high fidelity flight simulation within a Monte Carlo executive to define the aerocapture heating environment and deceleration loads and to determine mission success statistics. The simulation utilized the Program to Optimize Simulated Trajectories (POST) that was modified to include Venus specific atmospheric and planet models, aerodynamic characteristics, and interplanetary trajectory models. In addition to Venus specific models, an autonomous guidance system, HYPAS, and a pseudo flight controller were incorporated in the simulation. The Monte Carlo analyses incorporated a reference set of approach trajectory delivery errors, aerodynamic uncertainties, and atmospheric density variations. The reference performance analysis determined the reference vehicle achieves 100% successful capture and has a 99.87% probability of attaining the science orbit with a 90 meters per second delta V budget for post aerocapture orbital adjustments. A ballistic coefficient trade study conducted with reference uncertainties determined that the 0.25 L/D vehicle can achieve 100% successful capture with a ballistic coefficient of 228 kilograms per square meter and that the increased ballistic coefficient increases post aerocapture V budget to 134 meters per second for a 99.87% probability of attaining the science orbit. A trade study on vehicle bank rate determined that the 0.25 L/D vehicle can achieve 100% successful capture when the maximum bank rate is decreased from 30 deg/s to 20 deg/s. The decreased bank rate increases post aerocapture delta V budget to 102 meters per second for a 99.87% probability of attaining the science orbit.

  11. MESSENGER and Venus Express Observations of the Solar Wind Interaction with Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slavin, James A.; Acuna, Mario H.; Anderson, Brian J.; Barabash, Stas; Benna, Mehdi; Boardsen, Scott A.; Fraenz, Markus; Gloeckler, George; Gold, Robert E.; Ho,George C.; Korth, Haje; Krimigis, Stamatios M.; McNutt, Ralph L., Jr.; Raines, Jim M.; Sarantos, Menelaos; Solomon, Sean C.; Zhang, Tielong; Zurbuchen, Thomas H.

    2009-01-01

    At 23:08 UTC on 5 June 2007 the MESSENGER spacecraft reached its closest approach altitude of 338 kin during its final flyby of Venus en route to its 2011 orbit insertion at Mercury. The availability of the simultaneous Venus Express solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field measurements provides a rare opportunity to examine the influence of upstream conditions on this planet's solar wind interaction. We present MESSENGER observations of new features of the Venus - solar wind interaction including hot flow anomalies upstream of the bow shock, a flux rope in the near-tail and a two-point determination of the timescale for magnetic flux transport through this induced magnetosphere. Citation: Stavin, J. A., et al. (2009), MESSENGER and Venus Express observations of the solar wind interaction with Venus,

  12. Temporal variations of UV reflectivity of Venus observed by the Venus Monitoring Camera onboard Venus Express.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Yeon Joo; Imamura, Takeshi; Schroder, Stefan

    The UV channel of the Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC) onboard Venus Express (VEX) detects dark and bright features at the cloud top level all over the globe. This UV contrast is affected by the abundance of an unknown UV absorber, which is located within the upper cloud layer, and the upper haze above the cloud tops (Pollack et al.,1979; Esposito, 1980). The unknown UV absorber is a major sink of solar energy in the Venus middle atmosphere (Crisp, 1986). The upper haze and clouds take part in sulfur photochemical processes in the Venus mesosphere (Mills et al., 2007). At the cloud top altitude the zonal wind speed is highest, resulting in changes in cloud morphology in a few days. Therefore, the features shown in the UV images are diagnostic for atmospheric dynamics and chemistry. By analyzing VMC UV images, we found there is a clear decreasing trend of the global mean albedo by 20-30% over 2000 orbits (=2000 Earth days) of VEX operation. This decrease is driven by changes at high latitudes. This implies that the typical latitudinal albedo distribution, bright polar hood and dark equatorial region, varies over time. The latitudinal difference in albedo changes from a clear brightness gradient from pole to equator to an almost identical brightness in both regions. Interestingly, this temporal variation is similar to that of the SO2 abundance above the cloud tops, observed in the same period (Marcq et al., 2013). This suggests a reduction of SO2 over the equator decreases the amount of upper haze at high latitudes, as less sulfur is supplied by the meridional circulation. We investigate the phase angle dependence of the latitudinal albedo difference, which reveals that the vertical distribution of the UV absorbers and the upper haze varies in time as well. Our results show large scale variations in Venusian atmospheric dynamics near the cloud tops, represented by temporal changes in the amount of upper haze at high latitudes and/or in the vertical distribution of the unknown UV absorber.

  13. Atmospheric temperature in the Venus mesosphere, investigated by VIRTIS/Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Migliorini, A.; Grassi, D.; Piccioni, G.; Lebonnois, S.; Montabone, L.; Drossart, P.

    2012-04-01

    Atmospheric temperature, retrieved using remote sensing data acquired with the VIRTIS (Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer) instrument on board the European Venus Express mission, is presented for the night side of Venus both in the northern and southern hemispheres of the planet. The explored pressure range covers from 100 to 4 mbar, corresponding approximately to the altitude range from 65 to 80 km. Differences between the dusk and dawn sides are observed in the temperature values, the dawn being the coldest quadrant in the pressure range 100 to 12 mbar. The most important observed feature is the cold-collar region around 60-70°, which is 15 to 20 K colder than the temperature at the pole at 100 mbar (about 65 km), also showing a significant thermal inversion. A peculiar pattern of maxima and minima in temperature is observed at 100 and 12 mbar. The application of a global circulation model (Lebonnois et al., 2010) to our data allows to interpret the observed features as indication of diurnal and/or semidiurnal thermal tides (Migliorini et al., 2011).

  14. Mariner Venus-Mercury 1973 project. Volume 2: Extended mission-Mercury 2 and 3 encounters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1975-01-01

    The Mariner Venus/Mercury 1973 mission operations Extended Mission is described. The activities are summarized from shortly after Mercury I through the end of mission. The operational activities are reported by Mission Operations Systems functions providing a brief summary from each discipline. Based on these experiences recommendations for future projects are made.

  15. Venus Express en route to probe the planet's hidden mysteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2005-11-01

    Venus Express will eventually manoeuvre itself into orbit around Venus in order to perform a detailed study of the structure, chemistry and dynamics of the planet's atmosphere, which is characterised by extremely high temperatures, very high atmospheric pressure, a huge greenhouse effect and as-yet inexplicable "super-rotation" which means that it speeds around the planet in just four days. The European spacecraft will also be the first orbiter to probe the planet's surface while exploiting the "visibility windows" recently discovered in the infrared waveband. The 1240 kg mass spacecraft was developed for ESA by a European industrial team led by EADS Astrium with 25 main contractors spread across 14 countries. It lifted off onboard a Soyuz-Fregat rocket, the launch service being provided by Starsem. The lift-off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakstan this morning took place at 09:33 hours local time (04:33 Central European Time). Initial Fregat upper-stage ignition took place 9 minutes into the flight, manoeuvring the spacecraft into a low-earth parking orbit. A second firing, 1 hour 22 minutes later, boosted the spacecraft to pursue its interplanetary trajectory. Contact with Venus Express was established by ESA's European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) at Darmstadt, Germany approximately two hours after lift-off. The spacecraft has correctly oriented itself in relation to the sun and has deployed its solar arrays. All onboard systems are operating perfectly and the orbiter is communicating with the Earth via its low-gain antenna. In three days' time, it will establish communications using its high-gain antenna. Full speed ahead for Venus Venus Express is currently distancing itself from the Earth full speed, heading on its five-month 350 million kilometre journey inside our solar system. After check-outs to ensure that its onboard equipment and instrument payload are in proper working order, the spacecraft will be mothballed, with contact with the Earth being reduced to once daily. If needed, trajectory correction manoeuvres can go ahead at the half-way stage in January. When making its closest approach, Venus Express will face far tougher conditions than those encountered by Mars Express on nearing the Red Planet. For while Venus's size is indeed similar to that of the Earth, its mass is 7.6 times that of Mars, with gravitational attraction to match. To resist this greater gravitational pull, the spacecraft will have to ignite its main engine for 53 minutes in order to achieve 1.3 km/second deceleration and place itself into a highly elliptical orbit around the planet. Most of its 570 kg of propellant will be used for this manoeuvre. A second engine firing will be necessary in order to reach final operational orbit: a polar elliptical orbit with 12-hour crossings. This will enable the probe to make approaches to within 250 km of the planet's surface and withdraw to distances of up to 66 000 km, so as to carry out close-up observations and also get an overall perspective. Exploring other planets to better understand planet Earth "The launch of Venus Express is a further illustration of Europe's determination to study the various bodies in our solar system", stressed Professor David Southwood, the Director of ESA's science programmes. "We started in 2003 with the launch of Mars Express to the Red Planet and Smart-1 to the Moon and both these missions have amply exceeded our expectations. Venus Express marks a further step forward, with a view to eventually rounding off our initial overview of our immediate planetary neighbours with the BepiColombo mission to Mercury to be launched in 2013." "With Venus Express, we fully intend to demonstrate yet again that studying the planets is of vital importance for life here on Earth", said Jean Jacques Dordain, ESA Director General. "To understand climate change on Earth and all the contributing factors, we cannot make do with solely observing our own planet. We need to decipher the mechanics of the planetary atmosphere in

  16. The science return from Venus Express

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Håkan Svedhem; Olivier Witasse; Dmitri V. Titov

    2005-01-01

    Since the beginning of the space era, Venus has been an attractive target for planetary scientists. Our nearest planetary neighbour and, in size at least, the Earth's twin sister, Venus was expected to be very similar to our planet. However, the first phase of Venus spacecraft exploration (1962-1985) discovered an entirely different, exotic world hidden behind a curtain of dense

  17. Interplanetary mission design handbook. Volume 1, part 1: Earth to Venus ballistic mission opportunities, 1991-2005

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sergeyevsky, A. B.; Yin, N. H.

    1983-01-01

    Graphical data necessary for the preliminary design of ballistic missions to Venus is presented. Contours of launch energy requirements, as well as many other launch and arrival parameters, are presented in launch data/arrival date space for all launch opportunities from 1991 through 2005. An extensive text is included which explains mission design methods, from launch window development to Venus probe and orbiter arrival design, utilizing the graphical data in this volume as well as numerous equations relating various parameters.

  18. Artist: Rick Guidice Pioneer Venus Mission Artwork: An artist concept of the multiprobe approaching

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1978-01-01

    Artist: Rick Guidice Pioneer Venus Mission Artwork: An artist concept of the multiprobe approaching Venus is shown here shortly after the probes release - Top to bottom - night probe, day probe sounder probe, North probe, followed by the bus (Note: this original painting's orientation is upside- down)

  19. Artist: Rick Guidice Pioneer Venus Mission Artwork: An artist concept of the orbiter and multiprobe

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1978-01-01

    Artist: Rick Guidice Pioneer Venus Mission Artwork: An artist concept of the orbiter and multiprobe approaching Venus are shown here shortly after probes release - Top to bottom - night probe, day probe sounder probe, North probe, followed by the bus (Note: this original painting's orientation is upside- down)

  20. First Results from Venus Express Aerobraking Campaign

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Svedhem, Håkan

    After a very successful mission orbiting Venus for more than 8 years, slowly the fuel is running out and the spacecraft will inevitably end up in the hot and acid atmosphere of the planet. Before this will happen we are taking the opportunity to dip down to around 130 km in a controlled manner in order to make detailed in situ investigations of this for remote sensing instruments difficult to access region. The spacecraft will use an aerobraking technique which maximizes the atmospheric drag by placing the solar panels perpendicular to the flight direction and will benefit from the inherent dynamically stable configuration this will provide. The on board accelerometers will give a direct measurement of the deceleration which in turn is directly proportional to the local atmospheric density. This will provide an excellent way to study both the total density profile and small scale density variations in the region of the pericentre. At the time of this campaign the pericentre will be located near the terminator at about 75 degrees Northern latitude. Aerobraking is a very efficient method of reducing the pericentre velocity and thereby reducing the apocentre altitude and the orbital period. Using this technique missions otherwise not feasible due to mass and fuel constraints can be enabled. This will be the first time an ESA spacecraft will be used for aerobraking and therefore it is run on an experimental basis as only limited resources are available. The so called “walk-in” phase will start at 190 km altitude on 17 May and the campaign ends on 11 July. Depending on the atmospheric densities encountered the orbital period may be reduced with up to 30 minutes. This presentation will report on the initial findings from this aerobraking campaign.

  1. The Scientific Exploration of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, Fredric W.

    2014-12-01

    Part I. Views of Venus, from the Beginning to the Present Day: 1. The dawn of Venus exploration; 2. Mariner and Venera; 3. Pioneer Venus and Vega: orbiters, balloons and multi-probes; 4. Images of the surface; 5. The forgotten world; 6. Earth-based astronomy delivers a breakthrough; 7. Can't stop now; 8. Europe and Japan join in: Venus Express and Akatsuki; Part II. The Motivation to Continue the Quest: 9. Origin and evolution: the solid planet; 10. Atmosphere and ocean; 11. A volcanic world; 12. The mysterious clouds; 13. Superwinds and polar vortices; 14. The climate on Venus, past, present and future; 15. Could there be life on Venus?; Part III. Plans and Visions for the Future: 16. Solar system exploration; 17. Coming soon to a planet near you: planned Venus missions; 18. Towards the horizon: advanced technology; 19. Beyond the horizon: human expeditions; Epilogue; Appendix A. Chronology of space missions to Venus; Appendix B. Data about Venus.

  2. Dynamics of Venus' Southern hemisphere and South Polar Vortex from VIRTIS data obtained during the Venus Expres Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hueso, R.; Garate-Lopez, I.; Sanchez-Lavega, A.

    2011-12-01

    The VIRTIS instrument onboard Venus Express observes Venus in two channels (visible and infrared) obtaining spectra and multi-wavelength images of the planet. The images have been used to trace the motions of the atmosphere at different layers of clouds [1-3]. We review the VIRTIS cloud image data and wind results obtained by different groups [1-3] and we present new results concerning the morphology and evolution of the South Polar Vortex at the upper and lower cloud levels with data covering the first 900 days of the mission. We present wind measurements of the South hemisphere obtained by cloud tracking individual cloud features and higher-resolution wind results of the polar region covering the evolution of the South polar vortex. The later were obtained by an image correlation algorithm run under human supervision to validate the data. We present day-side data of the upper clouds obtained at 380 and 980 nm sensitive to altitudes of 66-70 km, night-side data in the near infrared at 1.74 microns of the lower cloud (45-50 km) and day and night-side data obtained in the thermal infrared (wavelengths of 3.8 and 5.1 microns) which covers the dynamical evolution of Venus South Polar vortex at the cloud tops (66-70 km). We explore the different dynamics associated to the varying morphology of the vortex, its dynamical structure at different altitudes, the variability of the global wind data of the southern hemisphere and the interrelation of the polar vortex dynamics with the wind dynamics at subpolar and mid-latitudes. Acknowledgements: Work funded by Spanish MICIIN AYA2009-10701 with FEDER support and Grupos Gobierno Vasco IT-464-07. References [1] A. Sánchez-Lavega et al., Geophys. Res. Lett. 35, L13204, (2008). [2] D. Luz et al., Science, 332, 577-580 (2011). [3] R. Hueso, et al., Icarus doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2011.04.020 (2011)

  3. Newest results from SPICAV on-board Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcq, Emmanuel; Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Chaufray, Jean-Yves; Rossi, Loïc; Montmessin, Franck; Fedorova, Anna; Korablev, Oleg

    2013-04-01

    Venus Express is now entering its eighth year of operation in Venusian orbit. Among the still working instruments, all three channels of the SPICAV [Bertaux et al., 2007] spectrometer are still fully working and routinely provide new insights on the Venusian atmosphere. We propose to review and highlight the results and the work in progress, among which (non-exhaustive list): a new mapping of the nightside airglow of nitric oxide (NO) using the nadir mode of SPICAV-UV ; the first detection of the dayglow due to CO and CO2+ using limb observations of SPICAV-UV [Chaufray et al., 2012] ; the secular evolution of SO2 column density above Venus' cloud top using SPICAV-UV in nadir mode [Marcq et al., 2013] ; polarimetric and phase function studies of the upper clouds of Venus using SPICAV-IR. Bibilography: Bertaux et al., SPICAV on Venus Express: Three spectrometers to study the global structure and composition of the Venus atmosphere, PSS (2007) Chaufray et al., First observation of the Venus UV dayglow at limb from SPICAV/VEX, Geophys. Res. Let. (2012) Marcq et al., Variations of sulphur dioxide at the cloud top of Venus's dynamic atmosphere, Nature Geoscience (2013)

  4. Results of the Venus Express Aerobraking Campaign

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Svedhem, Hakan; Müller-Wodarg, Ingo

    2014-11-01

    After a very successful mission orbiting Venus for more than 8 years, slowly the fuel is running out and the spacecraft will inevitably one day end up in the hot and acid atmosphere of the planet. Being near the end of the mission and in a position to accept some risk to the spacecraft we decided to take the opportunity to dip down deep into the atmosphere, to around 130 km, in a controlled manner, in order to make detailed in situ investigations of this for remote sensing instruments difficult to access region. The on board accelerometers gave direct measurements of the deceleration which in turn is directly proportional to the local atmospheric density. This provided an excellent way to study both the total density profile throughout the orbital arc in the atmosphere and small scale density variations in the region of the pericentre. The spacecraft behaved perfectly well throughout the whole campaign and provided a wealth of data both on the atmosphere and on the response of the spacecraft to the harsh environment with strong heat loads and some dynamic stress. At the time of the campaign the pericentre was located near the terminator at about 75 degrees Northern latitude. Aerobraking is a very efficient method of reducing the pericentre velocity and thereby reducing the apocentre altitude and the orbital period.The so called "walk-in" phase started at an altitude of 190 km on 17 May and the campaign ended on 11 July, after having reached a lowest altitude of 129.2 km. Subsequently, a series of orbit control manoeuvres lifted up the pericentre to 460 km altitude and the science activities were resumed after a thorough check-out of the spacecraft. We have detected a highly variable atmosphere, both on a day to day basis and within the individual pericentre passes. The duration of each pass was approximately 100 s and the maximum dynamic pressure achieved was more than 0.75 N/m2, probably a record for a spacecraft that continued its operation afterwards. The orbital period was reduced over the duration of the campaign changing from 24 hours to 22 hours 20 minutes.

  5. PC-403: Pioneer Venus multiprobe spacecraft mission operational characteristics document, volume 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barker, F. C.

    1978-01-01

    The data handling subsystem, command subsystem, communications subsystem, power subsystem, and mission operations of the Pioneer Venus multiprobe are presented. The multiprobe spacecraft performance in normal operating modes that correspond to the performance of specific functions at the time of specific events in the mission is described.

  6. Venus

    Microsoft Academic Search

    B. Fegley Jr.

    2003-01-01

    Venus is Earth's nearest planetary neighbor, and has fascinated mankind since the dawn of history. Venus' clouds reflect most of the sunlight shining on the planet and make it the brightest object in the sky after the Sun and Moon. Venus is visible with the naked eye as an evening star until a few hours after sunset, or as a

  7. Venus's Southern Polar Vortex Reveals Precessing Circulation

    Microsoft Academic Search

    D. Luz; D. L. Berry; G. Piccioni; P. Drossart; R. Politi; C. F. Wilson; S. Erard; F. Nuccilli

    2011-01-01

    Initial images of Venus's south pole by the Venus Express mission have shown the presence of a bright, highly variable vortex, similar to that at the planet's north pole. Using high-resolution infrared measurements of polar winds from the Venus Express Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) instrument, we show the vortex to have a constantly varying internal structure, with

  8. Long-term variations of the UV contrast on Venus observed by the Venus Monitoring Camera on board Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Y. J.; Imamura, T.; Schröder, S. E.; Marcq, E.

    2015-06-01

    We analyze the Venus ultraviolet (UV) reflectivity as observed by the Venus Monitoring Camera on board Venus Express over 2000 orbits in the years 2006-2011. We compare several laws for the photometric correction of global images of Venus, and find that the combined law of Lambert and Lommel-Seeliger is most suitable for our study. Our analysis of the corrected images reveals strong fluctuations in the reflectivity contrast between low and high latitude regions of up to 40%, that follow variations of the SO2 abundance above the cloud top. Additionally, the phase angle dependence of the contrast gradually change from weak to strong, which may be related with the vertical distribution of the unknown UV absorber and the overlaying upper haze layer. We suggest that these variations result from a combination of two processes. One is the meridional transport of SO2, which forms sulfuric acid aerosol particles at high latitudes. The other is the presence of vertical winds near the cloud top level, which control the vertical mixing of the unknown UV absorber and the upper haze.

  9. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    The session "Venus" included the following reports:Preliminary Study of Laser-induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) for a Venus Mission; Venus Surface Investigation Using VIRTIS Onboard the ESA/Venus Express Mission; Use of Magellan Images for Venus Landing Safety Assessment; Volatile Element Geochemistry in the Lower Atmosphere of Venus; Resurfacing Styles and Rates on Venus: Assessment of 18 Venusian Quadrangles; Stereo Imaging of Impact Craters in the Beta-Atla-Themis (BAT) Region, Venus; Depths of Extended Crater-related Deposits on Venus ; Potential Pyroclastic Deposit in the Nemesis Tessera (V14) Quadrangle of Venus; Relationship Between Coronae, Regional Plains and Rift Zones on Venus, Preliminary Results; Coronae of Parga Chasma, Venus; The Evolution of Four Volcano/Corona Hybrids on Venus; Calderas on Venus and Earth: Comparison and Models of Formation; Venus Festoon Deposits: Analysis of Characteristics and Modes of Emplacement; Topographic and Structural Analysis of Devana Chasma, Venus: A Propagating Rift System; Anomalous Radial Structures at Irnini Mons, Venus: A Parametric Study of Stresses on a Pressurized Hole; Analysis of Gravity and Topography Signals in Atalanta-Vinmara and Lavinia Planitiae Canali are Lava, Not River, Channels; and Formation of Venusian Channels in a Shield Paint Substrate.

  10. Pioneer Venus: Report of a study by the Science Steering Group, June 1972. [concerning 1976, 77, 78 and 80 missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1974-01-01

    The 1976/77 multiple probe mission of the Pioneer Venus spacecraft is discussed, along with the 1978 and 1980 missions. Various questions about Venus are answered; velocities and temperatures expected in the atmosphere, atmospheric chemistry, magnetic measurements, and model atmospheres are included.

  11. Gravity waves study from the nighglow emissions in the Venus upper atmosphere observed by VIRTIS-Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Migliorini, Alessandra; Piccioni, Giuseppe; Zasova, Ludmila; Shakun, Alexey; Altieri, Francesca; Bellucci, Giancarlo

    The O _{2} nightglow emissions in the infrared spectral range are important features to investigate dynamics at the mesospheric altitudes, in the Venus atmosphere. We analyzed the profiles obtained at limb by the VIRTIS spectrometer on board the Venus Express mission, acquired during the mission period from 2006-07-05 to 2008-08-15. Several profiles present double peaked structures that can be interpreted as due to gravity waves. In analogy to the Earth’s and Mars cases, we use a well-known theory to model the O _{2} nightglow emissions affected by gravity waves propagation, in order to support this thesis and derive the waves properties. In the present work, we discus the gravity waves characteristics, namely vertical wavelength and wave amplitude, with respect to local time and latitude. The method is applied to about 30 profiles showing double peaked structures. On average, the double peaked profiles are compatible with the effects of gravity waves with a vertical wavelength ranging between 7 and 16 km, and wave amplitude of 3-14%. A comparison with gravity waves properties in the Mars and Earth’s atmospheres, using the same theory, is also proposed.

  12. Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fegley, B., Jr.

    Venus is Earth's nearest planetary neighbor and has fascinated mankind since the dawn of history. Venus' clouds reflect most of the sunlight shining on the planet and make it the brightest object in the sky after the Sun and Moon. Venus is visible with the naked eye as an evening star until a few hours after sunset or as a morning star shortly before sunrise. Many ancient civilizations observed and worshipped Venus, which had a different name in each society, for example, Ishtar to the Babylonians, Aphrodite to the Greeks, Tai'pei to the Chinese, and Venus to the Romans. Venus has continued to play an important role in myth, literature, and science throughout history.

  13. Investigating Climate on Venus with Future Missions (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grinspoon, D. H.

    2013-12-01

    Venus presents unique opportunities to study climate on a nearby, active planet that is both surprisingly like Earth and startlingly different. Venus is remarkably like Earth in terms of bulk properties such as size, mass and density. And yet its modern climate has evolved to a state which is dramatically divergent from that of Earth. Thus Venus presents a fascinating experimental laboratory for studying and modeling climate processes on an Earth-sized world with a strong atmospheric greenhouse and for exploring the role of heliocentric distance and other initial conditions in determining the outcome of climate evolution on an Earth-like planet. Previous spacecraft investigations of Venus, combined with ground based observations, have confirmed the existence of a dynamic, changeable atmosphere with a deep troposphere extending to an altitude of 65 km, a highly variable globally encompassing cloud deck extending from 48 to 70 km altitude, and a complex pattern of global circulation dominated by superrotating winds which circle the globe at a rate up to 60 times faster than the retrograde rotation of the solid planet, with the peak wind velocities at an altitude of 60 km. Other large scale features of the global circulation include Hadley cells in which air rises at low latitudes and travels poleward at high altitudes; and large, complex vortices at both poles where sinking air from the Hadley circulation intersects with the superrotation. Attempts to model this global circulation using modified terrestrial General Circulation Models (GCMs) have been only partially successful. Such tests have the promise of not only increasing our understanding of the Venus atmosphere and its response to solar radiation, but improving our general knowledge of climate and global circulation on Earth-sized terrestrial planets, including Earth itself. They also serve as a 'reality check' on the current generation of terrestrial GCMs and their ability to accurately model climate and circulation on radically altered versions of Earth's climate. In the framework of comparative planetology, climate models and GCMs in particular have taken on a vital role in understanding and predicting the role of anthropogenic forcing in Earth's climate, and separating human from natural influences. The potential role of new spacecraft observations of Venus in improving our ability to accurately model climate on moderately to severely perturbed variations of Earth's current climate is thus extremely valuable. Several efforts to model climate on Venus using terrestrial GCMs have reproduced the gross properties of the Venusian global circulation. These efforts have also revealed that various components of terrestrial GCMs are 'hard coded' with empirically-derived assumptions that are at best only accurate for the current terrestrial climate. Many of these assumptions are hidden within complex 'black boxes' of code that are not always obvious to the modelers using the code. Thus pushing the codes near to, or beyond, the breaking point by applying them toward the problem of Venus helps to improve the veracity and reliability of these models for terrestrial applications. At this point our ability to greatly improve upon these efforts is hampered by the amount and quality of available data on the Venus atmosphere. In order to understand which model, and which assumptions are correct, improved spacecraft observations from several platforms are required.

  14. A Wind-powered Rover for a Low-Cost Venus Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benigno, Gina; Hoza, Kathleen; Motiwala, Samira; Landis, Geoffrey A.; Colozza, Anthony J.

    2013-01-01

    Venus, with a surface temperature of 450 C and an atmospheric pressure 90 times higher than that of the Earth, is a difficult target for exploration. However, high-temperature electronics and power systems now being developed make it possible that future missions may be able to operate in the Venus environment. Powering such a rover within the scope of a Discovery class mission will be difficult, but harnessing Venus' surface winds provides a possible way to keep a powered rover small and light. This project scopes out the feasibility of a wind-powered rover for Venus surface missions. Two rover concepts, a land-sailing rover and a wind-turbine-powered rover, were considered. The turbine-powered rover design is selected as being a low-risk and low-cost strategy. Turbine detailed analysis and design shows that the turbine can meet mission requirements across the desired range of wind speeds by utilizing three constant voltage generators at fixed gear ratios.

  15. Venus Express Publications Supported by NASA Last update: 05-20-2014

    E-print Network

    Rathbun, Julie A.

    1 Venus Express Publications Supported by NASA Last update: 05-20-2014 Compiled by Kevin H. Baines Venus Express funding 2006 Baines, K. H. Atreya, S., Carlson, R. W., Crisp, D., Drossart, P., Formisano, V., Limaye, S. S., Markiewicz, W. J., and Piccioni, G. (2006). To the depths of Venus: Exploring

  16. Concept study for a Venus Lander Mission to Analyze Atmospheric and Surface Composition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, K.; Banks, M. E.; Benecchi, S. D.; Bradley, B. K.; Budney, C. J.; Clark, G. B.; Corbin, B. A.; James, P. B.; O'Brien, R. C.; Rivera-Valentin, E. G.; Saltman, A.; Schmerr, N. C.; Seubert, C. R.; Siles, J. V.; Stickle, A. M.; Stockton, A. M.; Taylor, C.; Zanetti, M.; JPL Team X

    2011-12-01

    We present a concept-level study of a New Frontiers class, Venus lander mission that was developed during Session 1 of NASA's 2011 Planetary Science Summer School, hosted by Team X at JPL. Venus is often termed Earth's sister planet, yet they have evolved in strikingly different ways. Venus' surface and atmosphere dynamics, and their complex interaction are poorly constrained. A lander mission to Venus would enable us to address a multitude of outstanding questions regarding the geological evolution of the Venusian atmosphere and crust. Our proposed mission concept, VenUs Lander for Composition ANalysis (VULCAN), is a two-component mission, consisting of a lander and a carrier spacecraft functioning as relay to transmit data to Earth. The total mission duration is 150 days, with primary science obtained during a 1-hour descent through the atmosphere and a 2-hour residence on the Venusian surface. In the atmosphere, the lander will provide new data on atmospheric evolution by measuring dominant and trace gas abundances, light stable isotopes, and noble gas isotopes with a neutral mass spectrometer. It will make important meteorological observations of mid-lower atmospheric dynamics with pressure and temperature sensors and obtain unprecedented, detailed imagery of surface geomorphology and properties with a descent Near-IR/VIS camera. A nepholometer will provide new constraints on the sizes of suspended particulate matter within the lower atmosphere. On the surface, the lander will quantitatively investigate the chemical and mineralogical evolution of the Venusian crust with a LIBS-Raman spectrometer. Planetary differentiation processes recorded in heavy elements will be evaluated using a gamma-ray spectrometer. The lander will also provide the first stereo images for evaluating the geomorphologic/volcanic evolution of the Venusian surface, as well as panoramic views of the sample site using multiple filters, and detailed images of unconsolidated material and rock textures from a microscopic imager. Our mission proposal will enable the construction of a unique Venus test facility that will attract a new generation of scientists to Venus science. With emphasis on flight heritage, we demonstrate our cost basis and risk mitigation strategies to ensure that the VULCAN mission can be conducted within the requirements and constraints of the New Frontiers Program.

  17. The Rationale for a New High-resolution Imaging Radar Mission to Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herrick, R. R.; Sharpton, V. L.; Gens, R.; Ghent, R. R.; Gilmore, M. S.; Grimm, R. E.; Johnson, C. L.; McGovern, P. J.; Meyer, F.; Mouginis-Mark, P. J.; Plaut, J. J.; Sandwell, D. T.; Simons, M.; Solomon, S. C.

    2009-12-01

    Magellan, NASA’s last geoscience mission to Venus, provided synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images at ~100-m resolution, topography at ~10-km resolution, and the gravity field at ~300-km resolution. Although that mission provided a major advance in our understanding of the planet, basic questions about the geologic history of Venus remain unresolved. For example, hypotheses on the planet’s surface evolution range from uniformitarian to catastrophic, and assessments of current geologic activity range from earth-comparable levels of volcanic and tectonic activity to a surface shaped only by occasional impact and eolian processes. It is now feasible to send a mission to Venus that could provide SAR imaging at 1-5-m resolution; topography with tens-of-meters spatial resolution by utilizing interferometric SAR (InSAR) and stereo radargrammetry; and surface deformation at centimeter-scale vertical resolution through InSAR. Such a mission would substantially further our understanding of Venus by means of: (1) assessing the fundamental framework of the planet's geologic history (e.g., catastrophic change, slow evolution, uniformitarian) by imaging key stratigraphic contacts; (2) expanding the global framework of geomorphic unit types and relative stratigraphy with reconnaissance surveys of large geographic provinces; (3) directly detecting volcanic and tectonic activity through imaging of flows and fault-related activities (e.g., landslides) that occur between imaging passes; (4) monitoring present-day volcanic and tectonic activity with repeat-pass InSAR deformation studies; (5) constraining the nature of Venusian geologic volcanic and tectonic processes, and their relationship to mantle convective processes; (6) understanding the role of eolian processes in modifying the surface and the use of eolian features as stratigraphic markers (e.g., parabolic features) through detailed examination; (7) constraining Venusian impact processes, particularly the role of the atmosphere in the ejecta emplacement process; (8) constraining the processes responsible for the abrupt decrease in emissivity at high altitudes; (9) selecting landing sites for future missions; and (10) identifying past landers/probes to place them in geologic context. Our state of knowledge about Venus is currently analogous to our knowledge of Mars in the post-Viking era, and a high-resolution imaging radar mission to Venus could revolutionize our understanding of Venus in the way that the Mars Global Surveyor mission did for Mars.

  18. Morphology of magnetic field in near-Venus magnetotail: Venus express observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rong, Z. J.; Barabash, S.; Futaana, Y.; Stenberg, G.; Zhang, T. L.; Wan, W. X.; Wei, Y.; Wang, X.-D.; Chai, L. H.; Zhong, J.

    2014-11-01

    Knowledge of the magnetic field morphology in the near-Venus wake is essential to the studies of magnetotail dynamics and the planetary plasma escape. In this study we use the magnetic field measurements made by Venus Express during the period of April 2006 to December 2012 to investigate the global magnetic field morphology in the near-Venus magnetotail (0-3 Venusian radii, RV, down tail) in the frame of solar wind electric field coordinates. The hemisphere with electric field pointing toward/away is indicated as ±E hemisphere. It has been reported that the cross-tail field component has a hemispheric asymmetry in the Venusian magnetotail. We report here that this asymmetry should have been formed at the terminator and would transport tailward. In addition, we find that the draped magnetic field lines near both hemispheric flanks are directed equatorward in the region 0-1.5 RV down tail as it looks like "sinking" into Venus umbra. We estimate the thickness of the magnetotail current sheet and the current density at the sheet center. We find that the average half thickness of central current sheet near +E hemispheric flank (~460 km) is almost twice as thick as that near magnetic equatorial plane (~200 km), but the corresponding current densities at the sheet center are comparable (~6.0 nA/m2). As a result, the larger cross-tail field component found near the +E hemispheric flank suggests a stronger tailward j × B force, i.e., the more efficient tailward acceleration of plasma in this region, showing the agreement with previous observations of heavy ion outflow from Venus. In contrast, the average magnetic field structure near -E hemispheric flank is irregular, which suggests that dynamic activities, such as magnetic reconnection and magnetic field turbulence, preferentially appear there.

  19. In-Situ Exploration of Venus: Major Science Objectives, Investigations, and Mission Platform Options

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baines, K. H.; Limaye, S. S.; Hall, J. L.; Atreya, S. K.; Bullock, M. A.; Crisp, D.; Grinspoon, D. H.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Russell, C. T.; Webster, C. R.; Zahnle, K. J.

    2013-12-01

    In-situ missions to Venus have been recommended by both the 2011 and 2003 Decadal Studies of the NRC and have been proposed numerous times to NASA's Discovery and New Frontiers programs as well as to ESA's Cosmic Vision program. Such missions would revolutionize our understanding of Venus, as they address key questions of Venus's origin, evolution, and current state via high precision measurements of (1) noble gases and their isotopes, and (2) reactive trace gases and aerosol associated with Venus's active photo- and thermo-chemistry and sulfur cycle, including components potentially responsible for the poorly-understood uv-absorbing haze layer. Fundamental questions, as promoted in recent VEXAG documents, include: (1) Did Venus, Mars, and Earth have a common origin? (2) What roles did comets from the outer Solar System play in delivering volatiles to Venus? (3) Did Venus once have and lose a global ocean? (4) How much has Venus outgassed, and what is the current rate of outgassing, particularly of sulfur, the major driver of Venus clouds? and (5) Through the deposition of energy within them, what role do these clouds play in (a) driving the cloud-level thermal structure and (b) generating and maintaining the super-rotating zonal windfield that covers the globe? Fundamental answers could be uniquely provided through in-situ sampling via mass spectrometry of the noble gases and their isotopes - in particular of the 8 stable Xe isotopes, the bulk abundances of Kr, and the 3 isotopes of Ne. Measurements of the relative abundances of the light isotopes of N, O, H, S and O, by, for example, tunable laser spectrometry, would provide additional insights into Venus's origin, surface outgassing and planetary escape. Such measurements could be performed by probes, landers, or balloons. On descent through the uv-absorbing layer and the surrounding H2SO4 cloud, each of these platforms could explore both the absorber and sulfur-cycle-associated reactive species and aerosols, thus addressing VEXAG desires for enhanced understanding of Venus' chemical cycles, aerosol properties, and radiative transfer. On descent to the surface, probes and landers can provide vertical profiles of temperatures and species abundances, as well as provide near-surface measurements of sulfur isotopes and trace sulfuric gases indicative of outgassing. Additional major in-situ goals dealing with Venus's global circulation and local dynamics can be addressed by a balloon platform floating within the convective middle cloud near ~55-km altitude. Drifting over a wide range of latitudes and all times-of-day and longitudes, such a floating platform could accurately measure (1) motions in all three dimensions - zonal, meridional, and vertical, including motions associated with convection and gravity waves, (2) simultaneous measurements of cloud particle size, their parent molecules, the local temperature, and vertical velocity, to study cloud formation/dissipation processes, and (3) the power and frequency of local lightning. Altogether, such in-situ measurements would potentially revolutionize our understanding of (1) Venus's circulation, including the role of waves and solar cloud heating in powering the planet's poorly-understood super-rotation, (2) Venus's sulfur cycle, key to Venus's current climate, and (3) how Earth's neighbor formed and evolved over the aeons.

  20. Spectral inventory of the SOIR spectra onboard Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robert, Séverine; Mahieux, Arnaud; Wilquet, Valérie; Drummond, Rachel; Carine Vandaele, Ann

    2013-04-01

    The set of spectra recorded by the SOIR instrument on board Venus Express have been carefully studied from a spectroscopic point of view. The SOIR instrument combines an echelle spectrometer and an Acousto-Optical Tunable Filter for order selection. It performs solar occultation measurements in the IR region (2.2 - 4.4 ?m) at a resolution of 0.10 - 0.24 cm-1 [1]. The wavelength range probed by SOIR allows a detailed chemical inventory of the Venus atmosphere above the cloud layer (65 to 180 km) with emphasis on the vertical distribution of gases (CO2, CO, H2O, HCl, HF, ...). The sensitivity of the SOIR instrument and the high concentration of CO2 on Venus, coupled with the long absorption paths sounded during solar occultations, enable us to detect weak absorption bands of rare CO2 isotopologues [2, 3]. The spectra are analysed using ASIMAT, an in-house Matlab algorithm [4]. It is based on the Optimal Estimation Method [5] with the aim to deduce physical characteristics (densities, temperature) of the Venus atmosphere from the spectra recorded using SOIR. The spectra were fitted using HITRAN 2008 [6]. A tool of automatic assignment was developed and applied to each spectrum leading to the creation of the wavenumber list of each line visible in the SOIR spectra. The tools used to calibrate the spectra, to characterize the residuals and to produce the line list will be described extensively for a selected number of orbits. References 1. Nevejans, D., et al., Compact high-resolution space-borne echelle grating spectrometer with AOTF based on order sorting for the infrared domain from 2.2 to 4.3 micrometer. Applied Optics, 2006. 45(21): p. 5191-5206. 2. Wilquet, V., et al., Line parameters for the 01111-00001 band of 12C16O18O from SOIR measurements of the Venus atmosphere. J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transfer, 2008. 109: p. 895-905. 3. Robert, S., et al., Assignment and rotational analysis of new absorption bands of carbon dioxide isotopologues in Venus spectra. J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transfer, 2013. 114: p. 29-41. 4. Mahieux, A., et al., Densities and temperatures in the Venus mesosphere and lower thermosphere retrieved from SOIR onboard Venus Express: Retrieval technique. J. Geophys. Res., 2010. 115(E12014): p. 10.1029/2010JE003589. 5. Rodgers, C., Inverse methods for atmospheric sounding: Theory and practice. World Scientific, ed. N.J. Hackensack. 2000: University of Oxford. 6. Rothman, L.S., et al., The HITRAN 2008 molecular spectroscopic database. J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transfer, 2009. 110(9-10): p. 533-572.

  1. The polar atmosphere of Venus: Radio occultation measurements with Venus Express and Magellan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hinson, D. P.; Tellmann, S.; Paetzold, M.; Haeusler, B.; Bird, M. K.; Tyler, G. L.

    2012-12-01

    The ESA Venus Express (VEx) spacecraft has been conducting radio occultation experiments since 2006. The results reported to date are based on data recorded by 35-m antennas of the ESA Tracking Station Network (e.g., Tellmann et al., J. Geophys. Res., 114, E00B36, 2009). We have recently begun to derive complementary new results through analysis of high-quality "open-loop" data recorded by a 70-m antenna of the NASA Deep Space Network. This experiment sounded the polar atmosphere in both hemispheres at latitudes greater than 75 degrees. As in previous occultation measurements in this region, there is a deep convective layer at altitudes below about 60 km. The convective layer is capped by an abrupt transition to stable stratification, and the overlying free air is modulated by vertically propagating gravity waves. These new results will be compared with Magellan radio occultation measurements acquired at comparable latitudes in the early 1990s and with the VEx results reported by Tellmann et al. (2009). Our analysis also illustrates some of the challenges that can arise in radio occultation measurements at Venus. For example, the sharp temperature minimum at the tropopause creates a thin layer that eludes radio occultation sounding owing to its peculiar refractive properties. This research is funded in part by NASA Grant NNX10AE22G of the Venus Express Participating Scientist Program.

  2. Venus

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    This lithograph shows a mosaic of Venus that was composed from Magellan images taken during radar investigations from 1990-1994. This is a false-color image that depicts topography. Images of the Venusian cloud tops and some surface features are also included. The images are accompanied by a brief description and history, some statistical facts, and a list of important dates in the exploration of Venus.

  3. Venus, Mars, and the ices on Mercury and the moon: astrobiological implications and proposed mission designs.

    PubMed

    Schulze-Makuch, Dirk; Dohm, James M; Fairén, Alberto G; Baker, Victor R; Fink, Wolfgang; Strom, Robert G

    2005-12-01

    Venus and Mars likely had liquid water bodies on their surface early in the Solar System history. The surfaces of Venus and Mars are presently not a suitable habitat for life, but reservoirs of liquid water remain in the atmosphere of Venus and the subsurface of Mars, and with it also the possibility of microbial life. Microbial organisms may have adapted to live in these ecological niches by the evolutionary force of directional selection. Missions to our neighboring planets should therefore be planned to explore these potentially life-containing refuges and return samples for analysis. Sample return missions should also include ice samples from Mercury and the Moon, which may contain information about the biogenic material that catalyzed the early evolution of life on Earth (or elsewhere). To obtain such information, science-driven exploration is necessary through varying degrees of mission operation autonomy. A hierarchical mission design is envisioned that includes spaceborne (orbital), atmosphere (airborne), surface (mobile such as rover and stationary such as lander or sensor), and subsurface (e.g., ground-penetrating radar, drilling, etc.) agents working in concert to allow for sufficient mission safety and redundancy, to perform extensive and challenging reconnaissance, and to lead to a thorough search for evidence of life and habitability. PMID:16379531

  4. Future Exploration of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limaye, Sanjay

    Venus has been the target of exploration for half a century, before the successful Mariner 2 fly-by in December 1962. The decade after that was marked by growing sophistication in the instruments and spacecraft. During the second decade of Venus exploration (1972 - 1981) the instruments and spacecraft had advanced to make the first detailed survey of the planet and image the surface. During the third decade Venus was explored with more advanced instruments such as synthetic aperture radar and by balloons - the only balloons in another atmosphere ever flown till present. Then came a long pause until 2005 when ESA launched Venus Express, which is still orbiting the planet and returning data. The nearly two-dozen missions flown to Venus have painted a puzzling picture of Venus - we still do not have answers to some key questions. The foremost is why did Venus evolve so differently from Earth? International space agencies and scientists have been considering various approaches to exploring Venus through small and large missions. The Venus Exploration Analysis Group (NASA) has developed a Venus Exploration Roadmap and a comprehensive list of goals, objectives and investigations (www.lpi.usra.edu/vexag), but an international coordinated, comprehensive plan to explore Venus is needed. To fill this void, the COSPAR International Venus Exploration Working Group (IVEWG) has been active in fostering dialog and discussions among the space faring agencies. One small step in the future exploration of Venus is the formation of a joint Science Definition Team (SDT) (NASA and Roscosmos/IKI) for Russia’s Venera-D mission in early 2014. The team is expected to submit a report to respective agencies in early 2015. Towards identifying key surface regions and atmospheric regions of Venus, a workshop is being held in May 2014 by VEXAG to seek community input. It is likely that calls for proposals for missions will also be announced under the M class by ESA and under the Discovery Program by NASA during 2014. Given that the science questions about Venus are many - ranging from the surface and interior and extending into the atmosphere to 120 km and beyond, it is likely that there will be opportunities for other efforts to contribute to the comprehensive exploration of Venus. If undertaken in a coordinated and collaborative manner, we may make substantial progress in understanding Venus, why and/or how it evolved differently from Earth. This knowledge will help us understand Earth-like rocky planets around other stars that are being discovered at a rapid pace now.

  5. Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fegley, B., Jr.

    2003-12-01

    Venus is Earth's nearest planetary neighbor, and has fascinated mankind since the dawn of history. Venus' clouds reflect most of the sunlight shining on the planet and make it the brightest object in the sky after the Sun and Moon. Venus is visible with the naked eye as an evening star until a few hours after sunset, or as a morning star shortly before sunrise. Many ancient civilizations observed and worshipped Venus, which had a different name in each society, e.g., Ishtar to the Babylonians, Aphrodite to the Greeks, Tai'pei to the Chinese, and Venus to the Romans (Hunt and Moore, 1982). Venus has continued to play an important role in myth, literature, and science throughout history. In the early seventeenth century, Galileo's observations of the phases of Venus showed that the geocentric (Ptolemaic) model of the solar system was wrong and that the heliocentric (Copernican) model was correct. About a century later, Edmund Halley proposed that the distance from the Earth to the Sun (which was then unknown and is defined as one astronomical unit, AU) could be measured by observing transits of Venus across the Sun. These transits occur in pairs separated by eight years at intervals of 105.5 yr and 121.5 yr in an overall cycle of 243 yr, e.g., June 6, 1761, June 3, 1769; December 9, 1874, December 6, 1882, June 8, 2004, June 6, 2012, December 11, 2117, and December 8, 2125. The first attempted measurements of the astronomical unit during the 1761 transit were unsuccessful. However, several observers reported a halo around Venus as it entered and exited the Sun's disk. Thomas Bergman in Uppsala and Mikhail Lomonosov in St. Petersburg, independently speculated that the halo was due to an atmosphere on Venus. Eight years later observations of the 1769 solar transit (including those made by Captain Cook's expedition to Tahiti) gave a value of 1 AU=153 million kilometers, ~2.3% larger than the actual size (149.6 million kilometers) of the astronomical unit (Woolf, 1959; Maor, 2000).

  6. Venus In Situ Explorer Mission design using a mechanically deployed aerodynamic decelerator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, B.; Venkatapathy, E.; Wercinski, P.; Yount, B.; Prabhu, D.; Gage, P.; Glaze, L.; Baker, C.

    The Venus In Situ Explorer (VISE) Mission addresses the highest priority science questions within the Venus community outlined in the National Research Council's Decadal Survey. The heritage Venus atmospheric entry system architecture, a 45° sphere-cone rigid aeroshell with a carbon phenolic thermal protection system, may no longer be the preferred entry system architecture compared to other viable alternatives being explored at NASA. A mechanically-deployed aerodynamic decelerator, known as the Adaptive Deployable Entry and Placement Technology (ADEPT), is an entry system alternative that can provide key operational benefits and risk reduction compared to a rigid aeroshell. This paper describes a mission feasibility study performed with the objectives of identifying potential adverse interactions with other mission elements and establishing requirements on decelerator performance. Feasibility is assessed through a launch-to-landing mission design study where the Venus Intrepid Tessera Lander (VITaL), a VISE science payload designed to inform the Decadal Survey results, is repackaged from a rigid aeroshell into the ADEPT decelerator. It is shown that ADEPT reduces the deceleration load on VITaL by an order of magnitude relative to a rigid aeroshell. The more benign entry environment opens up the VISE mission design environment for increased science return, reduced risk, and reduced cost. The ADEPT-VITAL mission concept of operations is presented and details of the entry vehicle structures and mechanisms are given. Finally, entry aerothermal analysis is presented that defines the operational requirements for a revolutionary structural-TPS material employed by ADEPT: three-dimensionally woven carbon cloth. Ongoing work to mitigate key risks identified in this feasibility study is presented.

  7. Venus Express observations of atmospheric oxygen escape during the passage of several coronal mass ejections

    E-print Network

    California at Berkeley, University of

    Venus Express observations of atmospheric oxygen escape during the passage of several coronal mass of Venus atmospheric constituents, especially oxygen, by direct antisunward acceleration of planetary ions may have played a key role in Venus' atmosphere evolution, but the significance of their effects

  8. Magnetic fields in the Venus ionosphere: Dependence on the IMF direction—Venus express observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubinin, E.; Fraenz, M.; Zhang, T. L.; Woch, J.; Wei, Y.

    2014-09-01

    The structure of the magnetized ionosphere of Venus is investigated using the magnetometer and plasma (Analyzer of Space Plasmas and Energetic Atoms 4) data from the Venus Express spacecraft. Observations surveying the low-altitude (h ? 250 km) ionosphere were made at solar zenith angles ? 75°. The magnetic field permeating the Venus ionosphere at solar minimum conditions increases at low altitudes and reaches a maximum at an altitude of ˜200 km. The orientation of the magnetic field in the peak is almost insensible to the magnetic field direction in the solar wind. For both sector polarities of the IMF, the magnetic field vector has a dominant dawn-dusk component. The topology of the magnetic field also occurs different for different signs of the cross-flow component of the IMF revealing either a sudden straightening with liberation of the magnetic field stresses or a closing into a loop. We discuss different mechanisms of the peak formation including local magnetization, a weak intrinsic planetary field, a dipole field induced by eddy currents, a remnant origin, or giant flux ropes. All of them fail to explain most of the observed features. We suggest that a decoupling of ion and electron motion at low altitudes due to ion-neutral collisions results in currents which produce different field configurations depending on the IMF orientation.

  9. Venus Exploration opportunities within NASA's Solar System Exploration roadmap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Balint, Tibor; Thompson, Thomas; Cutts, James; Robinson, James

    2006-01-01

    Science goals to understand the origin, history and environment of Venus have been driving international space exploration missions for over 40 years. Past missions include the Magellan and Pioneer-Venus missions by the US; the Venera program by the USSR; and the Vega missions through international cooperation. Furthermore, the US National Research Council (NRC), in the 2003 Solar System Exploration (SSE) Decadal Survey, identified Venus as a high priority target, thus demonstrating a continuing interest in Earth's sister planet. In response to the NRC recommendation, the 2005 NASA SSE Roadmap included a number of potential Venus missions arching through all mission classes from small Discovery, to medium New Frontiers and to large Flagship class missions. While missions in all of these classes could be designed as orbiters with remote sensing capabilities, the desire for scientific advancements beyond our current knowledge - including what we expect to learn from the ongoing ESA Venus Express mission - point to in-situ exploration of Venus.

  10. Venus Exploration Analysis Group (VEXAG)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limaye, Sanjay; Smrekar, Sue

    2010-05-01

    The Venus Exploration Analysis Group (VEXAG) was established by NASA in July 2005 to identify scientific priorities and strategy for exploration of Venus. This community-based forum is designed to provide scientific input and technology development plans for planning and prioritizing the exploration of Venus over the next several decades. VEXAG is currently composed of two co- chairs and several groups. The focus groups actively solicit input from the scientific community and meet during VEXAG meetings, held at least once a year. VEXAG reports its findings and provides input to NASA, but does not make recommendations. VEXAG holds meetings open to the global scientific community with interest in understanding Venus and receives input from the scientists and engineers around the world on the current open issues regarding understanding Venus as a planet. VEXAG regularly evaluates Venus exploration goals, scientific objectives, investigations and critical measurement requirements, including especially recommendations in the National Academy of Sciences Decadal Survey and the Solar System Exploration Strategic Roadmap. VEXAG is coordinating the preparation of several White papers on different topics, including science, technology, and the recent flagship study, relevant to Venus exploration for the current Decadal Survey can be found on the VEXAG website (http://www.lpi.usra.edu/vexag). VEXAG provides a forum for learning about international efforts in exploring Venus and facilitates collaboration in combined observation programs from space and earth based observatories. At present, Venus Express mission launched by European Space Agency in November 2005 is the only active mission collecting data from orbit around Venus since April 2006. It will soon be joined in December 2010 by Japan's Venus Climate Orbiter which is under development for a launch in May 2010. Other missions to Venus are being considered by NASA (Venus Flagship mission), Russia (Venera D) and in the European community (European Venus Explorer). In addition, it is anticipated that several mission concepts will be proposed to NASA's Discovery (Announcement of Opportunity anticipated winter 2010). The three New Frontiers proposals selected by NASA in December 2009 include a proposal for a mission to Venus - Surface and Atmosphere and Geochemical Explorer. The Venus community recognizes that science return can be maximized by coordinating observations as much as feasible. VEXAG is one forum where the discussions can take place and the community is invited to actively participate in the VEXAG meetings and activities. The next VEXAG meeting and a workshop on the Venus atmosphere and its interaction with the surface will be held in Madison, Wisconsin, during 30 August - 2 September 2010. VEXAG's past activities, current efforts and future plans will be presented. The scientific community interested in Venus is invited to participate in VEXAG and support the exploration of Venus by the interested space agencies.

  11. IN-SITU AERIAL EXPLORATION OF VENUS BY BALLOON -SCIENCE OBJECTIVES AND MISSION ARCHITECTURE. K.H. Baines1

    E-print Network

    Treiman, Allan H.

    to the exceedingly cloudy north polar cyclo- nic vortex. The mission will test a variety of scenarios for the origin in developing our fundamental understanding of (1) the circulation of Venus, including the roles of waves

  12. Integration of Radioisotope Heat Source with Stirling Engine and Cooler for Venus Internal-Structure Mission

    SciTech Connect

    Schock, Alfred

    1993-10-01

    The primary mission goal is to perform long-term seismic measurements on Venus, to study its largely unknown internal structure. The principal problem is that most payload components cannot long survive Venus's harsh environment, 90 bars at 500 degrees C. To meet the mission life goal, such components must be protected by a refrigerated payload bay. JPL Investigators have proposed a mission concept employing a lander with a spherical payload bay cooled to 25 degrees C by a Stirling cooler powered by a radioisotope-heated Sitrling engine. To support JPL's mission study, NASA/Lewis and MTI have proposed a conceptual design for a hydraulically coupled Stirling engine and cooler, and Fairchild Space - with support of the Department of Energy - has proposed a design and integration scheme for a suitable radioisotope heat source. The key integration problem is to devise a simple, light-weight, and reliable scheme for forcing the radioisotope decay heat to flow through the Stirling engine during operation on Venus, but to reject that heat to the external environment when the Stirling engine and cooler are not operating (e.g., during the cruise phase, when the landers are surrounded by heat shields needed for protection during subsequent entry into the Venusian atmosphere.) A design and integration scheme for achieving these goals, together with results of detailed thermal analyses, are described in this paper. There are 7 copies in the file.

  13. Mars exploration, Venus swingby and conjunction class mission modes, time period 2000 to 2045

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, A. C.; Mulqueen, J. A.; Skinner, J. E.

    1984-01-01

    Trajectory and mission requirement data are presented for Earth-Mars opposition class and conjunction class round trip stopover mission opportunities available during the time period year 2000 to year 2045. The opposition class mission employs the gravitational field of Venus to accelerate the space vehicle on either the outbound or inbound leg. The gravitational field of Venus was used to reduce the propulsion requirement associated with the opposition class mission. Representative space vehicle systems are sized to compare the initial mass required in low Earth orbit of one mission opportunity with another mission opportunity. The interplanetary space vehicle is made up of the spacecraft and the space vehicle acceleration system. The space vehicle acceleration system consists of three propulsion stages. The first propulsion stage performs the Earth escape maneuver; the second stage brakes the spacecraft and Earth braking stage into the Mars elliptical orbit and effects the escape maneuver from the Mars elliptical orbit. The third propulsion stage brakes the mission module into an elliptical orbit at Earth return. The interplanetary space vehicle was assumed to be assembled in and depart from the space station circular orbit.

  14. Assessing the long-term variability of Venus winds at cloud level from VIRTIS-Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hueso, R.; Peralta, J.; Sánchez-Lavega, A.

    2012-02-01

    The Venus Express (VEX) mission has been in orbit to Venus for more than 4 years now. The Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) instrument onboard VEX observes Venus in two channels (visible and infrared) obtaining spectra and multi-wavelength images of the planet that can be used to sample the atmosphere at different altitudes. Day-side images in the ultraviolet range (380 nm) are used to study the dynamics of the upper cloud at 66-72 km while night-side images in the near infrared (1.74 ?m) map the opacity of the lower cloud deck at 44-48 km. Here we present a long-term analysis of the global atmospheric dynamics at these levels using a large selection of orbits from the VIRTIS-M dataset covering 860 Earth days that extends our previous work (Sánchez-Lavega, A. et al. [2008]. Geophys. Res. Lett. 35, L13204) and allows studying the variability of the global circulation at the two altitude levels. The atmospheric superrotation is evident with equatorial to mid-latitudes westward velocities of 100 and 60 m s -1 in the upper and lower cloud layers. These zonal velocities are almost constant in latitude from the equator to 50°S. From 50°S to 90°S the zonal winds at both cloud layers decrease steadily to zero at the pole. Individual cloud tracked winds have errors of 3-10 m s -1 with a mean of 5 m s -1 and the standard deviations for a given latitude of our zonal and meridional winds are 9 m s -1. The zonal winds in the upper cloud change with the local time in a way that can be interpreted in terms of a solar tide. The zonal winds in the lower cloud are stable at mid-latitudes to the tropics and present variability at subpolar latitudes apparently linked to the activity of the South polar vortex. While the upper cloud presents a net meridional motion consistent with the upper branch of a Hadley cell with peak velocity v = 10 m s -1 at 50°S, the lower cloud meridional motions are less organized with some cloud features moving with intense northwards and southwards motions up to v = ±15 m s -1 but, on average, with almost null global meridional motions at all latitudes. We also examine the long-term behavior of the winds at these two vertical layers by comparing our extended wind tracked data with results from previous missions.

  15. Electronics and Sensor Cooling with a Stirling Cycle for Venus Surface Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mellott, Ken

    2004-01-01

    The inhospitable ambient surface conditions of Venus, with a 450 C temperature and 92 bar pressure, may likely require any extended-duration surface exploratory mission to incorporate some type of cooling for probe electronics and sensor devices. A multiple-region Venus mission study was completed at NASA GRC in December of 2003 that resulted in the preliminary design of a kinematically-driven, helium charged, Stirling cooling cycle with an estimated over-all COP of 0.376 to lift 100 watts of heat from a 200 C cold sink temperature and reject it at a hot sink temperature of 500 C. This paper briefly describes the design process and also describes and summarizes key features of the kinematic, Stirling cooler preliminary design concept.

  16. Mission Definition Report An Orbiter for the study of the atmosphere, the

    E-print Network

    Demoulin, Pascal

    ;4 Executive Summary The first phase of Venus spacecraft exploration (1962-1985) by the Venera, Pioneer Venus, and the surface of Venus European Space Agency gence Spatiale Européenne October 2001 #12;2 Foreword Venus Express, an Orbiter for the study of the atmosphere, the plasma environment, and the surface of Venus, is a mission

  17. Venus Technology Plan Venus Technology Plan

    E-print Network

    Rathbun, Julie A.

    Venus Technology Plan May 2014 #12; ii Venus Technology Plan At the Venus Exploration Survey priorities, and (3) develop a Technology Plan for future Venus missions (after a Technology Forum at VEXAG Meeting 11 in November 2013). Here, we present the 2014 Venus Technology Plan

  18. VERITAS: A Mission Concept for the High Resolution Topographic Mapping and Imaging of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hensley, S.; Smrekar, S. E.; Pollard, B.

    2012-12-01

    Magellan, a NASA mission to Venus in the early 1990's, mapped nearly the entire surface of Venus with an S-band (12 cm) synthetic aperture radar and microwave radiometer and made radar altimeter measurements of the topography. These measurements revolutionized our understanding of the geomorphology, geology and geophysical processes that have shaped the evolution of the surface of Venus. The Magellan spacecraft had an elliptical orbit with an apoapsis of approximately 8000 km and a periapsis of 257 km and an orbital inclination of 86°. In this way the radar was able to collect long strips of data approximately 10000 km in length running north to south with altitudes varying from 3000 km to 257 km. During the remainder of the orbit the collected data was down linked to earth. The SAR mode operated in burst mode fashion whereby it transmitted a small string of pulses up to a couple of hundred pulses in length followed by a quiescent period when the radar ceased transmission and allowed interleaved operation of the altimeter and radiometer modes. This mode of operation allowed for a significant reduction in downlinked SAR imaging data at the expense of azimuth (i.e. along-track) resolution. However, the lack of finer resolution imagery and topography of the surface than that obtained by the Magellan mission has hampered the definitive answer to key questions concerning the processes and evolution of the surface of Venus. The Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR Topography And Spectroscopy (VERITAS) Mission is a proposed mission to Venus designed to obtain high resolution imagery and topography of the surface using an X-band radar configured as a single pass radar interferometer coupled with a multispectral NIR emissivity mapping capability. VERITAS would map surface topography with a spatial resolution of 250 m and 5 m vertical accuracy and generate radar imagery with 30 m spatial resolution. These capabilities represent an order of magnitude or better improvement of the Magellan system and are expected to reveal definitive information on processes not possible with the Magellan data. The combination of surface topography and image data provide unprecedented knowledge of Venus' tectonic and impact history, the timing and mechanisms of volcanic resurfacing, and the mantle processes responsible for them. The combination of instruments on VERITAS, and in particular the InSAR instrument, is designed to address a series of focused hypothesis driven questions left unresolved by the Magellan mission for example: 1) Is there evidence for a past tectonic or cratered surface beneath the plains? and 2) How and when did Venus resurface? This talk will present an overview of the proposed VERITAS mission, the radar instrument design and trade options and the projected performance as well as a brief overview of some of the major science objectives. This research was conducted at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  19. Understanding of the Venus upper atmosphere dynamics with O2(a1?) Venus Express observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soret, L.; Gérard, J.-C.; Piccioni, G.; Drossart, P.

    2012-04-01

    The O2(a1?) nightglow emission at 1.27 ?m may be used as a tracer of the dynamics prevailing in the Venusian upper mesosphere. This emission has thus been observed with ground-based telescopes and from space with instruments such as VIRTIS on board Venus Express. Observations have shown that the emission maximum is statistically located close to the antisolar point at ~96 km. As originally suggested by Connes et al. (1979), such an emission results from the production of oxygen atoms on the Venus dayside by photodissociation and electron impact dissociation of CO2 and CO, which are then transported to the nightside by the subsolar to antisolar general circulation, where they recombine to create excited O2(a1?) molecules. Their radiative deexcitation produces the O2(a1?) nightglow with a maximum near the antisolar point. However, VIRTIS observations indicate that the O2(a1?) nightglow emission is highly variable, both in intensity and location. Actually, when considering individual observations, the patch of bright emission is rarely located at the antisolar point and the brighter area around this point is the result of statics accumulation. Also, when considering several individual observations acquired in a short period of time, it is possible to follow an individual emission patch and to deduce its displacement and its brightness variation due to activation or deactivation. In this study, we analyze several sequences of VIRTIS observations in order to understand the Venus upper mesosphere dynamics. We show that the intensity can vary by several megaRayleighs in a couple of hours with effective lifetimes on the order of several hours. The horizontal motion of the spots leads to the conclusion that winds in the 95-100 km region are in the range of 25 to 150 m s-1, in good agreement with the study by Hueso et al. (2008).

  20. High latitude gravity waves at the Venus cloud tops as observed by the Venus Monitoring Camera on board Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piccialli, A.; Titov, D. V.; Sanchez-Lavega, A.; Peralta, J.; Shalygina, O.; Markiewicz, W. J.; Svedhem, H.

    2014-01-01

    High resolution images of Venus Northern hemisphere obtained with the Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC/VEx) allow studying small-scale dynamical phenomena at the cloud tops (˜62-70 km altitude) including features like wave trains. A systematic visual search of these waves was performed; more than 1500 orbits were analyzed and wave patterns were observed in more than 300 images. Four types of waves were identified in VMC images on the base of their morphology: long, medium, short and irregular type waves. With the aim to characterize the wave types and their possible excitation source, we retrieved wave properties such as location (latitude and longitude), local time, solar zenith angle, packet length and width, orientation, and wavelength of each wave. The long type waves appear as long and narrow straight features extending more than a few hundreds kilometers and with wavelengths between 7 and 17 km. Medium type waves exhibit irregular wavefronts extending more than 100 km and with wavelengths in the range 8-21 km. Short wave packets have a width of several tens of kilometers and extend to few hundreds kilometers and are characterized by smaller wavelengths (3-16 km). Irregular wave fields appear to be the result of wave interference. The waves are often identified in all VMC filters and are mostly found in the cold collar region at high latitudes (60-80°N) and are concentrated above Ishtar Terra, a continental size highland that includes the highest mountain belts of the planet. The high speed of the Venus Express spacecraft close to the pericentre does not allow to measure phase speed of waves due to the short temporal interval between image pairs. The lack of information on phase velocities does not allow us to establish with absolute confidence the nature of these waves. However, by comparing the morphology and properties of the wave features observed in VMC images to those seen by previous observations it is reasonable to assume that the waves studied here are gravity waves.

  1. Models of the global cloud structure on Venus derived from Venus Express observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barstow, J. K.; Tsang, C. C. C.; Wilson, C. F.; Irwin, P. G. J.; Taylor, F. W.; McGouldrick, K.; Drossart, P.; Piccioni, G.; Tellmann, S.

    2012-02-01

    Spatially-resolved near-infrared spectra from the Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) on Venus Express have been used to derive improved models of the vertical structure and global distribution of cloud properties in the southern hemisphere of Venus. VIRTIS achieved the first systematic, global mapping of Venus at wavelengths within transparency windows in the 1.6-2.6 ?m range, which are sensitive on the nightside to absorption by the lower and middle cloud layers of thermally-emitted radiation from the hot lower atmosphere ( Taylor, F.W., Crisp, D., Bézard, B. [1997]. Venus II: Geology, Geophysics, Atmosphere, and Solar Wind Environment, pp. 325-351). The cloud model used to interpret the spectra is based on previous work by Pollack et al. (Pollack, J., Dalton, J., Grinspoon, D., Wattson, R., Freedman, R., Crisp, D., Allen, D., Bézard, B., de Bergh, C., Giver, L. [1993]. Icarus 103, 1-42), Grinspoon et al. (Grinspoon, D.H., Pollack, J.B., Sitton, B.R., Carlson, R.W., Kamp, L.W., Baines, K.H., Encrenaz, T., Taylor, F.W. [1993]. Planet. Space Sci. 41, 515-542) and Crisp (Crisp, D. [1986]. Icarus 67, 484-514), and assumes a composition for the cloud particles of sulfuric acid and water, with acid concentration as a free parameter to be determined. Other retrieved parameters are the average size of the particles and the altitude of the cloud base in the model. Latitudinal variation in the atmospheric temperature structure was incorporated using data from the Venus Radio Science experiment (VeRa). Values are estimated initially using wavelength pairs selected for their unique sensitivity to each parameter, and then validated by comparing measured to calculated spectra over the entire wavelength range, the latter generated using the NEMESIS radiative transfer and retrieval code (Irwin, P.G.J., Teanby, N.A., de Kok, R., Fletcher, L.N., Howett, C.J.A., Tsang, C.C.C., Wilson, C.F., Calcutt, S.B., Nixon, C.A., Parrish, P.D. [2008]. J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Trans. 109, 1136-1150). The sulfuric acid concentration in the cloud particles is found to be higher in regions of optically thick cloud. The cloud base altitude shows a dependence on latitude, reaching a maximum height near -50°. The increased average particle size near the pole found by Wilson et al. (Wilson, C.F., Guerlet, S., Irwin, P.G.J., Tsang, C.C.C., Taylor, F.W., Carlson, R.W., Drossart, P., Piccioni, G. [2008]. J. Geophys. Res. (Planets) 113, E12) and the finding of spatially variable water vapor abundance at35-40 km altitude first reported by Tsang et al. (Tsang, C.C.C., Wilson, C.F., Barstow, J.K., Irwin, P.G.J., Taylor, F.W., McGouldrick, K., Piccioni, G., Drossart, P., Svedhem, H. [2010]. Geophys. Res. Lett. 37, L02202) are both confirmed. The implications of these improved descriptions of cloud structure and variability for the chemistry, meteorology, and radiative energy balance on Venus are briefly discussed.

  2. Venus 3 Book: Chapter 1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, F.; Svedhem, H.; Head, J.

    2014-04-01

    This will be the first chapter in the planned 'Venus 3' book, which will present the latest knowledge about all aspects of the planet Venus. Chapter 1 will include: 1. Brief history of Venus observations, from telescopic studies up to and including early space missions (Venera, Mariner) 2. Overview of key results from more recent groundbased observations and space missions, including Pioneer Venus, the later Veneras, Vega, Magellan, Akatsuki and Venus Express 3. Summary of current knowledge, in three main sections: a. Surface and interior b. Atmosphere and climate c. Thermosphere, exosphere and magnetosphere 4. Outstanding scientific questions remaining, and future mission concepts providing background, introduction and an overview to the rest of the book.

  3. Detecting atmospheric perturbations produced by Venus quakes Raphael Garcia

    E-print Network

    Garcia, Raphaël

    Detecting atmospheric perturbations produced by Venus quakes Rapha¨el Garcia Philippe Lognonn The possibility to detect seismic activity on Venus by using the mechanical coupling of the solid are analyzed in the framework of the VIR- TIS instrument on board the ESA Venus Express mission. 1

  4. Europe Scores New Planetary Success: Venus Express Enters Orbit around the Hothouse Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2006-04-01

    During the next four weeks, the Venus Express probe will perform a series of manoeuvres to reach the scheduled operational orbit for its scientific mission. It will move from its current highly elongated 9-day orbit to a 24-hour polar orbit, culminating at 66,000 km. From this vantage point, the orbiter will conduct an in-depth observation of the structure, chemistry and dynamics of the atmosphere of Venus for at least two Venusian days (486 Earth days). Enigmatic atmosphere From previous missions to Venus as well as observations directly from Earth, we already know that our neighbouring planet is shrouded in a thick atmosphere where extremes of temperature and pressure conditions are common. This atmosphere creates a greenhouse effect of tremendous proportions as it spins around the planet in four days in an unexplained “super-rotation” phenomenon. The mission of Venus Express will be to carry out a detailed characterisation of this atmosphere, using state-of-the-art sensors in order to answer the questions and solve the mysteries left behind by the first wave of explorers. It will also be the first Venus orbiter to conduct optical observations of the surface through “visibility windows” discovered in the infrared spectrum.V The commissioning of the onboard scientific instruments will begin shortly and the first raw data are expected within days. The overall science payload is planned to be fully operational within two months. Europe explores the Solar System With this latest success, ESA is adding another celestial body to its range of solar system studies. ESA also operates Mars Express around Mars, SMART-1 around the Moon and is NASA’s partner on the Cassini orbiter around Saturn. In addition, ESA is also operating the Rosetta probe en route to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. It should reach its target and become the first spacecraft ever to enter orbit around a comet nucleus by 2014. Meanwhile, ESA also plans to complete the survey of our celestial neighbours with the launch of the BepiColombo mission to Mercury in 2013. “With the arrival of Venus Express, ESA is the only space agency to have science operations under way around four planets: Venus, the Moon, Mars and Saturn” underlines Professor David Southwood, the Director of ESA’s science programmes. “We are really proud to deliver such a capability to the international science community.” “To better understand our own planet, we need to explore other worlds in particular those with an atmosphere,” said Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA Director General. “We’ve been on Titan and we already are around Mars. By observing Venus and its complex atmospheric system, we will be able to better understand the mechanisms that steers the evolution of a large planetary atmosphere and the change of climates. In the end, it will help us to get better models of what is actually going on in our own atmosphere, for the benefit of all Earth citizens.” State-of-the-art science package Venus Express was developed for ESA by a European industrial team led by EADS Astrium incorporating 25 main contractors from 14 European countries. Its design is derived from that of its highly successful predecessor, Mars Express, and its payload accommodates seven instruments including upgraded versions of three instruments developed for Mars Express and two for Rosetta. The PFS spectrometer will determine the temperature and composition profile of the atmosphere at very high resolution. It will also monitor the surface temperature and search for hot spots from possible volcanic activity. The UV/infrared SpicaV/SOIR spectrometer and the VeRa radioscience experiment will probe the atmosphere by observing the occultation of distant starts or the fading of radio signals on the planetary limb. SpicaV/SOIR will be particularly looking for traces of water molecules, molecular oxygen and sulphur compounds, which are suspected to exist in the atmosphere of Venus. The Virtis spectrometer will map the different layers of the atmosphere and provide imagery of the cloud systems at multipl

  5. RAVEN - High-resolution Mapping of Venus within a Discovery Mission Budget

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharpton, V. L.; Herrick, R. R.; Rogers, F.; Waterman, S.

    2009-12-01

    It has been more than 15 years since the Magellan mission mapped Venus with S-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images at ~100-m resolution. Advances in radar technology are such that current Earth-orbiting SAR instruments are capable of providing images at meter-scale resolution. RAVEN (RAdar at VENus) is a mission concept that utilizes the instrument developed for the RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) to map Venus in an economical, highly capable, and reliable way. RCM relies on a C-band SAR that can be tuned to generate images at a wide variety of resolutions and swath widths, ranging from ScanSAR mode (broad swaths at 30-m resolution) to strip-map mode (resolutions as fine as 3 m), as well as a spotlight mode that can image patches at 1-m resolution. In particular, the high-resolution modes allow the landing sites of previous missions to be pinpointed and characterized. Repeat-pass interferometric SAR (InSAR) and stereo radargrammetry provide options for constraining topography to better than 100-m horizontal and 10-m vertical resolution. InSAR also provides the potential for detecting surface deformation at centimeter precision. Performing InSAR requires precise knowledge and control of the orbital geometry, and for this reason a 600-km circular polar orbit is favored. This configuration causes the equatorial nadir point to move ~9 km per orbit. Considering both ascending and descending passes, the spacecraft will pass over every point on the planet in half a Venus day (~4 Earth months). The ability to transmit data back to Earth via the Deep Space Network is the primary limiting factor on the volume of data that can be collected. Our current estimates indicate that within an imaging cycle of one Venus day we can image 20-30 percent of the planet at 20-30-m resolution and several percent at 3-5 m resolution. These figures compare favorably to the coverage provided by recent imaging systems orbiting Mars. Our strategy calls for the first cycle of coverage to be devoted to imaging large geographic areas (e.g., Thetis Regio) at 20-30-m resolution with interleaved observation of pre-selected targets at high resolution. The second cycle will include additional imaging, but the focus will be repeat-pass coverage to obtain topography for a significant fraction of the first-cycle targets. A focus of the third cycle will be InSAR-based deformation studies of selected areas. All components of the spacecraft are expected to remain operational well beyond the nominal mission time, so global mapping at 10 m or better resolution during an extended mission is conceivable. RAVEN will allow us to determine both the broad framework of the planet’s geologic history (e.g, uniformitarian versus catastrophic evolution) and the nature of current geologic activity. It will substantially advance our understanding of Venus and reveal details, issues, and further questions that will benefit future site-specific missions such as probes and landers. Current RAVEN science team members are Buck Sharpton (PI), Rudi Gens, Rebecca Ghent, Martha Gilmore, Robert Grimm, Robert Herrick, Catherine Johnson, Patrick McGovern, Franz Meyer, Peter Mouginis-Mark, Jeff Plaut, David Sandwell, Mark Simons, and Sean Solomon.

  6. PC-402 Pioneer Venus orbiter spacecraft mission operational characteristics document

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barker, F. C.; Butterworth, L. W.; Daniel, R. E.; Drean, R. J.; Filetti, K. A.; Fisher, J. N.; Nowak, L. A.; Porzucki, J.; Salvatore, J. O.; Tadler, G. A.

    1978-01-01

    The operational characteristics of the Orbiter spacecraft and its subsystems are described. In extensive detail. Description of the nominal phases, system interfaces, and the capabilities and limitations of system level performance are included along with functional and operational descriptions at the subsystem and unit level the subtleties of nominal operation as well as detailed capabilities and limitations beyond nominal performance are discussed. A command and telemetry logic flow diagram for each subsystem is included. Each diagram encountered along each command signal path into, and each telemetry signal path out of the subsystem. Normal operating modes that correspond to the performance of specific functions at the time of specific events in the mission are also discussed. Principal backup means of performing the normal Orbiter operating modes are included.

  7. Advanced Stirling Duplex Materials Assessment for Potential Venus Mission Heater Head Application

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ritzert, Frank; Nathal, Michael V.; Salem, Jonathan; Jacobson, Nathan; Nesbitt, James

    2011-01-01

    This report will address materials selection for components in a proposed Venus lander system. The lander would use active refrigeration to allow Space Science instrumentation to survive the extreme environment that exists on the surface of Venus. The refrigeration system would be powered by a Stirling engine-based system and is termed the Advanced Stirling Duplex (ASD) concept. Stirling engine power conversion in its simplest definition converts heat from radioactive decay into electricity. Detailed design decisions will require iterations between component geometries, materials selection, system output, and tolerable risk. This study reviews potential component requirements against known materials performance. A lower risk, evolutionary advance in heater head materials could be offered by nickel-base superalloy single crystals, with expected capability of approximately 1100C. However, the high temperature requirements of the Venus mission may force the selection of ceramics or refractory metals, which are more developmental in nature and may not have a well-developed database or a mature supporting technology base such as fabrication and joining methods.

  8. Venus cloud bobber mission: A long term survey of the Venusian surface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wai, James; Derengowski, Cheryl; Lautzenhiser, Russ; Emerson, Matt; Choi, Yongho

    1994-01-01

    We have examined the Venus Balloon concept in order to further develop the ideas and concepts behind it, and to creatively apply them to the design of the major Venus Balloon components. This report presents our models of the vertical path taken by the Venus Balloon and the entry into Venusian atmosphere. It also details our designs of the balloon, gondola, heat exchanger, power generator, and entry module. A vehicle is designed for a ballistic entry into the Venusian atmosphere, and an atmospheric model is created. The model is then used to set conditions. The shape and material of the vehicle are optimized, and the dimensions of the vehicle are then determined. Equipment is chosen and detailed that will be needed to collect and transmit information and control the mission. A gondola is designed that will enable this sensitive electronic equipment to survive in an atmosphere of very high temperature and pressure. This shape and the material of the shell are optimized, and the size is minimized. Insulation and supporting structures are designed to protect the payload equipment and to minimize mass. A method of cooling the gondola at upper altitudes was established. Power needs of the gondola equipment are determined. Power generation options are discussed and two separate thermoelectric generation models are outlined.

  9. Venus

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    This NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) planet profile provides data and images of the planet Venus. These data include planet size, orbit facts, distance from the Sun, rotation and revolution times, temperature, atmospheric composition, density, surface materials and albedo. Images with descriptions of the planet include many surface features such as halos, craters, ridges, troughs, ticks and other volcano types, lava flows and other tectonic features. Some of the main region images show areas such as Selu Corona, Bright Plains, Gula Mons, Sif Mons, the Ovda Region, Danu Mountains, Akna Mountains, Crater Mead, Golubkina, Lavinia Region, the Eastern Lakshmi Region, Corona Derceto, and Sacajawea Patera. All of these images are from the Magellan Spacecraft.

  10. Exploring Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2008-01-01

    With a temperature higher than the inside of your oven and atmospheric pressure equal to that a kilometer under the ocean, the surface of Venus is one of the most hostile environments in the solar system, and Venus exploration presents a challenge to technology. This lecture presents mission trade-offs and discusses a proposed mission concept for rover and aircraft based exploration of the surface and atmosphere of Venus. Several approaches to the technology, electronics, mechanical parts, and power systems, are discussed.

  11. VENUS EXPLORATION ANALYSIS GROUP (VEXAG)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limaye, S. S.; Smrekar, S. E.

    2009-12-01

    The Venus Exploration Analysis Group (VEXAG) was established by NASA in July 2005 to identify scientific priorities and strategy for exploration of Venus. This community-based forum is designed to provide scientific input and technology development plans for planning and prioritizing the exploration of Venus over the next several decades. VEXAG is currently composed of two co- chairs and several groups. The focus groups actively solicit input from the scientific community and meet during VEXAG meetings, held at least once a year. VEXAG reports its findings and provides input to NASA, but does not make recommendations. VEXAG holds meetings open to the global scientific community with interest in understanding Venus and receives input from the scientists and engineers around the world on the current open issues regarding understanding Venus as a planet. VEXAG regularly evaluates Venus exploration goals, scientific objectives, investigations and critical measurement requirements, including especially recommendations in the National Academy of Sciences Decadal Survey and the Solar System Exploration Strategic Roadmap. VEXAG is coordinating the preparation of several White papers on different topics, including science, technology, and the recent flagship study, relevant to Venus exploration for the current Decadal Survey can be found on the VEXAG website (http://www.lpi.usra.edu/vexag). VEXAG provides a forum for learning about international efforts in exploring Venus and facilitates collaboration in combined observation programs from space and earth based observatories. At present, Venus Express mission launched by European Space Agency in November 2005 is the only active mission collecting data from orbit around Venus since April 2006. It will soon be joined in December 2010 by Japan’s Venus Climate Orbiter which is under development for a launch in May 2010. Other missions to Venus are being considered by NASA (Venus Flagship mission), Russia (Venera D) and in the European community (European Venus Explorer). In addition, it is anticipated that several mission concepts will be proposed to NASA’s Discovery (Announcement of Opportunity anticipated by end of 2009). The Venus community recognizes that science return can be maximized by coordinating observations as much as feasible. VEXAG is one forum where the discussions can take place and the community is invited to actively participate in the VEXAG meetings and activities. The next VEXAG meeting will be held following the second Inner Planets Panel Meeting, in Irvine, California, October 28-29, 2009 (see website for details). VEXAG’s past activities, current efforts and future plans will be presented. A workshop focused on Venus Atmosphere is being planned for summer 2010 in conjunction with a VEXAG meeting is being tentatively planned for summer 2010.

  12. Future of Venus Research and Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glaze, L.; Limaye, S.; Nakamura, M.; Wilson, C.; Zasova, L.

    2014-04-01

    A great deal is known about Venus from the Venera, Pioneer-Venus, Magellan, and Venus Express missions. However, many significant questions remain regarding the origin, evolution and current geologic and atmospheric processes. Much can be learned from theoretical modeling of the planetary interior and atmospheric circulation, as well as from laboratory spectroscopic studies. However, to answer many of the outstanding questions, new space flight missions are needed. Multiple international space agencies are considering Venus as a possible destination for future exploration. Collaborative international participation provides a viable path to further understanding of Earth's sister planet and her role in the formation of our solar system.

  13. First observation of 628 CO 2 isotopologue band at 3.3 ?m in the atmosphere of Venus by solar occultation from Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Vandaele, Ann Carine; Wilquet, Valérie; Montmessin, F.; Dahoo, R.; Villard, E.; Korablev, O.; Fedorova, A.

    2008-05-01

    The new ESA Venus Express orbiter is the first mission applying the probing technique of solar and stellar occultation to the atmosphere of Venus, with the SPICAV/SOIR instrument. SOIR is a new type of spectrometer used for solar occultations in the range 2.2-4.3 ?m. Thanks to a high spectral resolving power R˜15,000-20,000 (unprecedented in planetary space exploration), a new gaseous absorption band was soon detected in the atmospheric transmission spectra around 2982 cm -1, showing a structure resembling an unresolved Q branch and a number of isolated lines with a regular wave number pattern. This absorption could not be matched to any species contained in HITRAN or GEISA databases, but was found very similar to an absorption pattern observed by a US team in the spectrum of solar light reflected by the ground of Mars [Villanueva, G.L., Mumma, M.J., Novak, R.E., Hewagama, T., 2008. Icarus 195 (1), 34-44]. This team then suggested to us that the absorption was due to an uncatalogued transition of the 16O 12C 18O molecule. The possible existence of this band was soon confirmed from theoretical considerations by Perevalov and Tashkun. Some SOIR observations of the atmospheric transmission are presented around 2982 cm -1, and rough calculations of line strengths of the Q branch are produced, based on the isotopic ratio measured earlier in the lower atmosphere of Venus. This discovery emphasizes the role of isotopologues of CO 2 (as well as H 2O and HDO) as important greenhouse gases in the atmosphere of Venus.

  14. Upper haze on the night side of Venus from VIRTIS-M / Venus Express limb observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ignatiev, Nikolay; Drossart, Pierre; Piccioni, Giuseppe; Zasova, Ludmila; Gorinov, Dmitry

    Night side limb observations of Venus made by VIRTIS mapping spectrometer onboard Venus Express revealed a thermal emission scattered at the right angle by the upper haze above the cloud tops. This emission comes from the cloud tops in the spectral range of 4-5 microns and from the hot deep subcloud atmosphere and the surface in several spectral transparency windows between 1 and 2.5 mum. De Kok et al. (2011, Icarus 211, 51) first demonstrated that the spectra of this emission can be used to retrieve the density of the upper haze and estimate its particle size. In particular they obtained vertical profiles of the haze density from the spectra of the thermal emission from the cloud in the interval of 4-5 mum for 4 orbits and two narrow latitudinal bands of 20-30N and 47-50. We extend this study to other spectral windows and analyzed a wide set of measurements obtained in 2006-2009. We analyzed the vertical profiles of the scattered emission at 1.18, 1.7 and 2.3 microns to retrieve the upper haze density between 75 and 90 km with the vertical resolution of 3 km. In low latitudes the retrieved extinction at 85 km is equal to 0.001-0.003 km (-1) at wavelength 1.75 mum, and the equivalent mode 2 density equals 0.1-0.3 cm (-3) , which is generally in agreement with the results by deKok et al. (2011) and Wilquet et al. (2009, JGR 114, E00B42; 2012, Icarus 217, 875) obtained for similar conditions. The upper haze is subjected to a considerable temporal variability, which is difficult to systematize due to very non-uniform limb observation sequence. The variability can be illustrated by the altitude of the apparent limb boundary in the IR limb images: in most cases it is located at altitudes of 79-83 km, being systematically lower at higher latitudes, but sometimes extends up to 89 km. Detached layers are sometimes observed at 75-85 km.

  15. The electrical performance of Ag Zn batteries for the Venus multi-probe mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palandati, C.

    1975-01-01

    An evaluation of 5 Ah and 21 Ah Silver-Zinc batteries was made to determine their suitability to meet the energy storage requirements of the bus vehicle, 3 small probes and large probe for the Venus multi-probe mission. The evaluation included a 4 Ah battery for the small probe, a 21 Ah battery for the large probe, one battery of each size for the bus vehicle power, a periodic cycling test on each size battery and a wet stand test of charged and discharged cells of both cell designs. The study on the probe batteries and bus vehicle batteries included both electrical and thermal simulation for the entire mission. The effects on silver migration and zinc penetration of the cellophane separators caused by the various test parameters were determined by visual and X-ray fluorescence analysis. The 5 Ah batteries supported the power requirements for the bus vehicle and small probe. The 21 Ah large probe battery supplied the required mission power. Both probe batteries delivered in excess of 132 percent of rated capacity at the completion of the mission simulation.

  16. Mission Sizing and Trade Studies for Low Ballistic Coefficient Entry Systems to Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dutta, Soumyo; Smith, Brandon; Prabhu, Dinesh; Venkatapathy, Ethiraj

    2012-01-01

    The U.S and the U.S.S.R. have sent seventeen successful atmospheric entry missions to Venus. Past missions to Venus have utilized rigid aeroshell systems for entry. This rigid aeroshell paradigm sets performance limitations since the size of the entry vehicle is constrained by the fairing diameter of the launch vehicle. This has limited ballistic coefficients (beta) to well above 100 kg/m2 for the entry vehicles. In order to maximize the science payload and minimize the Thermal Protection System (TPS) mass, these missions have entered at very steep entry flight path angles (gamma). Due to Venus thick atmosphere and the steep-gamma, high- conditions, these entry vehicles have been exposed to very high heat flux, very high pressures and extreme decelerations (upwards of 100 g's). Deployable aeroshells avoid the launch vehicle fairing diameter constraint by expanding to a larger diameter after the launch. Due to the potentially larger wetted area, deployable aeroshells achieve lower ballistic coefficients (well below 100 kg/m2), and if they are flown at shallower flight path angles, the entry vehicle can access trajectories with far lower decelerations (50-60 g's), peak heat fluxes (400 W/cm2) and peak pressures. The structural and TPS mass of the shallow-gamma, low-beta deployables are lower than their steep-gamma, high-beta rigid aeroshell counterparts at larger diameters, contributing to lower areal densities and potentially higher payload mass fractions. For example, at large diameters, deployables may attain aeroshell areal densities of 10 kg/m2 as opposed to 50 kg/m2 for rigid aeroshells. However, the low-beta, shallow-gamma paradigm also raises issues, such as the possibility of skip-out during entry. The shallow-gamma could also increase the landing footprint of the vehicle. Furthermore, the deployable entry systems may be flexible, so there could be fluid-structure interaction, especially in the high altitude, low-density regimes. The need for precision in guidance, navigation and control during entry also has to be better understood. This paper investigates some of the challenges facing the design of a shallow-gamma, low-beta entry system.

  17. Atmospheric Entry Studies for Venus Missions: 45 Sphere-Cone Rigid Aeroshells and Ballistic Entries

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prabhu, Dinesh K.; Spilker, Thomas R.; Allen, Gary A., Jr.; Hwang, Helen H.; Cappuccio, Gelsomina; Moses, Robert W.

    2013-01-01

    The present study considers direct ballistic entries into the atmosphere of Venus using a 45deg sphere-cone rigid aeroshell, a legacy shape that has been used successfully in the past in the Pioneer Venus Multiprobe Mission. For a number of entry mass and heatshield diameter combinations (i.e., various ballistic coefficients) and entry velocities, the trajectory space in terms of entry flight path angles between skip out and -30deg is explored with a 3DoF trajectory code, TRAJ. From these trajectories, the viable entry flight path angle space is determined through the use of mechanical and thermal performance limits on the thermal protection material and science payload; the thermal protection material of choice is entry-grade carbon phenolic, for which a material thermal response model is available. For mechanical performance, a 200 g limit is placed on the peak deceleration load experienced by the science instruments, and 10 bar is assumed as the pressure limit for entry-grade carbon-phenolic material. For thermal performance, inflection points in the total heat load distribution are used as cut off criteria. Analysis of the results shows the existence of a range of critical ballistic coefficients beyond which the steepest possible entries are determined by the pressure limit of the material rather than the deceleration load limit.

  18. A preliminary analysis of a radar-mapping mission to Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mackay, J. S.; Edsinger, L. E.; Evans, L. C.; Manning, L. A.; Sinclair, K. F.; Swenson, B. L.

    1973-01-01

    A rather broad survey is reported of the Venus radar orbiter possibilities within the period 1983-1990. Minimum mission imaging requirements have been set by comparison with the improving capabilities of earth based radar systems and an examination of earth airborne radar imaging. This has led to a requirement for 80 percent coverage at a resolution of 100 m. A first main conclusion is that only the Shuttle-Centaur launch system would be capable of establishing a circular orbit under all possible launch conditions. Thus, orbit eccentricity has been introduced as a parameter throughout this presentation. An examination of typical radar designs has led to upper and lower limits on swath width of 100 and 50 km. A lower eccentricity of 0.2 was set by considering the current Viking propulsion system. An examination of solar perturbations indicates that orbit maintenance problems increase rapidly above an eccentricity of 0.5.

  19. Exploring Venus: the Venus Exploration Analysis Group (VEXAG)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ocampo, A.; Atreya, S.; Thompson, T.; Luhmann, J.; Mackwell, S.; Baines, K.; Cutts, J.; Robinson, J.; Saunders, S.

    In July 2005 NASA s Planetary Division established the Venus Exploration Analysis Group VEXAG http www lpi usra edu vexag in order to engage the scientific community at large in identifying scientific priorities and strategies for the exploration of Venus VEXAG is a community-based forum open to all interested in the exploration of Venus VEXAG was designed to provide scientific input and technology development plans for planning and prioritizing the study of Venus over the next several decades including a Venus surface sample return VEXAG regularly evaluates NASA s Venus exploration goals scientific objectives investigations and critical measurement requirements including the recommendations in the National Research Council Decadal Survey and NASA s Solar System Exploration Strategic Roadmap VEXAG will take into consideration the latest scientific results from ESA s Venus Express mission and the MESSENGER flybys as well as the results anticipated from JAXA s Venus Climate Orbiter together with science community inputs from venues such as the February 13-16 2006 AGU Chapman Conference to identify the scientific priorities and strategies for future NASA Venus exploration VEXAG is composed of two co-chairs Sushil Atreya University of Michigan Ann Arbor and Janet Luhmann University of California Berkeley VEXAG has formed three focus groups in the areas of 1 Planetary Formation and Evolution Surface and Interior Volcanism Geodynamics etc Focus Group Lead Steve Mackwell LPI 2 Atmospheric Evolution Dynamics Meteorology

  20. Characterizing the Venus atmospheric dynamics from ground-based Doppler velocimetry

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Pedro Machado; David Luz; Thomas Widemann; Emmanuel Lellouch; Olivier Witasse; Jean-Loup Bertaux

    2010-01-01

    We present an analysis of observations of Venus made with the UVES instrument (Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph) at ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT). The observations were carried out in May and June 2007 with the aim of characterizing the zonal wind flow in the atmosphere of Venus during the nominal mission phase of Venus Express. Doppler velocimetry measurements are

  1. Planetary and Space Science 56 (2008) 13201334 Venus Doppler winds at cloud tops observed

    E-print Network

    Widemann, Thomas

    2008-01-01

    Planetary and Space Science 56 (2008) 1320­1334 Venus Doppler winds at cloud tops observed online 23 July 2008 Abstract We present new wind measurements in Venus' lower mesosphere from visible spectroscopy during the 2007 worldwide coordinated ground campaign in support of ESA's Venus Express mission

  2. Morphology of the cloud tops as observed by the Venus Express Monitoring Camera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Titov, Dmitrij V.; Markiewicz, Wojciech J.; Ignatiev, Nikolay I.; Song, Li; Limaye, Sanjay S.; Sanchez-Lavega, Agustin; Hesemann, Jonas; Almeida, Miguel; Roatsch, Thomas; Matz, Klaus-Dieter; Scholten, Frank; Crisp, David; Esposito, Larry W.; Hviid, Stubbe F.; Jaumann, Ralf; Keller, Horst U.; Moissl, Richard

    2012-02-01

    Since the discovery of ultraviolet markings on Venus, their observations have been a powerful tool to study the morphology, motions and dynamical state at the cloud top level. Here we present the results of investigation of the cloud top morphology performed by the Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC) during more than 3 years of the Venus Express mission. The camera acquires images in four narrow-band filters centered at 365, 513, 965 and 1010 nm with spatial resolution from 50 km at apocentre to a few hundred of meters at pericentre. The VMC experiment provides a significant improvement in the Venus imaging as compared to the capabilities of the earlier missions. The camera discovered new cloud features like bright "lace clouds" and cloud columns at the low latitudes, dark polar oval and narrow circular and spiral "grooves" in the polar regions, different types of waves at the high latitudes. The VMC observations revealed detailed structure of the sub-solar region and the afternoon convective wake, the bow-shape features and convective cells, the mid-latitude transition region and the "polar cap". The polar orbit of the satellite enables for the first time nadir viewing of the Southern polar regions and an opportunity to zoom in on the planet. The experiment returned numerous images of the Venus limb and documented global and local brightening events. VMC provided almost continuous monitoring of the planet with high temporal resolution that allowed one to follow changes in the cloud morphology at various scales. We present the in-flight performance of the instrument and focus in particular on the data from the ultraviolet channel, centered at the characteristic wavelength of the unknown UV absorber that yields the highest contrasts on the cloud top. Low latitudes are dominated by relatively dark clouds that have mottled and fragmented appearance clearly indicating convective activity in the sub-solar region. At ˜50° latitude this pattern gives way to streaky clouds suggesting that horizontal, almost laminar, flow prevails here. Poleward from about 60°S the planet is covered by almost featureless bright polar hood sometimes crossed by dark narrow (˜300 km) spiral or circular structures. This global cloud pattern can change on time scales of a few days resulting in global and local "brightening events" when the bright haze can extend far into low latitudes and/or increase its brightness by 30%. Close-up snapshots reveal plenty of morphological details like convective cells, cloud streaks, cumulus-like columns, wave trains. Different kinds of small scale waves are frequently observed at the cloud top. The wave activity is mainly observed in the 65-80° latitude band and is in particular concentrated in the region of Ishtar Terra that suggests their possible orographic origin. The VMC observations have important implications for the problems of the unknown UV absorber, microphysical processes, dynamics and radiative energy balance at the cloud tops. They are only briefly discussed in the paper, but each of them will be the subject of a dedicated study.

  3. Radio science investigations by VeRa onboard the Venus Express spacecraft

    Microsoft Academic Search

    B. Häusler; M. Pätzold; G. L. Tyler; R. A. Simpson; M. K. Bird; V. Dehant; J.-P. Barriot; W. Eidel; R. Mattei; S. Remus; J. Selle; S. Tellmann; T. Imamura

    2006-01-01

    The Venus Express Radio Science Experiment (VeRa) uses radio signals at wavelengths of 3.6 and 13cm (“X”- and “S”-band, respectively) to investigate the Venus surface, neutral atmosphere, ionosphere, and gravity field, as well as the interplanetary medium. An ultrastable oscillator (USO) provides a high quality onboard reference frequency source; instrumentation on Earth is used to record amplitude, phase, propagation time,

  4. Geologic interpretation of the near-infrared images of the surface taken by the Venus Monitoring Camera, Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basilevsky, A. T.; Shalygin, E. V.; Titov, D. V.; Markiewicz, W. J.; Scholten, F.; Roatsch, Th.; Kreslavsky, M. A.; Moroz, L. V.; Ignatiev, N. I.; Fiethe, B.; Osterloh, B.; Michalik, H.

    2012-02-01

    We analyze night-time near-infrared (NIR) thermal emission images of the Venus surface obtained with the 1-?m channel of the Venus Monitoring Camera onboard Venus Express. Comparison with the results of the Magellan radar survey and the model NIR images of the Beta-Phoebe region show that the night-time VMC images provide reliable information on spatial variations of the NIR surface emission. In this paper we consider if tessera terrain has the different NIR emissivity (and thus mineralogic composition) in comparison to the surrounding basaltic plains. This is done through the study of an area SW of Beta Regio where there is a massif of tessera terrain, Chimon-mana Tessera, surrounded by supposedly basaltic plains. Our analysis showed that 1-?m emissivity of tessera surface material is by 15-35% lower than that of relatively fresh supposedly basaltic lavas of plains and volcanic edifices. This is consistent with hypothesis that the tessera material is not basaltic, maybe felsic, that is in agreement with the results of analyses of VEX VIRTIS and Galileo NIMS data. If the felsic nature of venusian tesserae will be confirmed in further studies this may have important implications on geochemical environments in early history of Venus. We have found that the surface materials of plains in the study area are very variegated in their 1-?m emissivity, which probably reflects variability of degree of their chemical weathering. We have also found a possible decrease of the calculated emissivity at the top of Tuulikki Mons volcano which, if real, may be due to different (more felsic?) composition of volcanic products on the volcano summit.

  5. Dynamical properties of the Venus mesosphere from the radio-occultation experiment VeRa onboard Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piccialli, A.; Tellmann, S.; Titov, D. V.; Limaye, S. S.; Khatuntsev, I. V.; Pätzold, M.; Häusler, B.

    2012-02-01

    The dynamics of Venus' mesosphere (60-100 km altitude) was investigated using data acquired by the radio-occultation experiment VeRa on board Venus Express. VeRa provides vertical profiles of density, temperature and pressure between 40 and 90 km of altitude with a vertical resolution of few hundred meters of both the Northern and Southern hemisphere. Pressure and temperature vertical profiles were used to derive zonal winds by applying an approximation of the Navier-Stokes equation, the cyclostrophic balance, which applies well on slowly rotating planets with fast zonal winds, like Venus and Titan. The main features of the retrieved winds are a midlatitude jet with a maximum speed up to 140 ± 15 m s -1 which extends between 20°S and 50°S latitude at 70 km altitude and a decrease of wind speed with increasing height above the jet. Cyclostrophic winds show satisfactory agreement with the cloud-tracked winds derived from the Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC/VEx) UV images, although a disagreement is observed at the equator and near the pole due to the breakdown of the cyclostrophic approximation. Knowledge of both temperature and wind fields allowed us to study the stability of the atmosphere with respect to convection and turbulence. The Richardson number Ri was evaluated from zonal field of measured temperatures and thermal winds. The atmosphere is characterised by a low value of Richardson number from ˜45 km up to ˜60 km altitude at all latitudes that corresponds to the lower and middle cloud layer indicating an almost adiabatic atmosphere. A high value of Richardson number was found in the region of the midlatitude jet indicating a highly stable atmosphere. The necessary condition for barotropic instability was verified: it is satisfied on the poleward side of the midlatitude jet, indicating the possible presence of wave instability.

  6. Tracking of Mars Express and Venus Express spacecraft with VLBI radio telescopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molera Calvés, G.; Pogrebenko, S. V.; Wagner, J.; Cimò, G.; Gurvits, L.; Duev, D.

    2010-12-01

    The ESA Mars Express and Venus Express spacecraft (S/C) have been observed for the last two years with the European VLBI radio telescopes of Metsähovi (FI), Wettzell (GE), Yebes (SP), Medicina, Matera, Noto (IT), Puschino (RU) and Onsala (SW). The campaign is in the framework of the assessment study and preparation of the European VLBI Network to the upcoming ESA and other deep space missions. It also offers new opportunities for applications of radio astronomy techniques to planetary science, geophysics and geodesy. Observations are carried out either in single- or multi-dish modes when S/C is locked to the ESA’s ESTRACK ground stations (Cebreros or New Nortia) observing the two way link. Data are recorded locally at the stations using standard VLBI equipment and transferred to the Metsähovi for processing. Further on, the data are transferred from Metsähovi to Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe for further post-analysis. High dynamic range of the S/C signal detections allowed us to determine the apparent topocentric frequency of the S/C carrier line and accompanying ranging tones down to milli-Hz spectral accuracy and to extract the phase of the S/C signal carrier line. With multi-station observations, the respective phases can be calibrated on the per-baseline basis using VLBI phase referencing technique and observations of background quasars close to S/C in their celestial position using far-field VLBI delay model for quasars and near-field model for S/C. The post-analysis of the S/C tracking data enables us to study several parameters of the S/C signals. Of these, the phase fluctuations of the signal can be used for characterization of the interplanetary plasma density fluctuations along the signal propagation line at different spatial and temporal scales and different solar elongations. These fluctuations are well represented by a near-Kolmogorov spectrum. Multi-station observations can distinguish the contributions of propagation effects in the plasma along the up- and down-link paths as seen from different VLBI stations through different Fresnel channels. We also demonstrated high accuracy S/C Doppler tracking with 3 EVN stations (Metsähovi, Wettzell and Yebes) during the MEX-Phobos flyby, which occurred on 2010 march 03. These multi-station observing sessions could help to better determine the Phobos gravity field and together with phase referencing provide additional geometrical constrains on the orbiter/Phobos trajectories. VEX S/C signal detection with four VLBI antennae (23/08/2010).

  7. A dynamic upper atmosphere of Venus as revealed by VIRTIS on Venus Express

    Microsoft Academic Search

    P. Drossart; G. Piccioni; J. C. Gérard; M. A. Lopez-Valverde; A. Sanchez-Lavega; L. Zasova; R. Hueso; F. W. Taylor; B. Bézard; A. Adriani; F. Angrilli; G. Arnold; K. H. Baines; G. Bellucci; J. Benkhoff; J. P. Bibring; A. Blanco; M. I. Blecka; R. W. Carlson; A. Coradini; A. di Lellis; T. Encrenaz; S. Erard; S. Fonti; V. Formisano; T. Fouchet; R. Garcia; R. Haus; J. Helbert; N. I. Ignatiev; P. Irwin; Y. Langevin; S. Lebonnois; D. Luz; L. Marinangeli; V. Orofino; A. V. Rodin; M. C. Roos-Serote; B. Saggin; D. M. Stam; D. Titov; G. Visconti; M. Zambelli; C. Tsang; Eleonora Ammannito; Alessandra Barbis; Rainer Berlin; Carlo Bettanini; Angelo Boccaccini; Guillaume Bonnello; Marc Bouyé; Fabrizio Capaccioni; Alejandro Cardesin; Francesco Carraro; Giovanni Cherubini; Massimo Cosi; Michele Dami; Maurizio de Nino; Davide Del Vento; Marco di Giampietro; Alessandro Donati; Olivier Dupuis; Sylvie Espinasse; Anna Fabbri; Agnès Fave; Iacopo Ficai Veltroni; Gianrico Filacchione; Katia Garceran; Yamina Ghomchi; Maurizio Giustizi; Brigitte Gondet; Yann Hello; Florence Henry; Stefan Hofer; Gerard Huntzinger; Juergen Kachlicki; René Knoll; Driss Kouach; Alessandro Mazzoni; Riccardo Melchiorri; Giuseppe Mondello; Francesco Monti; Christian Neumann; Fabrizio Nuccilli; Jérôme Parisot; Claudio Pasqui; Stefano Perferi; Gisbert Peter; Alain Piacentino; Carlo Pompei; Jean-Michel Réess; Jean-Pierre Rivet; Antonio Romano; Natalie Russ; Massimo Santoni; Adelmo Scarpelli; Alain Soufflot; Douchane Stefanovitch; Enrico Suetta; Fabio Tarchi; Nazzareno Tonetti; Federico Tosi; Bernd Ulmer

    2007-01-01

    The upper atmosphere of a planet is a transition region in which energy is transferred between the deeper atmosphere and outer space. Molecular emissions from the upper atmosphere (90-120km altitude) of Venus can be used to investigate the energetics and to trace the circulation of this hitherto little-studied region. Previous spacecraft and ground-based observations of infrared emission from CO2, O2

  8. A study of an orbital radar mapping mission to Venus. Volume 3: Parametric studies and subsystem comparisons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    Parametric studies and subsystem comparisons for the orbital radar mapping mission to planet Venus are presented. Launch vehicle requirements and primary orbiter propulsion system requirements are evaluated. The systems parametric analysis indicated that orbit size and orientation interrelated with almost all of the principal spacecraft systems and influenced significantly the definition of orbit insertion propulsion requirements, weight in orbit capability, radar system design, and mapping strategy.

  9. The global distribution of H2SO4 in the atmosphere of Venus as a trace gas for atmospheric dynamics derived from Venus Express Radio Science Experiment VeRa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oschlisniok, J.; Pätzold, M.; Tellmann, S.; Häusler, B.; Bird, M.; Andert, T.; Remus, S.; Herrmann, M.

    2014-04-01

    The entire planet Venus is covered by a roughly 20 km thick cloud layer, consisting of liquid and gaseous sulfuric acid between ca. 50 and 70 km altitude. The density of the gaseous part increases and forms a ca. 15 km thick haze layer below ca. 50 km. The haze layer is responsible for the absorption of radio signals during radio occultation experiments. The absorption of the radio signal is a tool to derive the amount of H2SO4 as a function of altitude and latitude. The Radio Science Experiment VeRa sounds the Venus atmosphere with radio signals at 3.6 cm (X-Band) and 13 cm (S-Band) wavelengths. The derived atmospheric absorption profiles show the global H2SO4 distribution as a tracer of the predominant transport processes in the atmosphere of Venus. Vertical sulfuric acid vapor profiles are presented and compared with previous missions and other experiments on Venus Express. A distinct latitudinal H2SO4 gradient and a southern northern symmetry are clearly visible. Furthermore indications for temporal H2SO4 variations were found, at least at higher latitudes. The observed global H2SO4 distribution is used to derive information on the transport processes in the lower and middle atmosphere with respect to a 2D transport model.

  10. Cloud-top altitude from limb views acquired by the Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC) on Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limaye, S. S.; Krauss, R. J.; Ignatiev, N.; Markiewicz, W. J.,

    2012-04-01

    A good knowledge of the effective cloud top altitude is essential for interpretation of cloud motions measured from Venus images taken in reflected sunlight at different wavelengths. Ignatiev et al. (2009) reported the first inferences of the cloud top altitude from nadir observations acquired by the Visible Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) on Venus Express using the depth of the 1.6µ CO2 continuum. Their results indicate that the cloud tops are 74 ± 1 km above the mean surface in low and mid-latitudes and at only 63-69 km in polar latitudes. The nominal cloud top altitude used in most previous analyses of imaging data are generally either 6115 and 6120 km radius, or 62.8 and 67.8 km respectively above the mean surface. The Level 3 map products generated from the VMC data use a cloud altitude of 65 km for all filters. Given the large number of images acquired from the VMC since the insertion of Venus Express in orbit in April 2006, it is now possible to measure the altitude of the visible cloud top (slant optical depth, ?slant = 1) from the images. Preliminary results were presented by Limaye et al. (2011) by determination of the ?slant location in the VMC images and using the observing geometry information to determine the altitude by first determining the image center very precisely. We used star field images from recent orbits to re-assess the pixel size. Results from the four filters of VMC (365, 513, 965 and 1010 nm central wavelengths) provide an improved value for the visible cloud top altitude using the improved values for the image scale of the four VMC cameras.

  11. A dynamic upper atmosphere of Venus as revealed by VIRTIS on Venus Express.

    PubMed

    Drossart, P; Piccioni, G; Gérard, J C; Lopez-Valverde, M A; Sanchez-Lavega, A; Zasova, L; Hueso, R; Taylor, F W; Bézard, B; Adriani, A; Angrilli, F; Arnold, G; Baines, K H; Bellucci, G; Benkhoff, J; Bibring, J P; Blanco, A; Blecka, M I; Carlson, R W; Coradini, A; Di Lellis, A; Encrenaz, T; Erard, S; Fonti, S; Formisano, V; Fouchet, T; Garcia, R; Haus, R; Helbert, J; Ignatiev, N I; Irwin, P; Langevin, Y; Lebonnois, S; Luz, D; Marinangeli, L; Orofino, V; Rodin, A V; Roos-Serote, M C; Saggin, B; Stam, D M; Titov, D; Visconti, G; Zambelli, M; Tsang, C; Ammannito, Eleonora; Barbis, Alessandra; Berlin, Rainer; Bettanini, Carlo; Boccaccini, Angelo; Bonnello, Guillaume; Bouyé, Marc; Capaccioni, Fabrizio; Cardesin, Alejandro; Carraro, Francesco; Cherubini, Giovanni; Cosi, Massimo; Dami, Michele; De Nino, Maurizio; Del Vento, Davide; Di Giampietro, Marco; Donati, Alessandro; Dupuis, Olivier; Espinasse, Sylvie; Fabbri, Anna; Fave, Agnès; Veltroni, Iacopo Ficai; Filacchione, Gianrico; Garceran, Katia; Ghomchi, Yamina; Giustizi, Maurizio; Gondet, Brigitte; Hello, Yann; Henry, Florence; Hofer, Stefan; Huntzinger, Gerard; Kachlicki, Juergen; Knoll, René; Kouach, Driss; Mazzoni, Alessandro; Melchiorri, Riccardo; Mondello, Giuseppe; Monti, Francesco; Neumann, Christian; Nuccilli, Fabrizio; Parisot, Jérôme; Pasqui, Claudio; Perferi, Stefano; Peter, Gisbert; Piacentino, Alain; Pompei, Carlo; Réess, Jean-Michel; Rivet, Jean-Pierre; Romano, Antonio; Russ, Natalie; Santoni, Massimo; Scarpelli, Adelmo; Sémery, Alain; Soufflot, Alain; Stefanovitch, Douchane; Suetta, Enrico; Tarchi, Fabio; Tonetti, Nazzareno; Tosi, Federico; Ulmer, Bernd

    2007-11-29

    The upper atmosphere of a planet is a transition region in which energy is transferred between the deeper atmosphere and outer space. Molecular emissions from the upper atmosphere (90-120 km altitude) of Venus can be used to investigate the energetics and to trace the circulation of this hitherto little-studied region. Previous spacecraft and ground-based observations of infrared emission from CO2, O2 and NO have established that photochemical and dynamic activity controls the structure of the upper atmosphere of Venus. These data, however, have left unresolved the precise altitude of the emission owing to a lack of data and of an adequate observing geometry. Here we report measurements of day-side CO2 non-local thermodynamic equilibrium emission at 4.3 microm, extending from 90 to 120 km altitude, and of night-side O2 emission extending from 95 to 100 km. The CO2 emission peak occurs at approximately 115 km and varies with solar zenith angle over a range of approximately 10 km. This confirms previous modelling, and permits the beginning of a systematic study of the variability of the emission. The O2 peak emission happens at 96 km +/- 1 km, which is consistent with three-body recombination of oxygen atoms transported from the day side by a global thermospheric sub-solar to anti-solar circulation, as previously predicted. PMID:18046396

  12. Oxygen nightglow emissions in the Venus atmosphere, observed by the visible channel of VIRTIS/Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Migliorini, A.; Piccioni, G.; Gérard, J.-C.; Slanger, T.; Snels, M.,; Drossart, P.

    2012-04-01

    The oxygen nightglow emissions in the visible spectral range have been known since the early observations with the Venera spacecraft. The VIRTIS instrument on board Venus-Express allows extension of observations of the Herzberg II system of O2, and we report a mean value of 200 kR for the integrated intensity of the progression in limb view. Moreover, three bands of the Chamberlain system have been detected in the VIRTIS mean spectrum, with a mean intensity of 8-10 kR for the most intense of these bands. For the 0-v? progression of the Herzberg II system, with v? = 6-13, the maximum emission is typically observed at 95-96 km, with a full width at half maximum ranging from 12 to 15 km. A systematic observing campaign at limb is in progress from Venus Express, which will allow mapping the horizontal spatial distribution of these emissions. Once the map is enough populated, it will be possible to compare the results obtained both in the visible and IR for the O2 nightglow emissions, although not simultaneously.

  13. Carbon monoxide and temperature in the upper atmosphere of Venus from VIRTIS/Venus Express non-LTE limb measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilli, G.; López-Valverde, M. A.; Peralta, J.; Bougher, S.; Brecht, A.; Drossart, P.; Piccioni, G.

    2015-03-01

    The upper mesosphere and the lower thermosphere of Venus (from 90 to 150 km altitude) seems to play a transition region in photochemistry, dynamics and radiation, but is still very poorly constrained observationally. Since 2006 VIRTIS on board Venus Express has been obtaining limb observations of CO fluorescent infrared emissions in a systematic manner. This study represents the scientific exploitation of this dataset and reports new information on the composition and temperature at those altitudes. This work is focused on the 4.7 ? m emission of CO as observed by VIRTIS, which contains two emission bands, the fundamental and the first hot of the main CO isotope. A specific scheme for a simultaneous retrieval of CO and temperature is proposed, based on results of a comprehensive non-LTE model of these molecular emissions. A forward model containing such non-LTE model is used at the core of an inversion scheme that consists of two steps: (i) a minimization procedure of model-data differences and (ii) a linear inversion around the solution of the first step. A thorough error analysis is presented, which shows that the retrievals of CO and temperature are very noisy but can be improved by suitable averaging of data. These averages need to be consistent with the non-LTE nature of the emissions. Unfortunately, the data binning process reduced the geographical coverage of the results. The obtained retrieval results indicate a global distribution of the CO in the Venus dayside with a maximum around the sub-solar point, and a decrease of a factor 2 towards high latitudes. Also a gradient from noon to the morning and evening sides is evident in the equator, this being smaller at high latitudes. No morning-afternoon differences in the CO concentration are observed, or are comparable to our retrieval errors. All this argues for a CO distribution controlled by dynamics in the lower thermosphere, with a dominant sub-solar to anti-solar gradient. Similar variations are found with the Venus Thermospheric General Circulation Model (VTGCM), but the VIRTIS CO is systematically larger than in the model. The thermal structure obtained by VIRTIS presents a hint of local maximum around 115 km near the terminator at equatorial latitudes, but not at noon, in clear contrast to VTGCM predictions and to an upper mesosphere in pure radiative balance. A few tentative ideas to explain these model-data discrepancies are discussed.

  14. Correlations between Venus nightside near infrared emissions measured by VIRTIS/Venus Express and Magellan radar data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mueller, N.; Helbert, J.; Hashimoto, G. L.; Tsang, C. C. C.; Erard, S.; Piccioni, G.; Drossart, P.

    2008-09-01

    Background The Venus Express Spacecraft images the nightside thermal emissions using the VIRTIS imaging spectrometer. At 1.02 micron thermal emission from the surface is penetrates the atmosphere but the signal is attenuated by scattering and absorption [1, 2]. Although the measured flux at top of the atmosphere is nonlinearly related to the original emission of the surface, it is still positively correlated with the product of surface temperature and surface emissivity [3]. The surface temperature of Venus is relatively well constrained as a monotonous function of altitude. Emissivity at 1 micron depends strongly on surface composition, in particular abundance of mafic minerals [3]. Mapping the thermal emission of the surface of Venus therefore supplements radar data as it allows to infer relative variation of surface composition. Data Processing This study examines the correlation of VIRTIS images showing a signal of the surface with all known parameters that govern radiance and applies semi empirical relations to remove the respective influences. 1. Stray sunlight is removed by subtraction of a spectrum template scaled to fit radiance at 1.4 ¹m [2] 2. Limb darkening is accounted for using a linear phase function consistent with results of radiative transfer modeling [4]. 3. Cloud opacity is determined from 1.31 ¹m and applied to 1.02 ¹m while accounting for multiple reflections between lower atmosphere and clouds [3]. Result is brightness temperature of thermal emission below the cloud deck but above the lowest 20 km of the atmosphere. 4. Influence of surface temperature and lower atmosphere absorption is determined by correlation of VIRTIS declouded brightness temperature and Magellan Topography data [5]. To further reduce the influence of cloud contrast and increase the signal of the surface, all suitable VIRTIS observations are map projected and stacked to create a map of the southern hemisphere of Venus. Observations and Interpretation As expected from the small diurnal, latitudinal and seasonal variations of temperature in the atmosphere of Venus, the map created from all retrieved brightness temperatures is highly correlated with Magellan altimetry (fig. 1). Local deviation from the globally averaged brightness to topography relation can be either ascribed to surface emissivity or unexpected temperature variations. Temperature variations e.g. due to active volcanism are unlikely to be persistent over the time of observations. The stacked data is here interpreted in terms of surface emissivity variation by removal of the influence of topography (fig. 2). The emissivity variation found is correlated with geomorphological features established from Magellan radar images. It is generally lower at tessera terrain. This might indicate felsic surface composition of tessera highlands, e.g. anorthosite or granite [6, 7]. Creation of felsic crust is unlikely under current conditions. Some, but not all volcanic edifices show increased emissivity. Large lava flows in the Lada terra - Lavinia planitia region also show an increased thermal emission. In particular Cavilaca and Juturna fluctus, emanating from Boala corona (70S 0E) inside Quetzalpetlatl corona, are characterized by an increased IR flux. This might be consistent with the large scale extrusive volcanism of ultramafic composition considered by [8] in the context of chemical differentiation in the upper mantle. Discussion These observations are however highly sensitive to errors in the altimetry applied. A known systematic error in the Magellan dataset stemming from spacecraft orbit determination uncertainty is qualitatively confirmed by comparison with VIRTIS data (see longitude -120 in fig. 1 and 2. Tessera terrain is known to strongly scatter radar waves which might influences accuracy of altimetry. An quantitative analysis and search for small scale systematic errors is in progress during the submission of this abstract. References [1] Lecacheux, J., P. Drossart, P. Laques, F. Deladerriere, and F. Colas (1993), Detection of the surface of Venus at 1.0 micromet

  15. Vertical structure of the Venus cloud top from the VeRa and VIRTIS observations onboard Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Yeon Joo; Titov, Dmitriy; Tellmann, Silvia; Piccioni, Giuseppe; Piccialli, Arianna; Pätzold, Martin; Drossart, Pierre

    2010-05-01

    Vertical structure of the Venus clouds is important for understanding of the radiative energy balance and the atmospheric dynamics. The structure of the cloud tops (75-65 km) is especially poorly investigated since it falls between the altitude ranges sounded by solar/ stellar occultation and that studied by descent probes. In this work we analyse the data from the radio science experiment VeRa and Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) onboard Venus Express. Radio sounding is insensitive to the clouds and provides 'true' temperature structure, while thermal IR spectra depend on both temperature and aerosol distribution. Thus the joint analysis allows one to constrain vertical structure of aerosol at the cloud tops and its latitudinal variations. Using VeRa temperature profiles we fit VIRTIS spectra in the wavelength range of 4.5 - 5 ?m by tuning two parameters in the exponential model of aerosol vertical distribution: cloud top altitude of a unity optical thickness and scale height. We found that the cloud top altitude decreased from ~66 km in the middle and low latitudes to 62-64 km in the polar regions. The scale height showed correlated changes from 3-4 km to less than 1 km. Radiative transfer modelling showed that thermal IR spectrum is more sensitive to the cloud top altitude than to the aerosol scale height.

  16. Venus OH nightglow distribution based on VIRTIS limb observations from Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soret, L.; Gérard, J.-C.; Piccioni, G.; Drossart, P.

    2010-03-01

    The full set of VIRTIS-M limb observations of the OH Venus nightglow has been analyzed to determine its characteristics. Based on 3328 limb profiles, we find that the mean peak intensity along the line of sight of the OH(?v = 1 sequence) is 0.35-0.21+0.53 MR and is located at 96.4 ± 5 km. The emission is highly variable and no dependence of the airglow layer altitude versus the antisolar angle is observed. The peak brightness appears to decrease away from the antisolar point even if the variability at a given location is very strong. Some correlation between the intensity of the OH and the O2(a1?) emissions is also observed, presumably because atomic oxygen is a common precursor to the formation of O2(a1?) and O3, whose reaction with H produces excited OH. Comparing our results with predictions from a photochemical model, a constant H flux does not match the simultaneous OH and O2 airglow observations.

  17. A suggested trajectory for a Venus-sun, earth-sun Lagrange points mission, Vela

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bender, D. F.

    1979-01-01

    The possibility is suggested of investigating the existence of small, as-yet undiscovered, asteroids orbiting in the solar system near the earth-sun or Venus-sun stable Lagrange points by means of a spacecraft which traverses these regions. The type of trajectory suggested lies in the ecliptic plane and has a period of 5/6 years and a perihelion at the Venus orbital distance. The regions in which stable orbits associated with the earth and with Venus may lie are estimated to be a thin and tadpole-shaped area extending from 35 deg to 100 deg from the planet. Crossings of the regions by the trajectory are described, and the requirements for detecting the presence of 1 km sized asteroids are presented and shown to be attainable.

  18. Constraints on Magmatic Diversity on Venus from Terrestrial Analog Crystallization Experiments with Data Implications for Future Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filiberto, J.

    2013-12-01

    Igneous diversity,common on the Earth, is possible on Venus based on: the Venera and Vega analyses of rocks on the surface of Venus [1,2], orbital analyses of surface features [3], and thermochemical modeling of Venera and Vega basalts [4]. From these results, Venus and Earth have similar bulk chemistry and diversity of igneous rocks. However, the data from the Venera and Vega landers have large error bars compared with terrestrial geochemical analyses and do not provide mineralogy of the target rock, thereby making direct conclusions from this data challenging [e.g., 1, 2]. In order to make predictions about the types of magmas that could be on Venus, I will rely on crystallization experiments on terrestrial tholeiitic compositions. By comparing experimental results on terrestrial mafic basalts and natural terrestrial suites with the data from Venera and Vega, I constrain the types of igneous rocks that could be present on Venus, as well as the quality of data needed from future missions to distinguish the different suites. Extensive crystallization experiments have been conducted on terrestrial olivine tholeiites at varying pressures, temperatures, and water contents in order to understand the residual liquids produced by igneous differentiation [e.g., 5-10]. If similar processes of magma ponding and differentiation have occurred on Venus, then compositions similar to terrestrial igneous suites would be expected. The potential residual liquids produced by differentiation of a Venus tholeiite, based on experiments on analog compositions, range from rhyolites to phonolites, depending on pressure of crystallization and bulk water content. These experimental results are consistent with the interpretation of the Venera 13 analysis as a silica-undersaturated alkali basalt which suggests deep partial melting of a carbonated source region [11], while the identification of Venera 14 and Vega 2 as tholeiites suggests relatively shallow melting of a lherzolitic or peridotite source region. References: [1]. Kargel, J.S. et al. (1993) Icarus. 103(2): p. 253-275. [2] Treiman, A.H. (2007) in Exploring Venus as a Terrestrial Planet, Geophysical Monograph Series. p. 250. [3] Hashimoto, G.L., et al. (2008) JGR Planets. 113(E00B24): p. doi:10.1029/2008JE003134. [4] Shellnutt, J.G. (2013) JGR Planets. 118: p. 1350-1364, doi:10.1002/jgre.20094. [5] Spulber, S.D. and M.J. Rutherford (1983) Journal of Petrology. 24(1): p. 1-25. [6] Whitaker, M., et al. (2008) Bulletin of Volcanology. 70(3): p. 417-434. [7] Whitaker, M.L., et al. (2007) Journal of Petrology. 48(2): p. 365-393. [8] Nekvasil, H., et al. (2004) Journal of Petrology. 45(4): p. 693-721. [9] Green, D.H. (1970) Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors. 3: p. 221-235. [10] Filiberto, J. and Nekvasil H. (2003) GSA Abstracts with Programs. 35(6): p. 632. [11] Dasgupta, R., Hirschmann, M., and Smith, N. (2007) Journal of Petrology 48, 2093-2124.

  19. MESSENGER and Venus Express Observations of the Near-tail of Venus: Magnetic Flux Transport, Current Sheet Structure, and Flux Rope Formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slavin, James A.; Boardsen, S. A.; Sarantos, M.; Acuna, M. H.; Anderson, B. J.; Barabash, S.; Benna, M.; Fraenz, M.; Gloeckler, G.; Gold, R. E.; Ho, G. C.; Korth, H.; Krimigis, S. M.; McNutt, R. L., Jr.; Raines, J. M.; Solomon, S. C.; Zhang, T.-L.; Zurbuchen, T. H.

    2008-01-01

    At 23:08 UT on 5 June 2007 the MESSENGER spacecraft reached its closest approach altitude (338 km) during its second flyby of Venus en route to its 2011 orbit insertion at Mercury. Whereas no measurements were collected during MESSENGER'S first Venus flyby in October 2006, the Magnetometer (MAG) and the Energetic Particle and Plasma Spectrometer (EPPS) operated successfully throughout this second encounter. Venus provides the solar system's best example to date of a solar wind - ionosphere planetary interaction. We present MESSENGER observations of the near-tail of Venus with emphasis on determining the time scales for magnetic flux transport, the structure of the cross-tail current sheet at very low altitudes (approx. 300 to 1000 km), and the nature and origin of a magnetic flux rope observed in the current sheet. The availability of the simultaneous Venus Express upstream measurements provides a unique opportunity to examine the influence of solar wind plasma and interplanetary magnetic field conditions on this planet's solar wind interaction at solar minimum.

  20. Time-series analysis of temperature profiles from VIRTIS Venus Express data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grassi, D.; Migliorini, A.; Politi, R.; Montabone, L.; Piccioni, G.; Drossart, P.

    2012-04-01

    Nighttime infrared observations of the VIRTIS instrument on board Venus Express have already demonstrated their potential in the study of air temperature fields of the Venusian mesosphere. The entire available dataset acquired by the VIRTIS-M IR channel was processed at moderate spatial resolution (i.e. averaging pixels in 8x8 boxes) to derive an unprecedented dataset of air temperature profiles in the pressure range 100-0.1 mbar, covering mostly the latitudes south of 45S. We presented in Grassi et al. (2010, doi:10.1029/2009JE003553) an analysis of the mean properties of temperature profiles, once binned in the latitude/local time/pressure space. Here we discuss the preliminary findings of time-series analysis of data from individual bins. Despite the sparsity of most series, Lomb-Scargle periodogram can be effectively applied in the regions south of 70S, where better coverage is made possible by specific properties of Venus Express orbit. Here the algorithm is able to extract a clear signature related to a period of about 115-120 Earth days, i.e. one Venus solar day, particularly strong at the level around 10 mbar. Further analysis of average temperature fields in the latitude - longitude space demonstrated, for different local times during night, that air temperatures east of Lada Terra (most specifically in a region centered around 130°E and about 60° wide) are about 10K warmer than in other longitudes at 75S.

  1. Mars Express—ESA's first mission to planet Mars

    Microsoft Academic Search

    R. Schmidt

    2003-01-01

    ESA’ Mars Express mission is a fully approved and funded project which has entered its spacecraft development (i.e. hardware) phase early January 2000. It is the first of ESA's new ‘F’ (flexible) missions which are based on a new implementation scenario to maintain overall mission cost below a stringent cost cap. The key features of an F-mission are streamlined management,

  2. Observing the surface of Venus after VIRTIS on VEX: new concepts and laboratory work

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helbert, Jörn; Müller, Nils; Maturilli, Alessandro; Nadalini, Riccardo; Smrekar, Suzanne; D'Incecco, Piero; D'Amore, Mario

    2013-09-01

    The permanent cloud cover of Venus prohibits observation of the surface with traditional imaging techniques most of the visible spectral range. Venus' CO2 atmosphere is transparent in small spectral windows near 1 micron. These windows have been successfully used from ground observers, during the flyby of the Galileo mission at Jupiter and most recently by the VMC and VIRTIS instruments on the ESA VenusExpress spacecraft. Studying surface composition based on only a small number of spectral channels in a very narrow spectral range is very challenging. The task is further complicated by the fact that Venus has an average surface temperature of 460°C. Spectral signatures of minerals are affected by temperature and therefore a comparison with mineral spectra obtained at room temperature can be misleading. We report here about first laboratory measurements of Venus analog materials obtained at Venus surface temperatures. The spectral signatures show clear temperature dependence. Based on the experience gained from using the VIRTIS instrument to observe the surface of Venus combined with the high temperature laboratory experiments we have developed the concept for the Venus Emissivity Mapper (VEM). VEM is a multi-spectral mapper dedicated to the task of multi-spectral mapping the surface of Venus. VEM imposes minimal requirements on the spacecraft and mission design and can therefore added to any future Venus mission. Ideally the VEM instrument is combined with a high resolution radar mapper to provide accurate topographic data.

  3. International Collaboration for Venus Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cutts, James; Limaye, Sanjay; Zasova, Ludmila; Wilson, Colin; Ocampo, Adriana; Glaze, Lori; Svedhem, H.; Nakamura, Masato; Widemann, Thomas

    The Venus Exploration Analysis Group (VEXAG) was established by NASA in July 2005 to identify scientific priorities and strategy for exploration of Venus. From the outset, VEXAG has been open to the international community participation and has followed the progress of the ESA Venus Express Mission and the JAXA Akasuki mission as well exploring potential broad international partnerships for Venus exploration through coordinated science and missions. This paper discussed three mechanisms through which these collaborations are being explored in which VEXAG members participate One pathway for international collaboration has been through COSPAR. The International Venus Exploration Working Group (IVEWG) was formed during the 2012 COSPAR general assembly in Mysore, India. Another potentially significant outcome has been the IVEWG’s efforts to foster a formal dialog between IKI and NASA/PSD on the proposed Venera D mission resulting in a meeting in June 2013 to be followed by a discussion at the 4MS3 conference in October 2013. This has now resulted in an agreement between NASA/PSD and IKI to form a joint Science Definition Team for Venera D. A second pathway has been through an international focus on comparative climatology. Scientists from the established space faring nations participated in a first international conference on Comparative Climatology for Terrestrial Planet (CCTP) in Boulder Colorado in June 2012 sponsored by several international scientific organizations. A second conference is planned for 2015. The Planetary Robotics Exploration Coordinating Group (PRECG) of International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) the IAA has been focusing on exploring affordable contributions to the robotic exploration by non-space-faring nations wishing to get involved in planetary exploration. PRECG has sponsored a two year study of Comparative Climatology for which Venus is the focal point and focused on engaging nations without deep space exploration capabilities. A third area of interchange has been the International Planetary Probe Workshop (IPPW) , now in its eleventh year, which brings together scientists, technologists and mission designers interested in the exploration of planets with atmospheres and particularly in the challenges of entry, descent and landing and sustained flight on other planets. IPPW has been an opportunity for developing the collaborations at a grass roots level. With both NASA and ESA favoring competitive rather than strategic approaches for selecting planetary missions (except for Moon and Mars), future collaboration on Venus exploration will involve flexible partnerships. However, international standards for proximity communication frequencies and protocols will be vital to international collaboration.

  4. Mesospheric temperature at terminator using SDO/HMI aureole photometry and comparison with Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Widemann, Thomas; Tanga, Paolo; Carine Vandaele, Ann; Wilquet, Valerie; Mahieux, Arnaud

    2013-04-01

    We report on SDO/HMI photometric observations during the June 5-6 transit of Venus. Close to ingress and egress phases, the fraction of Venus disk projected outside the solar photosphere is outlined by an irregular thin arc of light called the "aureole". We have shown that the the aureole photometry reflects the local density scale height and the altitude of the refracting layer (Tanga et al. 2012). Since the aureole brightness is the only quantity that can be measured during the transit, an appropriate model allows us to determine both parameters and constrain the local mesospheric temperature along the terminator. Our measurements are in excellent agreement with the VEx/SOIR temperatures obtained during orbit 2238 at evening terminator during solar ingress (46.75N - LST = 6.075PM) and solar egress (31.30N - LST = 6.047PM) as seen from the orbiter. The polar aureole, significantly brighter than the mid-latitude aureole due to the larger scale height of the polar mesosphere, appears consistently offset toward morning terminator by about 15 deg. latitude near 75N. This result reflects local latitudinal structure in the polar mesosphere, both in temperature and aerosol altitude distribution. Relation with ESA / Venus Express / SOIR mean profiles (Mahieux et al., 2012) and temperature modeling at terminator will be discussed at the meeting. Mahieux et al., J. Geophys. Res. , VOL. 117, E07001, doi:10.1029/2012JE004058 (2012) Tanga et al., Icarus 218, 207-219 (2012)

  5. Mars Express: Mission and Science Goals (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chicarro, A. F.

    1999-09-01

    The ESA Mars Express mission includes an orbiter spacecraft and a small lander module to be launched in 2003 by a Soyuz rocket. The scientific objectives of the orbiter spacecraft include: global high-resolution photogeology at 10 m resolution, global mineralogical mapping at 100 m resolution, global atmospheric circulation and mapping of the atmospheric composition, subsurface structure at km scale down to the permafrost, surface-atmosphere interactions and interaction of the atmosphere with the interplanetary medium. For the lander module, the objectives include: geology, geochemistry, meteorology and exobiology (i.e. search for signatures of life) of the landing site. Design estimates allow for an orbiter scientific payload of about 106 kg and 60 kg total lander mass (at launch) compatible with the approved mission scenario. The Beagle small lander, dedicated to geochemistry and exobiology with a number of robotic devices, will deploy a sophisticated robotic-sampling arm , which could manipulate different types of tools and retrieve samples to be analyzed by the geochemical instruments mounted on the lander platform. One of the tools to be deployed by the arm is a 'mole' capable of subsurface sampling to reach soil unaffected by solar-UV radiation. The orbiter will be 3-axis stabilised and will be placed in an elliptical martian orbit (250 ( 10142 km)of 86.35 degrees inclination and 6.75 hours period. The nominal mission lifetime of one martian year (687 days) for the orbiter investigations will be extended by another martian year for lander relay communications with the European Netlanders to be launched in 2005 and to complete global coverage. ESA will provide the launcher, the orbiter and the operations, while the lander module as well as the instruments are to be delivered by the scientific community. International collaboration is very much valued to diversify the scope and enhance the scientific return of the mission, and in particular close cooperation between Nozomi and Mars Express within a joint ESA-ISAS programme of Mars exploration.

  6. Lower atmosphere minor gas abundances as retrieved from Venus Express VIRTIS-M-IR data at 2.3 ?m

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haus, Rainer; Kappel, David; Arnold, Gabriele

    2015-01-01

    Minor gas abundances in the lower atmosphere of Venus' southern hemisphere are investigated using spectroscopic nightside measurements recorded by the Visible and InfraRed Thermal Imaging Spectrometer aboard ESA's Venus Express mission in the moderate spectral resolution infrared mapping channel (VIRTIS-M-IR, 1-5 ?m, FWHM=17 nm). The entire usable data archive is utilized including only radiation spectra sampled at long detector exposure times (?3.3 s) during eight Venus solar days between April 2006 and October 2008. Combined radiative transfer and retrieval techniques (Haus et al., 2013; Haus et al., 2014) are applied for a simultaneous determination of total cloud opacity and H2O, CO, and OCS abundances from the 2.3 ?m atmospheric transparency window that sounds the altitude range between about 30 and 45 km. A wavelength-dependent CO2 opacity correction is considered. Zonal averages of CO abundances at 35 km increase by about 35% from (22.9±0.8) ppmv at equatorial latitudes to (31.0±2.1) ppmv at 65 °S and then decrease to (29.4±2.4) ppmv at 80 °S The±figures refer to the statistical variability of retrieved abundances. In accordance with earlier results, the observed latitudinal variation of tropospheric CO is consistent with a Hadley cell-like circulation. Dawn side CO abundances at high latitudes are slightly smaller than dusk side values by about 7%. The latitudinal distribution of OCS at 35 km is anticorrelated with that of CO, ranging from about (1.15±0.2) ppmv at 65 °S to (1.60±0.2) ppmv at low latitudes (poleward decrease of 28%). Zonal averages of H2O abundances near 35 km slightly decrease toward the South Pole by about 10%, and the hemispheric average is (32.0±1.3) ppmv. A significant local time dependence of OCS and H2O is not observed. Detailed analyses of individual spectrum retrieval errors for different atmospheric models reveal that CO abundance results are reliable (error 4-7%), while H2O and OCS results have lower confidence (errors 30-47% and 41-86%, respectively). SO2 abundances cannot reliably be retrieved from VIRTIS-M-IR spectra.

  7. Venus: Mysteries Of The

    Microsoft Academic Search

    D. V. Titov

    2002-01-01

    The first phase of Venus spacecraft exploration by the Venera, Pioneer Venus, Vega and Magellan missions and later Galileo and Cassini fly-bys established a basic de- scription of the physical and chemical conditions prevailing in the atmosphere and near-planetary environment. It also expanded considerably our knowledge of VenusS geology and geophysics. At the same time, these studies raised many questions

  8. Solar wind interaction with Venus and impact on its atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barabash, S.; Futaana, Y.; Wieser, G. S.; Luhmann, J.

    2014-04-01

    We present a review of the solar wind interaction with Venus and how the interaction affects the Venusian atmosphere. The Venus Express observations for more than 8 years (2005-present) and quantitatively new simulation codes substantially advanced physical understanding of the plasma processes in the near-Venus space since the Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO) mission (1978-1992). The near-Venus space can be divided into several plasma domains: the magnetotail with the plasmasheet, induced magnetosphere, and magnetosheath. The bow shock separates the undisturbed solar wind from the Venus-affected environment. We review the shapes and positions of the boundaries enveloping the main domains and discuss how they are formed by the current systems and pressure balance. In particular, we discuss the morphology and dynamics of the near-Venus magnetotail that was not accessible by PVO. Using the unique Venus Express measurements we discuss the ion acceleration processes and their links to the ionosphere. The focus is given to the Venus' atmosphere erosion associated with the solar wind interaction, both through the energy (ion acceleration) and momentum (atmospheric sputtering) transfer. We review the measurements of the escape rates, their variability with the upstream solar wind conditions and the solar cycle. We emphasize the measurements duirng extreme solar wind conditions as an analogue with nominal conditions for the young Sun. The modeling efforts in this area are also reviewed as they provide a quantitatively approach to understand the impact of the solar wind interaction on the atmospheric evolution. Finally, we compare Venus with other planets of the terrestrial planet group, the Earth and Mars. The Earth, a twin planet of the similar size, is magnetized. Mars, an unmagnetized planet like Venus, possesses by far weaker gravitation to hold its atmospheric gasses. This comparative magnetosphere approach based on the natural solar system laboratory of experiments gives a clearer perspective on physics and processes, which forms the near-Venus space.

  9. Return to Venus of AKATSUKI, the Japanese Venus Orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, M.; Iwagami, N.; Satoh, T.; Taguchi, M.; Watanabe, S.; Takahashi, Y.; Imamura, T.; Suzuki, M.; Ueno, M.; Yamazaki, A.; Fukuhara, T.; Yamada, M.; Ishii, N.; Ogohara, K.

    2011-12-01

    Japanese Venus Climate Orbiter 'AKATSUKI' (PLANET-C) was proposed in 2001 with strong support by international Venus science community and approved as an ISAS mission soon after the proposal. AKATSUKI and ESA's Venus Express complement each other in Venus climate study. Various coordinated observations using the two spacecraft have been planned. Also participating scientists from US have been selected. Its science target is to understand the climate of Venus. The mission life we expected was more than 2 Earth years in Venus orbit. AKATSUKI was successfully launched at 06:58:22JST on May 21, by H-IIA F17. After the separation from H-IIA, the telemetry from AKATSUKI was normally detected by DSN Goldstone station (10:00JST) and the solar cell paddles' expansion was confirmed. AKATSUKI was put into the 3-axis stabilized mode in the initial operation from Uchinoura station and the critical operation was finished at 20:00JST on the same day. The malfunction, which happened during the Venus Orbit Insertion (VOI) on7 Dec, 2010 is as follows. We set all commands on Dec. 5. Attitude control for Venus orbit insertion (VOI) was automatically done on Dec. 6. Orbital maneuver engine (OME) was fired 08:49 JST on Dec. 7. 1min. after firing the spacecraft went into the occultation region and we had no telemetry, but we expected to continuous firing for 12min. Recording on the spacecraft told us later that, unfortunately the firing continued just 152sec. and stopped. The reason of the malfunction of the OME was the blocking of check valve of the gas pressure line to push the fuel to the engine. We failed to make the spacecraft the Venus orbiter, and it is rotating the sun with the orbital period of 203 days. As the Venus orbit the sun with the period of 225 days, AKATSUKI has a chance to meet Venus again in 5 or 6 years depending on the orbit correction plan. Let us summarize the present situation of AKATSUKI. Most of the fuel still remains. But the condition of the propulsion system is unclear. ISAS is examining various scenarios of second Venus orbit insertion depending on the conditions of the check valve and the OME. Thermal condition during the extended cruise phase is severe. The solar flux (W/m2) to which the spacecraft is exposed from May 21, 2010 (Launch date) to the end of 2016. We expected about 2600W/m2 in the Venus orbit, but it is exposed to more than 3600W/m2 at perihelion (0.6AU from the sun). The temperatures of the instruments exposed to space gradually increased as the spacecraft approaching the perihelion. We tried to minimize the number of instruments whose temperatures exceed the allowed upper limits by letting a certain side of the spacecraft face to the sun. After passing the perihelion every instruments have been working normally. The degradation of the reflectivity of the outer film (MLI) during the extended cruise may influence the temperature tendency. Laboratory tests to evaluate the degradation are ongoing. We operate the test maneuver of the OME in September and hopefully the orbit maneuver in November, which leads the spacecraft close to Venus in 2015. We will report the result in the presentation.

  10. Ionospheric photoelectrons at Venus: Initial observations by ASPERA-4 ELS

    Microsoft Academic Search

    A. J. Coates; R. A. Frahm; D. R. Linder; D. O. Kataria; Y. Soobiah; G. Collinson; J. R. Sharber; J. D. Winningham; S. J. Jeffers; S. Barabash; J.-A. Sauvaud; R. Lundin; M. Holmström; Y. Futaana; M. Yamauchi; A. Grigoriev; H. Andersson; H. Gunell; A. Fedorov; J.-J. Thocaven; T. L. Zhang; W. Baumjohann; E. Kallio; H. Koskinen; J. U. Kozyra; M. W. Liemohn; Y. Ma; A. Galli; P. Wurz; P. Bochsler; D. Brain; E. C. Roelof; P. Brandt; N. Krupp; J. Woch; M. Fraenz; E. Dubinin; S. McKenna-Lawlor; S. Orsini; R. Cerulli-Irelli; A. Mura; A. Milillo; M. Maggi; C. C. Curtis; B. R. Sandel; K. C. Hsieh; K. Szego; A. Asamura; M. Grande

    2008-01-01

    We report the detection of electrons due to photo-ionization of atomic oxygen and carbon dioxide in the Venus atmosphere by solar helium 30.4nm photons. The detection was by the Analyzer of Space Plasma and Energetic Atoms (ASPERA-4) Electron Spectrometer (ELS) on the Venus Express (VEx) European Space Agency (ESA) mission. Characteristic peaks in energy for such photoelectrons have been predicted

  11. Studying the surface composition of Venus from orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helbert, J.; Mueller, N. T.; Maturilli, A.; D'Incecco, P.; Smrekar, S. E.; Nadalini, R.

    2013-12-01

    The atmosphere of Venus allows observations of the surface only in very narrow spectral windows around 1 micron. These have been successfully used by the VenusExpress, Galileo and Cassini spacecrafts as well as by ground-based observers. For any other planetary body this spectral range would be observed in reflectance. However for Venus we can obtain useful data only during nighttime using the thermal emission of the surface. So far no systematic studies have been done on the emissivity of Venus analog materials at high temperatures in this wavelength range due to the significant technical challenges of such experiments. At the Planetary Emissivity Laboratory (PEL) we started 6 years ago to extend our laboratory capabilities to support specifically missions to Venus and Mercury. Both planets exhibit surface temperatures up to 500°C and this extreme temperature range affects the spectral characteristics of the surface minerals. We are systematically studying different Venusian analogs to obtain spectra in the 1 microns region at Venus surface temperatures. First measurements of a carbonatite and an ijolite sample as analogs for low viscosity lavas clearly indicating changes of the emissivity signature at 1 micron with temperature. One of the next steps is to study tesserae analog materials to determine how the diagnostic the 1 micron region is for different compositions. We are currently developing a new instrument concept for future Venus missions designed specifically to observe Venus's surface in segments of the near-IR (NIR) spectrum that penetrate the atmosphere with minimal absorption. The Venus Emissivity Mapper (VEM) builds on experience from analysis of data from Galileo/NIMS, Cassini/VIMS, and especially VIRTIS on Venus Express. Unlike those general-purpose imaging spectrometers, VEM is a hyperspectral mapper focused on observing the surface. It will map the surface in five atmospheric windows between 0.85 and 1.18 microns. In addition, several other bands are used to observe the clouds and water vapor at 0-15 km altitude.

  12. Mariner-Venus 1967

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1971-01-01

    Detailed information on the spacecraft performance, mission operations, and tracking and data acquisition is presented for the Mariner Venus 1967 and Mariner Venus 1967 extension projects. Scientific and engineering results and conclusions are discussed, and include the scientific mission, encounter with Venus, observations near Earth, and cruise phase of the mission. Flight path analysis, spacecraft subsystems, and mission-related hardware and computer program development are covered. The scientific experiments carried by Mariner 5 were ultraviolet photometer, solar plasma probe, helium magnetometer, trapped radiation detector, S-band radio occultation, dual-frequency radio propagation, and celestial mechanics. The engineering experience gained by converting a space Mariner Mars 1964 spacecraft into one flown to Venus is also described.

  13. Observing the surface of Venus after VIRTIS on VEX

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helbert, J.; Mueller, N. T.; Nadalini, R.; Maturilli, A.; Smrekar, S. E.

    2010-12-01

    VIRTIS on the ESA mission Venus Express (VEX) was the first instrument to routinely map the surface of Venus using the near infrared windows from orbit. The VIRTIS instrument is the flight spare of the instrument of the same name on the ESA Rosetta comet encounter mission. Originally designed to observe a very cold target far from the Sun, it was adapted to work in the Venus environment. The instruments main purpose on VEX was to study the structure, dynamics and composition of the atmosphere in 3 dimensions. The idea of surface studies were introduced very late in the mission planning and VIRTIS was never specifically adapted for this purpose. For example the wavelength coverage was not optimal and only the long wavelength flank of the main atmospheric window at 1.02µm could be imaged. Despite all issues VIRTIS was an excellent proof-of-concept and far exceeded our expectations. It provided significant new scientific results and may show for example that Venus had volcanic activity in the very recent geological past. After the very successful proof-of-concept it is now time to assess in more details what can be done with NIR observations of Venus. To support this we have been setting up the Planetary Emissivity Laboratory in Berlin which allows taking emissivity measurements in the spectral range of the atmospheric windows at sample temperatures of 500°C. This would provide a baseline for considering new instrument designs for future Venus missions.

  14. Nightglow investigation in the Visible Range with the VIRTIS/Venus-Express instrument

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Migliorini, A.; Slanger, T. G.; Saran, D.; Piccioni, G.; Gerard, J. M.; Snels, M.; Politi, R.; Drossart, P.

    2011-12-01

    In this study we report the investigation of the nightglow molecular oxygen emissions of Venus in the visible spectral range, observed by the VIRTIS instrument (Visible and InfraRed Spectral Imaging Spectrometer) on board the Venus Express spacecraft. The Herzberg II system was detected in the range 0.4-0.7 ?m. The observed bands peak at 95-96 km altitude, with a limb mode intensity of 15-20 kR for the strongest band, similar to that seen in previous observations. Simultaneous observations in the visible and IR [O2 (a-X) 1.27 ?m band] were obtained in March 2007, and the two systems are similar in peak altitude. In addition, three bands of the O2 Chamberlain system, at 0.558, 0.604, and 0.657 ?m were detected. They are well detached from the Herzberg II bands, and more distinct than reported in previous observations (Garcia Munoz et al., 2009). A simulated spectrum is obtained using the DIATOM code, allowing accurate reproduction of the observed VIRTIS mean spectrum. The authors thank ESA, ASI, CNES and all the national space agencies to support this research.

  15. Venus's southern polar vortex reveals precessing circulation.

    PubMed

    Luz, D; Berry, D L; Piccioni, G; Drossart, P; Politi, R; Wilson, C F; Erard, S; Nuccilli, F

    2011-04-29

    Initial images of Venus's south pole by the Venus Express mission have shown the presence of a bright, highly variable vortex, similar to that at the planet's north pole. Using high-resolution infrared measurements of polar winds from the Venus Express Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) instrument, we show the vortex to have a constantly varying internal structure, with a center of rotation displaced from the geographic south pole by ~3 degrees of latitude and that drifts around the pole with a period of 5 to 10 Earth days. This is indicative of a nonsymmetric and varying precession of the polar atmospheric circulation with respect to the planetary axis. PMID:21474710

  16. The Pioneer Venus Orbiter entry phase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strangeway, R. J.

    1993-01-01

    In October, 1992 the Pioneer Venus Orbiter entered the atmosphere of Venus, ending nearly 14 years of observations at Venus. Prior to the entry into the atmosphere and subsequent loss of the spacecraft careful management of spacecraft resources had allowed the acquisition of much low altitude data over the nightside of the planet. The long duration of the Pioneer Venus mission has enabled us to study the ionosphere and atmosphere of Venus under different levels of solar activity.

  17. The case for a deep-atmospheric in situ mission to address the highest priority Decadal Survey questions for Venus (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atreya, S. K.; Garvin, J. B.; Glaze, L. S.; Campbell, B. A.; Fisher, M. E.; Flores, A.; Gilmore, M. S.; Johnson, N.; Kiefer, W. S.; Lorenz, R. D.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Ravine, M. A.; Webster, C. R.; Zolotov, M. Y.

    2013-12-01

    Current understanding of Venus lags behind that for Mars, with a major disparity of information concerning noble and trace gases and the small scale surface processes needed for comparative studies of terrestrial planet evolution. Despite global surface mapping by Magellan, discoveries by Venera landers, and ongoing atmospheric observations by the Venus Express (VEx) orbiter, significant questions about Venus remain unanswered. To place Venus into its proper context with respect to Mars and Earth, it is necessary to obtain new measurements that address top issues identified in the National Research Council (NRC) Solar System Decadal Survey: (1) evolution of the atmosphere, history of climate, and evidence of past hydrologic cycles; (2) history of volatiles and sedimentary cycles; and (3) planetary surface evolution. To answer these questions, new measurements are needed. First and foremost, in situ noble gas measurements are needed to constrain solar system formation and Venus evolution. In particular, the isotopic ratios of Xe and Kr can provide unique insights into planetary accretion. Isotopic measurements of nitrogen (15N/14N) will place important constraints on atmospheric loss processes. Current knowledge of this ratio has a substantial uncertainty of ×20%. VEx observations of hydrogen isotopes indicate the D/H ratio above the clouds is substantially greater than measured by Pioneer Venus, and varies with height. High precision measurements of the vertical distribution of the D/H isotopic ratio below the cloud layers will provide constraints on models of the climate history of water on Venus. The majority of atmospheric mass is located below the clouds. Current data suggest intense interaction among atmospheric gases down to the surface. The haze within the cloud region of unknown composition plays a central role in the radiative balance. Photochemically-derived species (H2SO4, OCS, CO, Sn) are subjected to thermochemical reactions below the clouds, especially within 30 km of the surface. Competing temperature-pressure dependent reactions and atmospheric circulation may cause vertical and latitudinal gradients of chemically-active trace gases (e.g., SO2, H2S, OCS, CO). Measurements of the chemical composition of the near-surface atmosphere can be used to evaluate the stability of primary and secondary minerals and can help to understand chemistry of atmosphere-surface interactions. However, concentrations of many trace species have never been measured below ~30 km, and multiple in situ measurements are required to evaluate chemical processes and cycles of volatiles, which can only be accomplished with deep entry probes. Current lack of understanding about Venus not only limits our understanding of evolutionary pathways Earth could experience, but also suggests that we are ill-equipped to understand the evolution of star systems with similar-sized planets.

  18. Revealing the face of Venus: Magellan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1993-01-01

    An overview of the Magellan spacecraft and mission is presented. Topics covered include: a description of the Magellan spacecraft; Venus geology; Venus gravity; synthetic aperture radar; and radar sensing.

  19. Thermal structure of Venusian nighttime mesosphere as observed by VIRTIS-Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grassi, D.; Migliorini, A.; Montabone, L.; Lebonnois, S.; Cardesìn-Moinelo, A.; Piccioni, G.; Drossart, P.; Zasova, L. V.

    2010-09-01

    The mapping IR channel of the Visual and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS-M) on board the Venus Express spacecraft observes the CO2 band at 4.3 ?m at a spectral resolution adequate to retrieve the atmospheric temperature profiles in the 65-96 km altitude range. Observations acquired in the period June 2006 to July 2008 were used to derive average temperature fields as a function of latitude, subsolar longitude (i.e., local time, LT), and pressure. Coverage presented here is limited to the nighttime because of the adverse effects of daytime non-LTE emission on the retrieval procedure and to southernmost latitudes because of the orientation of the Venus-Express orbit. Maps of air temperature variability are also presented as the standard deviation of the population included in each averaging bin. At the 100 mbar level (about 65 km above the reference surface), temperatures tend to decrease from the evening to the morning side despite a local maximum observed around 20-21LT. The cold collar is evident around 65S, with a minimum temperature at 3LT. Moving to higher altitudes, local time trends become less evident at 12.6 mbar (about 75 km) where the temperature monotonically increases from middle latitudes to the southern pole. Nonetheless, at this pressure level, two weaker local time temperature minima are observed at 23LT and 2LT equatorward of 60S. Local time trends in temperature reverse about 85 km, where the morning side is the warmer. The variability at the 100 mbar level is maximum around 80S and stronger toward the morning side. Moving to higher altitudes, the morning side always shows the stronger variability. Southward of 60S, standard deviation presents minimum values around 12.6 mbar for all the local times.

  20. Priorities for Venus Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glaze, L. S.; Beauchamp, P. M.; Chin, G.; Crisp, D.; Grimm, R. E.; Herrick, R. R.; Johnston, S.; Limaye, S. S.; Smrekar, S. E.; Ocampo, A.; Thompson, T. W.

    2013-12-01

    Venus remains one of the most enigmatic bodies in our Solar System. Important questions remain regarding the origin and evolution of the atmosphere, the history of the surface and interior, and how the surface and atmosphere interact. In a broader context, understanding Venus has implications for understanding the evolution of terrestrial planets in our Solar System as well as for interpreting the growing set of observations of extra-solar planets. The Venus Exploration Analysis Group (VEXAG), established in 2005, is chartered by NASA's Planetary Science Division and reports its findings to the NASA Advisory Council. Open to all interested scientists, VEXAG regularly evaluates Venus exploration goals, scientific objectives, investigations and critical measurement requirements, including especially recommendations in the NRC Decadal Survey and the Solar System Exploration Strategic Roadmap. At the last general meeting in November 2012, VEXAG resolved to update the scientific priorities and strategies for Venus exploration. To achieve this goal, three major tasks were defined for 2013, (1) update the document prioritizing Goals, Objectives and Investigations for Venus Exploration, (2) develop a Roadmap for Venus exploration that is consistent with VEXAG priorities as well as Planetary Decadal Survey priorities, and (3) develop a white paper on technologies for Venus missions. Proposed versions of all three documents were presented at the VEXAG general meeting in November 2013. Here, we present the findings and final versions of all three documents for community comment and feedback. A follow-on Workshop on Venus Exploration Targets is also being planned for the early summer of 2014. The workshop will provide a forum for the Venus science community to discuss approaches for addressing high priority investigations. Participants will be encouraged to present their ideas for specific targets on Venus (interior, surface and atmosphere) as well as to present specific data requirements (measurement type, resolution, precision, etc.) needed to answer key questions.

  1. Vesper - Venus Chemistry and Dynamics Orbiter - A NASA Discovery Mission Proposal: Submillimeter Investigation of Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chin, Gordon

    2011-01-01

    Vesper conducts a focused investigation of the chemistry and dynamics of the middle atmosphere of our sister planet- from the base of the global cloud cover to the lower thermosphere. The middle atmosphere controls the stability of the Venus climate system. Vesper determines what processes maintain the atmospheric chemical stability, cause observed variability of chemical composition, control the escape of water, and drive the extreme super-rotation. The Vesper science investigation provides a unique perspective on the Earth environment due to the similarities in the middle atmosphere processes of both Venus and the Earth. Understanding key distinctions and similarities between Venus and Earth will increase our knowledge of how terrestrial planets evolve along different paths from nearly identical initial conditions.

  2. Detailed expression pattern of aldolase C (Aldoc) in the cerebellum, retina and other areas of the CNS studied in Aldoc-Venus knock-in mice.

    PubMed

    Fujita, Hirofumi; Aoki, Hanako; Ajioka, Itsuki; Yamazaki, Maya; Abe, Manabu; Oh-Nishi, Arata; Sakimura, Kenji; Sugihara, Izumi

    2014-01-01

    Aldolase C (Aldoc, also known as "zebrin II"), a brain type isozyme of a glycolysis enzyme, is expressed heterogeneously in subpopulations of cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs) that are arranged longitudinally in a complex striped pattern in the cerebellar cortex, a pattern which is closely related to the topography of input and output axonal projections. Here, we generated knock-in Aldoc-Venus mice in which Aldoc expression is visualized by expression of a fluorescent protein, Venus. Since there was no obvious phenotypes in general brain morphology and in the striped pattern of the cerebellum in mutants, we made detailed observation of Aldoc expression pattern in the nervous system by using Venus expression in Aldoc-Venus heterozygotes. High levels of Venus expression were observed in cerebellar PCs, cartwheel cells in the dorsal cochlear nucleus, sensory epithelium of the inner ear and in all major types of retinal cells, while moderate levels of Venus expression were observed in astrocytes and satellite cells in the dorsal root ganglion. The striped arrangement of PCs that express Venus to different degrees was carefully traced with serial section alignment analysis and mapped on the unfolded scheme of the entire cerebellar cortex to re-identify all individual Aldoc stripes. A longitudinally striped boundary of Aldoc expression was first identified in the mouse flocculus, and was correlated with the climbing fiber projection pattern and expression of another compartmental marker molecule, heat shock protein 25 (HSP25). As in the rat, the cerebellar nuclei were divided into the rostrodorsal negative and the caudoventral positive portions by distinct projections of Aldoc-positive and negative PC axons in the mouse. Identification of the cerebellar Aldoc stripes in this study, as indicated in sample coronal and horizontal sections as well as in sample surface photos of whole-mount preparations, can be referred to in future experiments. PMID:24475166

  3. Detailed Expression Pattern of Aldolase C (Aldoc) in the Cerebellum, Retina and Other Areas of the CNS Studied in Aldoc-Venus Knock-In Mice

    PubMed Central

    Ajioka, Itsuki; Yamazaki, Maya; Abe, Manabu; Oh-Nishi, Arata; Sakimura, Kenji; Sugihara, Izumi

    2014-01-01

    Aldolase C (Aldoc, also known as “zebrin II”), a brain type isozyme of a glycolysis enzyme, is expressed heterogeneously in subpopulations of cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs) that are arranged longitudinally in a complex striped pattern in the cerebellar cortex, a pattern which is closely related to the topography of input and output axonal projections. Here, we generated knock-in Aldoc-Venus mice in which Aldoc expression is visualized by expression of a fluorescent protein, Venus. Since there was no obvious phenotypes in general brain morphology and in the striped pattern of the cerebellum in mutants, we made detailed observation of Aldoc expression pattern in the nervous system by using Venus expression in Aldoc-Venus heterozygotes. High levels of Venus expression were observed in cerebellar PCs, cartwheel cells in the dorsal cochlear nucleus, sensory epithelium of the inner ear and in all major types of retinal cells, while moderate levels of Venus expression were observed in astrocytes and satellite cells in the dorsal root ganglion. The striped arrangement of PCs that express Venus to different degrees was carefully traced with serial section alignment analysis and mapped on the unfolded scheme of the entire cerebellar cortex to re-identify all individual Aldoc stripes. A longitudinally striped boundary of Aldoc expression was first identified in the mouse flocculus, and was correlated with the climbing fiber projection pattern and expression of another compartmental marker molecule, heat shock protein 25 (HSP25). As in the rat, the cerebellar nuclei were divided into the rostrodorsal negative and the caudoventral positive portions by distinct projections of Aldoc-positive and negative PC axons in the mouse. Identification of the cerebellar Aldoc stripes in this study, as indicated in sample coronal and horizontal sections as well as in sample surface photos of whole-mount preparations, can be referred to in future experiments. PMID:24475166

  4. VIRTIS/VEX observations of Venus: overview of selected scientific results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arnold, Gabriele E.; Haus, Rainer; Kappel, David; Piccioni, Giuseppe; Drossart, Pierre

    2012-01-01

    After six years in a polar Venus orbit, the visible and infrared thermal imaging spectrometer (VIRTIS) on ESA's Venus Express mission provided an enormous amount of new data, including a three-dimensional view of the atmosphere and information on global surface properties of the planet. An overview is given of selected scientific results achieved by use of VIRTIS data comprising atmospheric thermal structure, molecular and particulate composition, chemistry and dynamics, and surface features.

  5. Virtis: An Imaging Spectrometer for the Rosetta Mission

    Microsoft Academic Search

    A. Coradini; F. Capaccioni; P. Drossart; G. Arnold; E. Ammannito; F. Angrilli; A. Barucci; G. Bellucci; J. Benkhoff; G. Bianchini; J. P. Bibring; M. Blecka; D. Bockelee-Morvan; M. T. Capria; R. Carlson; U. Carsenty; P. Cerroni; L. Colangeli; M. Combes; M. Combi; J. Crovisier; M. C. Desanctis; E. T. Encrenaz; S. Erard; C. Federico; G. Filacchione; U. Fink; S. Fonti; V. Formisano; W. H. Ip; R. Jaumann; E. Kuehrt; Y. Langevin; G. Magni; T. McCord; V. Mennella; S. Mottola; G. Neukum; P. Palumbo; G. Piccioni; H. Rauer; B. Saggin; B. Schmitt; D. Tiphene; G. Tozzi

    2007-01-01

    The VIRTIS (Visual IR Thermal Imaging Spectrometer) experiment has been one of the most successful experiments built in Europe\\u000a for Planetary Exploration. VIRTIS, developed in cooperation among Italy, France and Germany, has been already selected as\\u000a a key experiment for 3 planetary missions: the ESA-Rosetta and Venus Express and NASA-Dawn. VIRTIS on board Rosetta and Venus\\u000a Express are already producing

  6. Characterizing Volcanic Eruptions on Venus: Some Realistic (?) Scenarios

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stofan, E. R.; Glaze, L. S.; Grinspoon, D. H.

    2011-01-01

    When Pioneer Venus arrived at Venus in 1978, it detected anomalously high concentrations of SO2 at the top of the troposphere, which subsequently declined over the next five years. This decline in SO2 was linked to some sort of dynamic process, possibly a volcanic eruption. Observations of SO2 variability have persisted since Pioneer Venus. More recently, scientists from the Venus Express mission announced that the SPICAV (Spectroscopy for Investigation of Characteristics of the Atmosphere of Venus) instrument had measured varying amounts of SO2 in the upper atmosphere; VIRTIS (Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer) measured no similar variations in the lower atmosphere (ESA, 4 April, 2008). In addition, Fegley and Prinn stated that venusian volcanoes must replenish SO2 to the atmosphere, or it would react with calcite and disappear within 1.9 my. Fegley and Tremain suggested an eruption rate on the order of approx 1 cubic km/year to maintain atmospheric SO2; Bullock and Grinspoon posit that volcanism must have occurred within the last 20-50 my to maintain the sulfuric acid/water clouds on Venus. The abundance of volcanic deposits on Venus and the likely thermal history of the planet suggest that it is still geologically active, although at rates lower than Earth. Current estimates of resurfacing rates range from approx 0.01 cubic km/yr to approx 2 cubic km/yr. Demonstrating definitively that Venus is still volcanically active, and at what rate, would help to constrain models of evolution of the surface and interior, and help to focus future exploration of Venus.

  7. South polar dynamics of the Venusian atmosphere from VIRTIS/Venus Express mapping in the thermal range

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luz, David; Berry, David; Peralta, Javier; Drossart, Pierre; Piccioni, Giuseppe

    2010-05-01

    We report on measurements of Venus cloud velocities from VIRTIS/Venus Express observations of the south polar region of Venus. Cloud tracking has been performed using a method of automated digital correlation. Tracking has been performed on pairs of monochromatic VIRTIS images selected mainly in the 5 ?m window, but also at 1.74, 2.3, 3.93 micrometers. Wind measurements from vector retrievals based on automated feature tracking show high variability, indicating the presence of important transient motions. The time-averaged zonal winds indicate different day and night side regimes. On the day side both the zonal wind component (u) and the meridional one (v) are approximately uniform between 84S and 76S, with u ~-40 m/s and v ~-10 m/s. On the night side the zonal wind decreases poleward, from a maximum at 76S. The meridional wind is smaller than on the day side and appears to change sign from poleward to equatorward at 76S. The cold collar boundary appears to be a transition region not only for the temperature, but for the winds as well. In this region wave motions are also apparent, with amplitudes on the order of 40 m/s for u' and 10 m/s for v'.

  8. Comparative analysis of airglow emissions in terrestrial planets, observed with VIRTIS-M instruments on board Rosetta and Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Migliorini, A.; Piccioni, G.; Capaccioni, F.; Filacchione, G.; Tosi, F.; Gérard, J.-C.

    2013-09-01

    Airglow emissions are optimal processes to investigate the chemistry and dynamics in planetary atmospheres. In this study, we focus on the O2 and OH airglow emissions in Venus, Earth, and Mars atmospheres, which are controlled by chemical reactions common to the three planets. By studying these phenomena on Venus, Earth, and Mars using similar instruments, we are able to derive information about their photochemistry and the physical conditions of the atmospheres, but also to constrain the dynamics responsible for transport of atomic oxygen, ozone and other minor species. After a review of the nightglow emissions observed in the Venus atmosphere, we analyze the O2 and OH airglow emissions in the Earth’s atmosphere observed during the 3 swing-bys of our planet by the Rosetta spacecraft. We also report the detection of the O2 nightglow emission in the Mars atmosphere, observed in February 2007 during the Rosetta fly-by of the planet. The airglow characteristics are in agreement with the measurements obtained from sensors on board Mars Express.

  9. Venus: an errant twin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burgess, E.

    A examination of Venus written for the nonscientist is presented. The history of major discoveries about Venus is retold, outlining some of the great controversies surrounding them. All the exploratory missions to the planet are described, from American Mariner flights of the 1960s to recent Soviet flights. The resulting revelations about the volcanic eruptions on Venus and the disappearance of its ancient oceans are addressed. The reasons why Venus became a planet hostile to life are discussed, and the ways it might be engineered to become more hospitable to life are considered. Finally, the possibility that the earth might someday be pushed into a Venuslike 'runaway greenhouse effect' that would make it equally unhospitable to life is reviewed.

  10. Orbital Express mission operations planning and resource management using ASPEN

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chouinard, Caroline; Knight, Russell; Jones, Grailing; Tran, Daniel

    2008-04-01

    As satellite equipment and mission operations become more costly, the drive to keep working equipment running with less labor-power rises. Demonstrating the feasibility of autonomous satellite servicing was the main goal behind the Orbital Express (OE) mission. Like a tow-truck delivering gas to a car on the road, the "servicing" satellite of OE had to find the "client" from several kilometers away, connect directly to the client, and transfer fluid (or a battery) autonomously, while on earth-orbit. The mission met 100% of its success criteria, and proved that autonomous satellite servicing is now a reality for space operations. Planning the satellite mission operations for OE required the ability to create a plan which could be executed autonomously over variable conditions. As the constraints for execution could change weekly, daily, and even hourly, the tools used create the mission execution plans needed to be flexible and adaptable to many different kinds of changes. At the same time, the hard constraints of the plans needed to be maintained and satisfied. The Automated Scheduling and Planning Environment (ASPEN) tool, developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, was used to create the schedule of events in each daily plan for the two satellites of the OE mission. This paper presents an introduction to the ASPEN tool, an overview of the constraints of the OE domain, the variable conditions that were presented within the mission, and the solution to operations that ASPEN provided. ASPEN has been used in several other domains, including research rovers, Deep Space Network scheduling research, and in flight operations for the NASA's Earth Observing One mission's EO1 satellite. Related work is discussed, as are the future of ASPEN and the future of autonomous satellite servicing.

  11. Magellan: The unveiling of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the United States and the Soviet Union sent the Pioneer Venus and Venera spacecraft, respectively, to study Venus more closely and to image its surface with radar. These missions have answered many questions about Venus, but many more questions remain unanswered about the extent to which Venus' surface was shaped by volcanoes, plate tectonics, impact craters, and water and wind erosion. To help answer these remaining questions a new radar imaging spacecraft Magellan will be launched from the Space Shuttle. Magellan will spend eight months mapping most of the planet at a resolution nearly ten times better than any previous views of the surface. The mission of Magellan, the radar equipment, orbiting of Venus, planetary imaging, and surface exploration are discussed.

  12. Gravity waves in the upper mesosphere of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Migliorini, A.; Altieri, F.; Shakun, A.; Zasova, L.; Piccioni, G.; Bellucci, G.

    2014-04-01

    Gravity waves are common features in planetary atmospheres. They can manifest through fluctuations on temperature and density fields, and hence on airglow intensities. In analogy to the Earth's and Mars' cases, we apply a well-known theory to investigate the gravity waves influence in shaping the O2 nightglow emissions in the infrared in the Venus atmosphere. We use VIRTIS/Venus Express observations at limb, acquired during the mission period from 2006-07-05 to 2008-08-15. We present wave properties, like vertical wavelength z and wave amplitude GW. Other parameters, like for example horizontal wavelength, are inferred and discussed.

  13. Orbital Express Mission Operations Planning and Resource Management using ASPEN

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chouinard, Caroline; Knight, Russell; Jones, Grailing; Tran, Daniel

    2008-01-01

    As satellite equipment and mission operations become more costly, the drive to keep working equipment running with less man-power rises.Demonstrating the feasibility of autonomous satellite servicing was the main goal behind the Orbital Express (OE) mission. Planning the satellite mission operations for OE required the ability to create a plan which could be executed autonomously over variable conditions. The Automated-Scheduling and Planning Environment (ASPEN)tool, developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, was used to create the schedule of events in each daily plan for the two satellites of the OE mission. This paper presents an introduction to the ASPEN tool, the constraints of the OE domain, the variable conditions that were presented within the mission, and the solution to operations that ASPEN provided. ASPEN has been used in several other domains, including research rovers, Deep Space Network scheduling research, and in flight operations for the ASE project's EO1 satellite. Related work is discussed, as are the future of ASPEN and the future of autonomous satellite servicing.

  14. Venus Radar Mapper orbit accuracy analysis

    Microsoft Academic Search

    S. N. Mohan; P. B. Esposito

    1984-01-01

    Spacecraft orbital accuracies during the mapping phase of the Venus Radar Mapper Mission are the subject of this paper. The analysis presented describes the navigational strategy for the prime mission in support of mapping the planet Venus using a spacecraft deployed Synthetic Aperture Radar. Achievable orbital accuracies are shown to be limited by accuracy of interferometric data to be used.

  15. Geologic Analysis of the Surface Thermal Emission Images Taken by the VMC Camera, Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basilevsky, A. T.; Shalygin, E. V.; Titov, D. V.; Markiewicz, W. J.; Scholten, F.; Roatsch, Th.; Fiethe, B.; Osterloh, B.; Michalik, H.; Kreslavsky, M. A.; Moroz, L. V.

    2010-03-01

    Analysis of Venus Monitoring Camera 1-µm images and surface emission modeling showed apparent emissivity at Chimon-mana tessera and shows that Tuulikki volcano is higher than that of the adjacent plains; Maat Mons did not show any signature of ongoing volcanism.

  16. Chemical Weathering Kinetics of Basalt on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fegley, Bruce, Jr.

    1997-01-01

    The purpose of this project was to experimentally measure the kinetics for chemical weathering reactions involving basalt on Venus. The thermochemical reactions being studied are important for the CO2 atmosphere-lithosphere cycle on Venus and for the atmosphere-surface reactions controlling the oxidation state of the surface of Venus. These reactions include the formation of carbonate and scapolite minerals, and the oxidation of Fe-bearing minerals. These experiments and calculations are important for interpreting results from the Pioneer Venus, Magellan, Galileo flyby, Venera, and Vega missions to Venus, for interpreting results from Earth-based telescopic observations, and for the design of new Discovery class (e.g., VESAT) and New Millennium missions to Venus such as geochemical landers making in situ elemental and mineralogical analyses, and orbiters, probes and balloons making spectroscopic observations of the sub-cloud atmosphere of Venus.

  17. The characteristics of the O2 Herzberg II and Chamberlain bands observed with VIRTIS/Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Migliorini, A.; Piccioni, G.; Gérard, J. C.; Soret, L.; Slanger, T. G.; Politi, R.; Snels, M.; Drossart, P.; Nuccilli, F.

    2013-03-01

    The oxygen Venus nightglow emissions in the visible spectral range have been known since the early observations from the Venera spacecraft. Recent observations with the VIRTIS instrument on board Venus Express allowed us to re-examine the Herzberg II system of O2 and to further study its vertical distribution, in particular the (0-?? with ?? = 7-13) bands. The present work describes the vertical profile of the observed bands and relative intensities from limb observation data. The wavelength-integrated intensities of the Herzberg II bands, with ?? = 7-11, are inferred from the recorded spectra. The resulting values lie in the range of 84-116 kR at the altitudes of maximum intensity, which are found to lie in the range of 93-98 km. Three bands of the Chamberlain system, centered at 560 nm, 605 nm, and 657 nm have been identified as well. Their emission peak is located at about 100 km, 4 km higher than the Herzberg II bands. For the first time, the O2 nightglow emissions were investigated simultaneously in the visible and in the IR spectral range, showing a good agreement between the peak position for the Herzberg II and the O2(a?g-X?g-) bands. An airglow model, proposed by Gérard et al. (Gérard, J.C., Soret, L., Migliorini, A., Piccioni, G. [2013]. Icarus.) starting from realistic O and CO2 vertical distributions derived from Venus-Express observations, allows reproduction of the observed profiles for the three O2 systems.

  18. Ion Escape From Mars and Venus (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barabash, S. V.

    2013-12-01

    Ions in the upper atmospheres / exospheres of planets can be accelerated by electric fields resulting from the planet - solar wind interaction (external forcing). Also, the acceleration (energy gain) may also result from the redistribution of the inner energy of the atmosphere. If an ion gains an energy exceeding the planet's escape energy, it escapes the atmosphere. Therefore, all planetary atmospheres lose their matter through the ion escape channel. For planets with high gravity such as Venus the escape energy is high (the oxygen escape energy is about 10 eV) and the ion escape due to external forcing dominates. The electric fields acting on ions include convective field of the solar wind (pick-up process), fields resulting from pressure gradients ('polar' wind), induced electric field (JxB-force), and fields of electromagnetic waves (wave-plasma interaction). We review the most recent measurements of the ion escape from the atmospheres of Mars and Venus conducted by the Mars Express and Venus Express missions. In the light of the coming MAVEN mission the focus will be given to the review of the measured escape rates, explanation of the differences between various published numbers, and discussion on experimental difficulties in calculating the global escape rates from in-situ measurements. We will also discuss how the escape rates depend on the upstream and solar conditions.

  19. Writing the History of Space Missions: Rosetta and Mars Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coradini, M.; Russo, A.

    2011-10-01

    Mars Express is the first planetary mission accomplished by the European Space Agency (ESA). Launched in early June 2003, the spacecraft entered Mars's orbit on Christmas day of that year, demonstrating the new European commitment to planetary exploration. Following a failed attempt in the mid-­-1980s, two valid proposals for a European mission to Mars were submitted to ESA's decision-­-making bodies in the early 1990s, in step with renewed international interest in Mars exploration. Both were rejected, however, in the competitive selection process for the agency's Science Programme. Eventually, the Mars Express proposal emerged during a severe budgetary crisis in the mid-­-1990s as an exemplar of a "flexible mission" that could reduce project costs and development time. Its successful maneuvering through financial difficulties and conflicting scientific interests was due to the new management approach as well as to the public appeal of Mars exploration. In addition to providing a case study in the functioning of the ESA's Science Programme, the story of Mars Express discussed in this paper provides a case study in the functioning of the European Space Agency's Science Programme and suggests some general considerations on the peculiar position of space research in the general field of the history of science and technology.

  20. Venus within ESA probe reach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2006-03-01

    Venus Express mission controllers at the ESA Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany are making intensive preparations for orbit insertion. This comprises a series of telecommands, engine burns and manoeuvres designed to slow the spacecraft down from a velocity of 29000 km per hour relative to Venus, just before the first burn, to an entry velocity some 15% slower, allowing the probe to be captured into orbit around the planet. The spacecraft will have to ignite its main engine for 50 minutes in order to achieve deceleration and place itself into a highly elliptical orbit around the planet. Most of its 570 kg of onboard propellant will be used for this manoeuvre. The spacecraft’s solar arrays will be positioned so as to reduce the possibility of excessive mechanical load during engine ignition. Over the subsequent days, a series of additional burns will be done to lower the orbit apocentre and to control the pericentre. The aim is to end up in a 24-hour orbit around Venus early in May. The Venus orbit injection operations can be followed live at ESA establishments, with ESOC acting as focal point of interest (see attached programme). In all establishments, ESA specialists will be on hand for interviews. ESA TV will cover this event live from ESOC in Darmstadt. The live transmission will be carried free-to-air. For broadcasters, complete details of the various satellite feeds are listed at http://television.esa.int. The event will be covered on the web at venus.esa.int. The website will feature regular updates, including video coverage of the press conference and podcast from the control room at ESA’s Operations Centre. Media representatives wishing to follow the event at one of the ESA establishments listed below are requested to fill in the attached registration form and fax it back to the place of their choice. For further information, please contact: ESA Media Relations Division Tel : +33(0)1.53.69.7155 Fax: +33(0)1.53.69.7690 Venus Express Orbit Insertion - Tuesday 11 April 2006 ESA/ESOC, Robert Bosch Strasse, 5 - Darmstadt (Germany) PROGRAMME 07:30 - Doors open 08:45 - Start of local event, welcome addresses 09:10 - ESA TV live from Mission Control Room (MCR) starts 09:17 - Engine burn sequence starts 09:45 - Occultation of spacecraft by Venus starts 09:55 - Occultation ends 10:07 - Main engine burn ends 10:20 - Address by Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA’s Director General, and other officials Break and buffet Interview opportunities 11:30-12:15 - Press Conference Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General, ESA Prof. David Southwood, Director of Science, ESA Gaele Winters, Director of Operations and Infrastructure, ESA Manfred Warhaut, Flight Operations Director, ESA Håkan Svedhem, Venus Express Project Scientist, ESA Don McCoy, Venus Express Project Manager, ESA 13:15 - End of event at ESOC ACCREDITATION REQUEST FORM Venus Express Orbit Insertion - ESA/ESOC Darmstadt - 11 April 2006 First name:___________________ Surname:_____________________ Media:______________________________________________________ Address: ___________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ Tel:_______________________ Fax: ___________________________ Mobile :___________________ E-mail: ________________________ I will be attending the Venus Express Orbit Insertion event at the following site: [ ] Germany Location: ESA/ESOC Address: Robert Bosch Strasse 5, Darmstadt, Germany Opening hours: 07:30 - 13:00 Contact: Jocelyne Landeau-Constantin, Tel: +49.6151.902.696 - Fax: +49.6151.902.961 [ ] France Location: ESA HQ Address: 8/10, rue Mario Nikis - Paris 15, France Opening hours: 08:00 - 13:00 Contact: Anne-Marie Remondin - Tel: +33(0)1.53.69.7155 - fax: +33(0)1.53.69.7690 [ ] The Netherlands Location: Newton Room, ESA/ESTEC Address: Keplerlaan 1, Noordwijk, The Netherlands Opening hours: 08:30 - 12:30 Contact: Michel van Baal, tel. + 31 71 565 3006, fax + 31 71 565 5728 [ ] Italy Location: ESA/ESRIN Address: Via Galileo Galilei, Frascati (Rome), Italy Opening hours: 07:00 - 14:

  1. Venus Surface Composition and Weathering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilmore, M.; Helbert, J.; Smrekar, S.; Treiman, A.

    2014-04-01

    Imagine interpreting the geologic history of the Earth from radar images at ~100 m/pixel, topography with a footprint of ~10 km and major-element analyses at 3 random sites. This is our challenge for Venus after Magellan. This abstract is a summary of a Venus III chapter, which will describe what we have learned about the Venus surface primarily from Venus Express (VEx), which has for the first time provided regional mapping of surface radiance that includes compositional variability. Critical to the interpretation of these data are measurements of the 1 ?m emissivity of rocks under Venus conditions and a better understanding of the chemistry of potential Venus surface-atmosphere interactions.

  2. The Infrared Limb Darkening of Venus

    Microsoft Academic Search

    James B. Pollack; Carl Sagan

    1965-01-01

    The observed infrared limb darkening of Venus in the 8- to 13-micron interval and over the observed range in tz, the cosine of the Venus zenith angle, can be expressed as t , where a  0.5, according to two independent sets of measurements. Three general categories of models of the atmosphere and clouds of Venus are here proposed to

  3. Ionospheric inversion of the Venus Express radio occultation data observed by Shanghai 25 m and New Norcia 35 m antennas

    E-print Network

    Zhang, Su-jun; Li, Jin-ling; Ping, Jin-song; Chen, Cong-yan; Zhang, Ke-fei

    2015-01-01

    Electron density profiles of the Venus' ionosphere are inverted from the Venus Express (VEX) one-way open-loop radio occultation experiments carried out by Shanghai 25 m antenna from November 2011 to January 2012 at solar maximum conditions and by New Norcia 35 m antenna from August 2006 to June 2008 at solar intermediate conditions. The electron density profile (from 110 km to 400 km) retrieved from the X-band egress observation at Shanghai station, shows a single peak near 147 km with a peak density of about $2 \\times 10^4 \\rm{cm}^{-3}$ at a solar zenith angle of 94$^{\\circ}$. As a comparison, the VEX radio science (VeRa) observations at New Norcia station were also examined, including S-, X-band and dual-frequency data in the ingress mode. The results show that the electron density profiles retrieved from the S-band data are more analogous to the dual-frequency data in the profile shape, compared with the X-band data. Generally, the S-band results slightly underestimate the magnitude of the peak density, w...

  4. Spectrometric searching for the trace constituents in the atmospheric clouds on Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blecka, M. I.; Piccioni, G.; Drossart, P.; Carlson, R.

    2010-12-01

    The clouds and haze in the Atmosphere of Venus are mainly composed of sulphuric acid aerosols but the presence of others components was also discussed from a long time. For instance there are suggestions in the literature that existence of dust is possible. The presented paper is continuation of our previous works and is directly connected with spectroscopic observations done by VIRTIS during Venus Express mission. The main purposes of the paper are: i ) A short review of the published articles related to the topic of presence the solid particles in the clouds over Venus ii) A description of numerical calculations and demonstration of modeled spectra of the total directional radiance which can help to recognize the optical characteristics of constituents of the atmosphere of Venus iii) A comparison the spectra measured by VIRTIS and numerically simulated by means of a radiation transfer model - discussion on recognition of solid constituent in the Venusian clouds

  5. Extreme Environments Technologies for Probes to Venus and Jupiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Balint, Tibor S.; Kolawa, Elizabeth A.; Peterson, Craig E.; Cutts, James A.; Belz, Andrea P.

    2007-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews the technologies that are used to mitigate extreme environments for probes at Venus and Jupiter. The contents include: 1) Extreme environments at Venus and Jupiter; 2) In-situ missions to Venus and Jupiter (past/present/future); and 3) Approaches to mitigate conditions of extreme environments for probes with systems architectures and technologies.

  6. Analysis of MESSENGER/MASCS data during second Venus flyby

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perez-Hoyos, S.; Garcia-Muñoz, A.; Sánchez-Lavega, A.; McClintock, W. M.

    2013-09-01

    In June 2007, the MESSENGER spacecraft performed its second Venus flyby during its travel to Mercury. The spacecraft acquired several spectra of the reflected sunlight from the equatorial region of the planet and covering from the middle ultraviolet (195nm) to the near infrared (1450 nm) using the MASCS instrument (MUV-UVVS and VIRS channels). In this work we present an analysis of the data and their spectral and spatial variability following the mission footprint on the Venus disk. In order to reproduce the observed reflectivity and obtain information on the upper clouds and the unknown UV absorber, we use XtraRT, a radiative transfer code based on DISORT and the HITRAN database, which includes SO, SO2, CO2 and H2O absorption together with absorption and scattering by mode-1 and mode-2 cloud particles. We discuss the sensitivity of our models to key atmospheric parameters and some preliminary results. The MASCS observations of Venus mean a valuable opportunity for cross-calibration with VIRTIS, the spectrometer on board the Venus Express mission.

  7. Robotic Technology for Exploration of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2003-01-01

    Venus, the "greenhouse planet", is a scientifically fascinating place. A huge number of important scientific questions remain to be answered. Venus is sometimes called Earth's "sister planet" due to the fact that it is closest to the Earth in distance and similar to Earth in size. Despite its similarity to Earth, however, the climate of Venus is vastly different from Earth's. Understanding the atmosphere, climate, geology, and history of Venus could shed considerable light on our understanding of our own home planet. The surface of Venus is a hostile environment, with an atmosperic pressure of over 90 bar of carbon dioxide, temperature of 450 C, and shrouded in sulphuric-acid clouds. Venus has been explored by a number of missions from Earth, including the Russian Venera missions which landed probes on the surface, the American Pioneer missions which flew both orbiters and atmospheric probes to Venus, the Russian "Vega" mission, which floated balloons in the atmosphere of Venus, and most recently the American Magellan mission which mapped the surface by radar imaging. While these missions have answered basic questions about Venus, telling us the surface temperature and pressure, the elevations and topography of the continents, and the composition of the atmosphere and clouds, scientific mysteries still abound. Venus is of considerable interest to terrestrial atmospheric science, since of all the planets in the solar system, it is the closest analogue to the Earth in terms of atmosphere. Yet Venus' atmosphere is an example of "runaway greenhouse effect." Understanding the history and the dynamics of Venus' atmosphere could tell us considerable insight about the workings of the atmosphere of the Earth. It also has some interest to astrobiology-- could life have existed on Venus in an earlier, pre-greenhouse-effect phase? Could life still be possible in the temperate middle-atmosphere of Venus? The geology of Venus also has interest in the study of Earth. surface robot will require new technologies; specifically, it will require electronics, scientific instruments, power supplies, and mechanical linkages designed to operate at a temperature above 450 C-hot enough to melt the solder on a standard electronic circuit board. This will require devices made from advanced semiconductor materials, such as silicon carbide, or even new approaches, such as micro-vacuum tube electronics. Such materials are now being developed in the laboratory.

  8. Orbital Express Mission Operations Planning and Resource Management using ASPEN

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chouinard, Caroline; Knight, Russell; Jones, Grailing; Tran, Danny

    2008-01-01

    The Orbital Express satellite servicing demonstrator program is a DARPA program aimed at developing "a safe and cost-effective approach to autonomously service satellites in orbit". The system consists of: a) the Autonomous Space Transport Robotic Operations (ASTRO) vehicle, under development by Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, and b) a prototype modular next-generation serviceable satellite, NEXTSat, being developed by Ball Aerospace. Flexibility of ASPEN: a) Accommodate changes to procedures; b) Accommodate changes to daily losses and gains; c) Responsive re-planning; and d) Critical to success of mission planning Auto-Generation of activity models: a) Created plans quickly; b) Repetition/Re-use of models each day; and c) Guarantees the AML syntax. One SRP per day vs. Tactical team

  9. Return to Venus of the Japanese Venus Climate Orbiter AKATSUKI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, Masato; Kawakatsu, Yasuhiro; Hirose, Chikako; Imamura, Takeshi; Ishii, Nobuaki; Abe, Takumi; Yamazaki, Atsushi; Yamada, Manabu; Ogohara, Kazunori; Uemizu, Kazunori; Fukuhara, Tetsuya; Ohtsuki, Shoko; Satoh, Takehiko; Suzuki, Makoto; Ueno, Munetaka; Nakatsuka, Junichi; Iwagami, Naomoto; Taguchi, Makoto; Watanabe, Shigeto; Takahashi, Yukihiro; Hashimoto, George L.; Yamamoto, Hiroki

    2014-01-01

    Japanese Venus Climate Orbiter/AKATSUKI was proposed in 2001 with strong support by international Venus science community and approved as an ISAS (The Institute of Space and Astronautical Science) mission soon after the proposal. The mission life we expected was more than two Earth years in Venus orbit. AKATSUKI was successfully launched at 06:58:22JST on May 21, 2010, by H-IIA F17. After the separation from H-IIA, the telemetry from AKATSUKI was normally detected by DSN Goldstone station (10:00JST) and the solar cell paddles' deployment was confirmed. After a successful cruise, the malfunction happened on the propulsion system during the Venus orbit insertion (VOI) on Dec. 7, 2010. The engine shut down before the planned reduction in speed to achieve. The spacecraft did not enter the Venus orbit but entered an orbit around the Sun with a period of 203 days. Most of the fuel still had remained, but the orbital maneuvering engine was found to be broken and unusable. However, we have found an alternate way of achieving orbit by using only the reaction control system (RSC). We had adopted the alternate way for orbital maneuver and three minor maneuvers in Nov. 2011 were successfully done so that AKATSUKI would meet Venus in 2015. We are considering several scenarios for VOI using only RCS.

  10. Venus Transit 2004

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayo, L. A.; Odenwald, S. F.

    2002-09-01

    December 6th, 1882 was the last transit of the planet Venus across the disk of the sun. It was heralded as an event of immense interest and importance to the astronomical community as well as the public at large. There have been only six such occurrences since Galileo first trained his telescope on the heavens in 1609 and on Venus in 1610 where he concluded that Venus had phases like the moon and appeared to get larger and smaller over time. Many historians consider this the final nail in the coffin of the Ptolemaic, Earth centered solar system. In addition, each transit has provided unique opportunities for discovery such as measurement and refinement of the astronomical unit, calculation of longitudes on the earth, and detection of Venus' atmosphere. The NASA Sun Earth Connection Education Forum in partnership with the Solar System Exploration Forum, DPS, and a number of NASA space missions is developing plans for an international education program centered around the June 8, 2004 Venus transit. The transit will be visible in its entirety from Europe and partially from the East Coast of the United States. We will use a series of robotic observatories including the Telescopes In Education network distributed in latitude to provide observations of the transit that will allow middle and high school students to calculate the A.U. through application of parallax. We will also use Venus transit as a probe of episodes in American history (e.g. 1769: revolutionary era, 1882: post civil war era, and 2004: modern era). Museums and planetariums in the US and Europe will offer real time viewing of the transit and conduct educational programs through professional development seminars, public lectures, and planetarium shows. We are interested in soliciting advice from the research community to coordinate professional research interests with this program.

  11. Towards a Self Consistent Model of the Thermal Structure of the Venus Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limaye, Sanjay; Vandaele, Ann C.; Wilson, Colin

    Nearly three decades ago, an international effort led to the adoption of the Venus International Reference Atmosphere (VIRA) was published in 1985 after the significant data returned by the Pioneer Venus Orbiter and Probes and the earlier Venera missions (Kliore et al., 1985). The vertical thermal structure is one component of the reference model which relied primarily on the three Pioneer Venus Small Probes, the Large Probe profiles as well as several hundred retrieved temperature profiles from the Pioneer Venus Orbiter radio occultation data collected during 1978 - 1982. Since then a huge amount of thermal structure data has been obtained from multiple instruments on ESA’s Venus Express (VEX) orbiter mission. The VEX data come from retrieval of temperature profiles from SPICAV/SOIR stellar/solar occultations, VeRa radio occultations and from the passive remote sensing by the VIRTIS instrument. The results of these three experiments vary in their intrinsic properties - altitude coverage, spatial and temporal sampling and resolution and accuracy An international team has been formed with support from the International Space Studies Institute (Bern, Switzerland) to consider the observations of the Venus atmospheric structure obtained since the data used for the COSPAR Venus International Reference Atmosphere (Kliore et al., 1985). We report on the progress made by the comparison of the newer data with VIRA model and also between different experiments where there is overlap. Kliore, A.J., V.I. Moroz, and G.M. Keating, Eds. 1985, VIRA: Venus International Reference Atmosphere, Advances in Space Research, Volume 5, Number 11, 307 pages.

  12. Future exploration of Venus (post-Pioneer Venus 1978)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colin, L.; Evans, L. C.; Greeley, R.; Quaide, W. L.; Schaupp, R. W.; Seiff, A.; Young, R. E.

    1976-01-01

    A comprehensive study was performed to determine the major scientific unknowns about the planet Venus to be expected in the post-Pioneer Venus 1978 time frame. Based on those results the desirability of future orbiters, atmospheric entry probes, balloons, and landers as vehicles to address the remaining scientific questions were studied. The recommended mission scenario includes a high resolution surface mapping radar orbiter mission for the 1981 launch opportunity, a multiple-lander mission for 1985 and either an atmospheric entry probe or balloon mission in 1988. All the proposed missions can be performed using proposed space shuttle upper stage boosters. Significant amounts of long-lead time supporting research and technology developments are required to be initiated in the near future to permit the recommended launch dates.

  13. Venus Atmospheric Maneuverable Platform (VAMP)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shapiro Griffin, Kristen L.; Sokol, D.; Dailey, D.; Lee, G.; Polidan, R.

    2013-10-01

    We have explored a possible new approach to Venus upper atmosphere exploration by applying Northrop Grumman (non-NASA) development programs to the challenges associated with Venus upper atmosphere science missions. Our concept is a low ballistic coefficient (<50 Pa), semi-buoyant aircraft that deploys prior to entering the Venus atmosphere, enters the atmosphere without an aeroshell, and provides a long-lived (months to years), maneuverable vehicle capable of carrying science payloads to explore the Venus upper atmosphere. In this presentation we report results from our ongoing study and plans for future analyses and prototyping. We discuss the overall mission architecture and concept of operations from launch through Venus arrival, orbit, entry, and atmospheric science operations. We present a strawman concept of VAMP, including ballistic coefficient, planform area, percent buoyancy, inflation gas, wing span, vehicle mass, power supply, propulsion, materials considerations, structural elements, subsystems, and packaging. The interaction between the VAMP vehicle and the supporting orbiter will also be discussed. In this context, we specifically focus upon four key factors impacting the design and performance of VAMP: 1. Feasibility of and options for the deployment of the vehicle in space 2. Entry into the Venus atmosphere, including descent profile, heat rate, total heat load, stagnation temperature, control, and entry into level flight 3. Characteristics of flight operations and performance in the Venus atmosphere: altitude range, latitude and longitude access, day/night performance, aircraft performance (aerodynamics, power required vs. power available, propulsion, speed, percent buoyancy), performance sensitivity to payload weight 4. Science payload accommodation, constraints, and opportunities We discuss interdependencies of the above factors and the manner in which the VAMP strawman’s characteristics affect the CONOPs and the science objectives. We show how these factors provide constraints as well as enable opportunities for novel long duration scientific studies of the Venus upper atmosphere that support VEXAG goals 2 and 3.

  14. Chasing Venus

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    2009-05-20

    Periodically the planet Venus passes directly between Earth and the Sun, appearing as a small black dot on the Sun's disk. Since astronomers first became aware of them in 1631, these "transits of Venus" have fascinated astronomers because of their rarity and their potential to help scientists measure the solar system. The expeditions that set out to observe transits from remote locations paved the way for a new era of scientific exploration - yet never managed to unlock the transits' secrets. "Chasing Venus" tells the story of astronomers' pursuit of this phenomenon, through rare books and articles written on the subject over the last four centuries. The exhibit also marks the sixth observed transit of Venus, in June 2004.

  15. Venus Phasing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riddle, Bob

    1997-01-01

    Presents a science activity designed to introduce students to the geocentric and heliocentric models of the universe. Helps students discover why phase changes on Venus knocked Earth out of the center of the universe. (DKM)

  16. Exploring Venus.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    The Universe in the Classroom, 1985

    1985-01-01

    Presents basic information on the planet Venus answering questions on location, size, temperature, clouds, water, and daylight. A weather forecast for a typical day and revelations from radar experiments are also included. (DH)

  17. Variable Venus

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    2012-08-03

    This is an activity about the phases of Venus and the planet’s variance in angular size as seen from Earth. Learners will use an online program such as Solar System Live to determine Venus’s distance from Earth for one half of its cycle. This activity requires access to the Solar System Update software and a computer with Internet access. This is Solar System Activity 6 in a larger resource, Space Update.

  18. Scientists Identify Exploration Goals for Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Mohi

    2014-04-01

    Since the turn of the millennium, a large proportion of NASA's planetary science missions—including spacecraft and payloads on four orbiting missions and three rovers—has targeted Mars in preparation for future human missions to the red planet. Less studied, however, is Venus.

  19. Evaluation of a demonstration telescope for the Pluto express mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McIntosh, Malcolm B.; Brown, Robert J.; Stern, Alan

    1996-11-01

    The Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation and Southwest Research Institute have built a three mirror anastigmat telescope as a proof-of-concept, working model of the visible camera system for the highly integrated Pluto payload system (HIPPS) intended for use on the Pluto Express mission. This instrument is unique due to its small size, light weight (less than 2.5 kg) and bolt together design. The all aluminum construction allows the unit to operate over a wide temperature range. The system was designed to have a 5.8 by 0.2 degree field of view, 650 mm effective focal length, 75 mm diameter entrance pupil and a 26 micrometer spot size. The initial version of this telescope utilized diamond turned aluminum mirrors due to cost and schedule limitations. The scattering and imaging properties of this telescope were evaluated. A baffle system was designed and installed to reduce stray light in the system. To improve system performance, the mirrors were resurfaced with electroless nickel, diamond turned and post polished. The stray light performance of the system before and after resurfacing the optics is discussed. Future performance testing plans for this system are presented.

  20. The Magellan Venus explorer's guide

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, Carolynn (editor)

    1990-01-01

    The Magellan radar-mapping mission to the planet Venus is described. Scientific highlights include the history of U.S. and Soviet missions, as well as ground-based radar observations, that have provided the current knowledge about the surface of Venus. Descriptions of the major Venusian surface features include controversial theories about the origin of some of the features. The organization of the Magellan science investigators into discipline-related task groups for data-analysis purposes is presented. The design of the Magellan spacecraft and the ability of its radar sensor to conduct radar imaging, altimetry, and radiometry measurements are discussed. Other topics report on the May 1989 launch, the interplanetary cruise, the Venus orbit-insertion maneuver, and the in-orbit mapping strategy. The objectives of a possible extended mission emphasize the gravity experiment and explain why high-resolution gravity data cannot be acquired during the primary mission. A focus on the people of Magellan reveals how they fly the spacecraft and prepare for major mission events. Special items of interest associated with the Magellan mission are contained in windows interspersed throughout the text. Finally, short summaries describe the major objectives and schedules for several exciting space missions planned to take us into the 21st century.

  1. Planetary and Space Science 56 (2008) 802806 Ionospheric photoelectrons at Venus: Initial observations by

    E-print Network

    California at Berkeley, University of

    2008-01-01

    and Energetic Atoms (ASPERA-4) Electron Spectrometer (ELS) on the Venus Express (VEx) European Space Agency (ESA The European Space Agency (ESA) Venus Express (VEx) spacecraft reached Venus on 11 April 2006. Shortly afterPlanetary and Space Science 56 (2008) 802­806 Ionospheric photoelectrons at Venus: Initial

  2. Meeting Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sterken, Christiaan; Aspaas, Per Pippin

    2013-06-01

    On 2-3 June 2012, the University of Tromsoe hosted a conference about the cultural and scientific history of the transits of Venus. The conference took place in Tromsoe for two very specific reasons. First and foremost, the last transit of Venus of this century lent itself to be observed on the disc of the Midnight Sun in this part of Europe during the night of 5 to 6 June 2012. Second, several Venus transit expeditions in this region were central in the global enterprise of measuring the scale of the solar system in the eighteenth century. The site of the conference was the Nordnorsk Vitensenter (Science Centre of Northern Norway), which is located at the campus of the University of Tromsoe. After the conference, participants were invited to either stay in Tromsoe until the midnight of 5-6 June, or take part in a Venus transit voyage in Finnmark, during which the historical sites Vardoe, Hammerfest, and the North Cape were to be visited. The post-conference program culminated with the participants observing the transit of Venus in or near Tromsoe, Vardoe and even from a plane near Alta. These Proceedings contain a selection of the lectures delivered on 2-3 June 2012, and also a narrative description of the transit viewing from Tromsoe, Vardoe and Alta. The title of the book, Meeting Venus, refers the title of a play by the Hungarian film director, screenwriter and opera director Istvan Szabo (1938-). The autobiographical movie Meeting Venus (1991) directed by him is based on his experience directing Tannhauser at the Paris Opera in 1984. The movie brings the story of an imaginary international opera company that encounters a never ending series of difficulties and pitfalls that symbolise the challenges of any multicultural and international endeavour. As is evident from the many papers presented in this book, Meeting Venus not only contains the epic tales of the transits of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, it also covers the conference participants' encounter with "Venus on the Sun" in historical archives as well as face-to-face at several locations in the Troms and Finnmark counties.

  3. Robotic Exploration of the Surface and Atmosphere of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2004-01-01

    Venus, the "greenhouse planet", is a scientifically fascinating place. In many ways it can be considered "Earth's evil twin." A huge number of important scientific questions remain to be answered: 1) Before the runaway greenhouse effect, was early Venus temperate? 2) Did Venus once have an ocean? 3) What causes the geological resurfacing of the planet? 4) Is Venus still geologically active? 5) What is the "snow" on Venus mountaintops? 6) Can we learn about Earth's climate from Venus? 7) Is the atmosphere of Venus suitable for life? To address these and other scientific questions, a robotic mission to study the surface and atmosphere of Venus has been designed. The mission includes both surface robots, designed with an operational lifetime of 90 days on the surface of Venus, and also solar-powered airplanes to probe the middle atmosphere. At 450 Celsius, and with 90 atmospheres of pressure of carbon-dioxide atmosphere, the surface of Venus is a hostile place for operation of a probe. This paper will present the mission design, discuss the technology options for materials, power systems, electronics, and instruments, and present a short summary of the mission.

  4. Preliminary results of the Pioneer Venus nephelometer experiment. [Venus clouds observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ragent, B.; Blamont, J.

    1979-01-01

    Preliminary results of the nephelometer experiments conducted aboard the large sounder, day, north, and night probes of the Pioneer Venus mission are presented. The vertical structures of the Venus clouds observed simultaneously at each of the four locations from altitudes of from 63 kilometers to the surface are compared, and similarities and differences are noted. Tentative results from attempting to use the data from the nephelometer and cloud particle size spectrometer on the sounder probe to identify the indices of refraction of cloud particles in various regions of the Venus clouds are reported. Finally the nephelometer readings for the day probe during impact on the surface of Venus are presented.

  5. Venus Exploration Themes Venus Exploration Themes

    E-print Network

    Rathbun, Julie A.

    Venus Exploration Themes May 2014 #12;ii Venus Exploration Themes Prepared as an adjunct to the three VEXAG documents: Goals, Objectives and Investigations; Roadmap; as well as Venus Technologies for distribution at the Venus Town Hall Meeting, March 2014 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. This document

  6. Transmission spectrum of Venus as a transiting exoplanet

    E-print Network

    Ehrenreich, David; Widemann, Thomas; Gronoff, Guillaume; Tanga, Paolo; Barthélemy, Mathieu; Lilensten, Jean; Etangs, Alain Lecavelier des; Arnold, Luc

    2011-01-01

    On 5-6 June 2012, Venus will be transiting the Sun for the last time before 2117. This event is an unique opportunity to assess the feasibility of the atmospheric characterisation of Earth-size exoplanets near the habitable zone with the transmission spectroscopy technique and provide an invaluable proxy for the atmosphere of such a planet. In this letter, we provide a theoretical transmission spectrum of the atmosphere of Venus that could be tested with spectroscopic observations during the 2012 transit. This is done using radiative transfer across Venus' atmosphere, with inputs from in-situ missions such as Venus Express and theoretical models. The transmission spectrum covers a range of 0.1-5 {\\mu}m and probes the limb between 70 and 150 km in altitude. It is dominated in UV by carbon dioxide absorption producing a broad transit signal of ~20 ppm as seen from Earth, and from 0.2 to 2.7 {\\mu}m by Mie extinction (~5 ppm at 0.8 {\\mu}m) caused by droplets of sulfuric acid composing an upper haze layer above th...

  7. Venus gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reasenberg, Robert D.

    1993-01-01

    The anomalous gravity field of Venus shows high correlation with surface features revealed by radar. We extract gravity models from the Doppler tracking data from the Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO) by means of a two-step process. In the first step, we solve the nonlinear spacecraft state estimation problem using a Kalman filter-smoother. The Kalman filter was evaluated through simulations. This evaluation and some unusual features of the filter are discussed. In the second step, we perform a geophysical inversion using a linear Bayesian estimator. To allow an unbiased comparison between gravity and topography, we use a simulation technique to smooth and distort the radar topographic data so as to yield maps having the same characteristics as our gravity maps. The maps presented cover 2/3 of the surface of Venus and display the strong topography-gravity correlation previously reported. The topography-gravity scatter plots show two distinct trends.

  8. Venus Atmospheric Maneuverable Platform (VAMP)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Griffin, K.; Sokol, D.; Lee, G.; Dailey, D.; Polidan, R.

    2013-12-01

    We have explored a possible new approach to Venus upper atmosphere exploration by applying recent Northrop Grumman (non-NASA) development programs to the challenges associated with Venus upper atmosphere science missions. Our concept is a low ballistic coefficient (<50 Pa), semi-buoyant aircraft that deploys prior to entering the Venus atmosphere, enters the Venus atmosphere without an aeroshell, and provides a long-lived (months to years), maneuverable vehicle capable of carrying science payloads to explore the Venus upper atmosphere. In 2012 we initiated a feasibility study for a semi-buoyant maneuverable vehicle that could operate in the upper atmosphere of Venus. In this presentation we report results from the ongoing study and plans for future analyses and prototyping to advance and refine the concept. We will discuss the overall mission architecture and concept of operations from launch through Venus arrival, orbit, entry, and atmospheric science operations. We will present a strawman concept of VAMP, including ballistic coefficient, planform area, percent buoyancy, inflation gas, wing span, vehicle mass, power supply, propulsion, materials considerations, structural elements, subsystems, and packaging. The interaction between the VAMP vehicle and the supporting orbiter will also be discussed. In this context, we will specifically focus upon four key factors impacting the design and performance of VAMP: 1. Feasibility of and options for the deployment of the vehicle in space 2. Entry into the Venus atmosphere, including descent profile, heat rate, total heat load, stagnation temperature, control, and entry into level flight 3. Characteristics of flight operations and performance in the Venus atmosphere: altitude range, latitude and longitude access, day/night performance, aircraft performance (aerodynamics, power required vs. power available, propulsion, speed, percent buoyancy), performance sensitivity to payload weight 4. Science payload accommodation, constraints, and opportunities We will discuss interdependencies of the above factors and the manner in which the VAMP strawman's characteristics affect the CONOPs and the science objectives. We will show how the these factors provide constraints as well as enable opportunities for novel long duration scientific studies of the Venus upper atmosphere that support VEXAG goals 2 and 3. We will also discuss how the VAMP platform itself can facilitate some of these science measurements.

  9. Venus Atmospheric Maneuverable Platform (VAMP)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polidan, R.; Lee, G.; Sokol, D.; Griffin, K.; Bolisay, L.; Barnes, N.

    2014-04-01

    Over the past years we have explored a possible new approach to Venus upper atmosphere exploration by applying recent Northrop Grumman (non-NASA) development programs to the challenges associated with Venus upper atmosphere science missions. Our concept is a low ballistic coefficient (<50 Pa), semibuoyant aircraft that deploys prior to entering the Venus atmosphere, enters the Venus atmosphere without an aeroshell, and provides a long-lived (months to years), maneuverable vehicle capable of carrying science payloads to explore the Venus upper atmosphere. VAMP targets the global Venus atmosphere between 55 and 70 km altitude and would be a platform to address VEXAG goals I.A, I.B, and I.C. We will discuss the overall mission architecture and concept of operations from launch through Venus arrival, orbit, entry, and atmospheric science operations. We will present a strawman concept of VAMP, including ballistic coefficient, planform area, percent buoyancy, inflation gas, wing span, vehicle mass, power supply, propulsion, materials considerations, structural elements, subsystems, and packaging. The interaction between the VAMP vehicle and the supporting orbiter will also be discussed. In this context, we will specifically focus upon four key factors impacting the design and performance of VAMP: 1. Science payload accommodation, constraints, and opportunities 2. Characteristics of flight operations and performance in the Venus atmosphere: altitude range, latitude and longitude access, day/night performance, aircraft performance, performance sensitivity to payload weight 3. Feasibility of and options for the deployment of the vehicle in space 4. Entry into the Venus atmosphere, including descent profile, heat rate, total heat load, stagnation temperature, control, and entry into level flight We will discuss interdependencies of the above factors and the manner in which the VAMP strawman's characteristics affect the CONOPs and the science objectives. We will show how the these factors provide constraints as well as enable opportunities for novel long duration scientific studies of the Venus upper atmosphere that support VEXAG goals I.A, I.B, and I.C.. We will also discuss how the VAMP platform itself can facilitate some of these science measurements.

  10. Venus Transit

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    This is an activity about the Venus Transit and how it helped astronomers determine the scale of the solar system. Learners will use measurement, ratios, and graphing to construct a model of the solar system and determine the relationship of each planet to the Sun. They will explore the scales needed to represent the size of the planets and the distances to the Sun. This activity corresponds to the NASA CONNECT video, titled Venus Transit, and has supplemental questions to support the video viewing.

  11. Venusian ion populations and bow shock as seen by the ASPERA-4 ion instrument on Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grande, M.; Whittaker, I.; Guymer, G.; Barabash, S.

    2008-09-01

    Introduction We examine ion populations at Venus. Previous models use magnetic crossing points to derive the bow shock position. The current work uses data from the ASPERA-4 (Analyser of Space Plasmas and Energetic Atoms) [1] instrument to measure ion populations and derive a bow shock position at Venus. Instrumentation The ASPERA-4 instrument flies onboard Venus Express (VEX) and is comprised of five different detectors (Barabash et al 2006 [1]). A neutral particle detector and analyser, an electron spectrometer and the Ion Mass Analyser (IMA) (ref). This paper uses the IMA instrument for all its data and an explanation of the specifications is required. The instrument is a top hat electrostatic analyser; it runs through voltages to scan look angles and also acceptance energies. In one look direction it scans through 96 different energy values before changing to the next. A full scan of all look directions and energies takes 192 seconds. Data Collection All data is weighed dependant upon its probability of the spacecraft measuring at a particular point and when fitted produces a value of 1.24 RV, somewhat closer distance for the sub solar point than previous authors - see figure 1. We separate the data according to slow or fast solar wind and not the similarities and differences in the results derived. The inbound and outbound bow shock crossings were taken by inspection of 106 orbits between November 2006 and February 2007. Any orbits where the crossing point was not clear or with data missing were ignored. The occupational probability is found from orbital mechanics. By setting up a grid and deriving the amount of time it takes to cross each square the probability as a whole can then be determined. Ion distribution plots Two dimensional maps of the ions are produced and the bow shock model overplotted to verify its accuracy, as shown in figure 3. The test of the bow shock is to place it upon real data and examine the fit. To do this ion distribution plots are created and have the bow shock model placed upon them. The maps are shown in fig 8 and comprise 6 months of data from VEX in 2007. The count rates of all spectra of every orbit were stored and binned into a grid system. Each box in the grid being averaged from all values placed into it. The results were then smoothed and the maps created for individual species and plot types. Fig 3 shows maps for hydrogen ions in the x-y plane and in cylindrical coordinates signed with y. This plot is the same as a standard cylindrical plot but the r value is positive if y is positive and negative if y is negative. Effect of Coronal mass Ejections The HI imager on STEREO is able to image Coronal mass Ejections (CME) in the inner Solar System. In a recent paper, Roullard et al 2008 [2] have considered a CME observed to impact Venus, and used in situ measurements to examine the response of the magnetosphere. The plots in figure4 show the measured ion response to this and an earlier CME. We will examine the ion signatures in detail. Acknowledgements We acknowledge the contributions of the entire Aspera 4 team: S. Barabash, R. Lundin, H. Andersson, K. Brinkfeld, A. Grigoriev, H. Gunell, M. Holmström, M. Yamauchi, K. Asamura, P. Bochsler, P. Wurz, R. Cerulli-Irelli, A. Mura, A. Milillo, M. Maggi, S. Orsini, A. J. Coates, D. R. Linder, D. O. Kataria, C. C. Curtis, K. C. Hsieh, B. R. Sandel, R. A. Frahm, J. R. Sharber, J. D. Winningham, M. Grande, E. Kallio, H. Koskinen, P. Riihelä, W. Schmidt, T. Säles, J. U. Kozyra,N. Krupp, J. Woch,.S. Livi, J. G., Luhmann, S. McKenna-Lawlor, E. C. Roelof, D. J. Williams, J.-A. Sauvaud, A. Fedorov, and J.-J. Thocaven. References [1] S. Barabash, R. Lundin, H. Andersson, K. Brinkfeld, A. Grigoriev, H. Gunell, M. Holmström, M. Yamauchi, K. Asamura, P. Bochsler, P. Wurz, R. Cerulli-Irelli, A. Mura, A. Milillo, M. Maggi, S. Orsini, A. J. Coates, D. R. Linder, D. O. Kataria, C. C. Curtis, K. C. Hsieh, B. R. Sandel, R. A. Frahm, J. R. Sharber, J. D. Winningham, M. Grande, E. Kallio, H. Koskinen, P. Riihelä, W. Schmidt, T. Säles, J. U. Kozyra,N. Krupp

  12. Mariner Venus-Mercury 1973 Project. Volume 1: Venus and Mercury 1 Encounters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1976-01-01

    The primary mission report includes the Venus encounter and the first Mercury encounter. Plans and activities undertaken to successfully achieve the mission objectives are described. Operational activities are identified by mission operation system functions, providing a brief summary of each discipline. Spacecraft performance is summarized by subsystems.

  13. Pioneer Mars surface penetrator mission. Mission analysis and orbiter design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1974-01-01

    The Mars Surface Penetrator mission was designed to provide a capability for multiple and diverse subsurface science measurements at a low cost. Equipment required to adapt the Pioneer Venus spacecraft for the Mars mission is described showing minor modifications to hardware. Analysis and design topics which are similar and/or identical to the Pioneer Venus program are briefly discussed.

  14. Interplanetary mission planning

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1971-01-01

    A long range plan for solar system exploration is presented. The subjects discussed are: (1) science payload for first Jupiter orbiters, (2) Mercury orbiter mission study, (3) preliminary analysis of Uranus/Neptune entry probes for Grand Tour Missions, (4) comet rendezvous mission study, (5) a survey of interstellar missions, (6) a survey of candidate missions to explore rings of Saturn, and (7) preliminary analysis of Venus orbit radar missions.

  15. The Venus environment

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1982-08-01

    Attention is given to noble gases in planetary atmospheres, the photochemistry of the stratosphere of Venus, the chemistry of metastable species in the Venusian ionosphere, the Venus ionosphere at grazing incidence of solar radiation, disappearing ionospheres on the nightside of Venus, and the observed composition of the ionosphere of Venus. Other investigations considered are concerned with the predicted electrical conductivity between 0 and 80 km in the Venusian atmosphere, sulfuric acid vapor and other cloud-related gases in the Venus atmosphere, the composition and vertical structure of the lower cloud deck on Venus, amorphous sulfur as the ultraviolet absorber on Venus, and polarization studies of the Venus UV contrasts. A description is provided of topics related to temporal variability of ultraviolet cloud features in the Venus stratosphere, zonal mean circulation at the cloud level on Venus, the influence of thermospheric winds on exospheric hydrogen on Venus, and an analysis of Venus gravity data.

  16. Venus Radar Mapper orbit accuracy analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mohan, S. N.; Esposito, P. B.

    1984-01-01

    Spacecraft orbital accuracies during the mapping phase of the Venus Radar Mapper Mission are the subject of this paper. The analysis presented describes the navigational strategy for the prime mission in support of mapping the planet Venus using a spacecraft deployed Synthetic Aperture Radar. Achievable orbital accuracies are shown to be limited by accuracy of interferometric data to be used. Implications of tracking system configurations and of expected degradation in data accuracy towards the end of the mission in the proximity of superior solar conjunction are examined.

  17. Construction of global maps of atmospheric and surface features of Venus based on new retrieval methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arnold, G.; Haus, R.; Kappel, D.

    2012-04-01

    The exploration of Venus in the context of comparative planetology and solar system research is an important key to understand crucial aspects of planetary evolution, geology, and climate. Sufficient information can only be gained by applying a long-term remote sensing observation strategy. Early missions to Venus established some basic information about atmospheric and surface features, but only since ESA's Venus Express (VEX) mission is orbiting the planet, the first global database for systematic atmospheric and surface studies became available. It brings Venus back into the focus of exploration of the terrestrial planets after a period of more than 20 years. The Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) on Venus Express, after six years in a polar Venus orbit, provided an enormous amount of new data and a four-dimensional picture of the planet (2D imaging + spectral dimension + temporal variations). The spectral dimension permits a sounding at different levels of the atmosphere from the ground up to the thermosphere. The planned work focuses on the investigation of temperature fields, cloud composition and altitude distribution, and trace gas concentrations in the atmosphere of Venus. Studies will be mainly performed on the nightside of the planet where the narrow atmospheric window emissions are not obscured by the more intense solar radiation reflected by the clouds. The resulting multi-dimensional maps of atmospheric state parameters will be used to calculate atmospheric net fluxes, heating and cooling rates, and the radiative energy balance of the middle and lower atmosphere of Venus, and to produce required input data for global circulation models. The quantification and elimination of atmospheric impact factors on surface emissivity retrievals are additional important components of this work. The construction of emissivity maps and specification of local emissivity variations will allow of acquire clues on different soil compositions that enable statements about the geologic development of the planet. Recently by the authors newly developed and verified radiative transfer models and special algorithms, which simultaneously use information from different atmospheric windows for each individual spectrum (multi-window application), can be improved to a large extent by adaptation of new multi-spectrum retrieval techniques (multi-spectrum application) and by the utilization of all available a priori information on surface and atmospheric parameters. In combination with new developments for sophisticated data calibration and pre-processing of VIRTIS-M-IR data this will seriously enhance the accuracy of retrieved atmospheric and surface parameters. The paper will discuss the capability of the new multi-spectrum retrieval technique as well as the main scientific objectives of the planned work on global atmospheric and surface features of Venus.

  18. Evidence For And Against 8-day Planetary Waves In Ground-based Cloud-tracking Observations Of Venus' Nightside

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, Eliot F.; Bullock, M. A.; Limaye, S.; Bailey, J.; Tsang, C. C. C.

    2010-10-01

    Several groups have estimated wind fields on Venus by tracking clouds that appear as silhouettes on Venus’ nightside in CO2 windows at 1.74 or 2.3 microns. In 2008, we presented 10 days of cloud-tracking results from July 2004 that suggested the presence of an 8-day wave manifested by velocity variations in clouds presumed to be at altitudes of 48 - 55 km. A variety of waves are key predictions of recent Venus GCMs (e.g., Yamamoto and Takahashi 2006, Lebonnois et al. 2010) and important areas of comparison between observations and modeling efforts. Although we have measured equatorial zonal wind velocity variations of 15 m/s for observations separated by 24 hours, Hueso, Peralta and Sanchez-Lavega (2010) presented cloud-tracking results from VIRTIS-M image sequences in which velocities are mostly confined to 55 to 65 m/s in the 30°S - 10°S latitude range. We now present cloud-tracking results from ground-based observations obtained during July and September 2007. On some dates we are able to combine observations between the AAT and IRTF to increase the time baseline between images to roughly 4 hours and reduce the errors by about a factor of two. Akatsuki image sequences should resolve the question of zonal velocity variations in the near future. --- References Hueso, Peralta and Sanchez-Lavega, 2010, "Temporal and spatial variability of Venus winds at cloud level from VIRTIS during the Venus Express mission.” Presented at the Venus Express Workshop in Aussois, June 2010. Lebonnois et al., 2010, "Superrotation of Venus’ atmosphere analyzed with a full general circulation model.” JGR 115, E06006. Yamamoto and Takahashi, 2006, "Superrotation maintained by meridional circulation and waves in a Venus-like AGCM.” J. Amtos Sci., 63, 3296.

  19. Pioneer Venus orbiter electron temperature probe

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brace, Larry H.

    1994-01-01

    This document lists the scientific accomplishments of the Orbiter Electron Temperature Probe (OETP) group. The OETP instrument was fabricated in 1976, integrated into the PVO spacecraft in 1977, and placed in orbit about Venus in December 1978. The instrument operated flawlessly for nearly 14 years until PVO was lost as it entered the Venusian atmosphere in October 1992. The OETP group worked closely with other PVO investigators to examine the Venus ionosphere and its interactions with the solar wind. After the mission was completed we continued to work with the scientist selected for the Venus Data Analysis Program (VDAP), and this is currently leading to additional publications.

  20. Hypothetical flora and fauna of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ksanfomality, L. V.

    2014-12-01

    Hypothetical habitability of some of extrasolar planets is a fundamental question of science. Some of exoplanets possess physical conditions close to those of Venus. Therefore, the planet Venus, with its dense and hot (735 K) oxygen-free atmosphere of CO2, having a high pressure of 9.2 MPa at the surface, can be a natural laboratory for this kind of studies. The only existing data on the planet's surface are still the results obtained by the Soviet VENERA landers in the 1970s and 1980s. The TV experiments of Venera-9 and 10 (October, 1975) and Venera-13 and 14 (March, 1982) delivered 41 panoramas of Venus surface (or their fragments). There have not been any similar missions to Venus in the subsequent 39 and 32 years. In the absence of new landing missions to Venus, the VENERA panoramas have been re-processed. The results of these missions are studied anew. A dozen of relatively large objects, from a decimeter to half a meter in size, with an unusual morphology have been found which moved very slowly or changed slightly their shape. Their emergence by chance could hardly be explained by noise. Certain unusual findings that have similar structure were found in different areas of the planet. This paper presents the last results obtained of a search for hypothetical flora and fauna of Venus.

  1. Venus Climate Sensitivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bullock, M.

    2012-12-01

    The sensitivity of the Earth's climate to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide is often expressed as the net change in radiative forcing, in W/m2, due to a doubling of carbon dioxide concentration. Feedbacks due to consequent changes in water vapor abundance, clouds, and surface ice act to magnify or suppress the net change in radiative forcing due to doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide. For example, for the net change in radiative energy balance of ?H is ?H=?F/?[CO2 ] ?[CO2] + ?F/?T ?T + ?F/?[H2O] ?[H2O]/?T ?T + So/4 ??/?T ?T where F is the flux at the top of the atmosphere, [CO2] and [H2O] are the concentrations of carbon dioxide and water vapor in the atmosphere, So is the solar flux, and ? is the planetary albedo. The first term on the right is the direct effect of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration on the outgoing thermal flux. The second term represents the adjustment to outgoing flux that results solely from changes in atmospheric temperature. The third term is the water vapor greenhouse term, and the fourth is the response the Earth's albedo to changes in temperature. Radiative balance is established when ?H --> 0. The sensitivity of Venus' climate due to perturbations in atmospheric constituents can be expressed in a similar manner. This analysis is useful for assessing the changes in surface temperature that result from volcanic activity, and the long term effects of the loss of volatiles to space or to reactions with the surface. I will discuss the change in radiative forcing of Venus' climate due to alteration of atmospheric water vapor abundance. As with carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere, changes in Venus' atmospheric water vapor have both direct and indirect climate forcing effects. The analogous linearized climate sensitivity equation for Venus will be discussed, with an emphasis on the nature of the feedback each term represents.

  2. Hot Flow Anomalies at Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Collinson, G. A.; Sibeck, David Gary; Boardsen, Scott A.; Moore, Tom; Barabash, S.; Masters, A.; Shane, N.; Slavin, J.A.; Coates, A.J.; Zhang, T. L.; Sarantos, M.

    2012-01-01

    We present a multi-instrument study of a hot flow anomaly (HFA) observed by the Venus Express spacecraft in the Venusian foreshock, on 22 March 2008, incorporating both Venus Express Magnetometer and Analyzer of Space Plasmas and Energetic Atoms (ASPERA) plasma observations. Centered on an interplanetary magnetic field discontinuity with inward convective motional electric fields on both sides, with a decreased core field strength, ion observations consistent with a flow deflection, and bounded by compressive heated edges, the properties of this event are consistent with those of HFAs observed at other planets within the solar system.

  3. Venus mapping

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Batson, R. M.; Morgan, H. F.; Sucharski, Robert

    1991-01-01

    Semicontrolled image mosaics of Venus, based on Magellan data, are being compiled at 1:50,000,000, 1:10,000,000, 1:5,000,000, and 1:1,000,000 scales to support the Magellan Radar Investigator (RADIG) team. The mosaics are semicontrolled in the sense that data gaps were not filled and significant cosmetic inconsistencies exist. Contours are based on preliminary radar altimetry data that is subjected to revision and improvement. Final maps to support geologic mapping and other scientific investigations, to be compiled as the dataset becomes complete, will be sponsored by the Planetary Geology and Geophysics Program and/or the Venus Data Analysis Program. All maps, both semicontrolled and final, will be published as I-maps by the United States Geological Survey. All of the mapping is based on existing knowledge of the spacecraft orbit; photogrammetric triangulation, a traditional basis for geodetic control on planets where framing cameras were used, is not feasible with the radar images of Venus, although an eventual shift of coordinate system to a revised spin-axis location is anticipated. This is expected to be small enough that it will affect only large-scale maps.

  4. TRANSIT OF VENUS 2012, Observation with PICARD/SODISM during transit

    E-print Network

    Widemann, Thomas

    TRANSIT OF VENUS 2012, Observation with PICARD/SODISM during transit SODISM (Solar Diameter Imager mission Ø The space instrument SODISM of the PICARD mission Ø Transit of Venus 2012 Ø Conclusion radius changes that are in phase. #12;PICARD is a French space scientific mission. Its objectives are

  5. Investigating gravity waves evidences in the Venus upper atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Migliorini, Alessandra; Altieri, Francesca; Shakun, Alexey; Zasova, Ludmila; Piccioni, Giuseppe; Bellucci, Giancarlo; Grassi, Davide

    2014-05-01

    We present a method to investigate gravity waves properties in the upper mesosphere of Venus, through the O2 nightglow observations acquired with the imaging spectrometer VIRTIS on board Venus Express. Gravity waves are important dynamical features that transport energy and momentum. They are related to the buoyancy force, which lifts air particles. Then, the vertical displacement of air particles produces density changes that cause gravity to act as restoring force. Gravity waves can manifest through fluctuations on temperature and density fields, and hence on airglow intensities. We use the O2 nightglow profiles showing double peaked structures to study the influence of gravity waves in shaping the O2 vertical profiles and infer the waves properties. In analogy to the Earth's and Mars cases, we use a well-known theory to model the O2 nightglow emissions affected by gravity waves propagation. Here we propose a statistical discussion of the gravity waves characteristics, namely vertical wavelength and wave amplitude, with respect to local time and latitude. The method is applied to about 30 profiles showing double peaked structures, and acquired with the VIRTIS/Venus Express spectrometer, during the mission period from 2006-07-05 to 2008-08-15.

  6. Variations and Effects of the Venusian Bow Shock from VEX Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xue, Yansong; Jin, Shuanggen

    2014-04-01

    The upper atmosphere of Venus is not shielded by planetary magnetic field from direct interaction with the solar wind. The interaction of shocked solar wind and the ionosphere results in ionopause. Magnetic barrier, the inner region of dayside magnetosheath with the dominated magnetic pressure deflects the solar wind instead of the ionopause at solar maximum. Therefore, the structure and interaction of venusian ionosphere is very complex. Although the Venus Express (VEX) arrived at Venus in April 2006 provides more knowledge on the Venusian ionosphere and plasma environment, compared to Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO) with about 14 years of observations, some important details are still unknown (e.g., long Venusian bow shock variations and effects). In this paper, the bow shock positions of Venus are determined and analyzed from magnetometer (MAG) and ASPERA-4 of the Venus Express mission from May 28, 2006 to August 17, 2010. Results show that the altitude of BS was mainly affected by SZA (solar zenith angle) and Venus bow shocks inbound and outbound are asymmetry.

  7. On Target for Venus Set Oriented Computation of Energy Efficient Low Thrust Trajectories

    E-print Network

    On Target for Venus ­ Set Oriented Computation of Energy Efficient Low Thrust Trajectories Michael of certain invariant sets and associated invariant manifolds in phase space to systematically construct for a mission to Venus. Keywords: set oriented numerics, dynamical system, earth venus transfer, three body

  8. Venus Technology Plan: 2014 (Draft for Community Review--March 12, 2014)

    E-print Network

    Rathbun, Julie A.

    Venus Technology Plan: 2014 (Draft for Community Review--March 12, 2014) #12; ii Venus Technology Plan At the last VEXAG meeting in November 2013, it was resolved to update the scientific as Planetary Decadal Survey priorities, and (3) develop a white paper on technologies for Venus missions. Here

  9. Distant bow shock and magnetotail of Venus: magnetic field and plasma wave observations

    Microsoft Academic Search

    C.T. Russell; J. G. Luhmann; R. C. Elphic; F. L. Scarf

    1981-01-01

    An examination of the magnetic field and plasma wave data obtained by the Pioneer Venus orbiter in the wake region behind Venus discloses a well developed bow shock whose location is similar to that observed on previous missions in contrast to the dayside bow shock. Venus also has a well developed magnetotail in which the field strength is enhanced over

  10. System Analysis and Orbit Design for PLANET-C Venus Climate Orbiter

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Nobuaki Ishii; Sumitaka Tachikawa; Nobukatsu Okuizumi; Tomoaki Toda; Yukio Kamata; Tomoko Hayashiyama; Shinichiro Narita; Junichiro Nakatsuka; Takayuki Yamamoto; Masato Nakamura

    The Venus climate orbiter mission, PLANET-C, is aiming at understanding of the super rotational motion of the Venus atmosphere and differences from the earth climate and environment. The spacecraft is scheduled to be sent to Venus in 2010. Mechanical environments and electrical functions using proto-type components have been conducted, and currently mechanical and electrical functions of flight components are examined

  11. Scientific Balloons for Venus Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cutts, James; Yavrouian, Andre; Nott, Julian; Baines, Kevin; Limaye, Sanjay; Wilson, Colin; Kerzhanovich, Viktor; Voss, Paul; Hall, Jeffery

    Almost 30 years ago, two balloons were successfully deployed into the atmosphere of Venus as an element of the VeGa - Venus Halley mission conducted by the Soviet Union. As interest in further Venus exploration grows among the established planetary exploration agencies - in Europe, Japan, Russia and the United States, use of balloons is emerging as an essential part of that investigative program. Venus balloons have been proposed in NASA’s Discovery program and ESA’s cosmic vision program and are a key element in NASA’s strategic plan for Venus exploration. At JPL, the focus for the last decade has been on the development of a 7m diameter superpressure pressure(twice that of VeGa) capable of carrying a 100 kg payload (14 times that of VeGA balloons), operating for more than 30 days (15 times the 2 day flight duration of the VeGa balloons) and transmitting up to 20 Mbit of data (300 times that of VeGa balloons). This new generation of balloons must tolerate day night transitions on Venus as well as extended exposure to the sulfuric acid environment. These constant altitude balloons operating at an altitude of about 55 km on Venus where temperatures are benign can also deploy sondes to sound the atmosphere beneath the probe and deliver deep sondes equipped to survive and operate down to the surface. The technology for these balloons is now maturing rapidly and we are now looking forward to the prospects for altitude control balloons that can cycle repeatedly through the Venus cloud region. One concept, which has been used for tropospheric profiling in Antarctica, is the pumped-helium balloon, with heritage to the anchor balloon, and would be best adapted for flight above the 55 km level. Phase change balloons, which use the atmosphere as a heat engine, can be used to investigate the lower cloud region down to 30 km. Progress in components for high temperature operation may also enable investigation of the deep atmosphere of Venus with metal-based balloons.

  12. Approach and challenges to science and mission planning for the European orbiter Mars Express

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Erhard Rabenau; Michel Denis; Nicolas Altobelli

    2012-01-01

    The paper focuses on the end-to-end science operations for the first and only European Mars mission to-date, describing the approaches to science and mission planning and the challenges imposed by the operations constraints. It includes the activities of the instrument and science planning teams to plan and process the collected data. The Mars Express spacecraft has been in orbit around

  13. Spatial and Temporal distribution of CO_{2} 4.3-mu m NLTE Emission from nadir VIRTIS-H/Venus Express observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peralta, Javier; Ángel López-Valverde, Miguel; Gilli, Gabriella; Drossart, Pierre; Piccioni, Giuseppe

    2010-05-01

    Non-Local Thermodynamic Equilibrium (non-LTE) emissions are known to play a key role in the radiative heating and cooling of the Venus mesosphere and lower thermosphere (Dickinson, JAS, 1973; Roldan et al., Icarus, 2000). In the case of the Venusian atmosphere, CO2 vibrational-rotational emissions at 4.3 ?m and 2.7 ?m were predicted to give intense emissions, and since they are originated between 80 and 150 km, their observation might give information on the atmospheric parameters at those altitudes, depending on sensitivity and spectral resolution. The VIRTIS spectrometer on board Venus Express allows for the first time the systematic sounding of these bands in the Venus atmosphere, both in nadir and limb observing geometries. The limb data by VIRTIS has been recently studied by our team (Gilli et al., JGR, 2009; López-Valverde et al., 2010 submitted; Gilli et al., 2010 submitted), focusing on its vertical distribution and the validation of non-LTE models, but an exhaustive study of nadir observations has not been presented so far, except for the detection of gravity waves by García et al. (2008; 2009). In this work, we have used the nadir observations to study the horizontal distribution of the CO2 non-LTE emissions at 4.3 ?m, mainly originated at altitudes about ~110 km. The analyzed dataset comprises the whole nadir measurements with VIRTIS-H (the highest spectral resolution channel) obtained up to September 2009, covering nearly 900 days of observations and more than 140,000 spectra. Similarly to the case of limb data, it was found that the nadir radiance depends not only on the Solar Zenith Angle, but also on the Emission Angle, as predicted by our non-LTE model. After careful radiance averages, the small dispersion found in the mean emission of this band suggests that the Venus lower thermosphere is more stable than expected, with scarce episodes of significant variation during the studied period. Since the spectral resolution of VIRTIS-H allows separating different CO2 isotopic and hot bands, this dataset implies a valuable test for non-LTE models. Therefore, a revision of some key rate coefficients for collisional relaxation of CO2 vibrational energy levels is also carried out, by means of a systematic comparison between radiance ratios measured by VIRTIS-H and the ones obtained with our non-LTE radiative transfer model. Conclusions will be briefly discussed at the meeting.

  14. The Plains of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharpton, V. L.

    2013-12-01

    Volcanic plains units of various types comprise at least 80% of the surface of Venus. Though devoid of topographic splendor and, therefore often overlooked, these plains units house a spectacular array of volcanic, tectonic, and impact features. Here I propose that the plains hold the keys to understanding the resurfacing history of Venus and resolving the global stratigraphy debate. The quasi-random distribution of impact craters and the small number that have been conspicuously modified from the outside by plains-forming volcanism have led some to propose that Venus was catastrophically resurfaced around 725×375 Ma with little volcanism since. Challenges, however, hinge on interpretations of certain morphological characteristics of impact craters: For instance, Venusian impact craters exhibit either radar dark (smooth) floor deposits or bright, blocky floors. Bright floor craters (BFC) are typically 100-400 m deeper than dark floor craters (DFC). Furthermore, all 58 impact craters with ephemeral bright ejecta rays and/or distal parabolic ejecta patterns have bright floor deposits. This suggests that BFCs are younger, on average, than DFCs. These observations suggest that DFCs could be partially filled with lava during plains emplacement and, therefore, are not strictly younger than the plains units as widely held. Because the DFC group comprises ~80% of the total crater population on Venus the recalculated emplacement age of the plains would be ~145 Ma if DFCs are indeed volcanically modified during plains formation. Improved image and topographic data are required to measure stratigraphic and morphometric relationships and resolve this issue. Plains units are also home to an abundant and diverse set of volcanic features including steep-sided domes, shield fields, isolated volcanoes, collapse features and lava channels, some of which extend for 1000s of kilometers. The inferred viscosity range of plains-forming lavas, therefore, is immense, ranging from the extremely fluid flows (i.e., channel formers), to viscous, possibly felsic lavas of steep-sided domes. Wrinkle ridges deform many plains units and this has been taken to indicate that these ridges essentially form an early stratigraphic marker that limits subsequent volcanism to a minimum. However, subtle backscatter variations within many ridged plains units suggest (but do not prove) that some plains volcanism continued well after local ridge deformation ended. Furthermore, many of volcanic sources show little, if any, indications of tectonic modification and detailed analyses have concluded that resurfacing rates could be similar to those on Earth. Improving constraints on the rates and styles of volcanism within the plains could lend valuable insights into the evolution of Venus's internal heat budget and the transition from thin-lid to thick-lid tectonic regimes. Improved spatial and radiometric resolution of radar images would greatly improve abilities to construct the complex local stratigraphy of ridged plains. Constraining the resurfacing history of Venus is central to understanding how Earth-sized planets evolve and whether or not their evolutionary pathways lead to habitability. This goal can only be adequately addressed if broad coverage is added to the implementation strategies of any future mapping missions to Venus.

  15. Solar Powered Flight on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colozza, Anthony; Landis, Geoff (Technical Monitor)

    2004-01-01

    Solar powered flight within the Venus environment from the surface to the upper atmosphere was evaluated. The objective was to see if a station-keeping mission was possible within this environment based on a solar power generating system. Due to the slow rotation rate of Venus it would be possible to remain within the day light side of the planet for extended periods of time. However the high wind speeds and thick cloud cover make a station-keeping solar powered mission challenging. The environment of Venus was modeled as a function of altitude from the surface. This modeling included density, temperature, solar attenuation and wind speed. Using this environmental model flight with both airships and aircraft was considered to evaluate whether a station-keeping mission is feasible. The solar power system and flight characteristics of both types of vehicles was modeled and power balance was set up to determine if the power available from the solar array was sufficient to provide enough thrust to maintain station over a fixed ground location.

  16. Solar Wind Interaction with Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russell, C. T.; Luhmann, J. G.; Ma, Y. J.; Villarreal, M. N.; Zhang, T. L.

    2014-04-01

    Venus Express, which was inserted into orbit in mid-2006, has added significantly to the knowledge gained from Pioneer Venus from 1978 to 1992. This observational database interpreted in terms of modern multi-fluid codes and hybrid simulations has deepened our understanding of Earth's very different twin sister planet. Furthermore, the very different orbits of VEX and PVO has allowed the more complete mapping of the volume of space around the planet. Now the bow shock has been probed over its full surface, the ionosphere mapped everywhere, and the tail studied from the ionosphere to 12 Venus radii. Some unexpected discoveries have been made. The exospheric hydrogen at Venus, unlike that at Mars,does not produce ion-cyclotron waves, perhapsbecause the stronger gravity of Venus produces a smaller geocorona. The solar wind interaction drapes the magnetic field around the planet, and a strong layer of magnetic field builds up at low altitudes. While the layer does not appear to penetrate into the dayside atmosphere (perhaps diffusing only slowly through the low atmosphere), it does appear to dip into the atmosphere at night. Surprisingly, over the poles, this layer is most strongly seen when the IMF BY component has a positive Y-component in Venus- Solar-Orbital coordinates. Multi-fluid simulations show that this result is consistent with the pressure of significant ion densities of ions with quite different mass which causes magnetic polarity control of the ion flow over the terminators. Reconnection is found in the tail close to the planet, and the structure of the outer tail found by PVO is confirmed to exist in the inner tail by VEX. When combined, the VEX and PVO Data provide a very comprehensive picture of the physics of the solar wind interaction with the ionosphere of Venus.

  17. Three-dimensional modelling of Venus photochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stolzenbach, Aurélien; Lefèvre, Franck; Lebonnois, Sébastien; Määttänen, Anni; Bekki, Slimane

    2014-05-01

    We have developed a new code of the Venus atmospheric chemistry based on our photochemical model already in use for Mars (e.g., Lefèvre et al., J. Geophys. Res., 2004). For Venus, the code also includes a parameterized treatment of cloud microphysics that computes the composition of sulphuric acid droplets and their number density based on a given droplet size distribution in altitude. We coupled this photochemical-microphysical package to the LMD general circulation model of Venus (Lebonnois et al., J. Geophys. Res., 2010) with a sedimentation module recently added. We will describe preliminary results obtained with this first three-dimensional model of the Venus photochemistry. The space and time distribution of key chemical species as well as the modelled clouds characteristics will be detailed and compared to observations performed from Venus Express and from the Earth (e.g. Knollenberg and Hunten, J. Geophys. Res., 1980 ; Wilquet et al., J. Geophys. Res., 2009 ; Sandor et al., Icarus, 2012).

  18. Study and Implementation of the End-to-End Data Pipeline for the Virtis Imaging Spectrometer Onbaord Venus Express: "From Science Operations Planning to Data Archiving and Higher Lever Processing"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardesín Moinelo, Alejandro

    2010-04-01

    This PhD Thesis describes the activities performed during the Research Program undertaken for two years at the Istituto Nazionale di AstroFisica in Rome, Italy, as active member of the VIRTIS Technical and Scientific Team, and one additional year at the European Space Astronomy Center in Madrid, Spain, as member of the Mars Express Science Ground Segment. This document will show a study of all sections of the Science Ground Segment of the Venus Express mission, from the planning of the scientific operations, to the generation, calibration and archiving of the science data, including the production of valuable high level products. We will present and discuss here the end-to-end diagram of the ground segment from the technical and scientific point of view, in order to describe the overall flow of information: from the original scientific requests of the principal investigator and interdisciplinary teams, up to the spacecraft, and down again for the analysis of the measurements and interpretation of the scientific results. These scientific results drive to new and more elaborated scientific requests, which are used as feedback to the planning cycle, closing the circle. Special attention is given here to describe the implementation and development of the data pipeline for the VIRTIS instrument onboard Venus Express. During the research program, both the raw data generation pipeline and the data calibration pipeline were developed and automated in order to produce the final raw and calibrated data products from the input telemetry of the instrument. The final raw and calibrated products presented in this work are currently being used by the VIRTIS Science team for data analysis and are distributed to the whole scientific community via the Planetary Science Archive. More than 20,000 raw data files and 10,000 calibrated products have already been generated after almost 4 years of mission. In the final part of the Thesis, we will also present some high level data processing methods developed for the Mapping channel of the VIRTIS instrument. These methods have been implemented for the generation of high level global maps of measured radiance over the whole planet, which can then be used for the understanding of the global dynamics and morphology of the Venusian atmosphere. This method is currently being used to compare different emissions probing at different altitudes from the low cloud layers up to the upper mesosphere, by using the averaged projected values of radiance observed by the instrument, such as the near infrared windows at 1.7 ?m and 2.3?m, the thermal region at 3.8?m and 5?m plus the analysis of particular emissions in the night and day side of the planet. This research has been undertaken under guidance and supervision of Giuseppe Piccioni, VIRTIS co-Principal Investigator, with support of the entire VIRTIS technical and scientific team, in particular of the Archiving team in Paris (LESIA-Meudon). The work has also been done in close collaboration with the Science and Mission Operations Centres in Madrid and Darmstadt (European Space Agency), the EGSE software developer (Techno Systems), the manufacturer of the VIRTIS instrument (Galileo Avionica) and the developer of the VIRTIS onboard software (DLR Berlin). The outcome of the technical and scientific work presented in this thesis is currently being used by the VIRTIS team to continue the investigations on the Venusian atmosphere and plan new scientific observations to improve the overall knowledge of the solar system. At the end of this document we show some of the many technical and scientific contributions, which have already been published in several international journals and conferences, and some articles of the European Space Agency used for public outreach.

  19. Atmospheric tides on Venus. III - The planetary boundary layer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dobrovolskis, A. R.

    1983-01-01

    Diurnal solar heating of Venus' surface produces variable temperatures, winds, and pressure gradients within a shallow layer at the bottom of the atmosphere. The corresponding asymmetric mass distribution experiences a tidal torque tending to maintain Venus' slow retrograde rotation. It is shown that including viscosity in the boundary layer does not materially affect the balance of torques. On the other hand, friction between the air and ground can reduce the predicted wind speeds from about 5 to about 1 m/sec in the lower atmosphere, more consistent with the observations from Venus landers and descent probes. Implications for aeolian activity on Venus' surface and for future missions are discussed.

  20. New measurements of Venus winds with ground-based Doppler velocimetry at CFHT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Machado, P.; Widemann, T.; Luz, D.; Peralta, J.; Berry, D. L.

    2012-04-01

    Since Venus Express spacecraft operations started in 2006, an ongoing effort has been made to coordinate its operations with observations from the ground using various techniques and spectral domains (Lellouch and Witasse, 2008). We present an analysis of Venus Doppler winds at cloud tops based on observations made at the Canada France Hawaii 3.6-m telescope (CFHT) with the ESPaDOnS visible spectrograph. These observations consisted of high-resolution spectra of Fraunhofer lines in the visible range (0.37-1.05 ?m) to measure the winds at cloud tops using the Doppler shift of solar radiation scattered by cloud top particles in the observer's direction (Widemann et al., 2007, 2008). The observations were made during 19-20 February 2011 and were coordinated with Visual Monitoring Camera (VMC) observations by Venus Express. The complete optical spectrum was collected over 40 spectral orders at each point with 2-5 seconds exposures, at a resolution of about 80000. The observations included various points of the dayside hemisphere at a phase angle of 67°, between +10° and -60° latitude, in steps of 10° , and from +70° to -12° longitude relative to sub-Earth meridian in steps of 12°. The Doppler shift measured in scattered solar light on Venus dayside results from two instantaneous motions: (1) a motion between the Sun and Venus upper cloud particles; (2) a motion between the observer and Venus clouds. The measured Doppler shift, which results from these two terms combined, varies with the planetocentric longitude and latitude and is minimum at meridian ?N = ?Sun - ?Earth where the two components subtract to each other for a pure zonal regime. Due to the need for maintaining a stable velocity reference during the course of acquisition using high resolution spectroscopy, we measure relative Doppler shifts to ?N. The main purpose of our work is to provide variable wind measurements with respect to the background atmosphere, complementary to simultaneous measurements made with the VMC camera onboard the Venus Express. We will present first results from this work, comparing with previous results by the CFHT/ESPaDOnS and VLT-UVES spectrographs (Machado et al., 2012), with Galileo fly-by measurements and with VEx nominal mission observations (Peralta et al., 2007, Luz et al., 2011). Acknowledgements: The authors acknowledge support from FCT through projects PTDC/CTE-AST/110702/2009 and PEst-OE/FIS/UI2751/2011. PM and TW also acknowledge support from the Observatoire de Paris. Lellouch, E., and Witasse, O., A coordinated campaign of Venus ground-based observations and Venus Express measurements, Planetary and Space Science 56 (2008) 1317-1319. Luz, D., et al., Venus's polar vortex reveals precessing circulation, Science 332 (2011) 577-580. Machado, P., Luz, D. Widemann, T., Lellouch, E., Witasse, O, Characterizing the atmospheric dynamics of Venus from ground-based Doppler velocimetry, Icarus, submitted. Peralta J., R. Hueso, A. Sánchez-Lavega, A reanalysis of Venus winds at two cloud levels from Galileo SSI images, Icarus 190 (2007) 469-477. Widemann, T., Lellouch, E., Donati, J.-F., 2008, Venus Doppler winds at Cloud Tops Observed with ESPaDOnS at CFHT, Planetary and Space Science, 56, 1320-1334.

  1. Venus Exploration Themes: February 2014 Venus Exploration Themes

    E-print Network

    Rathbun, Julie A.

    1 Venus Exploration Themes: February 2014 Venus Exploration Themes February 2014 #12;2 Venus and Investigations; Roadmap; as well as Venus Technologies for distribution at Venus Town Hall Meeting at LPSC, March 2014. This document preserves extracts from the March 2012 Venus Exploration Goals and Objectives

  2. High Temperature, Wireless Seismometer Sensor for Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ponchak, George E.; Scardelletti, Maximilian C.; Taylor, Brandt; Beard, Steve; Meredith, Roger D.; Beheim, Glenn M.; Hunter Gary W.; Kiefer, Walter S.

    2012-01-01

    Space agency mission plans state the need to measure the seismic activity on Venus. Because of the high temperature on Venus (462? C average surface temperature) and the difficulty in placing and wiring multiple sensors using robots, a high temperature, wireless sensor using a wide bandgap semiconductor is an attractive option. This paper presents the description and proof of concept measurements of a high temperature, wireless seismometer sensor for Venus. A variation in inductance of a coil caused by the movement of an aluminum probe held in the coil and attached to a balanced leaf-spring seismometer causes a variation of 700 Hz in the transmitted signal from the oscillator/sensor system at 426? C. This result indicates that the concept may be used on Venus.

  3. Hinode Views the 2012 Venus Transit - Duration: 0:04.

    NASA Video Gallery

    On June 5, 2012, Hinode captured these stunning views of the transit of Venus -- the last instance of this rare phenomenon until 2117. Hinode is a joint JAXA/NASA mission to study the connections o...

  4. Hinode Views the Transit of Venus - Duration: 0:48.

    NASA Video Gallery

    On June 5, 2012, Hinode captured this stunning view of the transit of Venus -- the last instance of this rare phenomenon until 2117. Hinode is a joint JAXA/NASA mission to study the connections of ...

  5. Hinode Views the 2012 Venus Transit - Duration: 0:08.

    NASA Video Gallery

    On June 5, 2012, Hinode captured these stunning views of the transit of Venus -- the last instance of this rare phenomenon until 2117. Hinode is a joint JAXA/NASA mission to study the connections o...

  6. Planetary geometry handbook: Venus positional data, 1988 - 2020, volume 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sergeyevsky, A. B.; Snyder, G. C.; Paulson, B. L.; Cunniff, R. A.

    1983-01-01

    Graphical data necessary for the analysis of planetary exploration missions to Venus are presented. Positional and geometric information spanning the time period from 1988 through 2020 is provided. The data and the usage are explained.

  7. VENUS CLOUD TOPS VIEWED BY HUBBLE

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    This is a NASA Hubble Space Telescope ultraviolet-light image of the planet Venus, taken on January 24 1995, when Venus was at a distance of 70.6 million miles (113.6 million kilometers) from Earth. Venus is covered with clouds made of sulfuric acid, rather than the water-vapor clouds found on Earth. These clouds permanently shroud Venus' volcanic surface, which has been radar mapped by spacecraft and from Earth-based telescope. At ultraviolet wavelengths cloud patterns become distinctive. In particular, a horizontal 'Y'-shaped cloud feature is visible near the equator. Similar features were seen from Mariner 10, Pioneer Venus, and Galileo spacecrafts. This global feature might indicate atmospheric waves, analogous to high and low pressure cells on Earth. Bright clouds toward Venus' poles appear to follow latitude lines. The polar regions are bright, possibly showing a haze of small particles overlying the main clouds. The dark regions show the location of enhanced sulfur dioxide near the cloud tops. From previous missions, astronomers know that such features travel east to west along with the Venus' prevailing winds, to make a complete circuit around the planet in four days. Because Venus is closer to the Sun than Earth, the planet appears to go through phases, like the Moon. When Venus swings close to Earth the planet's disk appears to grow in size, but changes from a full disk to a crescent. The image was taken with the Wide Field Planetary Camera-2, in PC mode. False color has been used enhance cloud features. Credit: L. Esposito (University of Colorado, Boulder), and NASA

  8. Zephyr: A Landsailing Rover for Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.; Oleson, Steven R.; Grantier, David

    2014-01-01

    With an average temperature of 450C and a corrosive atmosphere at a pressure of 90 bars, the surface of Venus is the most hostile environment of any planetary surface in the solar system. Exploring the surface of Venus would be an exciting goal, since Venus is a planet with significant scientific mysteries, and interesting geology and geophysics. Technology to operate at the environmental conditions of Venus is under development. A rover on the surface of Venus with capability comparable to the rovers that have been sent to Mars would push the limits of technology in high-temperature electronics, robotics, and robust systems. Such a rover would require the ability to traverse the landscape on extremely low power levels. We have analyzed an innovative concept for a planetary rover: a sail-propelled rover to explore the surface of Venus. Such a rover can be implemented with only two moving parts; the sail, and the steering. Although the surface wind speeds are low (under 1 m/s), at Venus atmospheric density even low wind speeds develop significant force. Under funding by the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts office, a conceptual design for such a rover has been done. Total landed mass of the system is 265 kg, somewhat less than that of the MER rovers, with a 12 square meter rigid sail. The rover folds into a 3.6 meter aeroshell for entry into the Venus atmosphere and subsequent parachute landing on the surface. Conceptual designs for a set of hightemperature scientific instruments and a UHF communication system were done. The mission design lifetime is 50 days, allowing operation during the sunlit portion of one Venus day. Although some technology development is needed to bring the high-temperature electronics to operational readiness, the study showed that such a mobility approach is feasible, and no major difficulties are seen.

  9. Evolution of Science Operations after 10 years of the Mars Express Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardesin Moinelo, Alejandro; Martin, Patrick

    2013-10-01

    The Mars Express mission was launched in June 2003 and has been providing great amounts of data since its arrival to Mars in Christmas 2003, covering a wide range of science objectives at all levels, from the surface and sub-surface geology, atmosphere dynamics and composition, up to the interaction with the magnetosphere and the characterization of the Martian sytem including its two moons, Phobos and Deimos. In these last 10 years, the Mars Express Science Operations Center has been responsible for the coordination of the scientific requirements and the implementation of the science plan, aiming to obtain the maximum scientific return of the mission while respecting the operational constraints. In this contribution we will show some of the operational challenges of the mission, focusing on the improvements and adaptations of the past years, not only in terms of technical and scientific requirements which have been varying with time, but also the optimization of the interfaces with all the teams involved.

  10. X-Band Microwave Radiometry as a Tool for Understanding the Deep Atmosphere of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steffes, P. G.; Devaraj, K.; Butler, B. J.

    2013-12-01

    Understanding the composition, structure, and spatial variability of the deep Venus atmosphere, including the boundary layer, is a key future direction identified in the Decadal Review. While only Mariner 2 carried a microwave radiometer for the expressed purpose of evaluating the Venus atmosphere, subsequent missions to Venus and other planets have used radar receivers in a "passive mode" to map the microwave emission from both surfaces and atmospheres. Additionally, successful mapping of microwave emissions from the atmospheres of Venus and the outer planets using earth-based antenna arrays have given unique insights into the composition and variability of such atmospheres. In the past two decades, multiple observations of Venus have been made at X band (3.6 cm) using the Jansky Very Large Array (VLA), and maps have been created of the 3.6 cm emission from Venus. Since the emission morphology is related both to surface features and to the deep atmospheric absorption from CO2 and SO2 (see, e.g., Butler et al., Icarus 154, 2001), emission measurements can be used to give unique information regarding the deep atmosphere, once surface effects are removed. Since surface emissivities measured at the 12.6 cm wavelength by the Magellan mission can be extrapolated to 3.6 cm (see, e.g., Tryka and Muhleman, JGR(Planets) 197, 1992), the residual effects due to deep atmospheric variability can potentially be detected, as they were for higher altitudes at shorter wavelengths (1.3 cm and 2.0 cm, Jenkins et.al., Icarus 158, 2002). As results from this study show, the limited resolution and sensitivity of earth-based measurements make detection of moderate atmospheric variability somewhat difficult. However, the higher sensitivity and resolution provided by an orbiting X-Band radiometer can provide important insights into the variability and structure of the Venus boundary layer. As shown in the figure, the vertical resolution of X-Band radiometry compares well with IR sounding of the deep atmosphere of Venus.

  11. High Temperature Mechanisms for Venus Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji, Jerri; Narine, Roop; Kumar, Nishant; Singh, Sase; Gorevan, Steven

    Future Venus missions, including New Frontiers Venus In-Situ Explorer and three Flagship Missions - Venus Geophysical Network, Venus Mobile Explorer and Venus Surface Sample Return all focus on searching for evidence of past climate change both on the surface and in the atmospheric composition as well as in the interior dynamics of the planet. In order to achieve these goals and objectives, many key technologies need to be developed for the Venus extreme environment. These key technologies include sample acquisition systems and other high-temperature mechanisms and mobility systems capable of extended operation when directly exposed to the Venus surface or lower atmosphere environment. Honeybee Robotics has developed two types of high temperature motors, the materials and components in both motors were selected based on the requirement to survive temperatures above a minimum of 460° C, at earth atmosphere. The prototype Switched Reluctance Motor (SRM) has been operated non-continuously for over 20 hours at Venus-like conditions (460° C temperature, mostly CO2 gas environment) and it remains functional. A drilling system, actuated by two SRMs was tested in Venus-like conditions, 460° C temperature and mostly CO2 gas environment, for more than 15 hours. The drill successfully completed three tests by drilling into chalk up to 6 inches deep in each test. A first generation Brushless DC (BLDC) Motor and high temperature resolver were also tested and the feasibility of the designs was demonstrated by the extended operation of both devices under Venus-like condition. Further development of the BLDC motor and resolver continues and these devices will, ultimately, be integrated into the development of a high temperature sample acquisition scoop and high temperature joint (awarded SBIR Phase II in October, 2007). Both the SR and BLDC motors will undergo extensive testing at Venus temperature and pressure (TRL6) and are expected to be mission ready before the next New Frontiers AO release. Scalable high temperature motor, resolver and bearing developments allow for creation of long lasting sample acquisition systems, booms, robot arms and even mobility systems that operate outside of an environment-controlled landed platform on the surface of Venus. The SR and BLDC motors are no longer expected to limit the life of Venus surface operations. With the accompanying high temperature bearing and other mechanisms development, surface operations will be limited only by available power. Therefore, the motor and resolver's capability to survive for hours (and potentially longer) in the environment is a major benefit to future Venus science missions and they also allow time for communication ground loops to optimize sample target selection and the possibility for acquiring multiple samples from the surface. The extreme temperature motors, resolver and other high temperature mechanisms therefore revolutionize the exploration of Venus.

  12. Venus Aerobot Surface Science Imaging System (VASSIS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, Ronald

    1999-01-01

    The VASSIS task was to design and develop an imaging system and container for operation above the surface of Venus in preparation for a Discovery-class mission involving a Venus aerobot balloon. The technical goals of the effort were to: a) evaluate the possible nadir-viewed surface image quality as a function of wavelength and altitude in the Venus lower atmosphere, b) design a pressure vessel to contain the imager and supporting electronics that will meet the environmental requirements of the VASSIS mission, c) design and build a prototype imaging system including an Active-Pixel Sensor camera head and VASSIS-like optics that will meet the science requirements. The VASSIS science team developed a set of science requirements for the imaging system upon which the development work of this task was based.

  13. Questions for the geologic exploration of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saunders, R. S.

    1984-01-01

    Venus is the last terrestrial planet to be mapped in the Solar System. This is an indication not of its relative importance for comparative planetary studies but of the previous lack of demonstrated, affordable technology. Venus is, in fact, the most important planet to study for improving our understanding of global terrestrial processes such as plate tectonics. The next NASA mission to Venus, in 1988, will map the planet at a resolution comparable to that of the Mars Mariner 9 mission. The objective is 70 percent coverage at 1 km per line pair or better. This is the minimum resolution that will allow analysis of tectonic, volcanic, aeolian, meteorite impact and other features. An altimeter will provide a global map of topography that will considerably improve our data base and, together with gravity field measurements, provide better interior geophysical models.

  14. Transmission spectrum of Venus as a transiting exoplanet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ehrenreich, D.; Vidal-Madjar, A.; Widemann, T.; Gronoff, G.; Tanga, P.; Barthélemy, M.; Lilensten, J.; Lecavelier Des Etangs, A.; Arnold, L.

    2012-01-01

    On 5-6 June 2012, Venus will be transiting the Sun for the last time before 2117. This event is an unique opportunity to assess the feasibility of the atmospheric characterisation of Earth-size exoplanets near the habitable zone with the transmission spectroscopy technique and provide an invaluable proxy for the atmosphere of such a planet. In this letter, we provide a theoretical transmission spectrum of the atmosphere of Venus that could be tested with spectroscopic observations during the 2012 transit. This is done using radiative transfer across Venus' atmosphere, with inputs from in-situ missions such as Venus Express and theoretical models. The transmission spectrum covers a range of 0.1-5 ?m and probes the limb between 70 and 150 km in altitude. It is dominated in UV by carbon dioxide absorption producing a broad transit signal of ~20 ppm as seen from Earth, and from 0.2 to 2.7 ?m by Mie extinction (~5 ppm at 0.8 ?m) caused by droplets of sulfuric acid composing an upper haze layer above the main deck of clouds. These features are not expected for a terrestrial exoplanet and could help discriminating an Earth-like habitable world from a cytherean planet. Appendix A is available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.orgFull Table A.1 is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/537/L2

  15. Lada Terra: A 'new' hotspot on Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smrekar, S. E.; Brown, N.

    2012-12-01

    On Earth, areas called 'hotspots' form above mantle plumes and are defined by their topographic swells, volcanism, and large positive gravity anomalies. Hawaii is a classic example. Venus has ~10 such highland regions that are analogous to terrestrial hotspots and are approximately 2000 km in diameter. Modeling of their gravity and topography provides evidence for compensation beneath the thermal lithosphere, which is interpreted to indicate the presence of a hot mantle plume. Analysis of data from the Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS, see Drossart et al. 2007) on the Venus Express mission reveals surface thermal emissivity anomalies in the southern hemisphere that are interpreted as compositional variations (Helbert et al., 2008; Mueller et al., 2008). Most high emissivity anomalies occur in regions previously interpreted as hotspots: Imdr, Themis, and Dione Regiones. The evidence for plumes at depth, the correlation of high emissivity anomalies to stratigraphically young volcanic flows, and analysis of the likely emissivity of weathered and unweathered basalt on Venus lead Smrekar et al. (2010) to interpret the high emissivity flows as evidence of geologically recent, relatively unweathered volcanic flows. Lada Terra also contains volcanic flows with high emissivity anomalies. This region had not been studied using gravity data previously due to the locally low resolution (65-70 spherical harmonic degree and order). Further, the radar data have a high look angle, making it harder to interpret. The high emissivity anomalies inspired Ivanov and Head (2010) to reexamine this region. Their analysis of the geologic setting along with the high emissivity anomalies and the positive gravity anomaly provide evidence that Lada Terra is likely to be recently active. Here we use the spherical harmonic gravity and topography data from Magellan to calculate a geoid-to-topography ratio (GTR) of 23.5±1.6 m/km. This value is in the range of the GTRs previously found for highlands interpreted as hotspots on Venus and provides evidence of a mantle plume at depth. This brings the number of likely hotspots in the southern hemisphere to 4. Although VIRITS did not acquire 1 micron data in the northern hemisphere, the gravity and topography data for the 7 northern hemisphere hotspots indicate active plumes. The similarity of geologic and gravity signatures between northern and southern hemisphere hotspots suggests that all of them may be sites of currently or recently active volcanism. This brings the hotspot count on Venus to 11. Such hotspots could be plausible sources of lower atmospheric water (Smrekar and Sotin, 2012). The presence of ~10 plumes from the core-mantle-boundary on Venus suggests that the mantle may be heating up (Sotin and Smrekar, 2012 - this meeting). (Drossart et al., PSS, 2007; Helbert et al., GRL, 2008; Mueller et al., JGR-P, 2008; Smrekar et al., Sci., 2010; Ivanov and Head, PSS, 2010; Smrekar and Sotin, Icarus, 2012) This research was conducted at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  16. Systems design study of the Pioneer Venus spacecraft. Volume 3. Specifications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    Pioneer Venus spacecraft performance requirements are presented. The specifications include: (1) Design criteria and performance requirements for the Pioneer Venus spacecraft systems and subsystems for a 1978 multiprobe mission and a 1978 orbiter mission, spacecraft system interface, and scientific instrument integration.

  17. Neutral Mass Spectrometry for Venus Atmosphere and Surface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mahaffy, Paul

    2004-01-01

    The nature of the divergent evolution of the terrestrial planets Venus, Earth, and Mars is a fundamental problem in planetary science that is most relevant to understanding the characteristics of small planets we are likely to discover in extrasolar systems and the number of such systems that may support habitable environments. For this reason, the National Research Council's Decadal Survey gives Venus exploration high priority. That report was the basis of the NASA selection of Venus as one of four prime mission targets for the recently initiated New Frontiers Program. If the Decadal Survey priorities are to be realized, in situ Venus exploration must remain a high priority. Remote sensing orbital and in situ atmospheric measurements from entry probe or balloon platforms might be realized under the low cost Discovery missions while both atmospheric and landed surface measurements are envisioned with the intermediate class missions of the New Frontiers Program.

  18. AKATSUKI status after the Venus orbit insertion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, M.; Ishii, N.; Imamura, T.; Ueno, M.; Yamazaki, A.; Satoh, T.; Suzuki, M.; Iwagami, N.; Taguchi, M.; Watanabe, S.; Takahashi, Y.; Fukuhara, T.; Ohtsuki, S.; PLANET-C Project Team

    2010-12-01

    Japanese Venus Climate Orbiter 'AKATSUKI' (PLANET-C) was successfully launched at 06:58:22JST on May 21, by H-IIA F17. After the separation from H-IIA, the telemetry from AKATSUKI was normally detected by DSN Goldstone station (10:00JST) and the solar cell paddles' expansion was confirmed. AKATSUKI was put into the 3-axis stabilized mode in the initial operation from Uchinoura station and the critical operation was finished at 20:00JST on the same day. AKATSUKI will arrive at Venus on Dec 7, 2010. From the orbit around Venus, it will take pictures of the distribution of clouds and minor gas components at different wavelength by 4 cameras. These data will be analyzed to study the meteorology on Venus, especially the mechanism of the super-rotation of Venusian atmosphere which is still the top mystery of the Venus science. Simultaneous observation with ESA's Venus Express is highly expected to study the Venusian atmosphere. We will present the present status of AKATSUKI after the Venus orbit insertion with the latest results from the cameras.

  19. Venus' lower atmospheric winds from the south pole to 60°N

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, Eliot; Bullock, Mark; McGouldrick, Kevin; Tsang, Constantine

    2010-05-01

    In September 2007 nearly simultaneous observations of Venus were obtained from NASA's IRTF telescope and the VIRTIS-M spectrometer on the Venus Express spacecraft. The spacecraft observations are concentrated over Venus' southern hemisphere while the ground-based observations are of the entire disk, centered at Venus' equator. Both data sets include observations in carbon dioxide windows at 1.74 and 2.25 - 2.45 microns in which Venus' lower and middle cloud decks are visible as silhouettes against thermal emission from lower in the atmosphere. The combined data sets allow us to track cloud fields from Venus' south pole to about 60 N, a larger span of latitudes than would be available to either set by itself. We compare the latitudinal distribution of inferred winds to Venus Express observations taken during the spacecraft's April 2006 orbit insertion (Sanchez-Lavega et al. 2008, GRL 35, L13204), the one previous Venus Express data set that sampled both hemispheres.

  20. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Transmission spectrum of Venus (Ehrenreich+, 2012)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ehrenreich, D.; Vidal-Madjar, A.; Widemann, T.; Grono, G.; Tanga, P.; Barthelemy, M.; Lilensten, J.; Lecavelier Des Etangs, A.; Arnold, L.

    2011-11-01

    On 5-6 June 2012, Venus will be transiting the Sun for the last time before 2117. This event is an unique opportunity to assess the feasibility of the atmospheric characterisation of Earth-size exoplanets near the habitable zone with the transmission spectroscopy technique and provide an invaluable proxy for the atmosphere of such a planet. In this letter, we provide a theoretical transmission spectrum of the atmosphere of Venus that could be tested with spectroscopic observations during the 2012 transit. This is done using radiative transfer across Venus' atmosphere, with inputs from in-situ missions such as Venus Express and theoretical models. The transmission spectrum covers a range of 0.1-5m and probes the limb between 70 and 150km in altitude. It is dominated in UV by carbon dioxide absorption producing a broad transit signal of ~20ppm as seen from Earth, and from 0.2 to 2.7m by Mie extinction (~5ppm at 0.8m) caused by droplets of sulfuric acid composing an upper haze layer above the main deck of clouds. These features are not expected for a terrestrial exoplanet and could help discriminating an Earth-like habitable world from a cytherean planet. (1 data file).

  1. Mesospheric vertical thermal structure and winds on Venus from HHSMT CO spectral-line observations

    E-print Network

    M. Rengel; P. Hartogh; C. Jarchow

    2008-09-16

    We report vertical thermal structure and wind velocities in the Venusian mesosphere retrieved from carbon monoxide (12CO J=2-1 and 13CO J=2-1) spectral line observations obtained with the Heinrich Hertz Submillimeter Telescope (HHSMT). We observed the mesosphere of Venus from two days after the second Messenger flyby of Venus (on June 5 2007 at 23:10 UTC) during five days. Day-to-day and day-to-night temperature variations and short-term fluctuations of the mesospheric zonal flow were evident in our data. The extensive layer of warm air detected recently by SPICAV at 90 - to 100 km altitude is also detected in the temperature profiles reported here. These data were part of a coordinated ground-based Venus observational campaign in support of the ESA Venus Express mission. Furthermore, this study attempts to cross-calibrate space- and ground-based observations, to constrain radiative transfer and retrieval algorithms for planetary atmospheres, and to contribute to a more thorough understanding of the global patterns of circulation of the Venusian atmosphere.

  2. Long-term Behaviour Of Venus Winds At Cloud Level From Virtis/vex Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hueso, Ricardo; Peralta, J.; Sánchez-Lavega, A.; Pérez-Hoyos, S.; Piccioni, G.; Drossart, P.

    2009-09-01

    The Venus Express (VEX) mission has been in orbit to Venus for more than three years now. The VIRTIS instrument onboard VEX observes Venus in two channels (visible and infrared) obtaining spectra and multi-wavelength images of the planet. Images in the ultraviolet range are used to study the upper cloud at 66 km while images in the infrared (1.74 ?m) map the opacity of the lower cloud deck at 48 km. Here we present an analysis of the overall dynamics of Venus’ atmosphere at both levels using observations that cover a large fraction of the VIRTIS dataset. We will present our latest results concerning the zonal winds, the overall stability in the lower cloud deck motions and the variability in the upper cloud. Meridional winds are also observed in the upper and lower cloud in the UV and IR images obtained with VIRTIS. While the upper clouds present a net meridional motion consistent with the upper branch of a Hadley cell the lower cloud present more irregular, variable and less intense motions in the meridional direction. Acknowledgements This work has been funded by Spanish MEC AYA2006-07735 with FEDER support and Grupos Gobierno Vasco IT-464-07. RH acknowledges a "Ramón y Cajal” contract from MEC.

  3. ABSTRACTS FOR THE VENUS GEOSCIENCE TUTORIAL AND VENUS

    E-print Network

    Rathbun, Julie A.

    ABSTRACTS FOR THE VENUS GEOSCIENCE TUTORIAL AND VENUS GEOLOGIC MAPPING WORKSHOP Flagstaff, Arizona Administration #12;· ABSTRACTS FOR THE VENUS GEOSCIENCE TUTORIAL AND VENUS GEOLOGIC MAPPING WORKSHOP Flagstaff. Cover: Radar image of Maxwell Montes, Venus. (Courtesy Arecibo Observatory) #12;PREFACE This volume

  4. Venus - Mead Crater

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    This Magellan image mosaic shows the largest (275 kilometers in diameter [170 miles]) impact crater known to exist on Venus at this point in the Magellan mission. The crater is located north of Aphrodite Terra and east of Eistla Regio at latitude 12.5 degrees north and longitude 57.4 degrees east, and was imaged during Magellan orbit 804 on November 12, 1990. The Magellan science team has proposed to name this crater Mead, after Margaret Mead, the American Anthropologist (1901- 1978). All Magellan-based names of features on Venus are, of course, only proposed until final approval is given by the International Astronomical Union-Commission on Planetary Nomenclature. Mead is classified as a multi-ring crater with its innermost, concentric scarp being interpreted as the rim of the original crater cavity. No inner peak-ring of mountain massifs is observed on Mead. The presence of hummocky, radar-bright crater ejecta crossing the radar-dark floor terrace and adjacent outer rim scarp suggests that the floor terrace is probably a giant rotated block that is concentric to, but lies outside of, the original crater cavity. The flat, somewhat brighter inner floor of Mead is interpreted to result from considerable infilling of the original crater cavity by impact melt and/or by volcanic lavas. To the southeast of the crater rim, emplacement of hummocky ejecta appears to have been impeded by the topography of preexisting ridges, thus suggesting a very low ground-hugging mode of deposition for this material. Radar illumination on this and all other Magellan image products is from the left to the right in the scene.

  5. Venus Atmospheric Circulation from Digital Tracking of VMC Images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limaye, S.; Moissl, R.; Markiewicz, W.; Titov, D.

    2008-09-01

    The Venus Monitoring Camera on Venus Express has been returning images of Venus in four filters since April 2006 on almost every orbit. These images portray the southern hemisphere of Venus at spatial resolutions ranging from ~ 50 km per pixel to better than ~ 10 km per pixel depending on when the planet was imaged from orbit. Images covering a substantial portion of the planet and separated by ~ 45 min to one hour have been mapped into rectilinear projection to enable use of digital tracking technique for the measurement of cloud motions on an orbit by orbit basis. The aggregate results are in good agreement with visual tracking results as well as from the previous missions [1] and show evidence of temporal variations, large scale waves and solar thermal tides in low and mid latitudes. The digital tracking results for the meridional component confirm the poleward flow increasing from low latitudes to mid-latitudes and then showing a tendency to weaken. However, the confidence in high latitude measurements is lower due to the peculiar nature of the cloud morphology that is generally streaky and quite different from the low latitudes. The meridional profile of the average zonal wind at higher latitudes is of considerable interest. At high and polar latitudes, a vortex organization is evident in the data consistently, with the core region centered over the pole. The images show variability in structure of the ultraviolet signature of the "S" shaped feature seen in the VIRTIS data on the capture orbit [2]. However, the cloud morphologies seen poleward of ~ 50 degrees latitude also makes digital tracking less reliable due to absence of discrete features at the spatial resolution of the VMC images acquired in the apoapsis portion of the Venus Express orbit. It is expected that images obtained closer to the planet will enable a determination of the zonal wind profile with better confidence which will be useful in elucidating the nature of the transient features seen in the core region of the Venus vortex. References [1] Limaye, S. S. Venus atmospheric circulation: Known and unknown, J. Geophys. Res., 112, E04S09, doi:10.1029/2006JE002814 (2007). [2] Piccioni, G, Drossart, P., Sanchez-Lavega, A., Hueso, R., Taylor, F., Wilson, C., Grassi, D., Zasova, L., Moriconi, M., Adriani, A., Lebonnois, S., Coradini, A., Bézard, B., Angrilli, F., Arnold, G., Baines, K. H., Bellucci, G., Benkhoff, J., Bibring, J. P., Blanco, A., Blecka, M. I., Carlson, R. W., Di Lellis, A., Encrenaz, T., Erard, S., Fonti1, S., Formisano, V., Fouchet, T., Garcia1, R., Haus, R., J. Helbert, J., Ignatiev, N. I., Irwin, P., Langevin,Y.,Lopez-Valverde, M. A., Luz, D., Marinangeli, L., Orofino, V., Rodin, A. V., Roos-Serote, M. C., Saggin, B., ,Stam, D. M., Titov, D., Visconti, G., and Zambelli M. South-polar features on Venus similar to those near the north, Nature, 450, 637-640, doi:10.1038/nature06209 (2007).

  6. The Planetary Fourier Spectrometer (PFS) onboard the European Mars Express mission

    Microsoft Academic Search

    V. Formisanoa; F. Angrilli; G. Arnold; S. Atreya; G. Bianchini; D. Biondi; A. Blanco; M. I. Blecka; A. Coradini; L. Colangeli; A. Ekonomov; F. Esposito; S. Fonti; M. Giuranna; D. Grassi; V. Gnedykh; A. Grigoriev; G. Hansen; H. Hirsh; I. Khatuntsev; A. Kiselev; N. Ignatiev; A. Jurewicz; E. Lellouch; J. Lopez Moreno; A. Marten; A. Mattana; A. Maturilli; E. Mencarelli; M. Michalska; V. Moroz; B. Moshkin; F. Nespoli; Y. Nikolsky; R. Orfei; P. Orleanski; V. Orofino; E. Palomba; D. Patsaev; G. Piccioni; M. Rataj; R. Rodrigo; J. Rodriguez; M. Rossi; B. Saggin; D. Titov; L. Zasova

    2005-01-01

    The Planetary Fourier Spectrometer (PFS) for the Mars Express mission is an infrared spectrometer optimised for atmospheric studies. This instrument has a short wave (SW) channel that covers the spectral range from 1700 to 8200.0cm-1 (1.2–5.5?m) and a long-wave (LW) channel that covers 250–1700cm-1 (5.5–45?m). Both channels have a uniform spectral resolution of 1.3cm-1. The instrument field of view FOV

  7. Roadmap for Venus Exploration Roadmap for Venus Exploration

    E-print Network

    Rathbun, Julie A.

    Roadmap for Venus Exploration May 2014 #12;ii Roadmap for Venus Exploration At the VEXAG meeting in November 2013, it was resolved to update the scientific priorities and strategies for Venus exploration. To achieve this goal

  8. Interaction of Venus and Titan with their Plasma Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weil, H. Y.; Russell, C. T.; Dougherty, M. K.; Luhmann, J. G.; Zhang, T. L.; Delva, M.; Ma, Y. J.

    2007-08-01

    The ionospheres of Titan, Venus and Mars are magnetized by their interactions with flowing magnetized plasma corotating with Saturn in the former case and convected by the supersonic solar wind in the latter two cases. At solar maximum, the Venus ionosphere was found to be generally field-free by the PVO eccentric orbiter, albeit threaded with twisted flux ropes. Venus Express is now orbiting Venus at solar minimum and detects a largely magnetized ionosphere. Similarly, the repeated low altitude passes of Cassini through the Titan atmosphere reveal a "strongly" magnetized ionosphere. We compare the features of these two magnetized ionospheres to illustrate the differences associated with subsonic and supersonic flow.

  9. Gravity waves in the upper atmosphere of Venus revealed by CO2 nonlocal thermodynamic equilibrium emissions

    E-print Network

    Garcia, Raphaël

    Gravity waves in the upper atmosphere of Venus revealed by CO2 nonlocal thermodynamic equilibrium capabilities of the Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer- Mapper (VIRTIS-M) onboard Venus Express in the thermosphere of Venus. These emissions with a wavelength of 4.3 mm originate from the 110­140 km altitude range

  10. Interplanetary coronal mass ejection influence on high energy pick-up ions at Venus

    E-print Network

    California at Berkeley, University of

    Interplanetary coronal mass ejection influence on high energy pick-up ions at Venus T.R. McEnulty a Available online 10 August 2010 Keywords: Venus Ion escape Space weather ICME a b s t r a c t We have used the ion mass analyzer (IMA) and magnetometer (MAG) on Venus Express (VEX) to study escaping O+ during

  11. Signs of Life on Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ksanfomality, L.

    2012-04-01

    The search for "habitable zones" in extrasolar planetary systems is based on the premise of "normal" physical conditions in a habitable zone, i.e. pressure, temperature range, and atmospheric composition similar to those on the Earth. However, one should not exclude completely the possibility of the existence of life at relatively high temperatures, despite the fact that at the first glance it seems impossible. The planet Venus with its dense, hot (735 K), oxigenless CO2 - atmosphere and high 92 bar-pressure at the surface could be the natural laboratory for the studies of this type. Amid exoplanets, celestial bodies with the physical conditions similar to the Venusian can be met. The only existing data of actual close-in observations of Venus' surface are the results of a series of missions of the soviet VENERA landers which took place the 1970's and 80's in the atmosphere and on the surface of Venus. For 36 and 29 years since these missions, respectively, I repeatedly returned to the obtained images of the Venus' surface in order to reveal on them any unusual objects observed in the real conditions of Venus. The new analysis of the Venus' panoramas was based on the search of unusual elements in two ways. Since the efficiency of the VENERA landers maintained for a long time they produced a large number of primary television panoramas during the lander's work. Thus, one can try to detect: (a) any differences in successive images (appearance or disappearance of parts of the image or change of their shape), and understand what these changes are related to (e.g., wind), and whether they are related to hypothetical habitability of a planet. Another sign (b) of the wanted object is their morphological peculiarities which distinguishes them from the ordinary surface details. The results of VENERA-9 (1975) and VENERA -13 (1982) are of the main interest. A few relatively large objects ranging from a decimeter to half meter and with unusual morphology were observed in some images, but were absent in the other or altered their shape. What sources of energy, in principle, could be used by life in the high temperature oxigenless atmosphere? The objects found are large enough, they are not micro-organisms. It is most natural to assume that, like on Earth, Venusian fauna is heterotrophic, and the source of its life is hypothetical autotrophic flora. There is enough light for flora's photosynthesis. Since the critical temperature of water on Venus is about 320°C and the temperature at the surface is about 460°C, the metabolism of organisms on Venus (if any) should be built without water, on the basis of some other liquid medium. Based on data analyzed it has been suggested that because of the limited energy capacity of the Venusian fauna, the temporal characteristics of their physical actions can be much longer than that of the Earth.

  12. Preparation of Scientific Activities Gears Up For The Esa Mars Express Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, P.; Chicarro, A.; Trautner, R.; Zender, J.

    As the Mars Express orbiter and lander flight model instruments are being delivered for the assembly, integration and testing (AIT) of all spacecraft subsystems, to be ready for launch in May 2003, the scientific teams are shifting from hardware and calibration activities to operations planning. AIT activities are being carried out since the summer of 2001 at Alenia Spazio in Torino, Italy. The launch window has been updated and is now spread over thirty days, opening on May 23, 2003. The nomi- nal mission lifetime is 687 days following Mars orbit insertion, plus about 5 months cruise to Mars. Following the mission timeline, science phases and subphases have been defined. The adopted scheme will reduce the complexity and improve the effi- ciency of the science planning, as well as ease the medium-term and short-term mis- sion planning. For mission planning purposes, the science phases have been divided into science subphases. The main operational restrictions having to do with the down- link rate and Sun elevation parameters , the Initial Orbit Phase and the Routine Orbit Phase have been divided into 28 science subphases using various combinations of Sun elevations and available downlink bit rates. An orbit classification is defined for Mars Express in order to balance the science requirements with the need to constrain oper- ational complexity and cost in the planning and sequencing of science observations. Various orbit types are defined according to operational con-straints and/or observa- tional priorities. These orbit types are to be used multiple times, and a limited number of them will avoid more planning complexity. From the appropriate distribution of these orbit types, combined with the defi-nition of science rules and observational pri- orities, the Master Science Plan is being written and will schedule the acquisition of science data by the Mars Express spacecraft in a way that is consistent with both the scientific objec-tives of the mission and the resources available for that data collection.

  13. System design of the Pioneer Venus spacecraft. Volume 1: Executive summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dorfman, S. D.

    1973-01-01

    The NASA Ames Research Center Pioneer Venus Project objective is to conduct scientific investigations of the planet Venus using spin stabilized spacecraft. The defined approach to accomplish this goal is to implement a multiprobe spacecraft mission and an orbiter spacecraft mission. Candidate launch vehicles for the Pioneer Venus missions were the Thor/Delta and Atlas/Centaur. The multiprobe spacecraft consists of a probe bus, one large probe, and three small probes. The probes are designed to survive to the surface of Venus, and to make in situ measurements of the Venusian atmosphere; the probe bus enters the atmosphere and makes scientific measurements until it burns out. The orbiter mission uses a spacecraft designed to orbit Venus for 225 days with an orbit period of about 24 hours (h). The probe bus and orbiter designs are to use a common spacecraft bus.

  14. Stirling Cooler Designed for Venus Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.; Mellott, Kenneth D.

    2004-01-01

    Venus having an average surface temperature of 460 degrees Celsius (about 860 degrees Fahrenheit) and an atmosphere 150 times denser than the Earth's atmosphere, designing a robot to merely survive on the surface to do planetary exploration is an extremely difficult task. This temperature is hundreds of degrees higher than the maximum operating temperature of currently existing microcontrollers, electronic devices, and circuit boards. To meet the challenge of Venus exploration, researchers at the NASA Glenn Research Center studied methods to keep a pressurized electronics package cooled, so that the operating temperature within the electronics enclosure would be cool enough for electronics to run, to allow a mission to operate on the surface of Venus for extended periods.

  15. Venusian upper haze properties from UV to IR wavelengths: results from SPICAV/SOIR on Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montmessin, Franck; Fedorova, Anna; Wilquet, Valerie; Mahieux, Arnaud; Korablev, Oleg; Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Vandaele, Ann-Carine

    The SPICAV suite of instruments is composed of three separate channels: UV (110 to 320 nm), near-IR (0.7 to 1.7 µm) and the SOIR channel (2.3 to 4.4 µm). On specific opportunities, all three channels have operated simultaneously during solar occultations and have provided almost contiguous spectral information from 0.11 to 4.4 µm. Occultation observations provide several advantages, in particular it does not require cross-calibrating the channels together as scientific analysis is based on relative measurements; i.e. atmospheric transmissions which are the ratio of spectra obtained at a given altitude where the atmosphere produces some attenuation onto that collected outside the atmosphere where the sun can be observed free of any absorption. Haze opacities are readily retrieved using Beer-Lambert's law and vertical distribution from 65 to 120 km is inferred using regular onion peeling technique. Over the interval covered by SPICAV/SOIR, the spectral behavior of haze particles can be fully and robustly evaluated since the size parameter varies by more than one order of magnitude. Extraction of extinction coefficients have been performed for all three channels, allowing derivation of size distribution parameters. Details on the observations made for each channel will be presented. Profiles exhibit peculiar wavy structures that suggest gravity wave vertical propagations or localized destruction processes. Size distribution results will be discussed, in particular the possibility for a multi-modal distribution potentially implying different processes of formation and destruction at work in the mesosphere of Venus.

  16. Synoptic Regional-scale Air Temperature Fields in the Venusian Mesosphere as Observed by Venus Express VIRTIS-M

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grassi, Davide; Politi, Romolo; Ignatiev, Nikolai; Plainaki, Christina; Lebonnois, Sèbastien; Wolkenberg, Paulina; Montabone, Luca; Migliorini, Alessandra; Piccioni, Giuseppe; Drossart, Pierre

    2014-05-01

    The recent reprocessing of the entire night-time VEX VIRTIS-M dataset according a full Bayesian method (Grassi et al., 2013, submitted) has eventually allowed the production of large scale synoptic air temperature fields in the Venusian Mesosphere from the mosaicking of several cubes acquired during a given orbit. While average fields as a function of latitude and local time suggest a semi-diurnal tide dominating at mid-latitudes and a diurnal tide dominating at high latitudes, synoptic fields reveals a much more complex picture. At the lowest level probed by VIRTIS-M (98.4 mbar, about 65 km above the surface), the cold collar region appears rich in small scale features. Namely, long (exceeding 90° in longitude) but narrow (less than 5° in latitude) patterns of alternate warm and cold air, apparently originating from the extremes of polar dipole, are over posed to a general trend that shows a minimum in the early hours after midnight. Similar patterns persist also at higher altitude (34.0 mbar, about 70 km above the surface), but their shapes appear more blurred. Noticeably, relative air temperature maxima and minima are anticorrelated at the two levels of 98.4 and 34.0 for the small scale features, while a similar anticorrelation does not hold true in more smoothed areas. Moving to even higher altitude than 70 km, the high-frequency patterns become less prominent but are still seen up to 1.4 mbar level (84.5 km) while large scale features seen just above the cloud level (dipole and cold collar) have completely disappeared. In general, we confirm that the region of the Venus South presents general trends well distinct at different levels between 65 and 85 km, but hosts small scale perturbations extended over at least 20 km in latitude, likely induced by dynamical phenomena.

  17. Infrared spectra of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, L. G.

    1974-01-01

    A historical account of observations of Venus and their interpretation is given. The major constituent of the atmosphere on Venus (CO2) was detected spectroscopically forty years ago, and minor constituents (CO, HF, HCl) have been found more recently. The infrared spectra also provide a means of studying the motions of her cloudly atmosphere. The composition of the clouds has been sought in the reflection spectrum of Venus, and some of the evidence for their nature is discussed.

  18. Venus in Violet and Near Infrared Light

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    These images of the Venus clouds were taken by Galileo's Solid State Imaging System February 13,1990, at a range of about 1 million miles. The smallest detail visible is about 20 miles. The two right images show Venus in violet light, the top one at a time six hours later than the bottom one. They show the state of the clouds near the top of Venus's cloud deck. A right to left motion of the cloud features is evident and is consistent with westward winds of about 230 mph. The two left images show Venus in near infrared light, at the same times as the two right images. Sunlight penetrates through the clouds more deeply at the near infrared wavelengths, allowing a view near the bottom of the cloud deck. The westward motion of the clouds is slower (about 150 mph) at the lower altitude. The clouds are composed of sulfuric acid droplets and occupy a range of altitudes from 30 to 45 miles. The images have been spatially filtered to bring out small scale details and de-emphasize global shading. The filtering has introduced artifacts (wiggly lines running north/south) that are faintly visible in the infrared image. The Galileo Project is managed for NASA's Office of Space Science and Applications by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory; its mission is to study Jupiter and its satellites and magnetosphere after multiple gravity assist flybys at Venus and Earth.

  19. The Planet Venus

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    This resource covers early and modern views of Venus; the general features of Venus; its cloud layer, including high velocity winds, the absence of water vapor, and the different wavelengths used to analyze the Venusian atmosphere; properties of the Venusian atmosphere; a runaway greenhouse effect (where oceans would boil and rocks would sublimate), caused by radiation trapping by greenhouse gases; surface features of Venus, including different hemispheric views, mountains, volcanoes, lava flows, rift valleys and meteor craters; and a comparison of Venus and Earth.

  20. Bursty escape fluxes in plasma sheets of Mars and Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubinin, E.; Fraenz, M.; Woch, J.; Zhang, T. L.; Wei, J.; Fedorov, A.; Barabash, S.; Lundin, R.

    2012-01-01

    High resolution measurements of plasma in the plasma sheets of Mars and Venus performed by almost identical plasma instruments ASPERA-3 on the Mars Express spacecraft and ASPERA-4 on Venus Express reveal similar features of bursty fluxes of escaping planetary ions. A period of bursts lasts about 1-2 min. Simultaneous magnetic field measurements on Venus Express show that these burst-like features arise due to flapping motions of the plasma sheet. Their occurrence can be related to large-amplitude waves propagating on the plasma sheet surface and launched by reconnection in the magnetic tails.

  1. Linelist of HD16O for study of atmosphere of terrestrial planets (Earth, Venus and Mars)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lavrentieva, N. N.; Voronin, B. A.; Naumenko, O. V.; Bykov, A. D.; Fedorova, A. A.

    2014-07-01

    Studies of water vapor in the atmospheres of Venus, Mars and Earth by spectroscopic techniques are being made routinely with different instruments on board of interplanetary missions like Mars-Express, Venus-Express and many others as well as with a lot of spacecrafts on the Earth’ orbit. Accessibility of detailed spectroscopic information in a wide range is then of crucial importance to retrieve reliable results with these instruments. Unlike Earth, Mars and Venus have the CO2-rich planetary atmospheres that require line shape parameters for HDO-CO2 broadening. In this paper a new linelist for HD16O is presented. This linelist covers the range of 0.00065-25,660 cm-1 and is significantly more complete than other databases presently available. All lines with intensities (for 100% abundance) greater than 10-30 cm/molecule at 296 K are included. Wavenumbers for 43% (about 300,000) of all lines were evaluated at a level of the best experimental accuracy. For each transition the line shape parameters such as halfwidth and temperature exponent are provided for the case of HDO-air, HDO-HDO, and HDO-CO2 broadening. The final linelist contains more than 700,000 HD16O lines and is presented in HITRAN-compatible format.

  2. Explosive propulsion applications. [to future unmanned missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nakamura, Y.; Varsi, G.; Back, L. H.

    1974-01-01

    The feasibility and application of an explosive propulsion concept capable of supporting future unmanned missions in the post-1980 era were examined and recommendations made for advanced technology development tasks. The Venus large lander mission was selected as the first in which the explosive propulsion concept can find application. A conceptual design was generated and its performance, weight, costs, and interaction effects determined. Comparisons were made with conventional propulsion alternatives. The feasibility of the explosive propulsion system was verified for planetology experiments within the dense atmosphere of Venus as well as the outer planets. Additionally, it was determined that the Venus large lander mission could be augmented ballistically with a significant delivery margin.

  3. In situ and remote measurements of ions escaping from Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kollmann, P.; Brandt, P. C.

    2013-12-01

    Venus is thought to lose a large fraction of its atmosphere in the form ions, mainly via pickup. The relative loss rate of the exosphere as neutrals or ions is not known, nor is the flux of escaping ions well constrained. Knowledge of these processes will shed light on the role an intrinsic magnetic field has in atmospheric erosion. We use the complementary in-situ plasma and energetic neutral atom (ENA) measurements from the Venus Express (VEx) spacecraft in order to constrain the ion escape. VEx completed about 2500 orbits to date and reached altitudes as low as 200km. The ASPERA/IMA instrument measured directional proton and oxygen ion spectra in the 10eV to 40keV range. We bin the data accumulated over the mission in space and bulk flow direction, yielding a direct measure of the local ion escape flux. While such in-situ measurements provide data without ambiguity, they are limited by the orbital coverage. This is why we include remote ENA measurements from the ASPERA/NPD (100eV to 10keV) instrument to our study. ENAs are created when escaping ions charge exchange with the high atmosphere atoms or molecules. We have done an exhaustive analysis of the data, excluding time periods of instrument contamination. Most ENA emission originates from low altitudes above Venus' limb. These measurements will be compared with the in-situ data, which allows constraining the atmospheric density at high altitudes. Interestingly, there are also ENA emissions from other directions, which were not sampled in-situ. This allows us to put a lower limit to the escape from these regions.

  4. Atmosphere/mantle coupling and feedbacks on Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gillmann, Cedric; Tackley, Paul

    2014-06-01

    We investigate the coupled evolution of the atmosphere and mantle on Venus. Here we focus on mechanisms that deplete or replenish the atmosphere: atmospheric escape to space and volcanic degassing of the mantle. These processes are linked to obtain a coupled model of mantle convection and atmospheric evolution, including feedback of the atmosphere on the mantle via the surface temperature. During early atmospheric evolution, hydrodynamic escape is dominant, while for later evolution we focus on nonthermal escape, as observed by the Analyzer of Space Plasma and Energetic Atoms instrument on the Venus Express Mission. The atmosphere is replenished by volcanic degassing from the mantle, using mantle convection simulations based on those of Armann and Tackley [2012], and include episodic lithospheric overturn. The evolving surface temperature is calculated from the amount of CO2 and water in the atmosphere using a gray radiative-convective atmosphere model. This surface temperature in turn acts as a boundary condition for the mantle convection model. We obtain a Venus-like behavior (episodic lid) for the solid planet and an atmospheric evolution leading to the present conditions. CO2 pressure is unlikely to vary much over the history of the planet, with only a 0.25-20% postmagma-ocean buildup. In contrast, atmospheric water vapor pressure is strongly sensitive to volcanic activity, leading to variations in surface temperatures of up to 200 K, which have an effect on volcanic activity and mantle convection. Low surface temperatures trigger a mobile lid regime that stops once surface temperatures rise again, making way to stagnant lid convection that insulates the mantle.

  5. Venus Cloud Patterns (colorized and filtered)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    This picture of Venus was taken by the Galileo spacecrafts Solid State Imaging System on February 14, 1990, at a range of almost 1.7 million miles from the planet. A highpass spatial filter has been applied in order to emphasize the smaller scale cloud features, and the rendition has been colorized to a bluish hue in order to emphasize the subtle contrasts in the cloud markings and to indicate that it was taken through a violet filter. The sulfuric acid clouds indicate considerable convective activity, in the equatorial regions of the planet to the left and downwind of the subsolar point (afternoon on Venus). They are analogous to 'fair weather clouds' on Earth. The filamentary dark features visible in the colorized image are here revealed to be composed of several dark nodules, like beads on a string, each about 60 miles across. The Galileo Project is managed for NASA's Office of Space Science and Applications by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory; its mission is to study Jupiter and its satellites and magnetosphere after multiple gravity assist flybys at Venus and Earth. These images of the Venus clouds were taken by Galileo's Solid State Imaging System February 13, 1990, at a range of about 1 million miles. The smallest detail visible is about 20 miles. The two right images show Venus in violet light, the top one at a time six hours later than the bottom one. They show the state of the clouds near the top of Venus's cloud deck. A right to left motion of the cloud features is evident and is consistent with westward winds of about 230 mph. The two left images show Venus in near infrared light, at the same times as the two right images. Sunlight penetrates through the clouds more deeply at the near infrared wavelengths, allowing a view near the bottom of the cloud deck. The westward motion of the clouds is slower (about 150 mph) at the lower altitude. The clouds are composed of sulfuric acid droplets and occupy a range of altitudes from 30 to 45 miles. The images have been spatially filtered to bring out small scale details and de-emphasize global shading. The filtering has introduced artifacts (wiggly lines running north/south) that are faintly visible in the infrared image. The Galileo Project is managed for NASA's Office of Space Science and Applications by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory; its mission is to study Jupiter and its satellites and magnetosphere after multiple gravity assist flybys at Venus and Earth.

  6. The Nine Planets: Venus

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    Bill Arnett

    This page contains details about the planet Venus. Information includes planet mass, distance from the Sun, diameter, orbit, and mythology. Also covered is planet composition, surface features, atmosphere and magnetic field data, temperature on the planet, and results of exploration spacecraft. Includes links to images, movies, and additional facts. Discusses unanswered questions about Venus as well.

  7. Volcanoes on Venus

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    Visitors can read about the characteristics of volcanism on Venus and how it differs from volcanism on Earth. A map showing the locations and types of volcanic structures on the surface of Venus is provided, along with links to other related topics.

  8. Exploring the Planets: Venus

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    This site contains most of the up-to-date information known about the planet Venus, including mean distance from Sun, length of year, rotation period, mean orbital velocity, inclination of axis, average temperature (day and night), and diameter. Many discoveries about Venus have been made using Earth-based radio telescopes, however the images of Venus in this exhibit were collected by the Magellan spacecraft. Magellan used radar to produce the first high-resolution global map of Venus. Since Venus has no water erosion and little wind, volcanic eruptions are a major force reshaping the landscape. Geologic forces at work beneath the crust create mountains, rifts, and patterns of fractures, while the sluggish winds sculpt the surface in subtler ways but many mysteries remain. This site includes numerous images of the planet.

  9. HIGH-RESOLUTION SATELLITE IMAGING OF THE 2004 TRANSIT OF VENUS AND ASYMMETRIES IN THE CYTHEREAN ATMOSPHERE

    SciTech Connect

    Pasachoff, Jay M. [Williams College-Hopkins Observatory, 33 Lab Campus Drive, Williamstown, MA 01267 (United States); Schneider, Glenn [Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, 933 North Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Widemann, Thomas [Observatoire de Paris-LESIA, 92190 Meudon (France)

    2011-04-15

    This paper presents the only space-borne optical-imaging observations of the 2004 June 8 transit of Venus, the first such transit visible from Earth since AD 1882. The high-resolution, high-cadence satellite images we arranged from NASA's Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE) reveal the onset of visibility of Venus's atmosphere and give further information about the black-drop effect, whose causes we previously demonstrated from TRACE observations of a transit of Mercury. The atmosphere is gradually revealed before second contact and after third contact, resulting from the changing depth of atmospheric layers refracting the photospheric surface into the observer's direction. We use Venus Express observations to relate the atmospheric arcs seen during the transit to the atmospheric structure of Venus. Finally, we relate the transit images to current and future exoplanet observations, providing a sort of ground truth showing an analog in our solar system to effects observable only with light curves in other solar systems with the Kepler and CoRoT missions and ground-based exoplanet-transit observations.

  10. South-polar features on Venus similar to those near the north pole

    Microsoft Academic Search

    G. Piccioni; P. Drossart; A. Sanchez-Lavega; R. Hueso; F. W. Taylor; C. F. Wilson; D. Grassi; L. Zasova; M. Moriconi; A. Adriani; S. Lebonnois; A. Coradini; B. Bézard; F. Angrilli; G. Arnold; K. H. Baines; G. Bellucci; J. Benkhoff; J. P. Bibring; A. Blanco; M. I. Blecka; R. W. Carlson; A. di Lellis; T. Encrenaz; S. Erard; S. Fonti; V. Formisano; T. Fouchet; R. Garcia; R. Haus; J. Helbert; N. I. Ignatiev; P. G. J. Irwin; Y. Langevin; M. A. Lopez-Valverde; D. Luz; L. Marinangeli; V. Orofino; A. V. Rodin; M. C. Roos-Serote; B. Saggin; D. M. Stam; D. Titov; G. Visconti; M. Zambelli; Eleonora Ammannito; Alessandra Barbis; Rainer Berlin; Carlo Bettanini; Angelo Boccaccini; Guillaume Bonnello; Marc Bouye; Fabrizio Capaccioni; Alejandro Cardesin Moinelo; Francesco Carraro; Giovanni Cherubini; Massimo Cosi; Michele Dami; Maurizio de Nino; Davide Del Vento; Marco di Giampietro; Alessandro Donati; Olivier Dupuis; Sylvie Espinasse; Anna Fabbri; Agnes Fave; Iacopo Ficai Veltroni; Gianrico Filacchione; Katia Garceran; Yamina Ghomchi; Maurizio Giustini; Brigitte Gondet; Yann Hello; Florence Henry; Stefan Hofer; Gerard Huntzinger; Juergen Kachlicki; René Knoll; Kouach Driss; Alessandro Mazzoni; Riccardo Melchiorri; Giuseppe Mondello; Francesco Monti; Christian Neumann; Fabrizio Nuccilli; Jerome Parisot; Claudio Pasqui; Stefano Perferi; Gisbert Peter; Alain Piacentino; Carlo Pompei; Jean-Michel Reess; Jean-Pierre Rivet; Antonio Romano; Natalie Russ; Massimo Santoni; Adelmo Scarpelli; Alain Soufflot; Douchane Stefanovitch; Enrico Suetta; Fabio Tarchi; Nazzareno Tonetti; Federico Tosi; Bernd Ulmer

    2007-01-01

    Venus has no seasons, slow rotation and a very massive atmosphere, which is mainly carbon dioxide with clouds primarily of sulphuric acid droplets. Infrared observations by previous missions to Venus revealed a bright `dipole' feature surrounded by a cold `collar' at its north pole. The polar dipole is a `double-eye' feature at the centre of a vast vortex that rotates

  11. System design of the Pioneer Venus spacecraft. Volume 2: Science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Acheson, L. K.

    1973-01-01

    The objectives of the low-cost Pioneer Venus space probe program are discussed. The space mission and science requirements are analyzed. The subjects considered are as follows: (1) the multiprobe mission, (2) the orbiter mission, (3) science payload accomodations, and (4) orbiter spacecraft experimental interface specifications. Tables of data are provided to show the science allocations for large and small probes. Illustrations of the systems and components of various probe configurations are included.

  12. Venus Ionosphere and Solar Wind Interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russell, C. T.; Luhmann, Janet G.; Ma, Yingjuan; Zhang, Tielong; Villarreal, M.

    Venus Express, which was inserted into orbit in mid-2006, has added significantly to the knowledge gained from Pioneer Venus from 1978 to 1992. This observational database interpreted in terms of modern multi-fluid codes and hybrid simulations has deepened our understanding of Earth’s very different twin sister planet. Furthermore, the very different orbits of VEX and PVO has allowed the more complete mapping of the volume of space around the planet. Now the bow shock has been probed over its full surface, the ionosphere mapped everywhere, and the tail studied from the ionosphere to 12 Venus radii. Some unexpected discoveries have been made. The exospheric hydrogen at Venus, unlike that at Mars, does not produce ion-cyclotron waves, perhaps because the stronger gravity of Venus produces a smaller geocorona. The solar wind interaction drapes the magnetic field around the planet, and a strong layer of magnetic field builds up at low altitudes. While the layer does not appear to penetrate into the dayside atmosphere (perhaps diffusing only slowly through the low atmosphere), it does appear to dip into the atmosphere at night. Surprisingly, over the poles, this layer is most strongly seen when the IMF BY component has a positive Y-component in Venus-Solar-Orbital coordinates. Multi-fluid simulations show that this result is consistent with the pressure of significant ion densities of ions with quite different mass which causes magnetic polarity control of the ion flow over the terminators. Reconnection is found in the tail close to the planet, and the structure of the outer tail found by PVO is confirmed to exist in the inner tail by VEX. When combined, the VEX and PVO Data provide a very comprehensive picture of the physics of the solar wind interaction with the ionosphere of Venus.

  13. Salt tectonics on Venus

    SciTech Connect

    Wood, C.A.; Amsbury, D.

    1986-05-01

    The discovery of a surprisingly high deuterium/hydrogen ratio on Venus immediately led to the speculation that Venus may have once had a volume of surface water comparable to that of the terrestrial oceans. The authors propose that the evaporation of this putative ocean may have yielded residual salt deposits that formed various terrain features depicted in Venera 15 and 16 radar images. By analogy with models for the total evaporation of the terrestrial oceans, evaporite deposits on Venus should be at least tens to hundreds of meters thick. From photogeologic evidence and in-situ chemical analyses, it appears that the salt plains were later buried by lava flows. On Earth, salt diapirism leads to the formation of salt domes, anticlines, and elongated salt intrusions - features having dimensions of roughly 1 to 100 km. Due to the rapid erosion of salt by water, surface evaporite landforms are only common in dry regions such as the Zagros Mountains of Iran, where salt plugs and glaciers exist. Venus is far drier than Iran; extruded salt should be preserved, although the high surface temperature (470/sup 0/C) would probably stimulate rapid salt flow. Venus possesses a variety of circular landforms, tens to hundreds of kilometers wide, which could be either megasalt domes or salt intrusions colonizing impact craters. Additionally, arcurate bands seen in the Maxwell area of Venus could be salt intrusions formed in a region of tectonic stress. These large structures may not be salt features; nonetheless, salt features should exist on Venus.

  14. Pioneer Venus Data Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Douglas E.

    1996-01-01

    Analysis and interpretation of data from the Orbiter Retarding Potential Analyzer (ORPA) onboard the Pioneer Venus Orbiter is reported. By comparing ORPA data to proton data from the Orbiter Plasma Analyzer (OPA), it was found that the ORPA suprathermal electron densities taken outside the Venusian ionopause represent solar wind electron densities, thus allowing the high resolution study of Venus bow shocks using both magnetic field and solar wind electron data. A preliminary analysis of 366 bow shock penetrations was completed using the solar wind electron data as determined from ORPA suprathermal electron densities and temperatures, resulting in an estimate of the extent to which mass loading pickup of O+ (UV ionized O atoms flowing out of the Venus atmosphere) upstream of the Venus obstacle occurred. The pickup of O+ averaged 9.95%, ranging from 0.78% to 23.63%. Detailed results are reported in two attached theses: (1) Comparison of ORPA Suprathermal Electron and OPA Solar Wind Proton Data from the Pioneer Venus Orbiter and (2) Pioneer Venus Orbiter Retarding Potential Analyzer Observations of the Electron Component of the Solar Wind, and of the Venus Bow Shock and Magnetosheath.

  15. Venus Gravity Handbook

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Konopliv, Alexander S.; Sjogren, William L.

    1996-01-01

    This report documents the Venus gravity methods and results to date (model MGNP90LSAAP). It is called a handbook in that it contains many useful plots (such as geometry and orbit behavior) that are useful in evaluating the tracking data. We discuss the models that are used in processing the Doppler data and the estimation method for determining the gravity field. With Pioneer Venus Orbiter and Magellan tracking data, the Venus gravity field was determined complete to degree and order 90 with the use of the JPL Cray T3D Supercomputer. The gravity field shows unprecedented high correlation with topography and resolution of features to the 2OOkm resolution. In the procedure for solving the gravity field, other information is gained as well, and, for example, we discuss results for the Venus ephemeris, Love number, pole orientation of Venus, and atmospheric densities. Of significance is the Love number solution which indicates a liquid core for Venus. The ephemeris of Venus is determined to an accuracy of 0.02 mm/s (tens of meters in position), and the rotation period to 243.0194 +/- 0.0002 days.

  16. Craters and Air on Venus and Titan

    Microsoft Academic Search

    K. J. Zahnle; D. G. Korycansky

    2003-01-01

    We analyze detailed high resolution 3-D numerical computations of asteroids and comets striking Venus and Titan. Our purpose is to use the numerical results to calibrate the efficacy of atmospheric filtering. In this sense the numerical experiments are used analogously to laboratory scale impact cratering experiments. Our approach is to fit our numerical results to simple analytic expressions; we then

  17. Pioneer Venus Orbiter Ultraviolet Spectrometer: Operations and Data Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stewart, A. I. F.

    1997-01-01

    The Ultraviolet Spectrometer investigation on the Pioneer Venus Orbiter mission was extremely successful. The instrument was designed, built and tested at CU/LASP and delivered on time and within budget. The spacecraft and its instruments were required to operate for 243 days in Venus orbit. OUVS operated successfully for a further 13 years with only minor problems. The major scientific results listed above that deal with Venus were all unexpected and significant discoveries. The Comet Halley observations came about because of a favorable alignment of Halley, the Sun, and Venus, and were an important contribution to the international study of this comet. The scientific results of the OUVS investigation are to be found in the 41 papers listed in section 4 below. OUVS data provided material for 6 PhD and one MS dissertations, listed in section 5 below.

  18. Geologic Map of the Meskhent Tessera Quadrangle (V-3), Venus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ivanov, Mikhail A.; Head, James W., III

    2008-01-01

    The Magellan spacecraft orbited Venus from August 10, 1990, until it plunged into the Venusian atmosphere on October 12, 1994. Magellan Mission objectives included (1) improving the knowledge of the geological processes, surface properties, and geologic history of Venus by analysis of surface radar characteristics, topography, and morphology and (2) improving the knowledge of the geophysics of Venus by analysis of Venusian gravity. The Meskhent Tessera quadrangle is in the northern hemisphere of Venus and extends from lat 50 degrees to 75 degrees N. and from long 60 degrees to 120 degrees E. In regional context, the Meskhent Tessera quadrangle is surrounded by extensive tessera regions to the west (Fortuna and Laima Tesserae) and to the south (Tellus Tessera) and by a large basinlike lowland (Atalanta Planitia) on the east. The northern third of the quadrangle covers the easternmost portion of the large topographic province of Ishtar Terra (northwestern map area) and the more localized upland of Tethus Regio (northeastern map area).

  19. The thermal balance of the lower atmosphere of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tomasko, M. G.

    1981-01-01

    The temperature near the surface of Venus (now established at 730 K) is remarkably high in view of Venus's cloud cover which causes the planet to absorb even less sunlight than does Earth. Early attempts to understand the thermal balance that leads to this unusual state were hindered by the lack of basic information regarding the composition, temperature-pressure structure, cloud properties, and wind field of the lower atmosphere. A series of successful space missions have measured many of the above quantities that control the transfer of heat in Venus's lower atmosphere. The relevant observational data are summarized and the attempts to understand the thermal balance of Venus's atmosphere below the cloud tops are reviewed. The data indicate that sufficient sunlight penetrates to deep atmospheric levels and is trapped by the large thermal opacity of the atmosphere to essentially account for the high temperatures observed.

  20. The Venus ground-based image Active Archive: a database of amateur observations of Venus in ultraviolet and infrared light

    E-print Network

    Barentsen, Geert

    2013-01-01

    The Venus ground-based image Active Archive is an online database designed to collect ground-based images of Venus in such a way that they are optimally useful for science. The Archive was built to support ESA's Venus Amateur Observing Project, which utilises the capabilities of advanced amateur astronomers to collect filtered images of Venus in ultraviolet, visible and near-infrared light. These images complement the observations of the Venus Express spacecraft, which cannot continuously monitor the northern hemisphere of the planet due to its elliptical orbit with apocentre above the south pole. We present the first set of observations available in the Archive and assess the usability of the dataset for scientific purposes.

  1. Transits of Venus and Mercury as muses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tobin, William

    2013-11-01

    Transits of Venus and Mercury have inspired artistic creation of all kinds. After having been the first to witness a Venusian transit, in 1639, Jeremiah Horrocks expressed his feelings in poetry. Production has subsequently widened to include songs, short stories, novels, novellas, sermons, theatre, film, engravings, paintings, photography, medals, sculpture, stained glass, cartoons, stamps, music, opera, flower arrangements, and food and drink. Transit creations are reviewed, with emphasis on the English- and French-speaking worlds. It is found that transits of Mercury inspire much less creation than those of Venus, despite being much more frequent, and arguably of no less astronomical significance. It is suggested that this is primarily due to the mythological associations of Venus with sex and love, which are more powerful and gripping than Mercury's mythological role as a messenger and protector of traders and thieves. The lesson for those presenting the night sky to the public is that sex sells.

  2. Planetary and Space Science 56 (2008) 807811 First observation of energetic neutral atoms in the Venus environment

    E-print Network

    California at Berkeley, University of

    2008-01-01

    in the Venus environment A. Gallia,Ã, P. Wurza , P. Bochslera , S. Barabashb , A. Grigorievb , Y. Futaanab , M The ASPERA-4 instrument on board the Venus Express spacecraft offers for the first time the possibility to directly measure the emission of energetic neutral atoms (ENAs) in the vicinity of Venus. When

  3. Solar Flight on Mars and Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.; LaMarre, Christopher; Colozza, Anthony

    2002-10-01

    Solar powered aircraft are of interest for exploring both Mars and Venus. The thin atmosphere of Mars presents a difficult environment for flying. It is clear that a new approach is needed. By making a totally solar airplane, we can eliminate many of the heavy components, and make an airplane that can fly without fuel. Using high efficiency solar cells, we can succeed with an airplane design that can fly for up to 6 hours in near-equatorial regions of Mars (4 hours of level flight, plus two hours of slow descent), and potentially fly for many days in the polar regions. By designing an airplane for a single day flight. In particular, this change means that we no longer have to cope with the weight of the energy storage system that made previous solar powered airplanes for Mars impractical). The new airplane concept is designed to fly only under the optimal conditions: near equatorial flight, at the subsolar point, near noon. We baseline an 8 kg airplane, with 2 kg margin. Science instruments will be selected with the primary criterion of low mass. Solar-powered aircraft are also quite interesting for the exploration of Venus. Venus provides several advantages for flying a solar-powered aircraft. At the top of the cloud level, the solar intensity is comparable to or greater than terrestrial solar intensities. The atmospheric pressure makes flight much easier than on planets such as Mars. The atmospheric pressure on Venus is presented. From an altitude of approximately 45 km (pressure = 2 bar), to approximately 60 km (pressure = 0.2 bar), terrestrial airplane experience can be easily applied to a Venus airplane design. At these flight altitudes, the temperature varies from 80 C at 45 km, decreasing to -35 C at 60 km. Also, the slow rotation of Venus allows an airplane to be designed for flight within continuous sunlight, eliminating the need for energy storage for nighttime flight. These factors make Venus a prime choice for a long-duration solar-powered aircraft. Fleets of solar-powered aircraft could provide an architecture for efficient and low-cost comprehensive coverage for a variety of scientific missions. Exploratory planetary mapping and atmospheric sampling can lead to a greater understanding of the greenhouse effect not only on Venus but on Earth as well.

  4. Large Volcanic Edifices and Rises on Venus: The Benefits of Improved Topography and Gravity Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGovern, P. J.

    2014-05-01

    Venus is a volcanological laboratory, replete with edifices and rises that offer potentially deep insights into its evolution. However, this potential can only be realized with improved topography and gravity data, requiring a new orbital mission.

  5. Venus Deep Nightside Magnetic Fields Revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villarreal, M. N.; Luhmann, J. G.; Ma, Y.; Russell, C. T.; Wei, H.; Zhang, T.

    2011-12-01

    We reexamined the near-Venus deep nightside magnetic fields observed by the Pioneer Venus Orbiter(PVO) over two decades ago. This analysis was in part inspired by recent discussions of the possibilities of identifying a weak planetary dynamo or remanent magnetic field, and in part by the availability of numerical simulations of weak field plasma interactions using the BATS-R-US MHD code. The data were first scrutinized for statistically significant regions of radial field in the near-midnight low altitude wake from the prime mission periapsis of ~150km up to about 450 km. Radial field 'maps' were constructed for a range of altitudes in both solar wind interaction and planetary geographical coordinate systems. The results suggested the presence of weak radial fields above ~250km that show a persistent North-South sign bias. This behavior is not seen at the lowest altitudes probed, and is present regardless of the interplanetary magnetic field sector. The MHD simulations provided basic pictures of what might be expected for a hypothetical planet with a weak but still detectable dipole field that is comparable to the solar wind interaction-related draped interplanetary field. These show similar tendencies, illustrating that models are essential to the interpretation of potential weak intrinsic field signatures at planets such as Venus. Further modeling specific to Venus is needed to make further progress.

  6. 10. The surface and interior of venus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Masursky, H.; Kaula, W.M.; McGill, G.E.; Pettengill, G.H.; Phillips, R.J.; Russell, C.T.; Schubert, G.; Shapiro, I.I.

    1977-01-01

    Present ideas about the surface and interior of Venus are based on data obtained from (1) Earth-based radio and radar: temperature, rotation, shape, and topography; (2) fly-by and orbiting spacecraft: gravity and magnetic fields; and (3) landers: winds, local structure, gamma radiation. Surface features, including large basins, crater-like depressions, and a linear valley, have been recognized from recent ground-based radar images. Pictures of the surface acquired by the USSR's Venera 9 and 10 show abundant boulders and apparent wind erosion. On the Pioneer Venus 1978 Orbiter mission, the radar mapper experiment will determine surface heights, dielectric constant values and small-scale slope values along the sub-orbital track between 50??S and 75??N. This experiment will also estimate the global shape and provide coarse radar images (40-80 km identification resolution) of part of the surface. Gravity data will be obtained by radio tracking. Maps combining radar altimetry with spacecraft and ground-based images will be made. A fluxgate magnetometer will measure the magnetic fields around Venus. The radar and gravity data will provide clues to the level of crustal differentiation and tectonic activity. The magnetometer will determine the field variations accurately. Data from the combined experiments may constrain the dynamo mechanism; if so, a deeper understanding of both Venus and Earth will be gained. ?? 1977 D. Reidel Publishing Company.

  7. Status of development of lightning detector for PLANET-C mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takahashi, Y.; Hoshino, N.; Sato, M.; Teraguchi, T.

    2008-12-01

    Magnetometer onboard Venus Express detected whistler mode waves whose source can be considered to be lightning discharge occurring well below the spacecraft orbit. However, there still remain some uncertainties to conclude finally such waves are originated by lightning discharge in the atmosphere. In order to identify the discharge phenomena in the atmosphere of Venus without any doubt, we plan to observe the lightning activity with high-speed optical detector onboard Planet-C, the Japanese Venus Climate Orbiter mission which will be launched in 2010 by JAXA. We are developing a new type of lightning detector, LAC (Lightning and Airglow Camera). Main difference from other equipments which have provided evidences of lightning existence in Venus is the high-speed sampling rate at 50kHz for each pixel, enabling us to distinguish the optical lightning flash from other pulsing noises. On the other hand, spatial resolution is not first priority as the first detector of Venus lightning. New type of APD (avalanche photo diode) array with a format of 8 x 8 is used and a narrow band interference filter at wavelength of 777.4 nm (OI) is selected for lightning measurement. The development is now at the stage for designing and manufacturing the flight model, based on the performance and environmental tolerance of the proto model. Especially, the algorithm for self- triggering is carefully improved in order to exclude false-trigger by other pulse-like noise.

  8. Descenso al Infierno de VenusDescenso al Infierno de VenusDescenso al Infierno de VenusDescenso al Infierno de Venus Manuel Alfonseca

    E-print Network

    Alfonseca, Manuel

    Descenso al Infierno de VenusDescenso al Infierno de VenusDescenso al Infierno de VenusDescenso al Infierno de Venus Manuel Alfonseca #12;Manuel Alfonseca 2 #12;Descenso al infierno de Venus 3 Descenso al infierno de Venus Manuel Alfonseca RESERVADOS TODOS LOS DERECHOS. Salvo usos razonables destinados al

  9. Current status of the PLANET-C Venus orbiter design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishii, N.; Yamakawa, H.; Sawai, S.; Shida, M.; Hashimoto, T.; Nakamura, M.; Imamura, T.; Abe, T.; Oyama, K.; Nakatani, I.

    2004-01-01

    The ISAS (Institute of Space and Astronautical Science) working group is currently studying the feasibility of a Venus orbiter mission [Proposal Report of feasibility study of Venus Climate Orbiter (in Japanese), ISAS working group, 2001], called PLANET-C project, in which a 3 axis stabilized spacecraft will be launched in early 2008, and it will arrive at Venus in 2009. Primary purpose of the mission is to observe Venus climate so as to understand mechanism of the global circulation and three-dimensional motion of the Venus atmosphere in the lower stratum. In order to achieve the above scientific objectives, the spacecraft will carry several types of optical cameras mainly with near-infrared wavelengths. An accurate orientation for the attitude control is required in the spacecraft design. Furthermore, thermal control of the cameras is critical, because of large heat input from camera hoods and strict requirement of low temperature of detecting head. This paper describes characteristics of the PLANET-C spacecraft. And also depicted are the mission outline and the operation plan of the attitude orientation.

  10. Pioneer Venus data analysis for the retarding potential analyzer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Knudsen, William C.

    1993-01-01

    This report describes the data analysis and archiving activities, analysis results, and instrument performance of the orbiter retarding potential analyzer (ORPA) flown on the Pioneer Venus Orbiter spacecraft during the period, Aug. 1, 1988 to Sept. 30, 1993. During this period, the periapsis altitude of the Orbiter spacecraft descended slowly from 1900 km altitude, at which altitude the spacecraft was outside the Venus ionosphere, to approximately 130 km altitude in Oct. 1992 at which time communication with the spacecraft ceased as a result of entry of the spacecraft into the Venus atmosphere. The quantity of ORPA data returned during this reporting period was greatly reduced over that recovered in the previous years of the mission because of the reduced power capability of the spacecraft, loss of half of the onboard data storage, and partial failure of the ORPA. Despite the reduction in available data, especially ionospheric data, important scientific discoveries resulted from this extended period of the Pioneer Venus mission. The most significant discovery was that of a strong solar cycle change in the size of the dayside ionosphere and the resulting shutoff of flow of dayside ions into the nightside hemisphere. The large, topside O+ F2 ionospheric layer observed during the first three years of the Pioneer Venus mission, a period of solar cycle maximum activity, is absent during the solar cycle minimum activity period.

  11. Venus Transit 2004

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    In just several weeks, Venus, the Earth's sister planet, will pass in front of the sun, affording astronomers and the general public the ability to take part in a extremely rare event. While persons in Europe, Africa, and Asia will have the best vantage point for this occurrence, those interested in the Venus transit will want to take a detailed look at this lovely website in order to find out more about the event. Launched by the European Southern Observatory and the European Association for Astronomy Education (in cooperation with three other organizations), the site contains ample information about the latest news from the project, detailed background material about this astronomical event, the network of institutions involved with the project, and information on how individuals may participate in the Venus Transit 2004 project. One of the most helpful areas contains animations of the Venus transit from different perspectives.

  12. Venus fly trap

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    Paul Lenz (None; )

    2006-01-26

    Time-lapse photos or video show progressions from the start of an event to the end of the event. These time-lapse photos illustrate the growth of a single Venus fly trap. Biological processes require time.

  13. Comparing Earth and Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, Hauke

    For obvious reasons the atmosphere of Venus has received much less attention in the natural sciences than the atmosphere of Earth. The same is true for numerical modeling efforts concerning the two atmospheres. The circulation of Venus' atmosphere can be described by the same set of basic equations valid for the other planetary atmospheres: the Navier-Stokes equations describing the temporal evolution of momentum plus equations of continuity and the conservation of thermodynamic energy (see Chap. 5). These equations are discretized in the so-called dynamical cores of numerical models, and it is not surprising that Venus models, in general, use dynamical cores originally built for Earth modeling (see Chap. 6). Parameterizations needed in complex planetary models to describe subgrid-scale processes are more difficult to exchange because parameters may differ considerably among planets. Nevertheless, many parameterizations used in Venus models are based on developments made for other planets.

  14. Mars mission concepts and opportunities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, Archie C.

    1986-01-01

    Trajectory and mission requirement data are presented for Earth Mars opposition and conjunction class roundtrip flyby and stopover mission opportunities available between 1997 and 2045. The opposition class flyby mission uses direct transfer trajectories to and on return from Mars. The opposition class stopover mission employs the gravitational field of Venus to accelerate the space vehicle on either the outbound or inbound leg in order to reduce the propulsion requirement associated with the opposition class mission. The conjunction class mission minimizes propulsion requirements by optimizing the stopover time at Mars.

  15. Plate tectonics on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, D. L.

    1981-01-01

    The high surface temperature of Venus implies a permanently buoyant lithosphere and a thick basaltic crust. Terrestrial-style tectonics with deep subduction and crustal recycling is not possible. Overthickened basaltic crust partially melts instead of converting to eclogite. Because mantle magmas do not have convenient access to the surface the Ar-40 abundance in the atmosphere should be low. Venus may provide an analog to Archean tectonics on the earth.

  16. Mercury, Venus, and Earth!

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    bschiffer

    2009-10-21

    You will compare and contrast Mercury, Venus, and Earth. While looking at these different websites, use the information to fill in your handout of a column chart and on the back answer the questions you are asked on here. First view this website and record on your chart the distance from the sun Mercury,Venus, and Earth are. Now, learn about Mercury! What is the surface ...

  17. 3. ALTOVITI VENUS STATUE IN THE TEMPLE OF VENUS AS ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    3. ALTOVITI VENUS STATUE IN THE TEMPLE OF VENUS AS SEEN FROM LIVING ROOM DOORS, SOUTHEAST FACADE OF KYKUIT HOUSE, ON AXIS WITH LINDEN ALLEE - Kykuit, 200 Lake Road, Pocantico Hills, Westchester County, NY

  18. VENUS Atmospheric Exploration by Solar Aircraft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Landis, G. A.; Lamarre, C.; Colozza, A.

    2002-01-01

    much easier than on planets such as Mars. Above the clouds, solar energy is available in abundance on Venus. Venus has a solar flux of 2600 W/m2, compared to Earth's 1370 W/m2. The solar intensity is 20 to 50% of the exoatmospheric intensity (depending on wavelength) at the bottom of the cloud layer at 50 km, and increases to nearly 95% of the exoatmospheric intensity at 65 km, the top of the main cloud layer, and the slow rotation of Venus allows an airplane to be designed for flight within continuous sunlight, eliminating the need for energy storage for nighttime flight. challenge for a Venus aircraft will be the fierce winds and caustic atmosphere. The wind reaches a speed of about 95m/s at the cloud top level, and in order to remain on the sunlit side of Venus, an exploration aircraft will have to be capable of sustained flight at or above the wind speed. desirable that the number of moving parts be minimized. Figure 1 shows a concept for a Venus airplane design that requires only two folds to fold the wing into an aeroshell, and no folds to deploy the tail. Because of the design constraint that the two- fold wing is to fit into a small aeroshell, the wing area is maximum at extremely low aspect ratio, and higher aspect ratios can be achieved only by reducing the wing area. To fit the circular aeroshell, the resulting design trade-off increases wing area by accepting the design compromise of an extremely short tail moment and small tail area (stabilizer area 9% of wing area). In terms of flight behavior, the aircraft is essentially a flying wing design with the addition of a small control surface. A more conventional aircraft design can be made by folding or telescoping the tail boom as well as the wing. Typical flight altitudes for analysis were 65 to 75 km above the surface. For exploration of lower altitudes, it is feasible to glide down to low altitudes for periods of several hours, accepting the fact that the airplane ground track will blow downwind, and then climb back to higher altitudes and fly upwind to the original point, allowing both high and low altitudes to be probed. Analysis of flight using battery storage shows that it is not feasible to keep the aircraft aloft on battery power alone during the passage across the night side of the planet. Likewise, the unpowered glide range of the aircraft is not high enough for it to glide around the night side of the planet and re-emerge into sunlight. Therefore, if the mission duration is to be unlimited, the mission is restricted to the daylight side of the planet, and to altitudes high enough that the aircraft can equal or exceed the wind speed. would be a powerful tool for exploration. By learning how Venus can be so similar to Earth, and yet so different, we will learn to better understand the climate and geological history of the Earth. The success of a prototype solar airplane could lead to the development of a fleet of solar-powered airplanes flying across the Venus cloud tops, taking simultaneous measurements to develop a "snapshot" of the climate across the face of the planet. Fleets of solar-powered aircraft could provide an architecture for efficient and low-cost comprehensive coverage for a variety of scientific missions, both atmospheric and geological science via surface imaging and radar. Exploratory planetary mapping and atmospheric sampling can lead to a greater understanding of the greenhouse effect not only on Venus but on Earth as well.

  19. Characterizing the Venus atmospheric dynamics from ground-based Doppler velocimetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Machado, Pedro; Luz, David; Widemann, Thomas; Lellouch, Emmanuel; Witasse, Olivier; Bertaux, Jean-Loup

    2010-05-01

    We present an analysis of observations of Venus made with the UVES instrument (Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph) at ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT). The observations were carried out in May and June 2007 with the aim of characterizing the zonal wind flow in the atmosphere of Venus during the nominal mission phase of Venus Express. Doppler velocimetry measurements are based on solar Fraunhofer lines in the visible, probing the cloud tops velocity close to 65 km altitude. The narrow slit width of the UVES instrument, combined with the large apparent angular size of the planet, allows to simultaneously achieve high spectral resolving power and high spatial resolution. The observations were made at a central wavelength of 580 nm with the UVES red arm and at 437 and 860 nm in dichroic mode, using both the blue and red arms. In one observation block the field has been derotated in order to align the 0.3-arcsec aperture perpendicularly to Venus's rotation axis, while in other observations it was aligned parallel to it. In each case, spatial information, respectively in the East-West and in the North-South direction, is preserved in the spectra in the direction perpendicular to dispersion, allowing to spatially resolve relative variations in atmospheric rotation. We estimate both the relative variations of the atmospheric rotation with latitude and the hemispheric asymmetry of the zonal wind between 35S and 35N. The absolute magnitude of the zonal winds at latitudes of 23S, 13S and 2S has also been determined. [P. Machado acknowledges support from Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, grant SFRH-BD-66473-2009.

  20. Variations of zonal wind speed at Venus cloud tops from Venus Monitoring Camera UV images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khatuntsev, Igor; Patsaeva, Marina; Ignatiev, Nikolai; Titov, Dmitri; Markiewicz, Wojciech J.

    2013-04-01

    7 years of continuous monitoring of Venus by ESA's Venus Express provided an opportunity to study dynamics of the atmosphere of Venus. Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC) [1] delivered the longest and the most complete so far set of UV images to study the cloud level circulation by tracking motion of the cloud features. We analyzed 130 orbits with manual cloud tracking and 600 orbits with digital correlation method. Here we present the latest update of our results. Total number of wind vectors derived in this work is approximately a half million. During Venus Express observations the mean zonal speed was in the range of 85-110 m/s. VMC observations indicated a long term trend for the zonal wind speed at low latitudes to increase. The origin of low frequency trend with a period about 3000 days is unclear. Fourier analysis [2-3] of revealed quasi-periodicities in the zonal circulation at low latitudes. Two groups of the periods were found. The first group is close to the period of superrotation at low latitudes (4.83±0.1 days) with the period 4.1-5.1 days and the amplitude ranging from ±4.2 to ±17.4 m/s. The amplitude and phase of oscillations demonstrates dependence from the latitude and also time variability with preserving stable parameters of oscillation during at least 70 days. Short term oscillations may be caused by wave processes in the mesosphere of Venus at the cloud top level. Wave number of the observed oscillations is 1. The second group is a long term periods caused by orbital motion of Venus (116 days, 224 days) and is related to the periodicity in VMC observations. Also VMC UV observations showed a clear diurnal pattern of the mean circulation. The zonal wind demonstrated semi-diurnal variations with minimum speed close to noon (11-14 h) and maxima in the morning (8-9 h) and in the evening (16-17 h). The meridional component clearly peaks in the early afternoon (13-15h) at latitudes near 50S. The minimum of the meridional wind is located at low latitudes in the morning (8-11h). References [1] Markiewicz W. J. et al.: Venus Monitoring Camera for Venus Express // Planet. Space Sci.. V.55(12). pp1701-1711. doi:10.1016/j.pss.2007.01.004, 2007. [2] Deeming T.J.: Fourier analysis with unequally-spaced data. Astroph. and Sp. Sci. V.36, pp137-158, 1975. [3] Terebizh, V.Yu. Time series analysis in astrophysics. Moscow: "Nauka," Glav. red. fiziko-matematicheskoi lit-ry, 1992. In Russian

  1. 11. Pioneer venus experiment descriptions

    Microsoft Academic Search

    L. Colin; D. M. Hunten

    1977-01-01

    This concluding paper of a special issue of Space Science Reviews, devoted to the exploration of Venus and the Pioneer Venus Program, contains brief engineering descriptions of the experiments to be integrated into the Orbiter and Multiprobe scientific payloads.

  2. Pioneer Venus polarimetry and haze optical thickness

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Knibbe, W. J. J.; Wauben, W. M. F.; Travis, L. D.; Hovenier, J. W.

    1992-01-01

    The Pioneer Venus mission provided us with high-resolution measurements at four wavelengths of the linear polarization of sunlight reflected by the Venus atmosphere. These measurements span the complete phase angle range and cover a period of more than a decade. A first analysis of these data by Kawabata et al. confirmed earlier suggestions of a haze layer above and partially mixed with the cloud layer. They found that the haze exhibits large spatial and temporal variations. The haze optical thickness at a wavelength of 365 nm was about 0.06 at low latitudes, but approximately 0.8 at latitudes from 55 deg poleward. Differences between morning and evening terminator have also been reported by the same authors. Using an existing cloud/haze model of Venus, we study the relationship between the haze optical thickness and the degree of linear polarization. Variations over the visible disk and phase angle dependence are investigated. For that purpose, exact multiple scattering computations are compared with Pioneer Venus measurements. To get an impression of the variations over the visible disk, we have first studied scans of the polarization parallel to the intensity equator. After investigating a small subset of the available data we have the following results. Adopting the haze particle characteristics given by Kawabata et al., we find a thickening of the haze at increasing latitudes. Further, we see a difference in haze optical thickness between the northern and southern hemispheres that is of the same order of magnitude as the longitudinal variation of haze thickness along a scan line. These effects are most pronounced at a wavelength of 935 nm. We must emphasize the tentative nature of the results, because there is still an enormous amount of data to be analyzed. We intend to combine further polarimetric research of Venus with constraints on the haze parameters imposed by physical and chemical processes in the atmosphere.

  3. Venus - False Color of Bereghinya Planitia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    This false color Magellan image shows a portion of Bereghinya Planitia (plains) in the northern hemisphere of Venus, centered at 31 degrees north latitude, 43 degrees east longitude. The area is 260 kilometers (160 miles) wide and 330 kilometers (200 miles) long. This image was produced from Magellan radar data collected in Cycle 2 of the mission. Cycle 2 was completed January 15, 1992. The area was not imaged during the first cycle because of superior conjunction when the sun was between the Earth and Venus, preventing communication with the spacecraft. This image contains examples of several of the major geologic terrains on Venus and illustrates the basic stratigraphy or sequence of geologic events. The oldest terrains appear as bright, highly-fractured or chaotic highlands rising out of the plains. This is seen in the upper right and lower left quadrants of the image. The chaotic highlands, sometimes called tessera, may represent older and thicker crustal material and occupy about 15 percent of the surface of Venus. Plains surround and embay the fractured highland tessera. Plains are formed by fluid volcanic flows that may have once formed vast lava seas which covered all the low lying surfaces. Plains comprise more than 80 percent of the surface of Venus. The most recent activity in the region is volcanism that produced the radar bright flows best seen in the lower right quadrant of the image. The lava flows in this image are associated with the shield volcano Tepev Mons whose summit is near the lower left corner of the image. The flows are similar to the darker plains volcanics, but apparently have more rugged surfaces that more efficiently scatter the radar signal back to the spacecraft. The geologic sequence is early fracturing of the tessera, flooding by extensive plains lavas and scattered, less extensive individual flows on the plains surface. The simulated hues are based on color images recorded by the Soviet Venera 13 and 14 spacecraft.

  4. Quantifying shapes of volcanoes on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garvin, J. B.

    1994-01-01

    A large population of discrete volcanic edifices on Venus has been identified and cataloged by means of Magellan SAR images, and an extensive database describing thousands of such features is in final preparation. Those volcanoes categorized as Intermediate to Large in scale, while relatively small in number (approx. 400), nonetheless constitute a significant volumetric component (approx. 13 x 10(exp 6) cu km) of the total apparent crustal volume of Venus. For this reason, we have focused attention on the morphometry of a representative suite of the larger edifices on Venus and, in particular, on ways of constraining the eruptive histories of these possibly geologically youthful landforms. Our approach has been to determine a series of reproducible morphometric parameters for as many of the discrete volcanoes on Venus that have an obvious expression within the global altimetry data acquired by Magellan. In addition, we have attempted to objectively and systematically define the mathematical essence of the shapes of these larger volcanoes using a polynomial cross-section approximation involving only parameters easily measured from digital topography, as well as with simple surface cylindrical harmonic expansions. The goal is to reduce the topological complexities of the larger edifices to a few simple parameters which can then be related to similar expressions for well-studied terrestrial and martian features.

  5. Landing on Venus: Past and future

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basilevsky, A. T.; Ivanov, M. A.; Head, J. W.; Aittola, M.; Raitala, J.

    2007-11-01

    We briefly describe the history of landings on Venus, the acquired geochemical data and their potential petrologic interpretations. We suggest a new approach to Venus landing site selection that would avoid the potential contamination by ejecta from upwind impact craters. We also describe candidate units to be sampled in both in situ measurement and sample return missions. For the in situ measurements, the "true" tessera terrain (tt) material is considered as the highest priority goal with the second priority given to transitional tessera terrain (ttt), shield plains (psh) and lobate plains (pl) materials. For the sample return mission, the material of regional plains with wrinkle ridges (pwr) is considered as the highest priority goal with the second priority given to tessera terrain (tt) material. Combining the desire to study materials of specific geologic units with the problem of avoiding potential contamination by ejecta from upwind impact craters, we have suggested several candidate landing sites for each of the geologic units. Although spacecraft ballistics and other constraints of specific mission profiles (VEP or others) may lead to the selection of different candidate sites, we believe that the approaches outlined in this paper can be helpful approach in optimizing mission science return.

  6. Geologic map of the Mead quadrangle (V-21), Venus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Campbell, Bruce A.; Clark, David A.

    2006-01-01

    The Magellan spacecraft orbited Venus from August 10, 1990, until it plunged into the Venusian atmosphere on October 12, 1994. Magellan Mission objectives included (1) improving the knowledge of the geological processes, surface properties, and geologic history of Venus by analysis of surface radar characteristics, topography, and morphology and (2) improving the knowledge of the geophysics of Venus by analysis of Venusian gravity. The Mead quadrangle (V-21) of Venus is bounded by lat 0 deg and 25 deg N., long 30 deg and 60 deg E. This quadrangle is one of 62 covering Venus at 1:5,000,000 scale. Named for the largest crater on Venus, the quadrangle is dominated by effusive volcanic deposits associated with five major coronae in eastern Eistla Regio (Didilia, Pavlova, Calakomana, Isong, and Ninmah), corona-like tectonic features, and Disani Corona. The southern extremity of Bell Regio, marked by lava flows from Nyx Mons, north of the map area, forms the north-central part of the quadrangle. The shield volcanoes Kali, Dzalarhons, and Ptesanwi Montes lie south and southwest of the large corona-related flow field. Lava flows from sources east of Mead crater flood low-lying areas along the east edge of the quadrangle.

  7. On the Frequency of Potential Venus Analogs from Kepler Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kane, Stephen R.; Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn D.

    2014-10-01

    The field of exoplanetary science has seen a dramatic improvement in sensitivity to terrestrial planets over recent years. Such discoveries have been a key feature of results from the Kepler mission which utilizes the transit method to determine the size of the planet. These discoveries have resulted in a corresponding interest in the topic of the Habitable Zone and the search for potential Earth analogs. Within the solar system, there is a clear dichotomy between Venus and Earth in terms of atmospheric evolution, likely the result of the large difference (approximately a factor of two) in incident flux from the Sun. Since Venus is 95% of the Earth's radius in size, it is impossible to distinguish between these two planets based only on size. In this Letter we discuss planetary insolation in the context of atmospheric erosion and runaway greenhouse limits for planets similar to Venus. We define a "Venus Zone" in which the planet is more likely to be a Venus analog rather than an Earth analog. We identify 43 potential Venus analogs with an occurrence rate (??) of 0.32^{+0.05}_{-0.07} and 0.45^{+0.06}_{-0.09} for M dwarfs and GK dwarfs, respectively.

  8. Venus - False Color Perspective of Sif and Gula Mons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    A portion of western Eistla Regio is shown in this three dimensional, computer-generated view of the surface of Venus. The viewpoint is at an elevation of 1.2 kilometers (0.75 mile) at a location 700 kilometers (435 miles) southeast of Gula Mons, the volcano on the right horizon. Gula Mons reaches 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) high and is located around 22 degrees north latitude and 359 degrees east longitude. Sif Mons, the volcano on the left horizon, has a diameter of 300 kilometers (186 miles) and a height of 2 kilometers (1.2 miles). Magellan imaging and altimetry data are combined to develop a three-dimensional computer view of the planet's surface. Simulated color based on color images from the Soviet Venera 13 and 14 spacecraft is added to enhance small-scale structure. This image was produced at JPL's Multimission Image Processing Laboratory by Eric De Jong, Jeff Hall and Myche McAuley. Magellan is a NASA spacecraft mission to map the surface of Venus with imaging radar. The basic scientific instrument is a synthetic aperture radar, or SAR, which can look through the thick clouds perpetually shielding the surface of Venus. Magellan is in orbit around Venus which completes one turn around its axis in 243 Earth days. That period of time, one Venus day, is the length of a Magellan mapping cycle. The spacecraft completed its first mapping cycle and primary mission on May 15, 1991, and immediately began its second cycle. During the first cycle, Magellan mapped more than 80 percent of the planet's surface and the current and subsequent cycles of equal duration will provide complete mapping of Venus. Magellan was launched May 4, 1989, aboard the space shuttle Atlantis and went into orbit around Venus August 10, 1990.

  9. Project Venus 2004

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    "Venus 2004" is a project of the Astroinfo Society, which was organized to study and publish findings on the transit of Venus that occurred in 2004. Historically, the planet's transit across the sun has been used to make many calculations about the sun and the earth. The technology available today, as opposed to the last transit in 1882, has made it possible for amateur astronomers to join in making observations and testing some of those historical calculations. Two publications, "Measurements of the Solar Parallaxe from Observations of the Transit of Mercury" and "Calculation of the Solar Parallaxe from Observations" are available on this site in PDF format. Both publications contain detailed information, photographs, charts and mathematical equations used to calculate their findings. These are excellent resources for students and other amateur astronomers who are gearing up for the next Venus transit in 2012.

  10. Wireless Seismometer for Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ponchak, George E.; Scardelletti, Maximilian C.; Taylor, Brandt; Beard, Steve; Clougherty, Brian; Meredith, Roger D.; Beheim, Glenn M.; Kiefer, Walter S.; Hunter, Gary W.

    2014-01-01

    Measuring the seismic activity of Venus is critical to understanding its composition and interior dynamics. Because Venus has an average surface temperature of 462 C and the challenge of providing cooling to multiple seismometers, a high temperature, wireless sensor using a wide bandgap semiconductor is an attractive option. This paper presents progress towards a seismometer sensor with wireless capabilities for Venus applications. A variation in inductance of a coil caused by a 1 cm movement of a ferrite probe held in the coil and attached to a balanced leaf-spring seismometer causes a variation of 80 MHz in the transmitted signal from the oscillator sensor system at 420 C, which correlates to a 10 kHz mm sensitivity when the ferrite probe is located at the optimum location in the coil.

  11. Exploring Venus by Solar Airplane

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2001-01-01

    A solar-powered airplane is proposed to explore the atmospheric environment of Venus. Venus has several advantages for a solar airplane. At the top of the cloud level, the solar intensity is comparable to or greater than terrestrial solar intensities. The Earthlike atmospheric pressure means that the power required for flight is lower for Venus than that of Mars, and the slow rotation of Venus allows an airplane to be designed for continuous sunlight, with no energy storage needed for night-time flight. These factors mean that Venus is perhaps the easiest planet in the solar system for flight of a long-duration solar airplane.

  12. Mars Express - ESA sets ambitious goals for the first European mission to Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2003-05-01

    Mars has always fascinated human beings. No other planet has been visited so many times by spacecraft. And still, it has not been easy to unveil its secrets. Martian mysteries seem to have increased in quantity and complexity with every mission. When the first spacecraft were sent - the Mariner series in 1960s - the public was expecting an Earth ‘twin’, a green, inhabited planet full of oceans. Mariner shattered this dream by showing a barren surface. This was followed by the Viking probes which searched for life unsuccessfully in 1976. Mars appeared dry, cold and uninhabited: the Earth’s opposite. Now, two decades later, modern spacecraft have changed that view, but they have also returned more questions. Current data show that Mars was probably much warmer in the past. Scientists now think that Mars had oceans, so it could have been a suitable place for life in the past. “We do not know what happened to the planet in the past. Which process turned Mars into the dry, cold world we see today?” says Agustin Chicarro, ESA’s Mars Express project scientist. “With Mars Express, we will find out. Above all, we aim to obtain a complete global view of the planet - its history, its geology, how it has evolved. Real planetology!” Mars Express will reach the Red Planet by the end of December 2003, after a trip of just over six months. Six days before injection into its final orbit, Mars Express will eject the lander, Beagle 2, named after the ship on which Charles Darwin found inspiration to formulate his theory of evolution. The Mars Express orbiter will observe the planet and its atmosphere from a near-polar orbit, and will remain in operation for at least a whole Martian year (687 Earth days). Beagle 2 will land in an equatorial region that was probably flooded in the past, and where traces of life may have been preserved. The Mars Express orbiter carries seven advanced experiments, in addition to the Beagle 2 lander. The orbiter’s instruments have been built by group of scientific institutes from all over Europe, plus Russia, the United States, Japan and China. These instruments are a subsurface sounding radar; a high-resolution camera, several surface and atmospheric spectrometers, a plasma analyzer and a radio science experiment. The high-resolution camera will image the entire planet in full colour, in 3D, at a resolution of up to 2 metres in selected areas. One of the spectrometers will map the mineral composition of the surface with great accuracy. The missing water Data from some of the instruments will be key to finding out what happened with the water which was apparently so abundant in the past. For instance, the radar altimeter will search for subsurface water and ice, down to a depth of a few kilometres. Scientists expect to find a layer of ice or permafrost, and to measure its thickness. Other observations with the spectrometers will determine the amount of water remaining in the atmosphere. They will also tell whether there is a still a full ‘water cycle’ on Mars, for example how water is deposited in the poles and how it evaporates, depending on the seasons. "These data will determine how much water there is left. We have clear evidence for the presence of water in the past, we have seen dry river beds and sedimentary layers, and there is also evidence for water on present-day Mars. But we do not know how much water there is. Mars Express will tell us,” says Chicarro. The search for life The instruments on board Beagle 2 will investigate the geology and the climate of the landing site. But, above all, it will look for signs of life. Contrary to the Viking missions, Mars Express will search for evidence for both present and past life. Scientists are now more aware that a few biological experiments are not enough to search for life - they will combine many different types of tests to help discard contradictory results. To ‘sniff’ out direct evidence of past or present biological activity, Beagle 2’s ‘nose’ is a gas analysis package. This will determine whether carbonate mineral

  13. Planetary Radio Interferometry and Doppler Experiment (PRIDE) for studying the thermosphere of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bocanegra Bahamón, T. M.; Cimò, G.; Duev, D. A.; Gurvits, L. I.; Marty, J. C.; Molera Calvés, G.; Pogrebenko, S. V.; Rosenblatt, P.

    2013-09-01

    Planetary Radio Interferometry and Doppler Experiment (PRIDE) is a generic experimental setup of on-board and Earth-based radio devices and facilities, which serves as an enhancement of the science return of planetary missions. The main goal of this technique is to provide precise estimates of the spacecraft state vectors, by performing precise Doppler tracking of the spacecraft carrier signal, at one or more Earth-based radio telescopes, and VLBI-style correlation of these signals in phase referencing mode [1]. By allowing an accurate examination of the changes in phase and amplitude of the radio signal propagating from the spacecraft to the multiple stations on Earth, the PRIDE technique can be used for several fields of research, among them: atmospheric and ionospheric structure of planets and their satellites, planetary gravity fields, planets' shapes, masses and ephemerides, solar plasma and different aspects of the theory of general relativity. The PRIDE-team is participating in the so-called Venus Express Atmospheric Drag Experiment (VEx-ADE) campaigns by tracking ESA's Venus Express with multiple radio telescopes on Earth. During each campaign, VEX's orbit pericenter is lowered into an altitude range of approximately 165 to 175 km in order to probe Venus upper atmosphere above its north pole. The first VExADE campaigns were carried out between 2009-2010 using Doppler tracking data acquired by the VEX radio science experiment (VeRa), which provided the first in situ measurements of the density of Venus' polar thermosphere at solar minimum conditions [2]. The last campaign was conducted in December 2012, in which the PRIDE-team participated by tracking VEX with several radio telescopes from the European VLBI Network (EVN) during pericenter passage. A Doppler frequency drop of ?40 mHz was detected as VEX reached the lowest altitudes at around 170 km. The tracking data for each pericenter pass is fitted for precise orbit determination, from which drag acceleration estimates and the corresponding atmospheric mass density estimates are derived. The results of this campaign will give the opportunity to trace the density of the polar thermosphere along the increasing phase of the solar cycle, and to provide a wider data set of density estimates which will eventually contribute to the construction of a new empirical model of Venus' polar thermosphere.

  14. Topographic comparisons of uplift features on Venus and Earth: Implications for Venus tectonics

    E-print Network

    Jurdy, Donna M.

    Topographic comparisons of uplift features on Venus and Earth: Implications for Venus tectonics: Available online 12 September 2011 Keywords: Venus, Surface Earth Tectonics a b s t r a c t Venus and Earth for shaping Venus' surface. Correlations tend to improve with faster spreading rates; Venus' correlations rank

  15. Observe how radar was used to map Venus

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    TERC. Center for Earth and Space Science Education

    2003-01-01

    This series of five animations summarizes how the Magellan Radar Mapping Mission created a map of Venus. High school students can see that dense cloud cover obscured the planet's surface and how radar was used to penetrate the clouds and measure the topography. The animations also demonstrate how the images were captured in long strips and sent back to Earth. Sample image strips are shown, as well as the final product: a rotating map of Venus. Movie controls allow students to repeat, pause, or step through the animation, which can give students more time to analyze the images. Copyright 2005 Eisenhower National Clearinghouse

  16. Storms On Venus: Lightning-induced Chemistry And Predicted Products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delitsky, M. L.; Baines, K. H.

    2012-10-01

    Observations by many spacecraft that have visited Venus over the last 40 years appear to confirm the presence of lightning storms in the Venus atmosphere. Recent observations by Venus Express indicate that lightning frequency and power is similar to that on Earth. While storms are occurring, energy deposition by lightning into Venus atmospheric constituents will immediately dissociate molecules into atoms, ions and plasma from the high temperatures in the lightning column (>30,000 K) and the associated shock waves and heating, after which these atom and ion fragments will recombine during cooldown to form new sets of molecules. Lightning will re-sort the atoms of C,O,S,N,H to create highly energetic new products. Spark and discharge experiments in the literature suggest that lightning effects on the main atmospheric molecules CO2, N2, SO2, H2SO4 and H2O will yield new molecules such as mixed carbon oxides (CnOm), mixed sulfur oxides (SnOm), oxygen (O2), elemental sulfur (Sn), nitrogen oxides (NO, N2O, NO2, NO3), sulfuric acid clusters (HnSmOx-.aHnSmOx e.g. HSO4-.mH2SO4), polysulfur oxides, carbon soot, and also halogen oxides from HCl or HF and other exotic species. Many of these molecular species may be detectable by instruments onboard Venus Express. We explore the diversity of new products likely created in the storm clouds on Venus.

  17. Sampling the Cloudtop Region on Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limaye, Sanjay; Ashish, Kumar; Alam, Mofeez; Landis, Geoffrey; Widemann, Thomas; Kremic, Tibor

    2014-05-01

    The details of the cloud structure on Venus continue to be elusive. One of the main questions is the nature and identity of the ultraviolet absorber(s). Remote sensing observations from Venus Express have provided much more information about the ubiquitous cloud cover on Venus from both reflected and emitted radiation from Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC) and Visible InfraRed Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) observations. Previously, only the Pioneer Venus Large Probe has measured the size distribution of the cloud particles, and other probes have measured the bulk optical properties of the cloud cover. However, the direct sampling of the clouds has been possible only below about 62 km, whereas the recent Venus Express observations indicate that the cloud tops extend from about 75 km in equatorial region to about 67 km in polar regions. To sample the cloud top region of Venus, other platforms are required. An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has been proposed previously (Landis et al., 2002). Another that is being looked into, is a semi-buoyant aerial vehicle that can be powered using solar cells and equipped with instruments to not only sample the cloud particles, but also to make key atmospheric measurements - e.g. atmospheric composition including isotopic abundances of noble and other gases, winds and turbulence, deposition of solar and infrared radiation, electrical activity. The conceptual design of such a vehicle can carry a much more massive payload than any other platform, and can be controlled to sample different altitudes and day and night hemispheres. Thus, detailed observations of the surface using a miniature Synthetic Aperture Radar are possible. Data relay to Earth will need an orbiter, preferably in a low inclination orbit, depending on the latitude region selected for emphasis. Since the vehicle has a large surface area, thermal loads on entry are low, enabling deployment without the use of an aeroshell. Flight characteristics of such a vehicle have been studied (Alam et al., 2014; Kumar et al., 2014) Acknowledgements Mr. Ashish Kumar and Mr. Mofeez Alam were supported by the Indo US Forum for Science and Technology (IUSSTF) as S.N. Bose Scholars at the University of Wisconsin, Madison as Summer interns. We are grateful for the guidance support provided by Dr. Kristen Griffin and Dr. Daniel Sokol, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Corporation. References Alam, M., K. Ashish, and S.S. Limaye. Aerodynamic Analysis of BlimPlane- a Conceptual Hybrid UAV for Venus Exploration. Accepted for publication, 2014 IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, Montana, 1-8 March 2014. Ashish, K., M. Alam, and S.S. Limaye, Flight Analysis of a Venus Atmospheric Mobile Platform. Accepted for publication, 2014 IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, Montana, 1-8 March 2014. Landis, G.A., A. Colozza, C.M. LaMarre, Atmospheric flight on Venus. NASA/TM—2002-211467, AIAA-2001-0819, June 2002

  18. Signs of hypothetical fauna of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ksanfomality, Leonid V.

    2014-04-01

    On March 1 and 5, 1982, experiments in television photography instrumented by the landers VENERA-13 and -14, yielded 37 panoramas (or their fragments) of the Venus surface at the landing site. Over the past 31 years, no similar missions have been sent to Venus. Using a modern technique the VENERA panoramas were re-examined. A new analysis of Venusian surface panoramas' details has been made. A few relatively large objects of hypothetical fauna of Venus were found with size ranging from a decimeter to half meter and with unusual morphology. Treated once again VENERA-14 panoramic images revealed `amisada' object about 15 cm in size possessing apparent terramorphic features. The amisada's body stands out with its lizard-like shape against the stone plates close by. The amisada can be included into the list of the most significant findings of the hypothetical Venusian fauna. The amisada's body show slow movements, which is another evidence of the Venusian fauna's very slow style of activity, which appears to be associated with its energy constraints or, and that is more likely, with the properties of its internal medium. The terramorphic features of the Venusian fauna, if they are confirmed, may point out at outstandingly important and yet undiscovered general laws of the animated nature on different planets.

  19. The Venus Balloon Project telemetry processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urech, J. M.; Chamarro, A.; Morales, J. L.; Urech, M. A.

    1986-05-01

    The peculiarities of the Venus Balloon telemetry system required the development of a new methodology for the telemetry processing, since the capabilities of the Deep Space Network (DSN) telemetry system do not include burst processing of short frames with two different bit rates and first bit acquisition. A software package was produced for the non-real time detection, demodulation, and decoding of the telemetry streams obtained from an open loop recording utilizing the DSN spectrum processing subsystem-radio science (DSP-RS). A general description of the resulting software package (DMO-5539-SP) and its adaptability to the real mission's variations is contained.

  20. Tectonic connections to interior processes on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Phillips, R. J.

    1992-01-01

    The ultimate goal of geophysical/geological exploration of Venus is to relate the present tectonic (and volcanic) state of the lithosphere to interior processes, particularly mantle convection, operating both now and in the past. The Magellan mission has provided a spectacular view of the surface, and upcoming gravity measurements, particularly if the Magellan orbit is circularized, will provide significant constraints on the state of the interior. This extended abstract focuses on several controversial issues regarding venusian tectonics and its relationship to geodynamic mechanisms in the planet's interior. The origin of highlands, coronae diapir structures, and trenches and subduction are discussed.

  1. Venus at inferior conjunction

    Microsoft Academic Search

    R. M. Steele; M. Frassati; D. Parker

    2003-01-01

    This interesting sequence of drawings by Mario Frassati shows the diminishing phase of Venus as she approaches inferior conjunction (2003 October 31). Note the markings and compare the drawings of October 5 through 18 with the faint patterns in Don Parker's UV CCD images of September 14 and 17. The streaky markings depicted on the slender crescent by Frassati are

  2. Morphotectonics of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Finn, V. J.; Baker, V. R.; Dolginov, A. Z.

    1993-01-01

    Venus topography can be mapped morphostructurally to reveal nested hierarchical patterns of quasi-circular upland/lowland complexes. These patterns are interpreted as surficial effects of hierarchically structured, long-acting mantle convection. Beta Regio, Alpha Regio, and Artemis illustrate this process of dynamical interaction between the deforming lithosphere and the convecting mantle.

  3. Windblown dust on Venus

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Carl Sagan

    1975-01-01

    The threshold frictional velocity necessary to initiate grain movement on the Venus surface is 1 to 2 cm\\/s. Particles smaller than 30 or 40 microns in effective diameter will also be so moved and suspended at the threshold of movement. Theoretical arguments and Venera 8 Doppler measurements suggest marginally that dust should not be raised at the Venera 8 landing

  4. Tectonic activity on Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solomon, S. C.; Grimm, R. E.

    1988-01-01

    Models for the dominant mode of lithospheric heat transport on Venus are considered. The results of quantitative tests of the plate-divergence model for Aphrodite Terra are reviewed, and problems of this model are discussed. Other models addressed include those which emphasize the mantle flow field, a thick crust, and 'heat pipes'.

  5. Mercury and Venus

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,

    Students explore Mercury and Venus, the first and second planets nearest the Sun. They learn about the planets' characteristics, including their differences from Earth. Students also learn how engineers are involved in the study of planets by designing equipment and spacecraft to go where it is too dangerous for humans.

  6. Venus upper atmosphere structure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keating, G. M.; Nicholson, J. Y., III; Lake, L. R.

    1980-01-01

    Atmospheric densities of Venus were measured from the orbital decay of the Pioneer Venus from Dec. 9, 1978 to Aug. 7, 1979 near the 16 deg latitude between 140 and 190 km during the entire day. Comparative atmospheric densities on earth at 150 km are higher by a factor of 3.5 with only a 1% diurnal variation; an atmospheric composition, temperature, and density model based on the orbiter atmospheric drag (OAD) vertical structure is presented. The model shows that atomic oxygen is the major component in the Venus atmosphere above 145 km at night and above 160 km during the day with mixing ratios over 0.1 near 140 km; drag measurements indicate O concentrations from 1 x 10 to the 9th/cu cm in daytime to 3 x 10 to the 7th/cu cm at night. It is concluded that the neutral upper atmosphere of Venus is surprisingly insensitive to solar extreme UV variations and changes in the solar wind.

  7. Venus transit 2004: An international education program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayo, L.; Odenwald, S.

    2003-04-01

    December 6th, 1882 was the last transit of the planet Venus across the disk of the sun. It was heralded as an event of immense interest and importance to the astronomical community as well as the public at large. There have been only six such occurrences since Galileo first trained his telescope on the heavens in 1609 and on Venus in 1610 where he concluded that Venus had phases like the moon and appeared to get larger and smaller over time. Many historians consider this the final nail in the coffin of the Ptolemaic, Earth centered solar system. In addition, each transit has provided unique opportunities for discovery such as measurement and refinement of the detection of Venus' atmosphere, calculation of longitudes, and calculation of the astronomical unit (and therefore the scale of the solar system). The NASA Sun Earth Connection Education Forum (SECEF) in partnership with the Solar System Exploration (SSE) and Structure and Evolution of the Universe (SEU) Forums, AAS Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS), and a number of NASA space missions and science centers are developing plans for an international education program centered around the June 8, 2004 Venus transit. The transit will be visible in its entirety from Europe and partially from the East Coast of the United States. We will use a series of robotic observatories including the Telescopes In Education (TIE) network distributed in latitude to provide observations of the transit that will allow middle and high school students to calculate the A.U. through application of parallax. We will compare the terrestrial planets in terms of the evolutionary processes that define their magnetic fields, their widely differing interactions with the solar wind, and the implications this has for life on Earth and elsewhere in the universe. We will also use Venus transit as a probe of episodes in American history (e.g. 1769: revolutionary era, 1882: post civil war era, and 2004: modern era). Museums and planetariums in the US and Europe will offer real time viewing of the transit and conduct educational programs through professional development seminars, public lectures, and planetarium shows. We are interested in soliciting advice from the research community to coordinate professional research interests with this program.

  8. Venus - Simulated Color of Leda Planitia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    This false color Magellan image shows a portion of Leda Planitia (plains) in the northern hemisphere of Venus, centered at 41 degrees north latitude, 52 degrees east longitude. The area is 220 kilometers (135 miles) wide and 275 kilometers (170 miles) long. This image was produced from Magellan radar data collected in Cycle 2 of the mission. Cycle 2 was completed January 15, 1992. The area was not imaged during the first cycle because of superior conjunction when the sun was between the Earth and Venus, preventing communication with the spacecraft. This image contains examples of several of the major geologic terrains on Venus and illustrates the basic stratigraphy or sequence of geologic events. The oldest terrains appear as bright, highly-fractured or chaotic highlands rising out of the plains. This is seen in the upper left, or northwest, quadrant of the image. The chaotic highlands, sometimes called tessera, may represent older and thicker crustal material and occupy about 15 percent of the surface of Venus. The circular ring structure in the lower left of the image is probably an impact crater. This 40 kilometer (25 miles) diameter crater has been given a proposed name, Heloise, after the French physician who lived from about 1098 to 1164 A.D. The crater was formed by the impact of an asteroid sometime before the plains lavas embayed and covered the region. The plains surround and embay the fractured highland tessera. Plains are formed by fluid volcanic flows that may have once formed vast lava seas which covered all the low lying surfaces. Plains comprise more than 80 percent of the surface of Venus. The most recent activity in the region is volcanism that produced the radar bright flows best seen in the upper right quadrant of the image. Those flows are similar to the darker plains volcanics, but apparently have more rugged surfaces that more efficiently scatter the radar signal back to the spacecraft. Thus the geologic sequence is early fracturing of the tessera, flooding by extensive plains lavas and scattered, less extensive individual flows on the plains surface. Impact cratering occurs throughout geologic history and provides a rough estimate of the time scale. Craters larger than a few kilometers in diameter form on Venus, as they do on Earth, at the rate of about one per million years, with smaller impacts much more frequent than larger ones. The simulated hues are based on color images recorded by the Soviet Venera 13 and 14 spacecraft.

  9. Transit of Venus

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    The Transit of Venus is similar to a solar eclipse, where -- from the perspective on Earth -- Venus passes in front of the Sun. This event does not happen very often. In fact, no one alive today has experienced this phenomenon, which will take place on June 8 and will be visible for most of Europe, Asia, and Africa.First, the Armagh Planetarium created a great, expansive informational site all about the Transit of Venus (1). Users can find basic facts, observing information, histories of past transits, and much more. Next, the European Southern Observatory presents the VT-2004 project's aim to gain knowledge and encourage public interest in the event (2). Users can observe Venus's progression towards the transit with the daily images from April 17, 2004 to present news updates. Educators can discover transit-related activities and educational materials. The third site, created by NASA, discusses the details of the Sun-Earth Connection Education Forum and San Francisco's Exploratorium's live webcast of the Transit (3). The site supplies enjoyable, educational materials for students, educators, museums, scientists, and amateur astronomers. The next site, also created by NASA, provides an introduction to the Venus Transits that will take place June 2004 and 2012 (4). Visitors can find helpful figures and text about the geographic visibility of the events. The site offers an observer's handbook as well as a discussion about the predictions of the event. Next, Professor Backhaus presents a project where schools, amateur astronomers, and universities will collaborate to gather transit data and learn about observing (5). Users can discover the six parts of the project as well as learn how to participate in the worldwide endeavor. The sixth site also discusses a Venus Transit project (6). Endorsed by the Astronomical Association of Zurich, this project's goals are to process data collected by amateur astronomers by different observation methods, to act as a data exchange center, and to determine the astronomical unit. Next, the Exploratorium furnishes general information about the Transit, its history, how viewers observe it, what it looks like, and why it is an important event (7). Users can find out about the live webcast that will begin on June 7, 2004 from Athens, Greece. Educators can find student activities developed to integrate discussions into the classroom. Lastly, Willie Koorts, an employee at the South African Astronomical Observatory, recounts the observations of scientists in Africa of the last transit of Venus (8). The site contains many historical photographs along with informational diagrams and figures.

  10. Second Venus spacecraft set for launch

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1978-01-01

    The launch phase of the Pioneer Venus Multiprobe spacecraft and cruise phases of both the Pioneer Venus Orbiter and the Multiprobe spacecraft are covered. Material pertinent to the Venus encounter is included.

  11. Water vapor and the cloud top variations in the Venus' mesosphere from the SPICAV observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fedorova, Anna; Marcq, Emmanuel; Montmessin, Franck; Korablev, Oleg; Luginin, Mikhail; Bertaux, Jean-Loup

    SPICAV VIS-IR is an AOTF (acousto-optical tunable filter) spectrometer working in the spectral range of 0.65-1.7 µm onboard the Venus Express mission. It provides measurements of the H2O abundance above Venus’ clouds based on the 1.38-µm band and the cloud top altitude based on the CO2 bands in the range of 1.4-1.6 ?m. The new calibrations of the instrument in 2010-2012 allowed updating of results reported earlier. The cloud top altitude has been routinely retrieved for all dataset from 2006 to 2014 taking into account multiple-scattering in the cloudy atmosphere. The ?=1 level at 1.48 ?m varies from 69 to 73 km at lower latitudes and from 64 to 68 km at high latitudes near the Poles. The long-term and year-to-year variations were studied. The H2O mixing ratio from the 1.38 ?m band varies from 4 to 12 ppm. The variations are higher than H2O mixing ratio variations at altitudes of 68-70 km observed by VIRTIS-H/Venus Express [Cottini et al., 2012] from 2.56 ?m. The 1.38 ?m H2O band is sensitivity to altitudes of 55-70 km and a vertical gradient of water within the upper clouds can be responsible for the water behavior. The spot pointing observations for wide variations of viewing angle in the near-IR spectral range are useful to determine the vertical gradient of water within the clouds. Long-term variations of water vapor in upper clouds were not found for period from 2007 to 2014 at all range of latitudes.

  12. The Venus nitric oxide night airglow: Model calculations based on the Venus thermospheric general circulation model

    SciTech Connect

    Bougher, S.W. (Univ. of Arizona, Tucson (United States)); Gerard, J.C. (Univ. de Liege, Ougree-Liege (Belgium)); Stewart, A.I.F.; Fesen, C.G. (Univ. of Colorado, Boulder (United States))

    1990-05-01

    Pioneer Venus (PV) orbiter ultraviolet spectrometer (OUVS) images of the nightside airglow in the (0, 1) {delta} band of nitric oxide showed a maximum whose average location was at 0200 local solar time just south of the equator. The average airglow brightness calculated over a portion of the nightside for 35 early orbits during the Pioneer Venus mission was a factor of 4 lower than this maximum. Recent recalibration of the PV OUVS instrument and reanalysis of the data yield new values for this statistical maximum (1.9 {plus minus} 0.6 kR) and the nightside average (400-460 {plus minus} 120 R) nightglow. This emission is produced by radiative recombination of N and O atoms transported from their source on the dayside to the nightside by the Venus thermospheric circulation. The Venus Thermospheric General Circulation Model (VTGCM) has been extended to incorporate odd nitrogen chemistry in order to examine the dynamical and chemical processes required to give rise to this emission. Its predictions of dayside N atom densities are also compared with empirical models based on Pioneer Venus measurements. Calculations are presented corresponding to OUVS data taken during solar maximum. The average production of nitrogen atoms on the dayside is about 9.0 {times} 10{sup 9} atoms cm{sup {minus}2} s{sup {minus}1}. Approximately 30% of this dayside source is required for transport to the nightside to yield the observed dark-disk nightglow features. The statistical location and intensity of the bright spot are well reproduced, as well as the altitude of the airglow layer. The importance of the large-scale transport and eddy diffusion on the global N({sup 4}S) distribution is also evaluated.

  13. Mariner Venus/Mercury 1973 solar radiation force and torques

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Georgevic, R. M.

    1974-01-01

    The need for an improvement of the mathematical model of the solar radiation force and torques for the Mariner Venus/Mercury spacecraft arises from the fact that this spacecraft will be steering toward the inner planets (Venus and Mercury), where, due to the proximity of the Sun, the effect of the solar radiation pressure is much larger than it was on the antecedent Mariner spacecraft, steering in the opposite direction. Therefore, although the model yielded excellent results in the case of the Mariner 9 Mars Orbiter, additional effects of negligible magnitudes for the previous missions of the Mariner spacecraft should now be included in the model. This study examines all such effects and incorporates them into the already existing model, as well as using the improved model for calculation of the solar radiation force and torques acting on the Mariner Venus/Mercury spacecraft.

  14. Planetary Ion fluxes in the Venus Wake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pérez-de-Tejada, H.; Lundin, R.; Durand-Manterola, H.; Barabash, S.; Zhang, T. L.; Sauvaud, J. A.; Reyes-Ruiz, M.

    2012-09-01

    Measurements conducted with the ASPERA-4 instrument and the magnetometer of the Venus Express spacecraft show that the kinetic pressure of planetary O+ ions measured in the Venus wake can be significantly larger than the local magnetic pressure and, as a result, those ions are not being driven by magnetic forces but by the kinetic energy of the solar wind. Beams of planetary O+ ions with those properties have been detected in several orbits of the Venus Express through the wake as the spacecraft traverses by the noon-midnight plane along its near polar trajectory. Peak values of the kinetic pressure of the O+ ions are sufficient to produce superalfvenic flow conditions. It is suggested that such O+ ion beams are eroded from the magnetic polar regions of the Venus ionosphere where the solar wind carves out plasma channels that extend downstream from those regions. Issues related to the acceleration of planetary ions as the solar wind interacts with the Venus ionosphere are related to the energetics of the plasma. When the kinetic pressure of the particle populations involved in the interaction is smaller than the local magnetic pressure the latter will be dominant and hence the particles will follow trajectories dictated by the magnetic field. Such conditions should occur by the magnetic barrier that is formed over the dayside Venus ionosphere where the interplanetary magnetic fluxes pile up thus leading to enhanced values of the magnetic field intensity. Different conditions are expected when the kinetic pressure of the plasma is larger than the local magnetic pressure. In this case the latter will be convected by the particle fluxes as it occurs in the superalfvenic solar wind. Plasma conditions applicable to the planetary ions that stream in the Venus wake and that have been removed from the Venus ionosphere can be examined using the plasma and magnetic field data obtained from the Venus Express (VEX) measurements. A suitable example is provided by the plasma and the magnetic pressure profiles that were obtained from the data in orbit 123 on August 22-2006 and that are reproduced in Figure 1. The profiles in the lower panel show that the peak kinetic pressure of the O+ ions becomes substantially larger than the local magnetic pressure (between 01:48 UT and 02:00 UT) and also that within a wide region of the wake (between ~02:00 UT and ~02:25 UT) the kinetic pressure becomes smaller than the magnetic pressure. Values of the ratio of the kinetic to the magnetic pressure that are obtained from both profiles are given in the upper panel to show that in the region where the peak kinetic pressure of the O+ ions are measured that ratio is substantially larger than one thus indicating that the local ions move under superalfvenic conditions. The opposite is true in other regions of the wake where values of that ratio are smaller than one and thus the plasma is subalfvenic.

  15. Space weather at Venus and its potential consequences for atmosphere evolution

    E-print Network

    California at Berkeley, University of

    . It is important to pursue study of these effects with the new measurements from Venus Express and, in lightSpace weather at Venus and its potential consequences for atmosphere evolution J. G. Luhmann,1 W. T; published 21 April 2007. [1] Space weather storms at the Earth are dominated by the magnetosphere's response

  16. The present status of Japanese Venus Climate Orbiter (AKATSUKI: PLANET-C) after the launch

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, Masato

    The Venus Climate Orbiter mission (PLANET-C), one of the planetary missions of Japan, aims at understanding the atmospheric circulation of Venus. Meteorological information will be obtained by globally mapping clouds and minor constituents successively with 4 cameras at ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths, detecting lightning with a high-speed imager, and ob-serving the vertical structure of the atmosphere with radio science technique. The equatorial elongated orbit with westward revolution fits the observation of the movement and temporal variation of the atmosphere which rotates westward. The systematic, continuous imaging ob-servations will provide us with an unprecedented large dataset of the Venusian atmospheric dynamics. Planet-C is launched from Kagoshima Space Center and will reach Venus in Dec, 2010. Nominal operation period is 2 earth years. It is now in the transfer orbit to Venus We will report the present status of the spacecraft after the launch.

  17. Report of the Terrestrial Bodies Science Working Group. Volume 3: Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kaula, W. M.; Malin, M. C.; Masursky, H.; Pettengill, G.; Prinn, R.; Young, R. E.

    1977-01-01

    The science objectives of Pioneer Venus and future investigations of the planet are discussed. Concepts and payloads for proposed missions and the supporting research and technology required to obtain the desired measurements from space and Earth-based observations are examined, as well as mission priorities and schedules.

  18. Mariner Venus Mercury, 1973. [close flyby investigation of mercury after Venus-flyby, and observation of Kohoutek comet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, J. H.

    1973-01-01

    The Mariner Venus Mercury 1973 unmanned mission is discussed, which is designed to conduct a close flyby investigation of the planet Mercury after using the gravity-turn technique in a Venus flyby. Its scientific purposes include photographic, thermal, and spectral surveys, radio occulation, and charged particle/magnetic measurements at each planet, observation of solar-system fields and particles from 1.0 a.u. down to 0.4 a.u., and comparative planetary surveys between the Earth, the Moon, Venus, and Mercury. It is also intended to observe Kohoutek's comet. The trajectory permits establishment of a solar orbit in phase with Mercury's, permitting repeated encounters with that planet.

  19. The Oldest Rocks on Venus: the Importance of Tessera Terrain for Venus Exploration (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilmore, M. S.; Glaze, L. S.

    2013-12-01

    Venus tessera terrain is a major, yet unsampled, tectonic unit on Venus characterized by multiple sets of intersecting compressional and extensional structures. Tessera terrain is temporally, morphologically, and perhaps also compositionally unique on Venus. Stratigraphic studies of tessera terrain establish that they consistently appear locally, and perhaps even globally, as the oldest material on a planet with an average surface crater retention age of ~500 million years. Thus, the tesserae provide the best chance to access rocks that are derived from the first 80% of the history of the planet, an era obscured by the emplacement of voluminous (presumably basaltic) plains. Analysis of Magellan imagery, topography and gravity data show that tessera terrain is characterized by higher strain rates and a thinner lithosphere than at present and thus records an extinct geodynamical era on Venus. Yet very little is understood about the number, morphology and stratigraphy of geologic units within tessera terrain, nor mass wasting processes operating on the surface. Improved radar imagery at the 5-25 m scale, and optical images below the clouds (<1 km) and at the surface will help assess the geologic processes operating in the pre-plains era. Such data products are also essential for judicious landing site selection, since tessera meter-scale roughness will limit landing site safety and sample access. Improved topography data are required to quantify the deformation recorded by ubiquitous tesserae structures that are finer than Magellan resolution. Tessera terrain is unsampled, but recent analyses of radiance from the surface at 1 micron using instruments on Venus Express and Galileo are consistent with felsic compositions for tesserae. Silicic compositions likely require both water and a plate recycling mechanism (e.g., subduction) for formation. The high D/H ratio of the Venus atmosphere is consistent with the loss of a significant inventory of water over the history of the planet. Felsic tesserae may herald from an ancient water-rich Venus, perhaps with an ocean and potentially habitable. Further assessment of tessera composition requires more comprehensive 1 micron radiance measurements from orbital, near-surface and surface platforms and in-situ measurement of mineralogy and chemistry. Radiance data need tobe supported by improved laboratory measurements of the emissivity of relevant rocks and weathering products in a Venus environment. Venus weathering experiments also support the interpretation of in situ analyses at the surface of Venus and may constrain sampling strategy. If confirmed, felsic tesserae would be critical targets for sample return due to their potential to include ancient rocks and/or minerals formed in the presence of water (e.g., zircons). In sum, the tesserae are the oldest materials exposed on the Venus surface and are the best candidates for containing ancient rocks and for comprising evolved compositions. They uniquely and critically constrain the geochemistry, geodynamics and history of water on Venus through time.

  20. Models of Venus atmosphere (1972)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

    Criteria were developed in the following areas: environment, structures, guidance and control, and chemical propulsion. Quantitative data for the Venus atmosphere were obtained from earth-based observations and from spacecraft which have entered the Venus atmosphere or passed within several planetary radii of the planet. The models provide the temperature, pressure, and density profiles required to perform basic aerodynamic analyses. A set of engineering models are provided for the Venus atmosphere, based on theory and measured data available in January 1972.

  1. Venus - Multiple Views of High-level Clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    This series of pictures shows four views of the planet Venus obtained by Galileo's Solid State Imaging System at ranges of 1.4 to 2 million miles as the spacecraft receded from Venus. The pictures in the top row were taken about 4 and 5 days after closest approach; those in the bottom row were taken about 6 days out, 2 hours apart. In these violet-light images, north is at the top and the evening terminator to the left. The cloud features high in the planet's atmosphere rotate from right to left, from the limb through the noon meridian toward the terminator, traveling all the way around the planet once every four days. The motion can be seen by comparing the last two pictures, taken two hours apart. The other views show entirely different faces of Venus. These photographs are part of the 'Venus global circulation' sequence planned by the imaging team. The Galileo Project is managed for NASA's Office of Space Science and Applications by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory; its mission is to study Jupiter and its satellites and magnetosphere after multiple gravity-assist flybys at Venus and Earth.

  2. The Venus Zone: Seeking the Twin of Earth's Twin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kane, Stephen R.; Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn

    2015-01-01

    The field of exoplanetary science has seen a dramatic improvement in sensitivity to terrestrial planets over recent years. Such discoveries have been a key feature of results from the Kepler mission which utilizes the transit method to determine the size of the planet. These discoveries have resulted in a corresponding interest in the topic of the Habitable Zone (HZ) and the search for potential Earth analogs. Within the Solar System, there is a clear dichotomy between Venus and Earth in terms of atmospheric evolution, likely the result of the large difference in incident flux from the Sun. Since Venus is 95% of the Earth's radius in size, it is impossible to distinguish between these two planets based only on size. In this talk I will discuss planetary insolation in the context of atmospheric erosion and runaway greenhouse limits for planets similar to Venus. Using the ``Venus Zone'' (VZ), I will present identified potential Venus analogs from Kepler data and subsequent occurance rates of such planets.

  3. Magmatic diversity on Venus: Constraints from terrestrial analog crystallization experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filiberto, Justin

    2014-03-01

    Igneous diversity is common on terrestrial planets and has been experimentally investigated for the Earth and Mars, but only suggested for Venus. Since Venus and Earth are sister planets and have similar bulk chemistry, experiments on terrestrial basalts can place constraints on the formation of the Venera and Vega basalts. Furthermore, experimental results can suggest the types of magmas that should be present on Venus if processes of differentiation similar to those taking place within the Earth are occurring on Venus, as suggested by the Venera and Vega analyses. The interpretation of the Venera 13 analysis as an alkali basalt suggests deep partial melting of a carbonated source region; while the identification of Venera 14 and Vega 2 as tholeiites suggest relatively shallow melting of a hydrous lherzolitic or peridotite source region. The residual liquids produced by differentiation of a Venus tholeiite, based on experiments on analog compositions, range from rhyolites to phonolites, depending on pressure of crystallization and bulk water content. Results from these crystallization experiments on tholeiitic terrestrial compositions can constrain the type and quality of data needed from future missions to determine the petrologic history of surface igneous rocks.

  4. Long-Lived Venus Lander Conceptual Design: How To Keep It Cool

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dyson, Ridger W.; Schmitz, Paul C.; Penswick, L. Barry; Bruder, Geoffrey A.

    2009-01-01

    Surprisingly little is known about Venus, our neighboring sister planet in the solar system, due to the challenges of operating in its extremely hot, corrosive, and dense environment. For example, after over two dozen missions to the planet, the longest-lived lander was the Soviet Venera 13, and it only survived two hours on the surface. Several conceptual Venus mission studies have been formulated in the past two decades proposing lander architectures that potentially extend lander lifetime. Most recently, the Venus Science and Technology Definition Team (STDT) was commissioned by NASA to study a Venus Flagship Mission potentially launching in the 2020- 2025 time-frame; the reference lander of this study is designed to survive for only a few hours more than Venera 13 launched back in 1981! Since Cytherean mission planners lack a viable approach to a long-lived surface architecture, specific scientific objectives outlined in the National Science Foundation Decadal Survey and Venus Exploration Advisory Group final report cannot be completed. These include: mapping the mineralogy and composition of the surface on a planetary scale determining the age of various rock samples on Venus, searching for evidence of changes in interior dynamics (seismometry) and its impact on climate and many other key observations that benefit with time scales of at least a full Venus day (Le. daylight/night cycle). This report reviews those studies and recommends a hybrid lander architecture that can survive for at least one Venus day (243 Earth days) by incorporating selective Stirling multi-stage active cooling and hybrid thermoacoustic power.

  5. Equatorial flattenings of planets - Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bursa, M.; Sima, Z.

    1985-05-01

    The dimensions of Venus were found in order to calculate the degree of flattening due to gravity. The calculations were carried out within the framework of the general flattening theory of Bursa and Sima (1969). Data on the gravitational field of Venus, obtained during observations by Mottinger and Williams (1983) were incorporated in the equations. It is shown that the figure of Venus is different from all terrestrial bodies in the solar system: the surface in the equatorial zone is located above the best-fitting triaxial Venus ellipsoid. Deflections of the vertical at the planet surface are given.

  6. A Unique Approach for Studying Venus’s Atmosphere: Technology Development for the Venus Atmospheric Maneuverable Platform (VAMP)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samuele, Rocco; Lee, Greg; Sokol, Daniel; Polidan, Ron; Griffin, Kristen; Bolisay, Linden; Michi, Yuki; Barnes, Nathan

    2014-11-01

    We are investigating a novel, reduced-risk approach to long-duration upper atmosphere exploration of Venus. The Venus Atmospheric Maneuverable Platform (VAMP) concept is a semi-buoyant plane with a science payload that can perform in situ measurements of Venus’s atmosphere. VAMP is also capable of revisiting scientifically interesting locations. Designed with a low ballistic coefficient, VAMP deploys in space and enters Venus’s atmosphere without an aeroshell. Once in the atmosphere, it can engage in a variety of science campaigns while varying its altitude between 50 and 68 km as it circumnavigates Venus. During daytime, VAMP will be able to make continuous science measurements at a range of latitudes, longitudes, and altitudes, while at night the vehicle will descend to a fully-buoyant, lower-power state, capable of performing modest science measurements at the float altitude. Near the end of VAMP’s mission life, the vehicle may attempt an end-of-life trajectory into higher latitudes or descend to lower altitudes. This presentation focuses on the technology roadmap that will allow the vehicle to accomplish these science measurements. The roadmap is driven by high priority science measurements and the technology needed to implement VAMP’s main mission phases: deployment, entry into Venus’s atmosphere, and the transition to flight and science flight performance. The roadmap includes materials tests, planform aerodynamic characterization, various subscale and full-scale packaging and deployment tests, and a full-scale suborbital flight and is being produced with extensive science community interaction to define the science measurements that would be uniquely possible with this new science platform.

  7. Making the Venus Concept Watch 1.0

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balint, Tibor S.; Melchiorri, Julian P.

    2014-08-01

    Over the past year we have celebrated the 50th anniversary of planetary exploration, which started with the Venus flyby of Mariner-2; and the 35th anniversary of the Pioneer-Venus multi-probe mission where one large and three small probes descended to the surface of Venus, encountering extreme environmental conditions. At the surface of Venus the temperature is about 460 °C, and the pressure is 92 bar, with a highly corrosive super-critical CO2 atmosphere. At a Venusian altitude of 50 km the pressure and temperature conditions are near Earth-like, but the clouds carry sulfuric acid droplets. Deep probe missions to Jupiter and Saturn, targeting the 100 bar pressure depth encounter similar pressure and temperature conditions as the Pioneer-Venus probes did. Mitigating these environments is highly challenging and requires special considerations for designs and materials. While assessing such space mission concepts, we have found that there is an overlap between the extreme environments in planetary atmospheres and the environments experienced by deep-sea explorers back on Earth. Consequently, the mitigation approaches could be also similar between planetary probes and diver watches. For example, both need to tolerate about 100 bar of pressure-although high temperatures are not factors on Earth. Mitigating these environments, the potential materials are: titanium for the probe and the watch housing; sapphire for the window and glass; resin impregnated woven carbon fiber for the aeroshell's thermal protection system and for the face of the watch; and nylon ribbon for the parachute and for the watch band. Planetary probes also utilize precision watches; thus there is yet another crosscutting functionality with diver watches. Our team, from the Innovation Design Engineering Program of the Royal College of Art, has designed and built a concept watch to commemorate these historical events, while highlighting advances in manufacturing processes over the past three to five decades, relevant to both future planetary mission designs and can be used to produce deep diver watches. In this paper we describe our design considerations; give a brief overview of the extreme environments these components would experience on both Venus and Earth; the manufacturing techniques and materials we used to build the Venus Watch; and its outreach potential to bring a distant concept of planetary exploration closer to Earth. We will also address lessons learned from this project and new ideas forward, for the next generation of this concept design.

  8. Magellan unveils Venus

    SciTech Connect

    Lerner, E.J.

    1991-07-01

    Images obtained after an eight month Venusian year, during which the radar mapper Magellan surveyed nearly all of Venus, are described. It is observed that, instead of rigid plates moving as on earth, Venus appears covered with plumes of hot upwellings that dome out over hundreds or thousands of kilometers, feeding a continuous volcanic resurfacing of the planet. Although the Venusian surface is changing relatively rapidly by vulcanism and tectonic processes, the Magellan images make it clear that erosion is very slow. It is seen that some of the lava flows are highly fluid, etching narrow channels for hundreds of kilometers through the crust. Magellan also revealed some peculiarly Venusian formations, the tesserated areas where ridges and faults crosshatch the region into large blocks.

  9. (abstract) Venus Gravity Field

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Konopliv, A. S.; Sjogren, W. L.

    1995-01-01

    A global gravity field model of Venus to degree and order 75 (5772 spherical harmonic coefficients) has been estimated from Doppler radio tracking of the orbiting spacecraft Pioneer Venus Orbiter (1979-1992) and Magellan (1990-1994). After the successful aerobraking of Magellan, a near circular polar orbit was attained and relatively uniform gravity field resolution (approximately 200 km) was obtained with formal uncertainties of a few milligals. Detailed gravity for several highland features are displayed as gravity contours overlaying colored topography. The positive correlation of typography with gravity is very high being unlike that of the Earth, Moon, and Mars. The amplitudes are Earth-like, but have significantly different gravity-topography ratios for different features. Global gravity, geoid, and isostatic anomaly maps as well as the admittance function are displayed.

  10. Evaluation of Long Duration Flight on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.; Colozza, Anthony J.

    2006-01-01

    An analysis was performed to evaluate the potential of utilizing either an airship or aircraft as a flight platform for long duration flight within the atmosphere of Venus. In order to achieve long-duration flight, the power system for the vehicle had to be capable of operating for extended periods of time. To accomplish these, two types of power systems were considered, a solar energy-based power system utilizing a photovoltaic array as the main power source and a radioisotope heat source power system utilizing a Stirling engine as the heat conversion device. Both types of vehicles and power systems were analyzed to determine their flight altitude range. This analysis was performed for a station-keeping mission where the vehicle had to maintain a flight over a location on the ground. This requires the vehicle to be capable of flying faster than the wind speed at a particular altitude. An analysis was also performed to evaluate the altitude range and maximum duration for a vehicle that was not required to maintain station over a specified location. The results of the analysis show that each type of flight vehicle and power system was capable of flight within certain portions of Venus s atmosphere. The aircraft, both solar and radioisotope power proved to be the most versatile and provided the greatest range of coverage both for station-keeping and non-station-keeping missions.

  11. Mariner 10 venus encounter.

    PubMed

    Dunne, J A

    1974-03-29

    The Mariner 10 spacecraft encountered Venus at 1701 G.M.T. on 5 February 1974. The preplanned encounter science sequence was executed satisfactorily, accomplishing all objectives despite a number of spacecraft problems that had occurred in the early phases of the flight. Seven experiments were conducted, including observations of the solar wind interaction region, extreme ultraviolet and infrared emissions, radio occultation, and imaging. PMID:17791368

  12. Ice On Venus

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    This resource is part of the Science Education Gateway (SEGway) project, funded by NASA, which is a national consortium of scientists, museums, and educators working together to bring the latest science to students, teachers, and the general public. Is there ice on Venus? If so, what kind of ice is it? In this activity, students find the answers to these questions by using internet resources. The teacher's page contains teaching strategies, vocabulary, homework ideas, and assessment possibilities.

  13. Three ages of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, Charles A.; Coombs, Cassandra R.

    1989-01-01

    A central question for any planet is the age of its surface. Based on comparative planetological arguments, Venus should be as young and active as the Earth (Wood and Francis). The detection of probable impact craters in the Venera radar images provides a tool for estimating the age of the surface of Venus. Assuming somewhat different crater production rates, Bazilevskiy et al. derived an age of 1 + or - 0.5 billion years, and Schaber et al. and Wood and Francis estimated an age of 200 to 400 million years. The known impact craters are not randomly distributed, however, thus some area must be older and others younger than this average age. Ages were derived for major geologic units on Venus using the Soviet catalog of impact craters (Bazilevskiy et al.), and the most accessible geologic unit map (Bazilevskiy). The crater counts are presented for (diameters greater than 20 km), areas, and crater densities for the 7 terrain units and coronae. The procedure for examining the distribution of craters is superior to the purely statistical approaches of Bazilevskiy et al. and Plaut and Arvidson because the bins are larger (average size 16 x 10(6) sq km) and geologically significant. Crater densities define three distinct groups: relatively heavily cratered (Lakshmi, mountain belts), moderately cratered (smooth and rolling plains, ridge belts, and tesserae), and essentially uncratered (coronae and domed uplands). Following Schaber et al., Grieve's terrestrial cratering rate of 5.4 + or - 2.7 craters greater than 20 km/10(9) yrs/10(6) sq km was used to calculate ages for the geologic units on Venus. To improve statistics, the data was aggregated into the three crater density groups, deriving the ages. For convenience, the three similar age groups are given informal time stratigraphic unit names, from youngest to oldest: Ulfrunian, Sednaian, Lakshmian.

  14. SAR interferometry at Venus for topography and change detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer, Franz J.; Sandwell, David T.

    2012-12-01

    Since the Magellan radar mapping of Venus in the early 1990’s, techniques of synthetic aperture radar interferometry (InSAR) have become the standard approach to mapping topography and topographic change on Earth. Here we investigate a hypothetical radar mission to Venus that exploits these new methods. We focus on a single spacecraft repeat-pass InSAR mission and investigate the radar and mission parameters that would provide both high spatial resolution topography as well as the ability to detect subtle variations in the surface. Our preferred scenario is a longer-wavelength radar (S or L-band) placed in a near-circular orbit at 600 km altitude. Using longer wavelengths minimizes the required radar bandwidth and thus the amount of data that will be transmitted back to earth; it relaxes orbital control and knowledge requirements. During the first mapping cycle a global topography map would be assembled from interferograms taken from adjacent orbits. This approach is viable due to the slow rotation rate of Venus, causing the interferometric baseline between adjacent orbits to vary from only 11 km at the equator to zero at the inclination latitude. To overcome baseline decorrelation at lower latitudes, the center frequency of a repeated pass will be adjusted relative to the center frequency of its reference pass. During subsequent mapping cycles, small baseline SAR acquisitions will be used to search for surface decorrelation due to lava flows. While InSAR methods are used routinely on Earth, their application to Venus could be complicated by phase distortions caused by the thick Venus atmosphere.

  15. The downward flux of O(+) over the nightside of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brannon, J. J.; Fox, J. L.

    1994-01-01

    We have constructed a map of the downward flux of O(+) over the nightside of Venus at high and low solar activities through a combination of modeling and analysis of Pioneer Venus ion mass spectrometer data. O(+) density profiles were obtained for almost 40 inbound or outbound segments of orbits from the first 2 years of the mission and about 40 more in the recent reentry phase of the mission. We have determined the nearly linear relationship between the 0(+) maximum density and the downward O(+) flux for several solar zenith angles and local times by constructing models of the nightside ionosphere of Venus for a range of downward ion fluxes at the upper boundaries. We find that the largest downward fluxes occur near the terminators, and the fluxes fall off sharply toward the antisolar point. Although the standard deviations in the data are large, there is a suggestion of a local maximum near 155 deg, and the location of this maximum correlates fairly well with structure in the peak electron density as a function of solar zenith angle reported for the Pioneer Venus radio occulation experiment. The average downward ion flux is inferred to be about 1.7 x 10(exp 8)/sq cm/sec over the nightside hemisphere at solar maximum and a factor of 7 less at moderately low solar activity.

  16. Magellan orbits Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mclaughlin, W. I.

    1990-01-01

    Various events surrounding Magellan's orbit of Venus are recounted. Significant events include the successful firing of a solid rocket motor while the spacecraft was behind Venus to transfer it from a solar-centered trajectory to an orbit around the planet. The spacecraft orbits Venus every 3.26 hours at a maximum altitude of 8500 km and minimum altitude of 291 km in an elliptical orbit. The successful August 16 test of the synthetic-aperture radar system is discussed, noting that it produced two strips, each about 20 km x 16,000 km, revealing details as small as 120 m. Two anomalies causing a delay in the start of mapping operations and subsequent breaks in the communication link with earth for 14.5 hours and 17.7 hours are discussed. Protective measures directed from the spacecraft's ROM during breach of contact are listed, and possible causes of the anomalies are suggested, such as solar activity or hardware or software elements, although the actual cause is not yet known.

  17. Venus: dead or alive?

    PubMed

    Taylor, H A; Cloutier, P A

    1986-11-28

    In situ nightside electric field observations from the Pioneer Venus Orbiter have been interpreted as evidence of extensive lightning in the lower atmosphere of Venus. The scenario, including proposed evidence of clustering of lightning over surface highland regions, has encouraged the acceptance of currently active volcanic output as part of several investigations of the dynamics and chemistry of the atmosphere and the geology of the planet. However, the correlation between the 100-hertz electric field events attributed to lightning and nightside ionization troughs resulting from the interaction of the solar wind with the ionosphere indicates that the noise results from locally generated plasma instabilities and not from any behavior of the lower atmosphere. Furthermore, analysis of the spatial distribution of the noise shows that it is not clustered over highland topography, but rather occurs at random throughout the latitude and longitude regions sampled by the orbiter during the first 5 years of operation, from 1978 to 1984. Thus the electric field observations do not identify lightning and do not provide a basis for inferring the presence of currently active volcanic output. In the absence of known evidence to the contrary, it appears that Venus is no longer active. PMID:17778949

  18. Venus gravity fields

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sjogren, W. L.; Ananda, M.; Williams, B. G.; Birkeland, P. W.; Esposito, P. S.; Wimberly, R. N.; Ritke, S. J.

    1981-01-01

    Results of Pioneer Venus Orbiter observations concerning the gravity field of Venus are presented. The gravitational data was obtained from reductions of Doppler radio tracking data for the Orbiter, which is in a highly eccentric orbit with periapsis altitude varying from 145 to 180 km and nearly fixed periapsis latitude of 15 deg N. The global gravity field was obtained through the simultaneous estimation of the orbit state parameters and gravity coefficients from long-period variations in orbital element rates. The global field has been described with sixth degree and order spherical harmonic coefficients, which are capable of resolving the three major topographical features on Venus. Local anomalies have been mapped using line-of-sight accelerations derived from the Doppler residuals between 40 deg N and 10 deg S latitude at approximately 300 km spatial resolution. Gravitational data is observed to correspond to topographical data obtained by radar altimeter, with most of the gravitational anomalies about 20-30 milligals. Simulations evaluating the isostatic states of two topographic features indicate that at least partial isostasy prevails, with the possibility of complete compensation.

  19. The high-resolution stereo camera (HRSC) experiment on Mars Express: Instrument aspects and experiment conduct from interplanetary cruise through the nominal mission

    Microsoft Academic Search

    R. Jaumann; G. Neukum; T. Behnke; T. C. Duxbury; K. Eichentopf; J. Flohrer; S. v. Gasselt; B. Giese; K. Gwinner; E. Hauber; H. Hoffmann; A. Hoffmeister; U. Köhler; K.-D. Matz; T. B. McCord; V. Mertens; J. Oberst; R. Pischel; D. Reiss; E. Ress; T. Roatsch; P. Saiger; F. Scholten; G. Schwarz; K. Stephan; M. Wählisch

    2007-01-01

    ESA's Mars Express has successfully completed its nominal mission of one Martian year covering about 25% of the surface in stereo and color with resolutions up to 10m\\/pixel by its high-resolution stereo camera (HRSC). Mars Express is now in its extended mission phase, during which much of the remaining part of the Martian surface is envisaged to be covered in

  20. Modeling VIRTIS/VEX O2(a1?g) nightglow profiles affected by the propagation of gravity waves in the Venus upper mesosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Altieri, F.; Migliorini, A.; Zasova, L.; Shakun, A.; Piccioni, G.; Bellucci, G.

    2014-11-01

    In this work we describe a model of the perturbation of the O2(a1?g) nightglow limb profiles by the action of gravity waves (GWs) propagating in the Venus' upper atmosphere. Data have been acquired by the Visible and InfraRed Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) on board the European Space Agency mission Venus Express (VEX). The high variability observed in the shape of the O2(a1?g) nightglow limb profiles between 80 and 120 km, often characterized by the presence of a double peak, suggests the occurrence of GWs at the considered altitudes. In order to model and derive the GWs properties, we apply to Venus a well-known theory used to study terrestrial density fluctuations induced by the GWs propagation. The retrieved vertical wavelengths and amplitudes of the waves at the O2(a1?g) layer altitude (~100 km) are of the order of 7-16 km and 3-14% respectively, complying with wave amplitude threshold for dynamical instability in the majority of the fitted cases. Temperature fluctuations would exceed 40% at higher altitudes (115-120 km) thus inducing either wave breaking or dissipation. Intrinsic horizontal phase velocities are expected to vary in the range 32 m/s and 85 m/s. GWs are detected in a wide range of latitudes from the midlatitudes up to the polar regions, and we cannot exclude existence of the sources of different nature. This study also confirms the high variability induced by the action of GW propagation in the airglow profiles of the terrestrial planets and points out the need for future missions to couple simultaneous complementary GW detection techniques in order to better constrain GW properties and understand their impact on the Venus general circulation.

  1. Non-Cooled Power System for Venus Lander

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salazar, Denise; Landis, Geoffrey A.; Colozza, Anthony J.

    2014-01-01

    The Planetary Science Decadal Survey of 2013-2022 stated that the exploration of Venus is of significant interest. Studying the seismic activity of the planet is of particular importance because the findings can be compared to the seismic activity of Earth. Further, the geological and atmospheric properties of Venus will shed light into the past and future of Earth. This paper presents a radioisotope power system (RPS) design for a small low-power Venus lander. The feasibility of the new power system is then compared to that of primary batteries. A requirement for the power source system is to avoid moving parts in order to not interfere with the primary objective of the mission - to collect data about the seismic activity of Venus using a seismometer. The target mission duration of the lander is 117 days, a significant leap from Venera 13, the longest-lived lander on the surface of Venus, which survived for 2 hours. One major assumption for this mission design is that the power source system will not provide cooling to the other components of the lander. This assumption is based on high-temperature electronics technology that will enable the electronics and components of the lander to operate at Venus surface temperature. For the proposed RPS, a customized General Purpose Heat Source Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (GPHSRTG) is designed and analyzed. The GPHS-RTG is chosen primarily because it has no moving parts and it is capable of operating for long duration missions on the order of years. This power system is modeled as a spherical structure for a fundamental thermal analysis. The total mass and electrical output of the system are calculated to be 24 kilograms and 26 Watts, respectively. An alternative design for a battery-based power system uses Sodium Sulfur batteries. To deliver a similar electrical output for 117 days, the battery mass is calculated to be 234 kilograms. Reducing mission duration or power required will reduce the required battery mass. Finally, the advantages and disadvantages of both power systems with regard to science return, risk, and cost are briefly compared. The design of the radioisotope power system is considerably riskier because it is novel and would require additional years of further refinement, manufacturing, safety analysis, and testing that the primary batteries do not need. However, the lifetime of the radioisotope power system makes its science return more promising.

  2. Stagnant lid convection on Venus

    Microsoft Academic Search

    V. S. Solomatov; L.-N. Moresi

    1996-01-01

    The effect of strongly temperature-dependent viscosity on convection in the interior of Venus is studied systematically with the help of finite element numerical models. For viscosity contrasts satisfying experimental constraints on the rheology of rocks, Venus is likely to be in the regime of stagnant lid convection. This regime is characterized by the formation of a slowly creeping, very viscous

  3. Pioneer Venus radar mapper experiment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pettengill, G.H.; Ford, P.G.; Brown, W.E.; Kaula, W.M.; Keller, C.H.; Masursky, H.; McGill, G.E.

    1979-01-01

    Altimetry and radar scattering data for Venus, obtained from 10 of the first 13 orbits of the Pioneer Venus orbiter, have disclosed what appears to be a rift valley having vertical relief of up to 7 kilometers, as well as a neighboring, gently rolling plain. Planetary oblateness appears unlikely to exceed 112500 and may be substantially smaller. Copyright ?? 1979 AAAS.

  4. The magnetic barrier at Venus

    Microsoft Academic Search

    T. L. Zhang; J. G. Luhmann; C.T. Russell

    1991-01-01

    The magnetic barrier at Venus is a region within which the magnetic pressure dominates all other pressure contributions. The barrier is formed in the inner region of the dayside magnetosheath to transfer solar wind momentum flux to the ionosphere. Passes through the dayside magnetosheath and ionopause with Pioneer Venus have allowed us to probe the magnetic barrier directly. These passes

  5. Venus: Interaction with Solar Wind

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russell, C.; Luhmann, J.; Murdin, P.

    2002-07-01

    The solar wind interaction with VENUS provides the archetypal interaction of a flowing magnetized PLASMA with a PLANETARY IONOSPHERE. Mars interacts with the solar wind in much the same way as does Venus, while the rotating plasma in the Saturnian magnetosphere is believed to interact similarly with its moon, Titan (see SATURN: MAGNETOSPHERE INTERACTION WITH TITAN). The interaction of the Jovian ...

  6. Venus clouds: structure and composition.

    PubMed

    Young, A T

    1974-02-01

    The clouds of Venus consist of a fine sulfuric acid aerosol similar to that found in the earth's stratosphere. The acid aerosol on Venus appears to be uniformly mixed with the gas, at least in the visible layers, and possibly down to the cloud base. PMID:17781929

  7. The thermal conditions of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zharkov, Vladimir N.; Solomatov, V. S.

    1991-01-01

    Models of Venus' thermal evolution are examined. The following subject areas are covered: (1) modified approximation of parameterized convection; (2) description of the model; (3) numerical results and asymptotic solution of the MAPC equations; (4) magnetism and the thermal regime of the cores of Earth and Venus; and (5) the thermal regime of the Venusian crust.

  8. Hansen, V.L., and Young, D.A., 2007, Venus's evolution: A synthesis, in Cloos, M., Carlson, W.D., Gilbert, M.C., Liou, J.G., and Sorensen, S.S., eds., Convergent Margin Terranes and Associated Regions: A Tribute to W.G. Ernst: Geological Society of Americ

    E-print Network

    Hansen, Vicki

    255 Hansen, V.L., and Young, D.A., 2007, Venus's evolution: A synthesis, in Cloos, M., Carlson, W. Geological Society of America Special Paper 419 2007 Venus's evolution: A synthesis V.L. Hansen Department (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Magellan mission to Venus was the preservation of ~970

  9. Atmospheric evolution on Venus Bruce Fegley, Jr.

    E-print Network

    Fegley Jr., Bruce

    1 Atmospheric evolution on Venus Bruce Fegley, Jr. Planetary Chemistry Laboratory Department and Ancient Environments Edited by Vivien Gornitz January 2004 #12;2 ATMOSPHERIC EVOLUTION ON VENUS Overview Venus and Earth are generally regarded as sister planets because Venus is the planet with mass, size

  10. Solar Wind Driven Plasma Fluxes from the Venus Ionosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perez De Tejada, H. A.; Lundin, R. N.; Zhang, T.; Sauvaud, J. A.; Reyes-Ruiz, M.

    2012-12-01

    SOLAR WIND DRIVEN PLASMA FLUXES FROM THE VENUS IONOSPHERE H. Pérez-de-Tejada (1), R. Lundin (2), H. Durand-Manterola (1), S. Barabash (2), T. L. Zhang (3), J. A., Sauvaud (4), and M. Reyes-Ruiz (5) 1 - Institute of Geophysics, UNAM, México, D. F. 2 - Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Kiruna, Sweden 3 - Space Research Institute, Graz, Austria 4 - CESR, Toulouse, France 5 - Institute of Astronomy, UNAM, Ensenada, México Measurements conducted with the ASPERA-4 instrument and the magnetometer of the Venus Express spacecraft show that the kinetic pressure of planetary O+ ion fluxes measured in the Venus wake can be significantly larger than the local magnetic pressure and, as a result, those ions are not being driven by magnetic forces but by the kinetic energy of the solar wind. Beams of planetary O+ ions with those properties have been detected in several orbits of the Venus Express through the wake as the spacecraft traverses by the noon-midnight plane along its near polar trajectory. The momentum flux of the O+ ions leads to superalfvenic flow conditions. It is suggested that such O+ ion beams are produced in the vicinity of the magnetic polar regions of the Venus ionosphere where the solar wind erodes the local plasma leading to plasma channels that extend downstream from those regions.

  11. VENUS-2 Experimental Benchmark Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Pavlovichev, A.M.

    2001-09-28

    The VENUS critical facility is a zero power reactor located at SCK-CEN, Mol, Belgium, which for the VENUS-2 experiment utilized a mixed-oxide core with near-weapons-grade plutonium. In addition to the VENUS-2 Core, additional computational variants based on each type of fuel cycle VENUS-2 core (3.3 wt. % UO{sub 2}, 4.0 wt. % UO{sub 2}, and 2.0/2.7 wt.% MOX) were also calculated. The VENUS-2 critical configuration and cell variants have been calculated with MCU-REA, which is a continuous energy Monte Carlo code system developed at Russian Research Center ''Kurchatov Institute'' and is used extensively in the Fissile Materials Disposition Program. The calculations resulted in a k{sub eff} of 0.99652 {+-} 0.00025 and relative pin powers within 2% for UO{sub 2} pins and 3% for MOX pins of the experimental values.

  12. Image and spectral image compression for four experiments on the ROSETTA and Mars Express missions of ESA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langevin, Yves; Forni, O.

    2000-12-01

    The output rates of imaging scientific experiments on planetary missions far exceed the few 10 kbits/s provided by X or Ka band downlink. This severely restricts the duration and frequency of observations. Space applications present specific constraints for compression methods: space qualified ROM and fast RAM chips have limited capacity and large power requirements. Real time compression is therefore preferable (no large local data buffer) but requires a large processing throughput. Wavelet compression provides a fast and efficient method for lossy data compression, when combined with tree- coding algorithms such as that of Said and Pearlman. We have developed such an algorithm for four instruments on ROSETTA (ESA cometary rendez-vous mission) and Mars Express (ESA Mars Orbiter and Lander mission), building on the experience from two experiments on CASSINI and MARS 96 for which lossless compression was implemented. Modern Digital Signal Processors using a pipeline architecture provide the required high computing capability. The Said-Pearlman tree-coding algorithm has been optimized for speed and code size by reducing branching and bit manipulation, which are very costly in terms of processor cycles. Written in C with a few assembly language modules, the implementation on a DSP of this new version of the Said-Pearlman algorithm provides a processing capability of 500 kdata/s (imaging), which is adequate for our applications. Compression ratios of at least 10 can be achieved with acceptable data quality.

  13. Geologic Map of the Mylitta Fluctus Quadrangle (V-61), Venus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ivanov, Mikhail A.; Head, James W., III

    2006-01-01

    INTRODUCTION The Magellan Mission The Magellan spacecraft orbited Venus from August 10, 1990, until it plunged into the Venusian atmosphere on October 12, 1994. Magellan Mission objectives included: (1) improving knowledge of the geological processes, surface properties, and geologic history of Venus by analysis of surface radar characteristics, topography, and morphology, and (2) improving the knowledge of the geophysics of Venus by analysis of Venusian gravity. The Magellan spacecraft carried a 12.6-cm radar system to map the surface of Venus. The transmitter and receiver systems were used to collect three data sets: (1) synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images of the surface, (2) passive microwave thermal emission observations, and (3) measurements of the backscattered power at small angles of incidence, which were processed to yield altimetric data. Radar imaging, altimetric, and radiometric mapping of the Venusian surface was done in mission cycles 1, 2, and 3 from September 1990 until September 1992. Ninety-eight percent of the surface was mapped with radar resolution on the order of 120 meters. The SAR observations were projected to a 75-m nominal horizontal resolution, and these full-resolution data compose the image base used in geologic mapping. The primary polarization mode was horizontal-transmit, horizontal-receive (HH), but additional data for selected areas were collected for the vertical polarization sense. Incidence angles varied between about 20? and 45?. High resolution Doppler tracking of the spacecraft took place from September 1992 through October 1994 (mission cycles 4, 5, 6). Approximately 950 orbits of high-resolution gravity observations were obtained between September 1992 and May 1993 while Magellan was in an elliptical orbit with a periapsis near 175 km and an apoapsis near 8,000 km. An additional 1,500 orbits were obtained following orbit-circularization in mid-1993. These data exist as a 75? by 75? harmonic field.

  14. Venus: A World of Water and Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ditkof, J. F.

    2012-12-01

    Author: John Ditkof Institution: University Wisconsin-Madison Amphiboles that contain the hydroxide ion form only in the presence of water and this fact has become the way for scientists to prove that Venus was once a water world. Though, Tremolite is considered the main mineral to look for, it requires life that is analogous to the ancient life here on Earth for it to form. Dolomite is the main ingredient for the formation of this low grade metamorphic mineral and without it would be very difficult for Tremolite to form, unless there is another process that is unknown to science. Venus is known to have extensive volcanic features (over 1600 confirmed shield volcanoes dot its surface) and with little erosion taking place; a mineral that is associated with volcanism and forms only in the presence of water should be regarded as the main goal. Hornblende can form via volcanism or a metamorphic process but requires water for initial formation. The European Space Agency is currently trying to determine whether or not the continents on Venus' surface are made of granite, as they argue granite requires water for formation. Either way, computer models suggest that any oceans that formed on the surface would have lasted at best 2 billion years, as the surface is estimated to be only 800 million years old, any hornblende that would have formed is more than likely going to be deep underground. To find this mineral, as well as others, it would require a mission that has the ability to drill into the surface, as the easiest place to do this would be on the mountain peaks in the Northern Hemisphere on the Ishtar Terra continent. Through the process of uplift, any remaining hornblende may have been exposed or very near exposed to the surface. Do to the amount of fluorine in the atmosphere and the interaction between this and the lithosphere, the hydroxyl ions may have been replaced with fluorine turning the hornblende into the more stable fluoro-hornblende. To further add to the mystery of Venus is the unusual atmospheric composition. The presence of both sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide demand further research as these gases are not being replenished by any geologic activity. Both of these compounds are found is sufficient quantity in the cloud decks, but are almost nonexistent at the surface, further supporting the idea of a chemical reaction/process in the atmosphere. There are particles that have been detected in the atmosphere that seem to be absorbing UV radiation is also located at these same altitudes. Finding tremolite on Venus would only further excite the possibility that we are not alone in the universe. Could life on Venus be related to life here on Earth? Where in the Solar System did life originate? These are questions that would need serious thought if such an event took place. Finding hornblende on Venus would give further support to several theories, but finding tremolite would change everything.

  15. Venus cloud microphysics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, A. T.

    1983-01-01

    Because sulfuric acid does not wet sulfur, composite drops in the atmosphere of Venus cannot have sulfur 'cores', but must instead have sulfur coats. Both components then communicate with the vapor phase. Drops that are fully coated with sulfur are immune to coalescence; this sets a limit to growth that may explain 'Mode 3' particles. The sulfur coating is probably responsible for the anomalously low refractive indices derived from entry-probe nephelometer data. There appears to be about an order of magnitude less elemental sulfur than sulfuric acid in the clouds.

  16. Evidence of plasma vortices in the Venus plasma wake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perez de Tejada, H. A.; Intriligator, D. S.; Lundin, R.; Reyes-Ruiz, M.

    2010-12-01

    Measurements conducted with plasma instruments in the Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO) and in the Venus Express (VEX) spacecraft have led to the observation of plasma velocity distributions that resemble the presence of vortices in the Venus wake. The velocity vectors of plasma fluxes measured along several orbits of the PVO trajectory reveal cases in which they are sunward oriented, and also instances where the velocity vectors are anti-sunward oriented but they point into the inner plasma wake. At the same time measurements conducted with the ASPERA-4 instrument of the VEX spacecraft show velocity vectors in the plasma wake that are arranged in patterns that are consistent with vorticity vector structures in the downstream vicinity of the polar regions and also in the Venus central wake. A fluid dynamic interpretation of such measurements in terms of vortex structures lead to calculations of the viscosity coefficient with estimates of the damping that they experience through local viscosity forces and are in agreement with those derived from the transport of solar wind momentum to the Venus upper ionosphere. From the analysis of the vorticity equation applied to the plasma conditions in the wake it is found that their evolution requires values of the viscosity coefficient that are comparable to those inferred from calculations of the momentum equation of the solar wind as it streams by the flanks of the Venus ionosheath, and thus the results obtained stress the value of viscosity as an important property of the plasma in the interaction of the solar wind with the Venus ionosphere.

  17. Pioneer Venus gas chromatography of the lower atmosphere of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oyama, V. I.; Carle, G. C.; Woeller, F.; Pollack, J. B.; Reynolds, R. T.; Craig, R. A.

    1980-12-01

    A gas chromatograph mounted in the Pioneer Venus sounder probe measured the chemical composition of the atmosphere of Venus at three altitudes. Ne, N2, O2, Ar, CO, H2O, SO2, and CO2 were measured, and upper limits set for H2, COS, H2S, CH4, Kr, N2O, C2H4, C2H6, and C3H8. Simulation studies have provided indirect evidence for sulfuric acid-like droplets and support the possibility of water vapor at altitudes of 42 and 24 km. The paper discusses the implications of these results for the origin, evolution, and present state of Venus' atmosphere.

  18. Pioneer Venus gas chromatography of the lower atmosphere of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oyama, V. I.; Carle, G. C.; Woeller, F.; Pollack, J. B.; Reynolds, R. T.; Craig, R. A.

    1980-01-01

    A gas chromatograph mounted in the Pioneer Venus sounder probe measured the chemical composition of the atmosphere of Venus at three altitudes. Ne, N2, O2, Ar, CO, H2O, SO2, and CO2 were measured, and upper limits set for H2, COS, H2S, CH4, Kr, N2O, C2H4, C2H6, and C3H8. Simulation studies have provided indirect evidence for sulfuric acid-like droplets and support the possibility of water vapor at altitudes of 42 and 24 km. The paper discusses the implications of these results for the origin, evolution, and present state of Venus' atmosphere.

  19. Naming the newly found landforms on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Batson, R. M.; Russell, J. F.

    1991-01-01

    The mapping of Venus is unique in the history of cartigraphy; never has so much territory been discovered and mapped in so short a period of time. Therefore, in the interest of international scientific communication, there is a unique urgency to the development of a system of names for surface features on Venus. The process began with the naming of features seen on radar images taken from Earth and continued through mapping expeditions of the U.S. and U.S.S.R. However, the Magellan Mission resolves features twenty-five times smaller than those mapped previously, and its radar data will cover an area nearly equivalent to that of the continents and the sea-floors of the Earth combined. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) was charged with the formal endorsement of names of features on the planets. Proposed names are collected, approved, and applied through the IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN) and its task groups, prior to IAU approval by the IAU General Assembly. Names approved by the WGPSN and its task groups, prior to final approval may be used on published maps and articles, provided that their provisional nature is stipulated. The IAU has established themes for the names to be used on each of the planets; names of historical and mythological women are used on Venus. Names of political entities and those identified with active religions are not acceptable, and a person must have been deceased for three years or more to be considered. Any interested person may propose a name for consideration by the IAU.

  20. Venus-Earth-Mars: Comparative Climatology and the Search for Life in the Solar System

    PubMed Central

    Launius, Roger D.

    2012-01-01

    Both Venus and Mars have captured the human imagination during the twentieth century as possible abodes of life. Venus had long enchanted humans—all the more so after astronomers realized it was shrouded in a mysterious cloak of clouds permanently hiding the surface from view. It was also the closest planet to Earth, with nearly the same size and surface gravity. These attributes brought myriad speculations about the nature of Venus, its climate, and the possibility of life existing there in some form. Mars also harbored interest as a place where life had or might still exist. Seasonal changes on Mars were interpreted as due to the possible spread and retreat of ice caps and lichen-like vegetation. A core element of this belief rested with the climatology of these two planets, as observed by astronomers, but these ideas were significantly altered, if not dashed during the space age. Missions to Venus and Mars revealed strikingly different worlds. The high temperatures and pressures found on Venus supported a “runaway greenhouse theory,” and Mars harbored an apparently lifeless landscape similar to the surface of the Moon. While hopes for Venus as an abode of life ended, the search for evidence of past life on Mars, possibly microbial, remains a central theme in space exploration. This survey explores the evolution of thinking about the climates of Venus and Mars as life-support systems, in comparison to Earth. PMID:25371106

  1. Venus-Earth-Mars: comparative climatology and the search for life in the solar system.

    PubMed

    Launius, Roger D

    2012-01-01

    Both Venus and Mars have captured the human imagination during the twentieth century as possible abodes of life. Venus had long enchanted humans-all the more so after astronomers realized it was shrouded in a mysterious cloak of clouds permanently hiding the surface from view. It was also the closest planet to Earth, with nearly the same size and surface gravity. These attributes brought myriad speculations about the nature of Venus, its climate, and the possibility of life existing there in some form. Mars also harbored interest as a place where life had or might still exist. Seasonal changes on Mars were interpreted as due to the possible spread and retreat of ice caps and lichen-like vegetation. A core element of this belief rested with the climatology of these two planets, as observed by astronomers, but these ideas were significantly altered, if not dashed during the space age. Missions to Venus and Mars revealed strikingly different worlds. The high temperatures and pressures found on Venus supported a "runaway greenhouse theory," and Mars harbored an apparently lifeless landscape similar to the surface of the Moon. While hopes for Venus as an abode of life ended, the search for evidence of past life on Mars, possibly microbial, remains a central theme in space exploration. This survey explores the evolution of thinking about the climates of Venus and Mars as life-support systems, in comparison to Earth. PMID:25371106

  2. Venus-Earth-Mars: Comparative Climatology and the Search for Life in the Solar System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Launius, Roger D.

    2012-09-01

    Both Venus and Mars have captured the human imagination during the twentieth century as possible abodes of life. Venus had long enchanted humans - all the more so after astronomers realized it was shrouded in a mysterious cloak of clouds permanently hiding the surface from view. It was also the closest planet to Earth, with nearly the same size and surface gravity. These attributes brought myriad speculations about the nature of Venus, its climate, and the possibility of life existing there in some form. Mars also harbored interest as a place where life had or might still exist. Seasonal changes on Mars were interpreted as due to the possible spread and retreat of ice caps and lichen-like vegetation. A core element of this belief rested with the climatology of these two planets, as observed by astronomers, but these ideas were significantly altered, if not dashed during the space age. Missions to Venus and Mars revealed strikingly different worlds. The high temperatures and pressures found on Venus supported a "runaway greenhouse theory," and Mars harbored an apparently lifeless landscape similar to the surface of the Moon. While hopes for Venus as an abode of life ended, the search for evidence of past life on Mars, possibly microbial, remains a central theme in space exploration. This survey explores the evolution of thinking about the climates of Venus and Mars as life-support systems, in comparison to Earth.

  3. Tectonics and evolution of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Phillips, R. J.; Kaula, W. M.; Mcgill, G. E.; Malin, M. C.

    1981-01-01

    Earlier data synthesized with data recently obtained by the Pioneer Venus Orbiter are analyzed with regard to general tectonics, interior, and long-term evolution of Venus. Comprehensive topographic maps, global properties of Venus, and variations in its gravity field are investigated, and bulk properties of Venus, earth, Mars, the sun, and chondritic meteorites relevant to planetary internal structure and evolution are studied. Although Venus was found to differ less than 30% from earth in comparing all important bulk properties, it appears to have evolved differently. It is noted that a slow rotation rate, the absence of a satellite, the virtual absence of a magnetic field, the dearth of water in the atmosphere, the abundance of primordial argon, and the high surface temperature, are properties in which Venus differs most from the earth. Further results showing the positive correlation of gravity and topography at all wavelengths and the apparent absence of any feature like an ocean indicate that Venus is a one-plate planet and its evolution apparently resembles that of Mars more than that of the earth.

  4. Stagnation Point Radiative Heating Relations for Venus Entry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tauber, Michael E.; Palmer, Grant E.; Prabhu, Dinesh K.

    2012-01-01

    Improved analytic expressions for calculating the stagnation point radiative heating during entry into the atmosphere of Venus have been developed. These analytic expressions can be incorporated into entry trajectory simulation codes. Together with analytical expressions for convective heating at the stagnation point, the time-integrated total heat load at the stagnation point is used in determining the thickness of protective material required, and hence the mass of the fore body heatshield of uniform thickness.

  5. Venus Data Analysis Program: Directory of Research Projects (1993-1994)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    This directory provides information about the scientific investigations funded by the NASA Venus Data Analysis Program (VDAP) during fiscal year 1993. The VDAP Directory consists of summary sheets from the proposals that were selected by NASA for funding in FY 93. Each summary sheet indicates the title, principal investigator, institution of the investigation, and information related to the objectives of the research activities proposed for FY 93. The objective of the VDAP Program is to advance our understanding of the nature and evolution of Venus. VDAP supports scientific investigation using data obtained from the Magellan, Pioneer Venus, and other Venus missions, as well as earth-based observations that contribute to understanding the physical and evolutionary properties of Venus. The program intends to enhance the scientific return from these missions by broadening the participation in the analysis of Venus data. Categories of research funded by VDAP are atmosphere, ionosphere, geology, geophysics, and mapping. The directory is intended to provide the science community with an overview of the research projects supported by this program. Research activities identified in this directory were selected for funding in FY 93 on the basis of scientific peer review conducted by the VDAP Review Panel.

  6. Giant radiating dyke swarms on Earth and Venus

    Microsoft Academic Search

    R. E. Ernst; J. W. Head; E. Parfitt; E. Grosfils; L. Wilson

    1995-01-01

    Concentrations of dykes of basic composition emplaced in the same igneous episode or along similar trends are known as mafic dyke swarms and they occur in a wide variety of environments and over a wide range of scales on Earth. Recent radar mapping of Venus has revealed families of linear features interpreted to be the surface expression of near-surface dyke

  7. Venus Exploration Goals, Objectives, Investigations, and Priorities: 2007

    E-print Network

    Atreya, Sushil

    Venus Exploration Goals, Objectives, Investigations, and Priorities: 2007 A Report of the Venus input for planning and prioritizing Venus exploration for the next few decades. VEXAG is chartered scientists and engineers, regularly evaluates Venus exploration goals, objectives, investigations

  8. Short Large-Amplitude Magnetic Structures (SLAMS) at Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Collinson, G. A.; Wilson, L. B.; Sibeck, D. G.; Shane, N.; Zhang, T. L.; Moore, T. E.; Coates, A. J.; Barabash, S.

    2012-01-01

    We present the first observation of magnetic fluctuations consistent with Short Large-Amplitude Magnetic Structures (SLAMS) in the foreshock of the planet Venus. Three monolithic magnetic field spikes were observed by the Venus Express on the 11th of April 2009. The structures were approx.1.5->11s in duration, had magnetic compression ratios between approx.3->6, and exhibited elliptical polarization. These characteristics are consistent with the SLAMS observed at Earth, Jupiter, and Comet Giacobini-Zinner, and thus we hypothesize that it is possible SLAMS may be found at any celestial body with a foreshock.

  9. Chemical reactions between Venus' surface and atmosphere - An update. (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Treiman, A. H.

    2013-12-01

    The surface of Venus, at ~740K, is hot enough to allow relatively rapid chemical reactions between it and the atmosphere, i.e. weathering. Venus chemical weathering has been explored in detail [1], to the limits of available data. New data from Venus Express (VEx) and new ideas from exoplanets have sparked a modest renewal of interest in Venus weathering. Venus' surface cannot be observed in visible light, but there are several NIR ';windows' through its atmosphere that allow surface imaging. The VIRTIS spectrometer on VEx viewed the surface through one window [2]; emissivity variations among lava flows on Imdr and Themis Regios have been explained as varying degrees of weathering, and thus age [3]. The VMC camera on VEx also provides images through a NIR window, which suggest variable degrees of weathering on some basaltic plains [4]. Indirect evidence for weathering may come from varying SO2 abundance at Venus' cloud tops; repeated rapid increases and gradual declines may represent volcanic eruptions followed by weathering to form sulfate minerals [5]. Continued geochemical modeling relevant to Venus weathering is motivated by expolanet studies [6]. Models have been extended to hypothetical exo-Venuses of different temperatures and surface compositions [7]. The idea that Venus' atmosphere composition can be buffered by reaction with its surface was explored in detail, and the derived constraint extended to other types of planets [8]. Several laboratories are investigating Venus weathering, motivated in part by the hope that they can provide real constraints on timescales of Venus volcanism [3]. Aveline et al. [9] are extending early studies [10] by reacting rocks and minerals with concentrated SO2 (to accelerate reaction rates to allow detectability of products). Kohler et al. [11] are investigating the stability of metals and chalcogenides as possible causes of the low-emissivity surfaces at high elevations. Berger and Aigouy [12] studied rock alteration on a hypothetical early Venus with a water-rich atmosphere. Martin et al. [13] investigated the fate of weathered rock when heated (by igneous or impact events). Our understanding of Venus' geological history is stymied by a lack of data - spacecraft observations of and/or at its surface. VMC on VEx may continue to provide new data on surface emissivity, but their interpretation is inherently ambiguous. Laboratory experiments seem the most promising approach - attempting to quantify rates of weathering and thus volcanism [3], and (with luck) framing significant problems that can be directly answered by spacecraft observations. [1] Fegley B.Jr. et al. (1997) In Venus II. U. Ariz. Press. p. 591. [2] Helbert J. et al. (2008) GRL 35, L11201. [3] Smrekar S.E et al. (2010) Science 328, 605-608. [4] Basilevsky A.T. et al. (2012) Icarus 217, 434-450. [5] Marcq E. et al. (2013) Nature Geoscience 6, 25-28. [6] Kane S.R. et al. (2013) Astrophysical J. 770, L20. [7] Schaefer L. & Fegley B.Jr. (2011) Astrophysical J. 729, 6. [8] Treiman A.H. & Bullock M.A. (2012) Icarus 217, 534-541. [9] Aveline D.C. et al. (2011) Lunar Planet. Sci. Conf. 42, Abstr. #2165. [10] Fegley B.Jr. & Prinn R.G. (1989) Nature 337, 55-58. [11] Kohler E. et al. (2012) Lunar Planet. Sci. Conf. 43, Abstr. #2749. [12] Berger G. & Aigouy T. (2011) Lunar Planet. Sci. Conf. 42, Abstr. #1660. [13] Martin A.M. et al. (2012) Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 331-332, 291-304.

  10. Progress report on VENUS

    SciTech Connect

    Leitner, Matthaeus A.; Leitner, Daniela; Abbott, Steve R.; Taylor, Clyde E.; Lyneis, Claude

    2002-09-03

    The construction of VENUS, a next generation superconducting Electron Cyclotron Resonance ion source designed to operate at 28 GHz, is complete. The cryostat including the superconducting magnet assembly was delivered in September 2001. During acceptance tests, the superconducting magnets produced an axial magnetic field strength of 4T at injection, 3T at extraction, and a radial field strength of 2T at the plasma chamber wall without any quenches. These fields are sufficient for optimum operation at 28 GHz. The cryogenic system for VENUS has been designed to operate at 4.2 K with two cryocoolers each providing up to 45 W of cooling at 50 K and 1.5 W at 4 K in a closed loop mode without further helium transfers. However, during the acceptance tests an excessive heat leak of about 3W was measured. In addition, the liquid helium heat exchanger did not work properly and had to be redesigned. The cryogenic system modifications will be described. In addition, an update on the installation of the ion source and its beam line components will be given.

  11. Venus nighttime hydrogen bulge

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brinton, H. C.; Taylor, H. A., Jr.; Niemann, H. B.; Mayr, H. G.; Nagy, A. F.; Cravens, T. E.; Strobel, D. F.

    1980-01-01

    The concentration of atomic hydrogen in the Venus thermosphere near 165 km altitude and approximately 18 deg north latitude has been derived from Pioneer Venus in situ measurements of H(+), O(+), O and CO2 concentrations, under the assumption of chemical equilibrium. Altitude profiles of derived H concentration suggest that chemical equilibrium prevails to an altitude of at least 200 km on the dayside and to 165 km on the nightside. Measurements below these limits were made by the ion and neutral mass spectrometers on the orbiter spacecraft between December 1978 and July 1979, while periapsis traversed a complete diurnal cycle. The hydrogen concentration is found to rise sharply at both terminators from a dayside value of approximately 50,000/cu cm, and to exhibit an asymmetric nightside distribution with a peak density in the predawn sector approximately 400 times greater than the dayside value. Analysis suggests that wind-induced diffusion, combined with exospheric return flow, can account for the observed hydrogen behavior. The large day-night temperature contrast enhances advective transport, which produces the large H concentration diurnal variation; the shift of the H concentration nighttime maximum toward dawn is caused by atmospheric superrotation.

  12. Venus' Free Obliquity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yoder, Charles F.

    1995-01-01

    The predicted orientation of Venus' rotation axis relative to its orbit ran be uniquely determined given knowledge of its J2 gravity coefficient and polar moment of inertia C if its free obliquity is fully damped. This assumption seems warranted given the dominant damping mechanism: turbulent fluid friction at a core mantle boundary (CMB). This skin friction results from differential obliquity of mantle and core spin axes, and the associated damping rate could be as short as 1/10(exp 6) year. However, the observed pole orientation indicates a free obliquity amplitude epsilon approx. = 2.1 deg compared with a nominal forced amplitude of 0.5 deg. There are two plausible explanations. The most likely is that the observed obliquity is a tidally evolved end state in which core friction, modulated by CMB ellipticity and core obliquity amplitude, counterbalances solid and atmospheric tidal torques. This concept is similar to the explanation for the retrograde spin omega as an end state in which solid and atmospheric thermal tidal torques balance at the present spin rate because of the omega(sup -1) dependence of the axial thermal torque. Weaker effects such as solid and thermal tides can then compete with core friction and for plausible models, their sum tends to increase free obliquity. The obliquity balance is controlled by the nonlinear (and nearly quadratic) dependence of the CMB turbulent "skin friction" torque on obliquity.Core ellipticity also has a profound effect on tidal evolution of Venus obliquity.

  13. The International VEGA "Venus-Halley" (1984-1986) Experiment: Description and Scientific Objectives

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1985-01-01

    The Venus-Halley (Vega) project will provide a unique opportunity to combine a mission over Venus with a transfer flight to Halley's comet. This project is based on three research goals: (1) to study the surface of Venus; (2) to study the air circulation on Venus and its meteorological parameters; and (3) to study Halley's comet. The objective of the study of Halley's comet is to: determine the physical characteristics of its nucleus; define the structure and dynamics of the coma around the nucleus; define the gas composition near the nucleus; investigate the dust particle distribution as a function of mass at various distances from the nucleus; and investigate the solar wind interaction with the atmosphere and ionosphere of the comet.

  14. The Pioneer Venus Orbiter: 11 years of data. A laboratory for atmospheres seminar talk

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasprzak, W. T.

    1990-01-01

    The Pioneer Venus Orbiter has been in operation since orbit insertion on December 4, 1978. For the past 11 years, it has been acquiring data in the salient features of the planet, its atmosphere, ionosphere, and interaction with the solar wind. A few of the results of this mission are summarized and their contribution to our general understanding of the planet Venus is discussed. Although Earth and Venus are often called twin planets, they are only superficially similar. Possessing no obvious evidence of plate tectonics, lacking water and an intrinsic magnetic field, and having a hot, dense carbon dioxide atmosphere with sulfuric acid clouds makes Venus a unique object of study by the Orbiter's instruments.

  15. A full Earth orbit as viewed from Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García Muñoz, A.; Cardesin Moinelo, A.; Piccioni, G.

    2013-09-01

    The Earth has been monitored from Venus orbit in both reflected sunlight and thermal emission with the VIRTIS instrument on Venus Express. The spectra, obtained between April 2007 and October 2008, show clear evidence of some of the most abundant gases in the planet's atmosphere, namely O2, CO2, CH4, and H2O. From Venus orbit, the Earth is seen within a limited range of phase angles ~0-46o, which means that the fraction of the Earth's illuminated disk is always ~80% or more. We have set out to interpret the collected spectra and their relevance in the context of the prospective characterization of an Earth-twin orbiting a Sun-like star in a remote solar system.

  16. Recent hotspot volcanism on Venus from VIRTIS emissivity data.

    PubMed

    Smrekar, Suzanne E; Stofan, Ellen R; Mueller, Nils; Treiman, Allan; Elkins-Tanton, Linda; Helbert, Joern; Piccioni, Giuseppe; Drossart, Pierre

    2010-04-30

    The questions of whether Venus is geologically active and how the planet has resurfaced over the past billion years have major implications for interior dynamics and climate change. Nine "hotspots"--areas analogous to Hawaii, with volcanism, broad topographic rises, and large positive gravity anomalies suggesting mantle plumes at depth--have been identified as possibly active. This study used variations in the thermal emissivity of the surface observed by the Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer on the European Space Agency's Venus Express spacecraft to identify compositional differences in lava flows at three hotspots. The anomalies are interpreted as a lack of surface weathering. We estimate the flows to be younger than 2.5 million years and probably much younger, about 250,000 years or less, indicating that Venus is actively resurfacing. PMID:20378775

  17. Systems design study of the Pioneer Venus spacecraft. Appendices to volume 1, sections 3-6 (part 1 of 3). [design of Venus probe windows

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    The design is described of the Venus probe windows, which are required to measure solar flux, infrared flux, aureole, and cloud particles. Window heating and structural materials for the probe window assemblies are discussed along with the magnetometer. The command lists for science, power and communication requirements, telemetry sign characteristics, mission profile summary, mass properties of payloads, and failure modes are presented.

  18. Temporal variations observed in the clouds of Venus from Venus Monitoring Camera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limaye, S. S.; Markiewicz, W. J.; Krauss, R. J.

    2014-04-01

    The Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC) on Venus Express [1] has been collecting images of the planet since orbit insertion in April 2006 through four narrow band pass (50 nm halfwidth) with center wavelengths of 365, 550, 950 and 1050 nm [2]. With varying range to the planet during the spacecraft's elliptical, near polar orbit, VMC obtains views of the day side southern hemisphere ( ~ 72,500 km) and the limb when it is furthest away from the planet, and can see a fraction of the planet's sun-lit limb northern latitudes when the spacecraft is closer to the planet ( >~ 25,000 km). We use these images to look at the temporal behavior of the normalized intensity and unit slant optical depth (location of the bright limb) at four wavelengths during April 2006 - March 2014. We detect correlated changes in the normalized brightness and the altitude of the unit optical depth over this period.

  19. USGS Magellan stereomapping of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howington-Kraus, E.; Kirk, R. L.; Galuszka, D.; Redding, B.

    Introduction: The Magellan spacecraft went into Venus orbit in 1990 and by 1992 had made three complete cycles of polar orbits, each cycle covering the full range of longitudes. During this time the spacecraft obtained synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images of >96% of the planet at a resolution of 75 m/pixel [1]. Images taken with a decreased look angle from vertical, primarily during Cycle 3, provide stereo coverage of 17% of the planet when combined with images with same-side illumination from earlier in the mission. The stereo geometry of these images is extremely favorable, allowing elevation measurements with an estimated vertical precision (EP) of ˜10 m [2]. Magellan also obtained radar altimetry data at a horizontal resolution of 10x25 km, but photogrammetric analysis of the stereoimagery can yield topographic maps with a horizontal resolution more than an order of magnitude superior to that of the altimeter. We therefore developed software needed to utilize Magellan stereomagery on our photogrammetric workstation running commercial (SOCET SET R BAE) software [3,4]. The special hardware and SOCET SET software of this system provide many useful capabilities for stereomapping which can be extended by programming with the SOCET SET Developer's Toolkit (DEVKIT). The unique properties of the Magellan SAR data made it necessary to develop both translation software (of image data and supporting geometric information) and a sensor model [5]. Sensor Model: A sensor model is a function that specifies the transformation between image space (lines, samples) and object or ground coordinates (latitude, longitude, elevation). Our Magellan SAR sensor model includes all the physics of the Magellan imaging process, and accounts for the fact that during the Magellan imaging process, the images have been partially orthorectified as part of the correlation process: distortions attributable to topography were removed (but only those accounted for in the very low resolution pre-Magellan topo model) and must be put back in for the images to be matched correctly. The sensor model is designed to work with any combination of unmosaicked (F-BIDR), Mission-mosaicked (F- and C-MIDR), and USGS- mosaicked (FMAP) images. Information about the spacecraft position and velocity can be taken either from the F-BIDR headers or from separate NAIF SPICE kernels, letting us take advantage of post-mission improvements to the spacecraft ephemerides. In addition, the SOCET SET bundle-adjustment software can be used to estimate corrections to the ephemeris of each orbit. The form of the corrections, offsets in three orthogonal directions (along-track, across-track, and radial) suffices to correct the orbits over short arcs and reconcile SAR and altimetry observations. 1 Validation: We rigorously tested and accounted for potential error sources in our mapping process. We first addressed the well-known "cliffs," artifacts in the stereo data caused by discrepancies between the mission ephemeris solutions for successive blocks of orbits. Alex Konopliv of JPL reprocessed the entire set of orbital tracking and navigation data based on the detailed gravity observations from the end of the mission and claimed that errors in the new orbit solutions were decreased 1.5 orders of magnitude (to 50-200 m) in all 3 axes [6]. To produce seamless elevation data, we found it necessary to collect image-to-image tie point measurements and use these to estimate local position/velocity corrections to the orbits. We concluded that both the improved orbit/tracking solution and corrections based on the images themselves are necessary for successful stereomapping. Secondly, because we constrain elevations of control points based on the Magellan altimetry, the question arose of how sensitive our bundle adjustment process is to artifacts in the Magellan altimetry. (Elevations of individual altimeter footprints can be in error by several kilometers at high-contrast boundaries in the surface scattering function.) We demonstrated that the adjustable parameters allow each imag

  20. Geologic Map of the Helen Planitia Quadrangle (V-52), Venus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lopez, Ivan; Hansen, Vicki L.

    2008-01-01

    The Magellan spacecraft orbited Venus from August 10, 1990, until it plunged into the Venusian atmosphere on October 12, 1994. Magellan Mission objectives included (1) improving the knowledge of the geological processes, surface properties, and geologic history of Venus by analysis of surface radar characteristics, topography, and morphology and (2) improving the knowledge of the geophysics of Venus by analysis of Venusian gravity. The Helen Planitia quadrangle (V-52), located in the southern hemisphere of Venus between lat 25 deg S. and 50 deg S. and between long 240 deg E. and 270 deg E., covers approximately 8,000,000 km2. Regionally, the map area is located at the southern limit of an area of enhanced tectonomagmatic activity and extensional deformation, marked by a triangle that has highland apexes at Beta, Atla, and Themis Regiones (BAT anomaly) and is connected by the large extensional belts of Devana, Hecate, and Parga Chasmata. The BAT anomaly covers approximately 20 percent of the Venusian surface.

  1. Descent into theDescent into theDescent into theDescent into the Hell of VenusHell of VenusHell of VenusHell of Venus

    E-print Network

    Alfonseca, Manuel

    Descent into theDescent into theDescent into theDescent into the Hell of VenusHell of VenusHell of VenusHell of Venus Manuel AlfonsecaManuel AlfonsecaManuel AlfonsecaManuel Alfonseca #12;Manuel Alfonseca 2 #12;Descent into the Hell of Venus 3 DESCENT INTO THE HELL OF VENUS Manuel Alfonseca All Rights

  2. PHYS 178 2008 Week 4, Part 1 Venus Colorized Clouds

    E-print Network

    Wardle, Mark

    Venus PHYS 178 ­ 2008 Week 4, Part 1 ! Venus Colorized Clouds This colorized picture of Venus studies of Venus. The features are embedded in winds that flow from east to west at about 230 mph and the evening terminator is to the left. PIA00111 #12;2 Table 9-1, p.199 #12;Venus in UV #12;Venus as Viewed

  3. Venus Surface Thermal Emission Observed by VIRTIS on Venus Express

    E-print Network

    Treiman, Allan H.

    . outlying radar footprints) affect larger area ­ preliminiary analysis indicates that outlying radar ­ residual brightness, not accounted for by topography, is partly correlated with geomorphological units from

  4. Dynamics and chemistry of Venus' large and complex cloud system : a science case for an in-situ long-term chemical laboratory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Widemann, Thomas; Määttänen, Anni; Wilquet, Valérie; McGouldrick, Kevin; Jessup, Kandis Lea; Wilson, Colin; Limaye, Sanjay; EuroVenus Consortium, the

    2014-05-01

    The planet Venus is the closest to the planet Earth both geographically and geometrically, with an average solar distance only 0.3AU smaller than that of Earth and an equatorial radius that is only 5% smaller than Earth's. But the similarities appear to end there. How did the environments of Venus and Earth become so divergent? The answer to this question relies upon an understanding of Venus' origins, the nature of its present atmosphere, and the role that the clouds have played in evolution and current state of Venus. Venus' clouds are composed of highly concentrated solutions of sulfuric acid and water. The sulfuric acid is produced photochemically from reactions involving water vapor and various sulfur species such as SO2 in the upper atmosphere around 62 km. The region from 50-60 km altitude is convectively unstable, suggesting that most of the cloud formation here is convectively driven, as are cumulus clouds on Earth but with sulfuric acid taking the place of water as the main condensable species. The clouds of Venus are ubiquitous, play a significant role in the radiative balance of the planet, are used as tracers to probe the atmospheric circulation, and are a key part of a global sulfurohydrological cycle that redistributes key greenhouse gasses such as SO2 and H2O. Thus understanding the clouds of Venus holds the key to understanding how Venus itself came to be the world of extremes that it is today. ESA's Venus Express mission, launched in Nov. 2005, has significantly improved our knowledge about the atmosphere of Venus by providing global long-term remote sensing observations with complete coverage in latitude and local solar time. However major questions remain about key minor species and how they vary throughout the major atmospheric regimes in the upper atmosphere, near the cloud tops where photolysis and condensation processes occur, near the surface where coupling and interchange with the atmosphere occurs, and in the middle atmosphere where they combine through meso-scale convection. In situ sampling of these aerosols represents a key measurement for constraining their properties, and identifying their role in the sulfurohydrological cycle by means of microphysical models of steadily increasing complexity. A probe/lander making a single descent will lack the spatial, temporal and local time coverage to address the coupling of compositional variations with radiative and dynamical properties of the atmosphere at cloud level, requiring a long duration flight. Establishing a long-term chemical laboratory in the cloud layer which would measure the detailed composition of both gas and liquid phases, and their latitudinal, diurnal and vertical variability using a combination of mass spectrometry, gas chromatography, tunable laser transmission spectrometry, and polar nephelometry would significantly address all of these objectives. It would allow the determination of the size distribution, shape, and real and imaginary refractive indices of the cloud particles, and the measurement of intensity and polarization phase functions. Our target species would include those known to be associated with cloud formation (e.g. H2SO4, SO3, SO2, H2O), as well as species important in stratospheric chemistry (e.g. CO, ClCOx, Ox, HCl, HF) and surface-atmosphere buffering (e.g. CO, OCS, SOx, Ox, H2S).

  5. Pioneer Venus Orbiter Fluxgate Magnetometer

    Microsoft Academic Search

    C. T. Russell; R. C. Snare; J. D. Means; R. C. Elphic

    1980-01-01

    The fluxgate magnetometer on the Pioneer Venus orbiter spacecraft is described. Special features include gradiometer operation, on board despinning, a floating point processor and variable Nyquist filters. Initial operations have been entirely successful.

  6. Laying bare Venus' dark secrets

    SciTech Connect

    Allen, D.A.

    1987-10-01

    Ground-based IR observations of the dark side of Venus obtained in 1983 and 1985 with the Anglo-Australian Telescope are studied. An IR spectrum of Venus' dark side is analyzed. It is observed that the Venus atmosphere is composed of CO and radiation escapes only at 1.74 microns and 2.2 to 2.4 microns. The possible origin of the radiation, either due to absorbed sunlight or escaping thermal radiation, was investigated. These two hypotheses were eliminated, and it is proposed that the clouds of Venus are transparent and the radiation originates from the same stratum as the brighter portions but is weakened by the passage through the upper layer. The significance of the observed dark side markings is discussed.

  7. Circulation of Venus upper mesosphere.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zasova, Ludmila; Gorinov, Dmitry; Shakun, Alexey; Altieri, Francesca; Migliorini, Alessandra; Piccioni, Giuseppe; Drossart, Pierre

    2014-05-01

    Observation of the O2 1.27 ?m airglow intensity distribution on the night side of Venus is one of the methods of study of the circulation in upper mesosphere 90-100 km. VIRTIS-M on board Venus Express made these observations in nadir and limb modes in Southern and Northern hemispheres respectively. Global map of the O2 night glow is published (Piccioni et al. 2009). In this work we use for analysis only data, obtained with exposure > 3 s to avoid high noisy data. It was found that intensity of emission decreases to poles and to terminators (similar to Piccioni et al.2009) in both hemispheres, which gives evidence for existence of SS-AS circulation with transport of the air masses through poles and terminators with ascending/descending flows at SS/AS areas. However, asymmetry of distribution of intensity of airglow is observed in both hemispheres. Global map for southern hemisphere (from nadir data) has good statistics at ? > 10-20° S and pretty poor at low latitude. Maximum emission is shifted from midnight by 1 - 2 hours to the evening (22-23h) and deep minimum of emission is found at LT=2-4 h at ? > 20° S. This asymmetry is extended up to equatorial region, however statistic is poor there. No evident indication for existence of the Retrograde Zonal Superrotation (RZS) is found: maximum emission in this case, which is resulting from downwards flow, should be shifted to the morning. The thermal tides, gravity waves are evidently influence on the night airglow distribution. VIRTIS limb observations cover the low northern latitudes and they are more sparse at higher latitudes. Intensity of airglow at ? = 0 - 20° N shows wide maximum, which is shifted by 1- 2 h from midnight to morning terminator. This obviously indicates that observed O2 night glow distribution in low North latitudes is explained by a superposition of SS-AS flow and RZS circulation at 95-100 km. This behavior is similar to the NO intensity distribution, obtained by SPICAV.

  8. Mantle plumes on Venus revisited

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kiefer, Walter S.

    1992-01-01

    The Equatorial Highlands of Venus consist of a series of quasicircular regions of high topography, rising up to about 5 km above the mean planetary radius. These highlands are strongly correlated with positive geoid anomalies, with a peak amplitude of 120 m at Atla Regio. Shield volcanism is observed at Beta, Eistla, Bell, and Atla Regiones and in the Hathor Mons-Innini Mons-Ushas Mons region of the southern hemisphere. Volcanos have also been mapped in Phoebe Regio and flood volcanism is observed in Ovda and Thetis Regiones. Extensional tectonism is also observed in Ovda and Thetis Regiones. Extensional tectonism is also observed in many of these regions. It is now widely accepted that at least Beta, Atla, Eistla, and Bell Regiones are the surface expressions of hot, rising mantel plumes. Upwelling plumes are consistent with both the volcanism and the extensional tectonism observed in these regions. The geoid anomalies and topography of these four regions show considerable variation. Peak geoid anomalies exceed 90 m at Beta and Atla, but are only 40 m at Eistla and 24 m at Bell. Similarly, the peak topography is greater at Beta and Atla than at Eistla and Bell. Such a range of values is not surprising because terrestrial hotspot swells also have a side range of geoid anomalies and topographic uplifts. Kiefer and Hager used cylindrical axisymmetric, steady-state convection calculations to show that mantle plumes can quantitatively account for both the amplitude and the shape of the long-wavelength geoid and topography at Beta and Atla. In these models, most of the topography of these highlands is due to uplift by the vertical normal stress associated with the rising plume. Additional topography may also be present due to crustal thickening by volcanism and crustal thinning by rifting. Smrekar and Phillips have also considered the geoid and topography of plumes on Venus, but they restricted themselves to considering only the geoid-topography ratio and did not examine either the geoid and topography amplitudes separately or the shapes of anomalies.

  9. A Venus Rover Capable of Long Life Surface Operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, M.; Shirley, J. H.; Abelson, R. D.

    2005-12-01

    Access to the surface of Venus would allow planetary scientists to address a number of currently open questions. Among these are the elemental and mineralogical composition of the surface; the interaction of the surface with the atmosphere; the atmospheric composition, especially isotope ratios of key species; the nature of the planetary volcanism (present activity, emissions to the atmosphere, and composition); planetary seismicity; the local surface meteorology (winds and pressure variability); and the surface geology and morphology at particular locations on the surface. A long lived Venus rover mission could be enabled by utilizing a novel Stirling engine system for both cooling and electric power. Previous missions to the Venus surface, including the Pioneer Venus and Venera missions, survived for only a few hours. The rover concept described in the present study is designed for a surface lifetime of 60 days, with the potential of operating well beyond that. A Thermo-Acoustic Stirling Heat Engine (TASHE) would convert the high-temperature (~1200 °C) heat from General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules into acoustic power which then drives a linear alternator and a pulse tube cooler to provide electric power and remove the large environmental heat load. The "cold" side of the engine would be furnished by the ambient atmosphere at 460 °C. This short study focused on the feasibility of using the TASHE system in this hostile environment to power a ~650 kg rover that would provide a mobile platform for science measurements. The instrument suite would collect data on atmospheric and surface composition, surface stratigraphy, and subsurface structure. An Earth-Venus-Venus trajectory would be used to deliver the rover to a low entry angle allowing an inflated ballute to provide a low deceleration and low heat descent to the surface. All rover systems would be housed in a pressure vessel in vacuum with the internal temperature maintained by the TASHE below 50 °C. No externally deployed or articulated components would be used and penetrations through the pressure vessel are minimized. Science data would be returned direct to Earth using S-Band to minimize atmospheric attenuation.

  10. Statistical study of low-frequency magnetic field fluctuations near Venus under the different interplanetary magnetic field orientations

    Microsoft Academic Search

    J. Du; T. L. Zhang; W. Baumjohann; C. Wang; M. Volwerk; Z. Vörös; L. Guicking

    2010-01-01

    The magnetic field fluctuations near Venus are investigated in the frequency range 0.03–0.3 Hz on the basis of the measurements observed by Venus Express from April 2006 to December 2008. The data are sorted by the angle between interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) and solar wind flow. The spatial distributions of fluctuation properties under the different IMF orientations are presented and

  11. Transits Of Venus: 1639, 1761, 1769, 1874, 1882, 2004, And 2012

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasachoff, Jay M.

    2012-01-01

    Transits of Venus are exceedingly rare predictable astronomical events, with only six having been observed since Jeremiah Horrox corrected Johannes Kepler's Rudolphine Tables and observed the transit of 1639. Edmond Halley's 1716 method of finding the size and scale of the Solar System and thus of the Universe led to hundreds of 18th-century and 19th-century transit-of-Venus expeditions for each event. I discuss the history and importance of the transit observations, and how spacecraft observations of the 1999 transit of Mercury, repeated at the 2003 and 2006 transits, led to the solution of the black-drop effect problem that had prevented Halley's method from reaching its desired accuracy and thus solution of the noble problem of astronomy to find the size and scale of the solar system. Other spacecraft observations of the 2004 transit of Venus have led to an analysis of how Venus's atmosphere becomes visible for about 25 minutes before second contact and after third contact, and links with prior historical claims, mostly invalid, to have discovered Venus's atmosphere at transits. Total-solar-irradiance spacecraft observations at the 2004 Venus transit link to exoplanet discoveries with NASA's aptly named Kepler Mission and ESA's CoRoT. I further link previous transit observations to planned observations for the June 5/6, 2012, Venus transit and the May 9, 2016, Mercury transit, together providing a historical basis for 22nd-century astronomers preparing to observe the December 10, 2117, Venus transit. My observations at the 2004 and 2012 transits of Venus were and will be supported in large part by grants from the Committee for Research and Exploration of the National Geographic Society. My solar observations were supported in part by NASA grant NNG04GK44G for work with the TRACE spacecraft and NASA Marshall grant NNX10AK47A and planetary work supported in part by NNX08AO50G from NASA Planetary Astronomy.

  12. Clouds and aerosols on Venus: an overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Titov, D. V.; Ignatiev, N. I.; McGouldrick, K.; Wilquet, V.; Wilson, C. F.

    2014-04-01

    The past decade demonstrated significant progress in understanding of the Venus cloud system. This paper gives a summary of new observations and modelling efforts that will form the basis for a relevant chapter in the Venus III book. Venus Express observations reveal significant latitudinal variations and temporal changes in the global cloud top morphology [1]. The cloud top altitude varies from ~72 km in the low and middle latitudes to ~64 km in the polar region, correlated with decrease of the aerosol scale height from 4 ± 1.6 km to 1.7 ± 2.4 km marking a vast polar depression [2, 3]. UV imaging shows the middle latitudes and polar regions in unprecedented detail. The eye of the Southern polar vortex was found to be a strongly variable feature with complex morphology and dynamics [4]. Solar and stellar occultations give access to a vertical profiling of the light absorption by the aerosols in the upper haze. The aerosol loading in the mesosphere of Venus investigated by SPICAV experiment onboard Venus Express between 2006 and 2010 was highly variable on both short and long time scales. The extinction at a given altitude can vary with a factor of 10 for occultations separated by a few Earth days. The extinction at a given altitude is also significantly lower towards the poles (by a factor 10 at least) compared to the values around the equator, while there is apparently no correlation between the extinction and the latitude in the region comprised between ±40° around the equator [5]. Based on Mie theory and on the observed spectral dependence of light extinction in spectra recorded simultaneously in the UV (SPICAV-UV), in the near IR (SPICAV-IR), and in the short-and midwavelength IR (SPICAV-SOIR), the size distribution of aerosols in the upper haze of Venus was retrieved, assuming H2SO4/water composition of the droplets [6]. The optical model includes H2SO4 concentrations from 60 to 85%. A number of results are strikingly new: (1) an increase of the H2SO4 concentration with a decreasing altitude (from 70-75% at about 90 km to 85% at 70 km of altitude) and (2) Many SOIR/SPICAV data cannot be fitted when using size distributions found in the literature, with an effective radius below 0.3 ?m and a variance of about 2. The scale height of the upper haze is found to be 6.9 ± 5.1 km. The lower & middle cloud layers - those at 48 - 60 km altitudes - are difficult to observe, as they are hidden by upper clouds. Nevertheless, both nightside near-IR sounding and radio occultation has provided valuable insight into cloud processes in this region. Near IR sounding reveals the morphology of the lower/middle clouds 'backlit' by thermally emitted photons from the lower atmosphere. The morphology of these clouds changes on timescales of order of 24 hours [7]. The vertically integrated cloud optical depth is twice as great in the polar collar (at 75 degrees latitude) compared to low latitudes. Spectral band ratio analysis, if interpreted strictly in terms of Mode 1 / 2 / 2' / 3 particles of H2SO4:H2O mixtures, the acidity of the cloud particles is found to be higher near the polar collar and in regions of optically thick cloud [8]. Particles in the centre of the polar vortex exhibit anomalously high band ratios so are significantly larger and/or of different composition than those at low latitudes [9]. Radio occultation from Venus Express confirms that the atmosphere is in convective equilibrium from 50-60 km [10]. Sulphuric acid vapour profiles calculated from the absorption of the radio signals show an atmosphere saturated with sulphuric acid in the cloud layer [11]. Both of these results are consistent with the understanding of convective condensational cloud at altitudes of 50-60 km. Microphysical simulations of the aerosol populations in the atmosphere of Venus have received a boost from the recent exploration of particle properties carried out by various teams using Venus Express over the last decade or so. Numerous groups are applying separate models to the coupled problems of the Venus clouds. Quasi-periodic variabilit

  13. Crustal deformation: Earth vs Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Turcotte, D. L.

    1989-01-01

    It is timely to consider the possible tectonic regimes on Venus both in terms of what is known about Venus and in terms of deformation mechanisms operative on the earth. Plate tectonic phenomena dominate tectonics on the earth. Horizontal displacements are associated with the creation of new crust at ridges and destruction of crust at trenches. The presence of plate tectonics on Venus is debated, but there is certainly no evidence for the trenches associated with subduction on the earth. An essential question is what kind of tectonics can be expected if there is no plate tectonics on Venus. Mars and the Moon are reference examples. Volcanic constructs appear to play a dominant role on Mars but their role on Venus is not clear. On single plate planets and satellites, tectonic structures are often associated with thermal stresses. Cooling of a planet leads to thermal contraction and surface compressive features. Delamination has been propsed for Venus by several authors. Delamination is associated with the subduction of the mantle lithosphere and possibly the lower crust but not the upper crust. The surface manifestations of delamination are unclear. There is some evidence that delamination is occurring beneath the Transverse Ranges in California. Delamination will certainly lead to lithospheric thinning and is likely to lead to uplift and crustal thinning.

  14. NASA CONNECT: Venus Transit

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    2004-01-01

    In this program, students learn about the importance of using scale models to represent the size and distance of objects in the Solar System and beyond. They are introduced to the astronomical unit (AU), the baseline distance from the Earth to the Sun, which astronomers use to determine the relative distances from Earth to other planets, stars, asteroids, and objects in space. They also discover facts about the Venus Transit, a celestial and historical event, which helped astronomers determine the scale of the Solar System. Students use measurement, ratios, and graphing to construct a model of the solar system and determine the relationship of each planet to the Sun. They will explore the scales needed to represent the size of the planets and the distances to the Sun.

  15. Pioneer Venus 1978

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1976-01-01

    An orbiter and a multiprobe spacecraft will be sent to Venus in 1978 to conduct a detailed examination of the planet's atmosphere and weather. The spin-stabilized multiprobe spacecraft consists of a bus, a large probe and three identical small probes, each carrying a complement of scientific instruments. The large probe will conduct a detailed sounding of the lower atmosphere, obtaining measurements of the clouds, atmospheric structure, wind speed, and atmospheric composition. Primary emphasis will be placed on the planet's energy balance and clouds. The three small probes will provide information on the circulation pattern of the lower atmosphere. The probe bus will provide data on the upper atmosphere and ionosphere down to an altitude of about 120 km. The orbiter is designed to globally map the atmosphere, ionosphere, and the solar wind/ionosphere interaction. In addition, it will utilize radar mapping techniques to study the surface.

  16. ENA diagnostic of the solar wind interaction with Mars and Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barabash, Stas

    Charge - exchange of the solar wind ions flowing around non-magnetized Mars and Venus on their exospheres results in hydrogen energetic neutral atom (ENA) emissions. Accelerated planetary ions may also experience charge - exchange resulting in planetary ENAs, mainly oxygen. The ENAs carry information on the ion distribution functions integrated over the line-of-sight and are used for remote sensing of the original plasma populations. The ASPERA-3/4 instruments (Analyzer of Space Plasmas and Energetic Atoms) onboard Mars Express and Venus Express missions performed the first-ever measurements of ENAs from these bodies in the energy range 100 eV - 10 keV. ENAs are mostly emitted by the magnetospheath plasma flowing around the induced magnetosphere. Due to lower gravity the Martian exosphere extends further in the magnetosheath than at Venus that makes Mars a “brighter ENA source”. We thus focus mostly on Mars and only briefly discuss ENA observations at Venus. ENA emissions from an elementary emitting volume in the magnetosheath are highly anisotropic and occur along the tangential line to the stream-line in this point. That makes impossible to obtain a global ENA image of the object from a single vantage point contrary to, for example, “classical” ENA imaging of the terrestrial ring current. At Mars the statistically obtained emission pattern shows an increase in the ENA flux perpendicular to the sun direction resembling a thick layer or a wall. The emissions coming mostly from the sub-solar point show an increase in the direction opposite to the convective electric field indicating the induced magnetosphere boundary is not cylindrically symmetric and closer to planet in this direction. Measurements of ENAs turned out to be an effective way to reveal the global dynamics of an induced magnetosphere. Arrival of an interplanetary shock to Mars and the associated compression of the induced magnetosphere are clearly detected as an abrupt termination of the ENA signal because the ENA wall suddenly moved away from the spacecraft. When the spacecraft stays sufficiently long inside the ENA wall, oscillations of the ENA signal with a period of 30 sec - few min (~0.01 Hz) can be observed. The oscillations of the similar frequency are observed in the electron and ion fluxes in the magnetosheath as well as magnetic field. Their physics is not understood. Mars Express/ASPERA-3 detected a slight increase of the ENA emissions above the magnetic anomalies. It may be related to the increase of the neutral densities above these regions. Contrary to the predictions, Mars Express/ASPERA-3 did not detect any oxygen ENAs. That allowed to provide upper limits for the hydrogen exospheric densities which turned out to be much lower at the solar minimum than expected. Finally, we introduce a few “exotic” ideas of using ENAs for studies the near-Venus and near-Mars space. Using ENAs backscattered from the atmosphere one may obtain global precipitating maps. Using the neutral solar wind passing through the upper atmosphere at the terminate region, one may realize neutral solar wind occultation geometry and use the ENA signal variation for the upper atmosphere profiling.

  17. Venus - First Radar Test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    After traveling more than 1.5 billion kilometers (948 million miles), the Magellan spacecraft was inserted into orbit around Venus on Aug. 10, 1990. This mosaic consists of adjacent pieces of two Magellan image strips obtained on Aug. 16 in the first radar test. The radar test was part of a planned In Orbit Checkout sequence designed to prepare the Magellan spacecraft and radar to begin mapping after Aug. 31. The strip on the left was returned to the Goldstone Deep Space Network station in California; the strip to the right was received at the DSN in Canberra, Australia. A third station that will be receiving Magellan data is located near Madrid, Spain. Each image strip is 20 km (12 miles) wide and 16,000 km (10,000 miles) long. This mosaic is a small portion 80 km (50 miles) long. This image is centered at 21 degrees north latitude and 286.8 degrees east longitude, southeast of a volcanic highland region called Beta Regio. The resolution of the image is about 120 meters (400 feet), 10 times better than previous images of the same area of Venus, revealing many new geologic features. The bright line trending northwest southeast across the center of the image is a fracture or fault zone cutting the volcanic plains. In the upper left corner of the image, a multiple ring circular feature of probable volcanic origin can be seen, approximately 4.27 km (2.65 miles) across. The bright and dark variations seen in the plains surrounding these features correspond to volcanic lava flows of varying ages. The volcanic lava flows in the southern half of the image have been cut by north south trending faults. This area is similar geologically to volcanic deposits seen on Earth at Hawaii and the Snake River Plains in Idaho.

  18. The final status of Japanese Venus Climate Orbiter (PLANET-C) in the integration test

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, M.; Imamura, T.; Ishii, N.; Satoh, T.; Ueno, M.; Abe, T.; Suzuki, M.; Yamazaki, A.; Iwagami, N.; Taguchi, M.; Watanabe, S.; Takahashi, Y.

    2009-12-01

    The Venus Climate Orbiter mission (PLANET-C), one of the future planetary missions of Japan, aims at understanding the atmospheric circulation of Venus. Meteorological information will be obtained by globally mapping clouds and minor constituents successively with 4 cameras at ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths, detecting lightning with a high-speed imager, and observing the vertical structure of the atmosphere with radio science technique. The equatorial elongated orbit with westward revolution fits the observation of the movement and temporal variation of the atmosphere which rotates westward. The systematic, continuous imaging observations will provide us with an unprecedented large dataset of the Venusian atmospheric dynamics. Planet-C will be launched in 2010 and will reach Venus in 5 months. Nominal operation period is 2 earth years. It is now under the final integration test at ISAS/JAXA in Sagamihara, which started in June 2009. We will report the final status of the spacecraft before the launch.

  19. Imaging of Mercury and Venus from a flyby

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Murray, B.C.; Belton, M.J.S.; Edward, Danielson G.; Davies, M.E.; Kuiper, G.P.; O'Leary, B. T.; Suomi, V.E.; Trask, N.J.

    1971-01-01

    This paper describes the results of study of an imaging experiment planned for the 1973 Mariner Venus/Mercury flyby mission. Scientific objectives, mission constraints, analysis of alternative systems, and the rationale for final choice are presented. Severe financial constraints ruled out the best technical alternative for flyby imaging, a film/readout system, or even significant re-design of previous Mariner vidicon camera/tape recorder systems. The final selection was a vidicon camera quite similar to that used for Mariner Mars 1971, but with the capability of real time transmission during the Venus and Mercury flybys. Real time data return became possible through dramatic increase in the communications bandwidth at only modest sacrifice in the quality of the returned pictures. Two identical long focal length cameras (1500 mm) were selected and it will be possible to return several thousand pictures from both planets at resolutions ranging from equivalent to Earthbased to tenths of a kilometer at encounter. Systematic high resolution ultraviolet photography of Venus is planned after encounter in an attempt to understand the nature of the mysterious ultraviolet markings and their apparent 4- to 5-day rotation period. Full disk coverage in mosaics will produce pictures of both planets similar in quality to Earthbased telescopic pictures of the Moon. The increase of resolution, more than three orders of magnitude, will yield an exciting first look at two planets whose closeup appearance is unknown. ?? 1971.

  20. Hot-spot tectonics of Eistla Regio, Venus: Results from Magellan images and Pioneer Venus gravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grimm, Robert E.; Phillips, Roger J.

    1991-06-01

    Eistla Regio (ER) is a broad, low, discontinuous topographic rise striking roughly EW at low northern latitudes of Venus. Some 2000 x 7000 km in dimensions, it is the third largest rise in planform on Venus after Aphrodite Terra and Beta Phoebe Regiones. These rises are the key physiographic elements in a hot spot model of global tectonics including transient plume behavior. Since ER is the first such rise viewed by Magellan and the latitude is very favorable for Pioneer Venus gravity studies, some of the predictions of a time dependent hot spot model are tested. Western ER is defined as the rise including Gula and Sif Mons and central ER as that including Sappho Patera. Superior conjunction prevented Magellan from returning data on eastern ER (Pavlova) during the first mapping cycle. It is concluded that the western and central portions of ER, while part of the same broad topographic rise and tectonic framework, have distinctly different surface ages and gravity signatures. The western rise, including Gula and Sif Mons, is the expression of deep seated uplift with volcanism limited to the individual large shields. The eastern portion has been widely resurfaced more recently by thermal anomalies in the mantle.

  1. Hot-spot tectonics of Eistla Regio, Venus: Results from Magellan images and Pioneer Venus gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grimm, Robert E.; Phillips, Roger J.

    1991-01-01

    Eistla Regio (ER) is a broad, low, discontinuous topographic rise striking roughly EW at low northern latitudes of Venus. Some 2000 x 7000 km in dimensions, it is the third largest rise in planform on Venus after Aphrodite Terra and Beta Phoebe Regiones. These rises are the key physiographic elements in a hot spot model of global tectonics including transient plume behavior. Since ER is the first such rise viewed by Magellan and the latitude is very favorable for Pioneer Venus gravity studies, some of the predictions of a time dependent hot spot model are tested. Western ER is defined as the rise including Gula and Sif Mons and central ER as that including Sappho Patera. Superior conjunction prevented Magellan from returning data on eastern ER (Pavlova) during the first mapping cycle. It is concluded that the western and central portions of ER, while part of the same broad topographic rise and tectonic framework, have distinctly different surface ages and gravity signatures. The western rise, including Gula and Sif Mons, is the expression of deep seated uplift with volcanism limited to the individual large shields. The eastern portion has been widely resurfaced more recently by thermal anomalies in the mantle.

  2. Lack of Phase Variation of Venus

    Microsoft Academic Search

    J. R. Dickel; W. W. Warnock; W. J. MEDD

    1968-01-01

    Observations of Venus on a wavelength of 4.52 cm show a negligible phase variation and a mean brightness temperature for the planet of 654+\\/-35° K. Venus, it seems, must have a very thick atmosphere.

  3. Definition and archiving of ground-based observations in support of space missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coustenis, A.; Europlanet Wg3&5

    This science case was developed by the WG3&5 to induce and optimize the follow- up of space missions or to monitor a probe entry, in order to provide support in the case of failure, and help achieve science objectives. The space mission data need to be complemented by ground-based and space-borne observations that can help interpret the space mission return. Such coordinated observations were performed at the time of the Huygens descent in Titan's atmosphere and led to a JGR special issue publication (2006, in press). We should gather and archive all such observations to support space missions already existing or to come. For this we would need to get the space mission data from Cassini-Huygens (both images and spectra), Venus Express, Mars Express and future missions (to Europa and Mercury for instance) and complete them with ground-based observations (spectra, images, radio data, radar,...) of Titan, Venus, Mars, Europa, Mercury with the HST, ISO, etc, as well as amateur observations, if possible, taken from 1990 on. This applies to cometary, moon and planet surfaces/subsurfaces composition- structure. This would help among other with the target selections (comets, moons) and landing sites for SMART-1 (on the Moon). There are specific needs for stereoscopic images of the Moon and other objects. Our study will assist in optimizing the Rosetta mission return. For Mercury we need to observe from the ground at the time of the Bepi-Colombo mission to cross-calibrate the mission data. There are many examples of success from this additional input, as for instance with Cassini-Huygens (DWE- Channel C), Galileo, etc. For Titan there is a requirement for RADAR measurements of the whole surface during the extended Cassini mission. Also, assist with the interpretation of high-resolution DISR images in terms of surface activity and surface-atmosphere interactions This involves in some cases techniques possible only from the Earth such as the VLBI 1 radio-tracking of a space mission with probe signal during entry or landing and a radar search for solid and liquid extents on moon surfaces. We need to assure extended temporal monitoring to study diurnal or seasonal effects and complete planetary objects' lightcurves and derive insights on the evolution of their surface properties 2

  4. Pioneer Venus large probe neutral mass spectrometer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoffman, J.

    1982-01-01

    The deuterium hydrogen abundance ratio in the Venus atmosphere was measured while the inlets to the Pioneer Venus large probe mass spectrometer were coated with sulfuric acid from Venus' clouds. The ratio is (1.6 + or - 0.2) x 10 to the minus two power. It was found that the 100 fold enrichment of deuterium means that Venus outgassed at least 0.3% of a terrestrial ocean and possibly more.

  5. Exploring Mercury: Scientific Results from the MESSENGER Mission

    E-print Network

    Rhoads, James

    #12;Exploring Mercury: Scientific Results from the MESSENGER Mission Larry R. Nittler Carnegie-Cahill · MESSENGER Science Team, Engineers, Mission Operations (APL) #12;Mars Mercury · Naked-eye planet, but very difficult to observe due to proximity to Sun May 12, 2011, from NZ (M. White, Flickr) Mercury Venus Jupiter

  6. The effect of dys-1 mutation on miRNA expression profile in Caenorhabditis elegans during Shenzhou-8 mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Dan; Sun, Yeqing; Gao, Ying; Xing, Yanfang

    microRNAs (miRNAs) is reported to be sensitive to radiation exposure and altered gravity, involved in a variety of biological processes through negative regulation of gene expression. Dystrophin-like dys-1 gene is expressed and required in muscle tissue, which plays a vital role in mechanical transduction when gravity varies. In the present study, we investigated the effect of dys-1 mutation on miRNA expression profile in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) under space radiation associated with microgravity (R+M) and radiation alone (R) environment during Shenzhou-8 mission. We performed miRNA microarray analysis in dys-1 mutant and wide-type (WT) of dauer larvae and found that 27 miRNAs changed in abundance after spaceflight. Compared with WT, there was different miRNA expression pattern in different treatments in dys-1 mutant. Cel-miR-796 and miR-124 were reversely expressed under R+M and R environment in WT and dys-1 mutant, respectively, indicating they might be affected by microgravity. Mutation of dys-1 remarkably reduced the number of altered miRNAs under space environment, resulting in the decrease of genes in biological categories of “body morphogenesis”, “behavior”, “cell adhesion” and so on. Particularly, we found that those genes controlling regulation of locomotion in WT were lost in dys-1 mutant, while genes in positive regulation of developmental process only existed in dys-1 mutant. miR-796 was predicted to target genes ace-1 and dyc-1 that are functionally linked to dys-1. Integration analysis of miRNA and mRNA expression profile revealed that miR-56 and miR-124 were involved in behavior and locomotion by regulating different target genes under space environment, among which nep-11, deb-1, C07H4.1 and F11H8.2 might be associated with neuromuscular system. Our findings suggest that dys-1 could cause alteration of miRNAs and target genes, involved in regulating the response of C. elegans to space microgravity in neuromuscular system. This research will provide new insight for better understanding of the mechanism in microgravity-induced muscular dystrophy.

  7. Dual Balloon Concept for Lifting Payloads from the Surface of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kerzhanovich, Viktor V.; Yavrouian, A. H.; Hall, J. L.; Cutts, J. A.

    2005-01-01

    Introduction: Two high-rated Venus mission concepts proposed in the National Science Foundation Decadal Survey require a balloon to lift payloads from Venusian surface to high altitudes: Venus Surface Sample Return (VESSR) and Venus In-Situ Explorer (VISE). In case of VESSR the payload is a canister with the surface sample plus a Venus ascent vehicle (VAV), which is a rocket that takes the sample into orbit for rendezvous with an Earth return vehicle. VISE is envisioned as a more limited precursor mission where the surface sample is only taken to high altitudes so that non time-critical analyses can be performed. From the balloon point of view, the only difference between these two missions is that the VESSR payload to be lifted is very much larger than VISE because of the inclusion of the VAV. A key problem is that at the time the decadal survey was published, no high temperature balloon technology existed to implement either mission. Prior technology development efforts had concentrated on a single balloon that could operate across the entire 0-60 km altitude range, tolerating both the sulfuric acid aerosols and the extreme temperatures of -10 to +460 C. However, this problem was unsolved because no combination of sufficiently lightweight balloon material and manufacturing (seaming) technology was ever found to tolerate the high temperatures at the surface.

  8. Earth and Venus transmission spectra during transit

    E-print Network

    Widemann, Thomas

    Earth and Venus transmission spectra during transit 3rd Europlanet workshop ­ 4th PHC/Sakura meeting: Venus as a transiting exoplanet March 5 ­ 7 2012, Paris, France A. García Muñoz (Formerly at) Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, La Laguna, Spain Frank P. Mills (Venus work) The Australian National

  9. Goals, Objectives, and Investigations for Venus Exploration

    E-print Network

    Rathbun, Julie A.

    Goals, Objectives, and Investigations for Venus Exploration May 2014 #12; ii Goals, Objectives, and Investigations for Venus Exploration At the VEXAG meeting in November 2012, it was resolved to update the scientific priorities and strategies for Venus exploration. To achieve this goal, three major

  10. Geological map of the Kaiwan Fluctus Quadrangle (V-44), Venus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bridges, Nathan T.; McGill, George E.

    2002-01-01

    Introduction The Magellan spacecraft orbited Venus from August 10, 1990, until it plunged into the Venusian atmosphereon October 12, 1994. Magellan had the objectives of: (1) improving knowledge of the geologic processes, surface properties, and geologic history of Venus by analysis of surface radar characteristics, topography, and morphology and (2) improving knowledge of the geophysics of Venus by analysis of Venusian gravity. The Magellan spacecraft carried a 12.6-cm radar system to map the surface of Venus. The transmitter and receiver systems were used to collect three datasets: synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images of the surface, passive microwave thermal emission observations, and measurements of the backscattered power at small angles of incidence, which were processed to yield altimetric data. Radar imaging and altimetric and radiometric mapping of the Venusian surface were done in mission cycles 1, 2, and 3, from September 1990 until September of 1992. Ninety-eight percent of the surface was mapped with radar resolution of approximately 120 meters. The SAR observations were projected to a 75-m nominal horizontal resolution; these full-resolution data compose the image base used in geologic mapping. The primary polarization mode was horizontal-transmit, horizontal receive (HH), but additional data for selected areas were collected for the vertical polarization sense. Incidence angles varied from about 20? to 45?. High-resolution Doppler tracking of the spacecraft was done from September 1992 through October 1994 (mission cycles 4, 5, 6). High-resolution gravity observations from about 950 orbits were obtained between September 1992 and May 1993, while Magellan was in an elliptical orbit with a periapsis near 175 kilometers and an apoapsis near 8,000 kilometers. Observations from an additional 1,500 orbits were obtained following orbit-circularization in mid-1993. These data exist as a 75? by 75? harmonic field.

  11. Geologic map of the Pandrosos Dorsa Quadrangle (V-5), Venus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rosenberg, Elizabeth; McGill, George E.

    2001-01-01

    Introduction The Magellan spacecraft orbited Venus from August 10, 1990, until it plunged into the Venusian atmosphere on October 12, 1994. Magellan had the objectives of (1) improving knowledge of the geologic processes, surface properties, and geologic history of Venus by analysis of surface radar characteristics, topography, and morphology and (2) improving knowledge of the geophysics of Venus by analysis of Venusian gravity. The Magellan spacecraft carried a 12.6-cm radar system to map the surface of Venus. The transmitter and receiver systems were used to collect three datasets: synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images of the surface, passive microwave thermal emission observations, and measurements of the backscattered power at small angles of incidence, which were processed to yield altimetric data. Radar imaging and altimetric and radiometric mapping of the Venusian surface were done in mission cycles 1, 2, and 3, from September 1990 until September 1992. Ninety-eight percent of the surface was mapped with radar resolution of approximately 120 meters. The SAR observations were projected to a 75-m nominal horizontal resolution; these full-resolution data compose the image base used in geologic mapping. The primary polarization mode was horizontal-transmit, horizontal-receive (HH), but additional data for selected areas were collected for the vertical polarization sense. Incidence angles varied from about 20? to 45?. High-resolution Doppler tracking of the spacecraft was done from September 1992 t