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Sample records for aboard venus express

  1. Questions About Venus after Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limaye, Sanjay

    2016-04-01

    The observations from Venus Express for nearly 13 Venus years or 26 solar days from April 2006 till 27 November 2014. Earlier, Venus has been explored by fly-by spacecraft, orbiters, descending probes, landers and floating balloons. These data have been supplemented by many ground based observations at reflected solar wavelengths, short and long wave infrared, millimeter to radio waves. Venus Express added significantly to the collection that will continue to be examined for understanding the planet's atmosphere and continuing analysis will inform us about new facets of the atmosphere and raise new questions. Inter-comparison of the measurements have been able to provide a general idea of the global atmosphere. However, re-visiting these observations also raises some questions about the atmosphere that have not received much attention lately but deserve to be explored and considered for future measurements. These questions are about the precise atmospheric composition in the deep atmosphere, the atmospheric state in the lower atmosphere, the static stability of the lower atmosphere, the clouds and hazes, the nature of the ultraviolet absorber(s) in the cloud layer, and wind speed and direction near the surface from equator to the pole, interaction between the atmosphere and the solid planet. The answers to these questions are important for a better understanding of Venus, its weather and climate and how the climate has evolved. The questions include: (i) What are the implications of the supercritical state of the two primary constituents of the Venus atmosphere - carbon dioxide and nitrogen in the lower atmosphere? (ii) Is the Venus (lower) atmosphere well mixed? (iii) What determines the observed alternating stable and unstable layers (static stability) in the lower atmosphere? (iv) What causes the contrasts seen in reflected sunlight which are largest at ultraviolet wavelengths and very muted at other visible wavelengths? (v) what causes the morning -afternoon

  2. Analysis of Venus Express optical extinction due to aerosols in the upper haze of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parkinson, C. D.; Bougher, S. W.; Schulte, R.; Gao, P.; Yung, Y. L.; Vandaele, A.; Wilquet, V.; Mahieux, A.; Tellmann, S.

    2013-12-01

    Observations by the SPICAV/SOIR instruments aboard the Venus Express (VEx) spacecraft have revealed that the upper haze (UH) of Venus, between 70 and 90 km, is variable on the order of days to weeks and that it is populated by two particle modes. Gao et al. (submitted, Icarus, 2013) posit that one mode is made up of cloud particles that have diffused upwards from the main sulfuric acid cloud deck below, while the other mode is generated in situ by nucleation of sulfuric acid droplets on meteoric dust. They also propose that the observed variability in the UH is caused in part by vertical transient winds. They test this hypothesis by simulating a column of the Venus atmosphere from 40 to 100 km above the surface using a model based upon the Community Aerosol and Radiation Model for Atmospheres (CARMA). In this work, we significantly extend the analysis using the new more detailed SOIR/VeRa VEx temperature profiles which better constrain the observed strong CO2 15-micron cooling emission and 4.3-μm near-IR heating in Venus' atmosphere (and consistent with Venus Thermospheric General Circulation Model (VTGCM) simulations of Brecht et al. (2011)). We discuss our new results in context of the recent VEx observations (Wilquet et al., Icarus 217, 2012) with an intercomparison with the PVO data. We will also discuss similarities and differences arising from the PVO and VEx epochs where they exist. Additionally we report on our efforts self-consistently applying the VTGCM to constrain the degree to which effects due to vertical transient wind simulations can establish variability timescales and number density profiles that match VEx observations.

  3. Magnetic observations of Venus ionosphere during Venus Express aerobraking campaign

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Tielong; Baumjohann, Wolfgang; Russell, Christopher; Luhmann, Janet

    2015-04-01

    During the late days of the Venus Express mission, an aerobraking campaign was performed in May - July 2014. The altering of the spacecraft orbit allows the pericenter went to as low as 129.7 km in altitude, which is well below the main peak ionosphere altitude of ~140 km. Magnetic observations during aerobraking campaign shows that the Venus ionosphere exhibits the same magnetic properties as observed by Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO) during solar maximum for altitude above 150 km which was the lowest altitude reached by PVO: magnetized ionosphere with large-scale horizontal magnetic field; or unmagnetized ionosphere with numerous small-scale thin structures, so-called flux ropes. However, around or below main peak ionosphere altitude, we find only very low background magnetic field of several nanotesla, without any large magnetic belt or larger spikes of fields, the so-called flux ropes. Apparently the magnetization of the ionosphere or the penetration of the magnetic ropes stops at main peak ionosphere altitude.

  4. High altitude Venus' upper haze from SOIR onboard Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takagi, Seiko; Mahieux, Arnaud; Wilquet, Valérie; Robert, Séverine; Drummond, Rachel; Carine Vandaele, Ann; Iwagami, Naomoto

    2015-04-01

    The Venus cloud consists of a main cloud deck at 47 - 70 km, with thinner hazes above and below. The upper haze on Venus lies above the main cloud surrounding the planet, ranging from the top of the cloud (70 km) up to as high as 90 km. The Solar Occultation in the InfraRed (SOIR) onboard Venus Express is designed to measure the atmospheric transmission at high altitudes (65 - 165 km) in the infrared (IR, 2.2 - 4.3 µm) with high spectral resolution by solar occultation. We investigated haze optical properties of Venus at above 90 km by analyzing SOIR spectral data. Vertical and latitudinal profiles of haze extinction, optical thickness, and mixing ratio were retrieved. These profiles exhibit the following characteristics. It shows that haze is present at altitude above 90 km although it has been recognized that the top of haze layer is 90 km. Extinctions vary order of magnitude every occultation. Extinctions are appeared to be independent of wavelength. This makes it clear that haze particles are sufficiently-small in size in comparison with observation wavelength. We find that haze extinction and optical thickness at low latitude are two times thicker than those at high latitude. One of the notable results is that mixing ratio of haze increases at above 90 km at both high and low latitudes. It's the first time that haze is speculated to be produced at high altitude. In this paper, haze transport and increase processes will be discussed to explain the results from SOIR observation.

  5. Analysis of Venus Express optical extinction due to aerosols in the upper haze of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parkinson, Christopher; Bougher, Stephen; Mahieux, Arnaud; Tellmann, Silvia; Pätzold, Martin; Vandaele, Ann C.; Wilquet, Valérie; Schulte, Rick; Yung, Yuk; Gao, Peter; Bardeen, Charles

    Observations by the SPICAV/SOIR instruments aboard Venus Express (VEx) have revealed that the Upper Haze of Venus is populated by two particle modes, as reported by Wilquet et al. (J. Geophys. Res., 114, E00B42, 2009; Icarus 217, 2012). Gao et al. (In press, Icarus, 2013) posit that the large mode is made up of cloud particles that have diffused upwards from the cloud deck below, while the smaller mode is generated by the in situ nucleation of meteoric dust. They tested this hypothesis by using version 3.0 of the Community Aerosol and Radiation Model for Atmospheres, first developed by Turco et al. (J. Atmos. Sci., 36, 699-717, 1979) and upgraded to version 3.0 by Bardeen et al. (The CARMA 3.0 microphysics package in CESM, Whole Atmosphere Working Group Meeting, 2011). Using the meteoric dust production profile of Kalashnikova et al. (Geophys. Res. Lett., 27, 3293-3296, 2000), the sulfur/sulfate condensation nuclei production profile of Imamura and Hashimoto (J. Atmos. Sci., 58, 3597-3612, 2001), and sulfuric acid vapor production profile of Zhang et al. (Icarus, 217, 714-739, 2012), they numerically simulate a column of the Venus atmosphere from 40 to 100 km above the surface. Their aerosol number density results agree well with Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO) data from Knollenberg and Hunten (J. Geophys. Res., 85, 8039-8058, 1980), while their gas distribution results match that of Kolodner and Steffes below 55 km (Icarus, 132, 151-169, 1998). The resulting size distribution of cloud particles shows two distinct modes, qualitatively matching the observations of PVO. They also observe a third mode in their results with a size of a few microns at 48 km altitude, which appears to support the existence of the controversial third mode in the PVO data. This mode disappears if coagulation is not included in the simulation. The Upper Haze size distribution shows two lognormal-like distributions overlapping each other, possibly indicating the presence of the two distinct

  6. Venus Upper Atmosphere - Results from the Venus Express Aerobraking Campaign

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Svedhem, H.

    2015-12-01

    During the last year of operations Venus Express was conducting an experimental aerobraking campaign. The objectives were twofold; firstly, to exercise for the first time the techniques of orbit modification by aerobraking with a European spacecraft, in order to prepare for future scientific ESA missions, and secondly, to collect information on atmospheric density by direct measurements in an environment difficult to sample with other means. Several of the scientific instruments on board Venus Express measured gas abundances of various gasses, including CO2, up to an altitude of 130km, but no reliable measurements could be made of total density and no remote measurements could be done above this altitude. 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. The so called "walk-in" phase started at an altitude of 190 km on 17 May 2014 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. The orbital period was

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  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

  13. VIRTIS on Venus Express: retrieval of real surface emissivity on global scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

    The extraction of surface emissivity data provides the data base for surface composition analyses and enables to evaluate Venus' geology. The Visible and InfraRed Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) aboard ESA's Venus Express mission measured, inter alia, the nightside thermal emission of Venus in the near infrared atmospheric windows between 1.0 and 1.2 μm. These data can be used to determine information about surface properties on global scales. This requires a sophisticated approach to understand and consider the effects and interferences of different atmospheric and surface parameters influencing the retrieved values. In the present work, results of a new technique for retrieval of the 1.0 - 1.2 μm - surface emissivity are summarized. It includes a Multi-Window Retrieval Technique, a Multi-Spectrum Retrieval technique (MSR), and a detailed reliability analysis. The MWT bases on a detailed radiative transfer model making simultaneous use of information from different atmospheric windows of an individual spectrum. MSR regularizes the retrieval by incorporating available a priori mean values, standard deviations as well as spatial-temporal correlations of parameters to be retrieved. The capability of this method is shown for a selected surface target area. Implications for geologic investigations are discussed. Based on these results, the work draws conclusions for future Venus surface composition analyses on global scales using spectral remote sensing techniques. In that context, requirements for observational scenarios and instrumental performances are investigated, and recommendations are derived to optimize spectral measurements for Venus' surface studies.

  14. Horizontal Distribution of CO, OCS and H2O Below the Clouds of Venus From Venus Express/VIRTIS Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bezard, Bruno; Marcq, E.; Tsang, C. C.; Taylor, F. W.; Drossart, P.; Piccioni, G.; Encrenaz, T.; Vex/VIRTIS Team

    2006-09-01

    Nightside spectroscopy in the 2.3-μm window allows us to probe the composition of the lower atmosphere of Venus in the altitude range 28-42 km. Besides CO2, signatures from CO, OCS, H2O, HDO, HF and SO2 can be detected (e.g. Bézard et al. 1990, Nature 345, 508-511; Taylor et al. 1997, in Venus II, pp. 325-351, Univ. Arizona Press, Tucson). We report here on the first observations of this window on Venus' night side obtained with the VIRTIS instrument aboard Venus Express. It was observed at a resolving power (R) of about 2000 with the H-channel, a high-resolution spectrometer covering the range 1.9-5 μm, and at R 250 with the infrared M-channel, an imaging spectrometer for the range 1-5 μm. We present maps of CO in the southern hemisphere obtained with the M-channel and latitudinal variations of CO, OCS and H2O derived from a set of VIRTIS-H scans. CO clearly increases from equator to 60°S with a slight decrease polewards. Longitudinal structure is also present. The inferred gradient is consistent with the ground-based observations of Marcq et al. (2005, Icarus 179, 375-386; 2006, Planet. Space Sci., in press) below 40° latitude and mirrors the enhancement seen at high northern latitudes in the Galileo data (Collard et al. 1993, Planet. Space Sci. 41, 487-494). CO appears as a tracer of the atmospheric dynamics, giving evidence for upwelling in the equatorial region and subsidence at high latitudes.

  15. Magnetotellurics at Venus: What Venus Express and Pioneer Venus Tell Us about the Possibility of Electromagnetic Sounding of the Venus Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russell, Christopher T.; Zhang, Tielong L.; Baumjohann, Wolfgang; Luhmann, Janet G.; Villarreal, Michaela; Chi, Peter J.

    2016-04-01

    In late 2014, the Venus Express mission was allowed to drop its periapsis altitude into the Venus atmosphere, sufficiently low to penetrate below the maximum electron density of the ionosphere into the neutral atmosphere below. In this paper, we examine the observations in this region and assess if such observations could be used to sound the interior electrical conductivity of Venus. We conclude that the fluctuating field would only be useful for sounding with landers on the surface. However, it might be possible to sound the core using the draped magnetic field, an essentially static signature.

  16. Progress towards a post-Venus Express Clouds & Haze reference model for Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcq, Emmanuel; Belyaev, Denis; Wilson, Colin; Wilquet, Valérie; Luginin, Mikhail

    2016-07-01

    With the end of Venus Express in 2014, the focus of the scientific community has gradually moved from the study of Venus Express mono-instrumental data sets to cross-instrumental studies involving pure modelization as well. This is especially true for the clouds and hazes that surround most of the planet between 48 and 70 km. They play a major role at the crossroads of various atmospheric processes among which the radiative budget as well as the dynamical and chemical coupling between the lower and upper atmosphere. In order to support such efforts, ISSI has supported from 2013 to 2015 a "Clouds & Hazes of Venus" scientific team involving Venus Express and ground-based observers as well as microphysical modelers. Together, they compared their results in order to achieve a more unified and consistent view of Venus' clouds and hazes, taking into account its spatial and temporal variability more in detail than previously available VIRA-1 and 2 cloud models. We will review the individual data sets and models that have been used, and then present our strategy towards a unified cloud model. We will first make available some observable parameters to the wider community through a web-based repository. Our future steps will involve more advanced techniques (data assimilation) in order to achieve our objective of a unified Venus clouds & haze model that encompasses its various variabilities as well as possible.

  17. Distribution of sulphuric acid aerosols in the clouds and upper haze of Venus using Venus Express VAST and VeRa temperature profiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parkinson, Christopher D.; Gao, Peter; Schulte, Rick; Bougher, Stephen W.; Yung, Yuk L.; Bardeen, Charles G.; Wilquet, Valérie; Vandaele, Ann Carine; Mahieux, Arnaud; Tellmann, Silvia; Pätzold, Martin

    2015-08-01

    Observations from Pioneer Venus and from SPICAV/SOIR aboard Venus Express (VEx) have shown the upper haze (UH) of Venus to be highly spatially and temporally variable, and populated by multiple particle size modes. Previous models of this system (e.g., Gao et al., 2014. Icarus 231, 83-98), using a typical temperature profile representative of the atmosphere (viz., equatorial VIRA profile), did not investigate the effect of temperature on the UH particle distributions. We show that the inclusion of latitude-dependent temperature profiles for both the morning and evening terminators of Venus helps to explain how the atmospheric aerosol distributions vary spatially. In this work we use temperature profiles obtained by two instruments onboard VEx, VeRa and SPICAV/SOIR, to represent the latitudinal temperature dependence. We find that there are no significant differences between results for the morning and evening terminators at any latitude and that the cloud base moves downwards as the latitude increases due to decreasing temperatures. The UH is not affected much by varying the temperature profiles; however, the haze does show some periodic differences, and is slightly thicker at the poles than at the equator. We also find that the sulphuric acid "rain" seen in previous models may be restricted to the equatorial regions of Venus, such that the particle size distribution is relatively stable at higher latitudes and at the poles.

  18. Venus Express Measurement of ULF and ELF Signals in the Venus Ionosphere: Evidence for Extensive Electrical Activity in the Venus Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hart, R.; Russell, C. T.; Leinweber, H.; Zhang, T.

    2013-05-01

    Even though the surface of Venus is currently very dry, the atmosphere has extensive cloud cover. These clouds contain sulfuric acid particles that have properties sufficiently similar to water-ice that they would be expected to become charged, as in terrestrial clouds. Also the nitric oxide content of the Venus atmosphere, which is formed by lightning on Earth is similar to the terrestrial values. Thus it is not surprising that numerous manifestations of lightning on Venus have been reported. In this paper we use the Venus Express magnetic measurements to extend our understanding of Venus lightning. The gradiometer magnetometer configuration installed on Venus Express allows the cleaning of the data up to 6 KHz. We exploit these data in the second year of operation to add statistics to our existing data base. We show how ULF and ELF signals appear to reach the spacecraft via different paths but could have the same physical cause: electrical discharges in the Venus ionosphere.

  19. Temporal variations in the cloud cover of Venus as detected from Venus Monitoring Camera Images on Venus Express Orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    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. Images were normalized using Minnaert function to account for the varying scattering geometry in order to detect changes in the reflectivity of the cloud cover at selected locations in local solar time. The unit optical depth was determined from the location of the planet's bright limb, taken to be where the brightness gradient is maximum along the bright limb azimuth. The changes observed appear to be quasi periodic. References [1] H. Svedhem,D.V. Titov, F.W. Taylor, O. Witasse, The Venus Express mission, Nature 450, 629-632, 2007. [2] Markiewicz, W. J. et al. Venus monitoring camera for Venus Express. Planet. Space Sci. 55, 1701-1711, 2007.

  20. 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.

  1. Venus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martin, Paula; Stofan, Ellen

    2004-01-01

    On 8 June 2004 Venus will pass in front of the Sun as seen from the Earth. Many people will watch the small dark dot cross the solar disk, but will they stop to think about Venus as a real place? In this article we discuss what we know about Venus, what it looks like from orbit, what you might see if you were on the surface and future plans for…

  2. Venus O + pickup ions: Collected PVO results and expectations for Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luhmann, J. G.; Ledvina, S. A.; Lyon, J. G.; Russell, C. T.

    2006-11-01

    Observations of oxygen pickup ions by the plasma analyzer on the Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO) Mission arguably launched broad interest in solar wind erosion of unmagnetized planet atmospheres, and its potential evolutionary effects. Oxygen pickup ions may play key roles in the removal of the oxygen excess left behind from the photodissociation of water vapor by enabling direct escape, additional sputtering of oxygen when they impact the exobase, and escape as energetic neutrals produced in charge exchange reactions with the ambient exospheric oxygen and hydrogen. Although the PVO observations were compromised by an ˜8 keV energy limit for O + detection, a lack of ion composition capability, and the limited sampling and data rate of the plasma analyzer which was designed for solar wind monitoring, these measurements provide our best information about the extended O + exosphere and wake at Venus. Here we show the full picture of the spatial distribution and energies of the O + ion observations collected by the plasma analyzer during PVO's ˜5000 orbit tour. A model of O + test particles launched in the circum-Venus fields described by an MHD simulation of the solar wind interaction is used to help interpret the PVO observations and to anticipate the expanded view of Venus O + escape that will be provided by the ASPERA-4 experiment on Venus Express.

  3. Life after Venus Express: Science goals for a European Venus radar orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, Colin; Ghail, Richard

    ESA’s Venus Express mission has led to a renaissance of Venus science, following a dearth of Venus missions in the previous 15 years. Venus Express has made many discoveries in atmospheric science, for which its payload was optimised; however it has also provided tantalising hints about the geological activity of the planet. Mesospheric sulphur dioxide abundances vary by 1000% on decadal timescales, in a pattern which suggests episodic volcanic injections [Marcq et al. Nature Geosci 2013; Esposito, Science 1984]; anomalous emissivity near suggest volcanic hotspots implies geologically recent, as-yet-unweathered lava flows [Smrekar et al., Science 2010]; and recent results, if confirmed, show temporal evolution of thermal emission from some regions of the surface may be direct evidence of volcanic activity during the duration of the VEx mission [Shalygin et al., LPSC 2014]. While there are more results to be obtained yet from the Venus Express dataset, further investigation of these phenomena will require a new Venus mission. We therefore propose an orbiter mission focussed on characterising the geological activity of Venus. The key instrument would be a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). Why a radar mission following NASA’s Magellan mission? Radar capabilities are vastly improved in the last 30 years and a modern radar would be capable of spatial resolution approaching two orders of magnitude better than that from Magellan; this enables a wide range of investigations, from detailed study of tectonic, volcanic and Aeolian features, to stratigraphy for better reconstruction of geological epochs. Interferometric SAR could also be used to study the centimetre-scale surface deformations due to current volcanic or tectonic activity. Constraints on interior structure can be obtained not only from improved gravity mapping (from spacecraft tracking) but also by studying the spin state of Venus from high-resolution radar measurements. The radar measurements will be

  4. Coordinated Hubble Space Telescope and Venus Express Observations of Venus' upper cloud deck

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jessup, Kandis Lea; Marcq, Emmanuel; Mills, Franklin; Mahieux, Arnaud; Limaye, Sanjay; Wilson, Colin; Allen, Mark; Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Markiewicz, Wojciech; Roman, Tony; Vandaele, Ann-Carine; Wilquet, Valerie; Yung, Yuk

    2015-09-01

    Hubble Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (HST/STIS) UV observations of Venus' upper cloud tops were obtained between 20N and 40S latitude on December 28, 2010; January 22, 2011 and January 27, 2011 in coordination with the Venus Express (VEx) mission. The high spectral (0.27 nm) and spatial (40-60 km/pixel) resolution HST/STIS data provide the first direct and simultaneous record of the latitude and local time distribution of Venus' 70-80 km SO and SO2 (SOx) gas density on Venus' morning quadrant. These data were obtained simultaneously with (a) VEx/SOIR occultation and/or ground-based James Clerk Maxwell Telescope sub-mm observations that record respectively, Venus' near-terminator SO2 and dayside SOx vertical profiles between ∼75 and 100 km; and (b) 0.36 μm VEx/VMC images of Venus' cloud-tops. Updating the (Marcq, E. et al. [2011]. Icarus 211, 58-69) radiative transfer model SO2 gas column densities of ∼2-10 μm-atm and ∼0.4-1.8 μm-atm are retrieved from the December 2010 and January 2011 HST observations, respectively on Venus' dayside (i.e., at solar zenith angles (SZA) < 60°); SO gas column densities of 0.1-0.11 μm-atm, 0.03-0.31 μm-atm and 0.01-0.13 μm-atm are also retrieved from the respective December 28, 2010, January 22, 2011 and January 27, 2011 HST observations. A decline in the observed low-latitude 0.24 and 0.36 μm cloud top brightness paralleled the declining SOx gas densities. On December 28, 2010 SO2 VMR values ∼280-290 ppb are retrieved between 74 and 81 km from the HST and SOIR data obtained near Venus' morning terminator (at SZAs equal to 70° and 90°, respectively); these values are 10× higher than the HST-retrieved January 2011 near terminator values. Thus, the cloud top SO2 gas abundance declined at all local times between the three HST observing dates. On all dates the average dayside SO2/SO ratio inferred from HST between 70 and 80 km is higher than that inferred from the sub-mm the JCMT data above 84 km confirming that

  5. Measurements of minor species below the clouds of Venus using VIRTIS/Venus Express.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcq, Emmanuel; Drossart, Pierre; Bézard, Bruno; Piccioni, Giuseppe; Henry, Florence; Reess, Jean-Michel

    2016-07-01

    VIRTIS spectral imager was part of Venus Express (2006-2014) payload. On the night side, it was able to analyse the thermal radiation near 2.3 μm originating from the deep atmosphere of Venus and leaking through its optically thick cloud layers [Tsang et al., 2008; Marcq et al., 2008] measuring various minor species in the 30-40 km altitude range: CO, OCS, H_2O, HDO, SO_2, HF. Most of VIRTIS data acquired since 2008 have not been processed until now. Yet a more complete analysis of this data set would be very interesting, especially in the context of two recent discoveries brought by other Venus Express instruments (SPICAV and VMC): the confirmation of the large spatial and temporal variabiliy of SO_2 above Venus's clouds top [Marcq et al., 2013], indicative of a dynamical coupling between the lower atmosphere reservoir and the lower mesosphere; the unexpected correlation between the low latitude topography and several observable parameters at cloud top level [Fedorova et al., 2015; Bertaux et al., submitted]: zonal wind speed, UV albedo, H_2O abundance. We will present here preliminary results about these new composition measurements with an emphasis put on the search for various correlations (latitude/longitude, local solar time, date, etc.)

  6. Retrieval of Venus' clouds parameters with polarization using SPICAV-IR onboard Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    Understanding the structure and dynamics of Venus' clouds is essential as they have a strong impact on the radiative balance and atmospheric chemistry of the planet. Polarimetry has greatly contributed to our knwoledge about the properties of the cloud layers located between 48 and ~ 70 km. Hansen and Hovenier (1974), using ground-based observations, found the cloud particles to be ~ 1μm spherical droplets, with a refractive index corresponding to a concentrated sulfuric acid-water solution. Later, Kawabata et al. (1980), using polarimetric data from OCPP onboard Pioneer Venus retrieved the properties of the haze: effective radius of ~ 0.25μm, refractive indices consistent with a sulfuric acid-water solution, variance of the particle size distribution. We introduce here new measurements obtained with the SPICAV-IR spectrometer onboard ESA's Venus Express. Observing Venus in the visible and IR from 650 nm to 1625 nm with a good spatial and temporal converage, SPICAV's sensitivity to the degree of linear polarization gives us an opportunity to put better constraints on haze and cloud particles at Venus cloud top, as well as their spatial and temporal variability. These observations reveal a particular feature called glory, observed by SPICAV-IR and VMC (Markiewicz et al. 2014). Using a radiative transfer code taking into account polarization (de Haan et al. 1987, de Rooij et al. 1984, Stam et al. 1999), we model the cloud layers and the glory allowing us to retrieve the real part of the refractive index, the effective radius and variance of the particle size distribution from the main cloud layer. Our results confirm that the particles are spherical, with a narrow size distribution and with refractive indices that are compatible with H2SO4-H2O solutions (Rossi et al. 2014). Using the large latitudinal coverage of the data, we can also retrieve the variation of the overlying haze layer optical thickness. We find that τh is increasing with increasing latitude, in

  7. The search for active volcanism on Venus with Venus Express/VIRTIS data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsang, C. C. C.; Virtis Team

    The composition of the lower atmosphere of Venus is of primary importance in understanding the past and indeed current evolution of climatology on this most enigmatic of planets In discovering the near infrared windows centered at 2 3 1 7 and 1 18 microns Allen and Crawford 1 in 1983 paved the way for the lower 40km of the atmosphere to be probed remotely from space This has led Venus Express to carry imaging spectrometers such as VIRTIS to make full use of this phenomenon Some fundamental questions concerning the exact makeup of the atmosphere will be answered by analyzing VIRTIS data Data collected from past observations indicate the possibility of current volcanic activity on the surface of Venus The monitoring of SO 2 at the cloud tops indicate a steady drop in concentration suggesting a possible source of SO 2 is due to volcanism 2 whilst deep atmospheric values below the clouds suggest a uniform mixing ratio 3 The analysis VIRTIS data at 2 48 micron window will no doubt shed light on this matter Analysis of the micro-window complex at 1 18 microns shows that we can image the surface of the planet in the infrared whilst negating most of the effects of the atmosphere 4 We can monitor the surface brightness temperatures to look for hot spots indicative of volcanic plumes another key goal of Venus Express and VIRTIS We have developed a radiative transfer model to analyse Venus Express VIRTIS data in the near infrared windows The retrieval model uses the correlated-k distribution method which incorporates the use

  8. O+ pickup ions outside of Venus' bow shock: Venus Express observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Yong; Fraenz, Markus; Dubinin, Eduard; Zhang, Tielong; Jarvinen, Riku; Wan, Weixing; Kallio, Esa; Collinson, Glyn; Barabash, Stars; Norbert, Krupp; Woch, Joachim; Lundin, Rickard; delva, Magda

    2013-04-01

    Pickup ions are ions of planetary origin that become assimilated into the solar wind flow through their interaction with the solar wind magnetic and electric field. The speed of pickup ions varies between zero and twice the underlying plasma flow component perpendicular to magnetic field vector. For the unmagnetized planet Venus and Mars, oxygen (O+) pickup ions are known to be important because they can modify the global configuration of planetary plasma environment and significantly contribute to the atmospheric O+ loss [1]. Since the kinetic energy of an O+ pickup ion can reach 64 times that of a co-moving proton, an instrument must be able to measure O+ ions with energy of at least tens of keV to investigate the O+ pickup ion distribution from planetary ionosphere to solar wind. The in-situ observations and simulations at Mars have shown that the energy of O+ pickup ions can be 55-72 keV outside of the bow shock [2]. For Venus case, the plasma analyzer (OPA) onboard Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO), which was designed for solar wind monitoring, has an 8 keV energy limit for O+ detection and the limited sampling and data rate [3]. Therefore, OPA can only measure the O+ pickup ions in the sheath flow or inside the induced magnetosphere where the speed of ambient plasma flow is significantly lower than that of the unshocked solar wind outside of the bow shock. In addition, Galileo also did not capture O+ outside bowshock during its 1-hour Venus flyby though its plasma instrument had ability to cover the energy band of O+ pickup ions [4]. The Ion Mass Analyzer (IMA), included in the Analyzer of Space Plasma and Energetic Atoms (ASPERA-4) package on board Venus Express (VEX), determines the composition, energy, and angular distribution of ions in the energy range ~10 eV/q to 30 keV/q. Note that an O+ ion moving at the typical solar wind speed 400 km/s has kinetic energy 13.4 keV. Therefore, IMA has ability to measure the O+ pickup ions outside of Venus' bow shock. We

  9. Venus Express set for launch to the cryptic planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2005-10-01

    On Wednesday, 26 October 2005, the sky over the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, will be illuminated by the blast from a Soyuz-Fregat rocket carrying this precious spacecraft aloft. The celestial motion of the planets in our Solar System has given Venus Express the window to travel to Venus on the best route. In fact, every nineteen months Venus reaches the point where a voyage from Earth is the most fuel-efficient. To take advantage of this opportunity, ESA has opted to launch Venus Express within the next ‘launch window’, opening on 26 October this year and closing about one month later, on 24 November. Again, due to the relative motion of Earth and Venus, plus Earth’s daily rotation, there is only one short period per day when it is possible to launch, lasting only a few seconds. The first launch opportunity is on 26 October at 06:43 Central European Summer Time (CEST) (10:43 in Baikonur). Venus Express will take only 163 days, a little more than five months, to reach Venus. Then, in April 2006, the adventure of exploration will begin with Venus finally welcoming a spacecraft, a fully European one, more than ten years after humankind paid the last visit. The journey starts at launch One of the most reliable launchers in the world, the Soyuz-Fregat rocket, will set Venus Express on course for its target. Soyuz, procured by the European/Russian Starsem company, consists of three main stages with an additional upper stage, Fregat, atop. Venus Express is attached to this upper stage. The injection of Venus Express into the interplanetary trajectory which will bring it to Venus consists of three phases. In the first nine minutes after launch, Soyuz will perform the first phase, that is an almost vertical ascent trajectory, in which it is boosted to about 190 kilometres altitude by its three stages, separating in sequence. In the second phase, the Fregat-Venus Express ‘block’, now free from the Soyuz, is injected into a circular parking orbit around Earth

  10. O+ pickup ions outside of Venus' bow shock: Venus Express observation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Y.; Fraenz, M.; Dubinin, E.; Zhang, T. L.; Wan, W.; Barabash, S.; Woch, J.; Lundin, R.

    2012-09-01

    Pickup ions are ions of planetary origin that become assimilated into the solar wind flow through their interaction with the solar wind magnetic and electric field. The speed of pickup ions varies between zero and twice the underlying plasma flow component perpendicular to magnetic field vector. For the unmagnetized planet Venus and Mars, oxygen (O+) pickup ions are known to be important because they can modify the global configuration of planetary plasma environment and significantly contribute to the atmospheric O+ loss [1]. Since the kinetic energy of an O+ pickup ion can reach 64 times that of a co-moving proton, an instrument must be able to measure O+ ions with energy of at least tens of keV to investigate the O+ pickup ion distribution from planetary ionosphere to solar wind. The in-situ observations and simulations at Mars have shown that the energy of O+ pickup ions can be 55-72 keV outside of the bow shock [2]. For Venus case, the plasma analyzer (OPA) onboard Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO), which was designed for solar wind monitoring, has an 8 keV energy limit for O+ detection and the limited sampling and data rate [3]. Therefore, OPA can only measure the O+ pickup ions in the sheath flow or inside the induced magnetosphere where the speed of ambient plasma flow is significantly lower than that of the unshocked solar wind outside of the bow shock. The Ion Mass Analyzer (IMA), included in the Analyzer of Space Plasma and Energetic Atoms (ASPERA-4) package on board Venus Express (VEX), determines the composition, energy, and angular distribution of ions in the energy range ~10 eV/q to 30 keV/q. Note that an O+ ion moving at the typical solar wind speed 400 km/s has kinetic energy 13.4 keV. Therefore, IMA has ability to measure the O+ pickup ions outside of Venus' bow shock. We have examined the IMA data during the solar minimum period 2006-2010, and identified about ten cases with clear signature of O+ pickup ion. With these observations, we will determine

  11. 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

  12. Venus Express observations of magnetic field fluctuations in the magnetosheath

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Du, J.; Wang, C.; Zhang, T. L.; Volwerk, M.; Delva, M.; Baumjohann, W.

    2008-12-01

    Magnetic field fluctuations within a planetary magnetosheath play an important role in the solar wind interaction with the planet, since they can reconfigure the plasma flow and the magnetic field and transfer energy from the bow shock to the lower boundary. Many studies have been presented on the fluctuations in the terrestrial magnetosheath; however, hardly any studies have so far been carried out for Venusian magnetosheath fluctuations, except for Luhmann et al. [1983] and Vörös et al. [2008] who performed some case studies on the magnetosheath fluctuations at Venus. It was shown that the fluctuations are probably convected from the vicinity of the quasi-parallel bow shock along the streamlines. Based on the Venus Express observations in 2006 and 2007, we investigate the spatial distributions of magnetic field fluctuations in the Venus magnetosheath statistically.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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 μm) 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

  17. On the magnetic configuration near Venus: EOF modeling and statistical analyses based on Venus Express measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, M.; Vogt, J.; Zhang, T.; Rong, Z.

    2015-10-01

    More than 2000 orbits of Venus Express magnetic field measurementsare used for Orthogonal Function (EOF) analysis to study and model the magnetic environment over the Venus northern polar cap. The modeling results extract the dominant coherent variations, separate the known physical phenomenaon different EOFs and identify the most important driving factors. EOF1 represents the magnetic draping configuration of IMF Bz component whereas EOF2 is controlled by IMF By component and presents the draping and piling-up of IMF By. Besides, our analysis illustrates an asymmetric response of magnetic By component to IMF between the ±E hemispheres,constricted over the terminator (about 90-93° Solar Zeniths Angle) below 300km altitude. The magnetic By component increases as the increase of the parallel IMF component in the +E hemisphere but antiparallel IMF component the -E. To detail the asymmetry, we define a new coordinate system referring to the Sun-Venus-VEX plane which is more robust in comparison with the SVE or VSO coordinate system, and develop a new data averaging method which balances the significance and resolution of data representation.Our result suggests the asymmetry is neither resulting from a large plane of current nor a line of current.

  18. Rotational temperatures of Venus upper atmosphere as measured by SOIR on board Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahieux, A.; Vandaele, A. C.; Robert, S.; Wilquet, V.; Drummond, R.; López Valverde, M. A.; López Puertas, M.; Funke, B.; Bertaux, J. L.

    2015-08-01

    SOIR is a powerful infrared spectrometer flying on board the Venus Express spacecraft since mid-2006. It sounds the Venus atmosphere above the cloud layer using the solar occultation technique. In the recorded spectra, absorption structures from many species are observed, among them carbon dioxide, the main constituent of the Venus atmosphere. Previously, temperature vertical profiles were derived from the carbon dioxide density retrieved from the SOIR spectra by assuming hydrostatic equilibrium. These profiles show a permanent cold layer at 125 km with temperatures of ~100 K, surrounded by two warmer layers at 90 and 140 km, reaching temperatures of ~200 K and 250-300 K, respectively. In this work, temperature profiles are derived from the SOIR spectra using another technique based on the ro-vibrational structure of carbon dioxide observed in the spectra. The error budget is extensively investigated. Temperature profiles obtained by both techniques are comparable within their respective uncertainties and they confirm the vertical structure previously determined from SOIR spectra.

  19. Venus mesospheric sulfur dioxide measurement retrieved from SOIR on board Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahieux, A.; Vandaele, A. C.; Robert, S.; Wilquet, V.; Drummond, R.; Chamberlain, S.; Belyaev, D.; Bertaux, J. L.

    2015-08-01

    SOIR on board Venus Express sounds the Venus upper atmosphere using the solar occultation technique. It detects the signature from many Venus atmosphere species, including those of SO2 and CO2. SO2 has a weak absorption structure at 4 μm, from which number density profiles are regularly inferred. SO2 volume mixing ratios (VMR) are calculated from the total number density that are also derived from the SOIR measurements. This work is an update of the previous work by Belyaev et al. (2012), considering the SO2 profiles on a broader altitude range, from 65 to 85 km. Positive detection VMR profiles are presented. In 68% of the occultation spectral datasets, SO2 is detected. The SO2 VMR profiles show a large variability up to two orders of magnitude, on a short term time scales. We present mean VMR profiles for various bins of latitudes, and study the latitudinal variations; the mean latitude variations are much smaller than the short term temporal variations. A permanent minimum showing a weak latitudinal structure is observed. Long term temporal trends are also considered and discussed. The trend observed by Marcq et al. (2013) is not observed in this dataset. Our results are compared to literature data and generally show a good agreement.

  20. Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lanzerotti, Louis J.

    It was a scant few decades ago that Venus was commonly thought to be a companion planet to the earth, probably capable of supporting life in a rainy, carboniferous, swampy environment. While numerous speculations of the possible existence of various life forms were rife, the obscuration of the planet's surface by its cloud layers prevented more “detailed” interpretations of Venus such as those Lowell and others were able to make for Mars, where surface markings were easily distinguishable by telescope.Venus is now known to have as diverse a set of characteristics and to be as unique in its own right as any of the nine known planets in the solar system. Although scientists search for underlying principles by which to describe and ultimately to understand nature, it is abundantly clear now that each of the solar system planets, including Venus, has a significant number of unique characteristics which distinguish one from the other. Some of these characteristics may be only incidental to planetary evolution, but we are not absolutely confident as yet which are central to fundamental understanding and which can be ignored (is the unique existence of life on earth central or only incidental to this planet's evolution?).

  1. The Water Vapor Abundance Near the Surface of Venus from Venus Express / VIRTIS Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bezard, Bruno; Tsang, C. C. C.; Carlson, R. W.; Piccioni, G.; Marcq, E.; Drossart, P.; VIRTIS/Venus Express Team

    2008-09-01

    We present an analysis of Venus Express/VIRTIS observations of the 1.18-μm window on Venus' night side. We used the infrared M-channel of the VIRTIS instrument, an imaging spectrometer for the range 1-5 μm with a resolution of about 17 nm. The 1.18-μm window probes down to the surface and allows us to map and monitor the water abundance in the lowest scale height of the atmosphere. Besides CO2 and H2O molecular bands, an additional "continuum" source of absorption exists in the window, likely due to CO2 collision-induced bands and extreme far wings of strong CO2 bands. From the variation of the emission with surface elevation, we determined this absorption to be 1.1 ± 0.2 × 10-9 cm-1 amagat-2. From the best fit of the 1.18-micron window in various areas of Venus' southern hemisphere, we derived a H2O mole fraction of 32 ± 7 ppm in the altitude range 0-15 km. This result agrees with previous ground-based and Galileo/NIMS determinations (Taylor et al. 1997, in Venus II, pp. 325-351) but has significantly lower error bars. The derived mole fraction is similar to that inferred at higher altitudes from the 2.3- and 1.74-μm windows, suggesting a constant-with-height water profile from the surface up to 40 km. We also searched for spatial variations of the H2O near-surface abundance using various VIRTIS-M observational sequences and did not detect any latitudinal variations to within 1.5% (i.e. ± 0.5 ppm) in the range 60°S - 20°N.

  2. Low Altitude Large Scale Magnetic Fields in the Venus Ionosphere: Complementary Observations from the Pioneer Venus Orbiter and Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villarreal, M. N.; Russell, C. T.; Luhmann, J. G.; Strangeway, R. J.; Zhang, T.

    2013-12-01

    The ionosphere of Venus has two end member states: magnetized and unmagnetized. When the solar wind dynamic pressure is low and the EUV flux high, the magnetic barrier forms at high altitudes where the plasma is collisionless. In this case the dayside ionosphere shows average weak fields punctuated by small-scale flux ropes and the nightside shows large scale nearly vertical fields associated with depletions or holes in the ionospheric density. When the dynamic pressure is high and the EUV flux is low, the magnetic field barrier is formed at lower altitudes where the ionosphere is collisional. Here the magnetic field enters the ionosphere to be carried downward by the subsolar circulation of the ionosphere. A strong magnetic belt builds up at low altitudes that wraps the planet and wraps around into the night ionosphere, shutting off the trans-terminator source of the nightside ionosphere to create the ';disappearing ionosphere' state with large scale horizontal nightside fields. Venus Express has observed this belt in the polar ionosphere and because of the characteristic spatial pattern of the field along the path of the satellite this belt was initially interpreted as giant flux ropes. These structures are better described as thin magnetic layers and not flux ropes. We re-analyze the VEX data from this perspective to better illustrate the properties of the observed polar field layers and their relationship to the draped magnetosheath fields.

  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

  4. 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 μm) 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.

  5. Understanding of the Venus upper atmosphere dynamics with O2(a1Δ) Venus Express observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

    The O2(a1Δ) nightglow emission at 1.27 μm 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(a1Δ) molecules. Their radiative deexcitation produces the O2(a1Δ) nightglow with a maximum near the antisolar point. However, VIRTIS observations indicate that the O2(a1Δ) 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).

  6. 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

  7. 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).

  8. Atomic oxygen distributions in the Venus thermosphere: Comparisons between Venus Express observations and global model simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brecht, A. S.; Bougher, S. W.; Gérard, J.-C.; Soret, L.

    2012-02-01

    Nightglow emissions provide insight into the global thermospheric circulation, specifically in the transition region (˜70-120 km). The O 2 IR nightglow statistical map created from Venus Express (VEx) Visible and InfraRed Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) observations has been used to deduce a three-dimensional atomic oxygen density map. In this study, the National Center of Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Venus Thermospheric General Circulation Model (VTGCM) is utilized to provide a self-consistent global view of the atomic oxygen density distribution. More specifically, the VTGCM reproduces a 2D nightside atomic oxygen density map and vertical profiles across the nightside, which are compared to the VEx atomic oxygen density map. Both the simulated map and vertical profiles are in close agreement with VEx observations within a ˜30° contour of the anti-solar point. The quality of agreement decreases past ˜30°. This discrepancy implies the employment of Rayleigh friction within the VTGCM may be an over-simplification for representing wave drag effects on the local time variation of global winds. Nevertheless, the simulated atomic oxygen vertical profiles are comparable with the VEx profiles above 90 km, which is consistent with similar O 2 ( 1Δ) IR nightglow intensities. The VTGCM simulations demonstrate the importance of low altitude trace species as a loss for atomic oxygen below 95 km. The agreement between simulations and observations provides confidence in the validity of the simulated mean global thermospheric circulation pattern in the lower thermosphere.

  9. Venus Express bistatic radar: High-elevation anomalous reflectivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simpson, Richard A.; Tyler, G. Leonard; Häusler, Bernd; Mattei, Riccardo; Pätzold, Martin

    2009-06-01

    Magellan (MGN) bistatic radar observations in 1994 confirmed earlier Pioneer Venus reports of unusual Venus surface reflectivity and emissivity at elevations above 6054 km radius. They also revealed that the anomalous values of surface dielectric constant $\\varepsilon$ near Cleopatra Patera included a large imaginary component ($\\varepsilon$ ≈ -i 100) at 13 cm wavelength, consistent with a semiconducting surface material. The MGN observations were conducted using a linearly polarized wave, canted at 45° with respect to the plane of incidence and radiated by the MGN synthetic aperture radar antenna toward the specularly reflecting region of the mean planetary surface. In 2006 similar experiments were conducted using 13 cm circularly polarized transmissions from Venus Express (VEX). The VEX signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) was lower than that of MGN, but elevated ∣$\\varepsilon$∣ has been inferred broadly over Maxwell Montes. A quasi-specular echo was detected near Cleopatra but with insufficient SNR to address the question of conductivity. An early failure of the VEX 13 cm radio system precludes further measurements with VEX.

  10. 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

  11. Interplanetary Coronal Mass Ejections Observed by MESSENGER and Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Good, S. W.; Forsyth, R. J.

    2016-01-01

    Interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs) observed by the MESSENGER and Venus Express spacecraft have been catalogued and analysed. The ICMEs were identified by a relatively smooth rotation of the magnetic field direction consistent with a flux rope structure, coinciding with a relatively enhanced magnetic field strength. A total of 35 ICMEs were found in the surveyed MESSENGER data (primarily from March 2007 to April 2012), and 84 ICMEs in the surveyed Venus Express data (from May 2006 to December 2013). The ICME flux rope configurations have been determined. Ropes with northward leading edges were about four times more common than ropes with southward leading edges, in agreement with a previously established solar cycle dependence. Ropes with low inclinations to the solar equatorial plane were about four times more common than ropes with high inclinations, possibly an observational effect. Left- and right-handed ropes were observed in almost equal numbers. In addition, data from MESSENGER, Venus Express, STEREO-A, STEREO-B and ACE were examined for multipoint signatures of the catalogued ICMEs. For spacecraft separations below 15° in heliocentric longitude, the second spacecraft observed the ICME flux rope in 82 % of cases; this percentage dropped to 49 % for separations between 15 and 30°, to 18 % for separations between 30 and 45°, and to 12 % for separations between 45 and 60°. As the spacecraft separation increased, it became increasingly likely that only the sheath and not the flux rope of the ICME was observed, in agreement with the notion that ICME flux ropes are smaller in longitudinal extent than the shocks or discontinuities that they often drive. Furthermore, this study has identified 23 ICMEs observed by pairs of spacecraft close to radial alignment. A detailed analysis of these events could lead to a better understanding of how ICMEs evolve during propagation.

  12. The OH Venus nightglow spectrum: Intensity and vibrational composition from VIRTIS—Venus Express observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soret, Lauriane; Gérard, Jean-Claude; Piccioni, Giuseppe; Drossart, Pierre

    2012-12-01

    Limb spectra of the OH nightglow emission corresponding to the Δv=1 and Δv=2 sequences have been collected with the VIRTIS infrared imaging spectrograph on board Venus Express between April 2006 and October 2008. A detailed statistical analysis shows that the peak intensity and altitude of the two vibrational sequences are significantly correlated, with a mean intensity ratio of the two sequences of 0.38±0.37. The altitude of the maximum of the Δv=2 emission is located ∼1 km lower than Δv=1. A spectral analysis shows that the Δv=1 sequence is composed at 44.6% by the (1-0) band, 9.3% by the (3-2) band and 7.1% by the (4-3) band. The Δv=2 emission is best fitted if solely including the (2-0) band. A non-LTE model of OH vibrational population by the O3+H reaction including radiative and collisional relaxation has been used to compare the expected spectral distribution, the altitude of the emission peak and the emission rate under different assumptions on the quenching processes to those observed with VIRTIS. The adopted carbon dioxide, atomic oxygen and ozone densities are based on recent Venus Express remote sensing measurements. We find that the “Sudden Death” quenching scheme by CO2 produces inadequate spectral distribution between the various bands and insufficient airglow brightness. Instead, the observed spectral distribution and the total emission intensity are reasonably well reproduced with the Single Quantum jump model, an O density profile peaking at 103.5 km with a maximum value of 1.9×1011 cm-3, a O3 density profile peaking at 5.8×106 cm-3 at 96.5 km and a H density profile close to 108 cm-3 between 90 and 120 km, in agreement with several photochemical models.

  13. Investigation of air temperature on the nightside of Venus derived from VIRTIS-H on board Venus-Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-02-01

    We present the spatial distribution of air temperature on Venus' night side, as observed by the high spectral resolution channel of VIRTIS (Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer), or VIRTIS-H, on board the ESA mission Venus Express. The present work extends the investigation of the average thermal fields in the northern hemisphere of Venus, by including the VIRTIS-H data. We show results in the pressure range of 100-4 mbar, which corresponds to the altitude range of 65-80 km. With these new retrievals, we are able to compare the thermal structure of the Venus' mesosphere in both hemispheres. The major thermal features reported in previous investigations, i.e. the cold collar at about 65-70°S latitude, 100 mbar pressure level, and the asymmetry between the evening and morning sides, are confirmed here. By comparing the temperatures retrieved by the VIRTIS spectrometer in the North and South we find that similarities exist between the two hemispheres. Solar thermal tides are clearly visible in the average temperature fields. To interpret the thermal tide signals (otherwise impossible without day site observations), we apply model simulations using the Venus global circulation model Venus GCM (Lebonnois, S., Hourdin, F., Forget, F., Eymet, V., Fournier, R. [2010b]. International Venus Conference, Aussois, 20-26 June 2010) of the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD). We suggest that the signal detected at about 60-70° latitude and pressure of 100 mbar is a diurnal component, while those located at equatorial latitudes are semi-diurnal. Other tide-related features are clearly identified in the upper levels of the atmosphere.

  14. 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

  15. Ionospheric Modulation of Venus Express Lightning Detection Rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hart, Richard A.; Russell, Christopher T.; Zhang, Tielong

    2015-11-01

    Venus Express completed its nearly 9 year campaign at Earth’s sister planet in late 2014. During this period the onboard fluxgate magnetometer collected data up to 64 Hz in frequency while near periapsis. This is the expected frequency range for lightning-generated whistler-mode waves at Venus, between the local electron and ion gyrofrequencies. These waves are right-hand circularly polarized and are guided by the local magnetic field. When the Venusian ionopause is low enough in altitude to reside in the collisional region, the interplanetary magnetic field can get carried down with the ions and magnetize the lower ionosphere. As the field travels towards the terminator it gains a radial component, enabling whistlers to reach higher altitudes and be detected by the spacecraft. The mission covered almost an entire solar cycle and frequently observed a magnetized ionosphere during the solar minimum phase when the ionosphere was weak due to reduced incident EUV. Detection was most common at 250 km altitude where the waves travel more slowly due to reduced ionospheric density. In response they increase in amplitude in order to conserve magnetic energy flux. Here, we examine the changes in the ionospheric properties associated with the evolution of the solar cycle and the rate of detection of these lightning-generated signals.

  16. Tropospheric carbon monoxide concentrations and variability on Venus from Venus Express/VIRTIS-M observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsang, Constantine C. C.; Irwin, Patrick G. J.; Wilson, Colin F.; Taylor, Fredric W.; Lee, Chris; de Kok, Remco; Drossart, Pierre; Piccioni, Giuseppe; Bezard, Bruno; Calcutt, Simon

    2008-10-01

    We present nightside observations of tropospheric carbon monoxide in the southern hemisphere near the 35 km height level, the first from Venus Express/Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS)-M-IR. VIRTIS-M data from 2.18 to 2.50 μm, with a spectral resolution of 10 nm, were used in the analysis. Spectra were binned, with widths ranging from 5 to 30 spatial pixels, to increase the signal-to-noise ratio, while at the same time reducing the total number of retrievals required for complete spatial coverage. We calculate the mean abundance for carbon monoxide at the equator to be 23 +/- 2 ppm. The CO concentration increases toward the poles, peaking at a latitude of approximately 60°S, with a mean value of 32 +/- 2 ppm. This 40% equator-to-pole increase is consistent with the values found by Collard et al. (1993) from Galileo/NIMS observations. Observations suggest an overturning in this CO gradient past 60°S, declining to abundances seen in the midlatitudes. Zonal variability in this peak value has also been measured, varying on the order of 10% (~3 ppm) at different longitudes on a latitude circle. The zonal variability of the CO abundance has possible implications for the lifetime of CO and its dynamics in the troposphere. This work has definitively established a distribution of tropospheric CO, which is consistent with a Hadley cell circulation, and placed limits on the latitudinal extent of the cell.

  17. International Planetary Science Interoperability: The Venus Express Interface Prototype

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanford Bussard, Stephen; Chanover, N.; Huber, L.; Trejo, I.; Hughes, J. S.; Kelly, S.; Guinness, E.; Heather, D.; Salgado, J.; Osuna, P.

    2009-09-01

    NASA's Planetary Data System (PDS) and ESA's Planetary Science Archive (PSA) have successfully demonstrated interoperability between planetary science data archives with the Venus Express (VEX) Interface prototype. Because VEX is an ESA mission, there is no memorandum of understanding to archive the data in the PDS. However, using a common communications protocol and common data standards, VEX mission science data ingested into the PSA can be accessed from a user interface at the Atmospheres Node of the PDS, making the science data accessible globally through two established planetary science data portals. The PSA makes scientific and engineering data from ESA's planetary missions accessible to the worldwide scientific community. The PSA consists of online services incorporating search, preview, download, notification and delivery basket functionality. Mission data included in the archive aside from VEX include data from the Giotto, Mars Express, Smart-1, Huygens, and Rosetta spacecraft and several ground-based cometary observations. All data are compatible to the Planetary Data System data standard. The PDS archives and distributes scientific data from NASA planetary missions, astronomical observations, and laboratory measurements. The PDS is sponsored by NASA's Science Mission Directorate. Its purpose is to ensure the long-term usability of NASA data and to stimulate advanced research. The architecture of the VEX prototype interface leverages components from both the PSA and PDS information system infrastructures, a user interface developed at the New Mexico State University, and the International Planetary Data Alliance (IPDA) Planetary Data Access Protocol (PDAP). The VEX Interoperability Project was a key project of the IPDA, whose objective is to ensure world-wide access to planetary data regardless of which agency collects and archives the data. A follow-on IPDA project will adapt the VEX Interoperability protocol for access in JAXA to the Venus Climate

  18. Retrieval of the cyclostrophic wind in the Venus mesosphere from the VIRTIS/Venus Express temperature sounding.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piccialli, Arianna; Titov, Dmitri; Grassi, Davide; Khatuntsev, Igor; Drossart, Pierre; Piccioni, Giuseppe; Migliorini, Alessandra

    Venus mesosphere is characterized by an extremely complex dynamics: a retrograde super rotation flow near the cloud top completes a full rotation of the planets in only four earth days and in the upper thermosphere a solar - antisolar circulation reaches speeds of 100 m/s. Earlier studies have shown that the strong zonal winds at cloud top are the result of local balance of pressure gradient and centripetal force which is called cyclostrophic balance. The thermal wind equation that describes this balance relates the vertical wind gradient to the latitudinal temperature gradient on isobaric levels. The temperature structure of Venus mesosphere has been observed with a good spatial and temporal coverage in the last two years from VIRTIS (Visual and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer) on board the Venus Express spacecraft. Here we present preliminary retrievals of the cyclostrophic wind derived from VIRTIS temperature sounding. The main features of the wind are 1) the midlatitude jet with a maximum speed of 80 - 90 ± 10 m/s which occurs around 50° S latitude at 70 km altitude; 2) the fast decrease of the wind speed from 60° S toward the pole; 3) the decrease of the wind speed with increasing height above the jet. The dependence of zonal wind on local time has been analysed, our preliminary results show that parameters of the mid-latitude jet only weekly depend on local solar time. Comparison with cloud - tracked wind derived from the Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC) show a general good agreement.

  19. Preliminary observations by Venus Express/VIRTIS of the distribution of carbon monoxide in the lower atmosphere of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsang, C. C. C.; Taylor, F. W.; Irwin, P. G. J.; Drossart, P.; Piccioni, G.; Wilson, C. F.; Virtis/Venus Express

    The minor constituent carbon monoxide (CO) is an important tracer of the dynamics and chemistry of the Venusian atmosphere. Galileo/NIMS observations in 1990 found a poleward increase of CO in the height range around 40 km in the northern hemisphere (Collard et. al., PSS, 1993), which was confirmed by subsequent high-resolution ground-based spectral observations (Marq et al., Icarus, 2005). Taylor (Adv. Space Res., 1995) presented an interpretation of the NIMS observations of CO in terms of an atmospheric circulation containing hemispherical Hadley cells that extend from the surface up to the mesosphere. Here we present some new observations by the VIRTIS instrument on Venus Express of the variability of CO below the clouds on Venus. They show that the equator-to-pole gradient is also present in the southern hemisphere, and that it peaks near 60 degrees. A search for longitudinal variations of CO will be shown.

  20. Update of the Venus density and temperature profiles at high altitude measured by SOIR on board Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahieux, A.; Vandaele, A. C.; Bougher, S. W.; Drummond, R.; Robert, S.; Wilquet, V.; Chamberlain, S.; Piccialli, A.; Montmessin, F.; Tellmann, S.; Pätzold, M.; Häusler, B.; Bertaux, J. L.

    2015-08-01

    The SOIR instrument on board Venus Express regularly sounds the Venus atmosphere using the solar occultation technique. The density and temperature profiles are inferred from SOIR spectra recorded in the infrared. The method has been described in a previous publication (Mahieux et al., 2012. J. Geophys. Res. 117. doi:10.1029/2012JE004058.). This paper is devoted to the update of the VAST (Venus Atmosphere from SOIR measurements at the Terminator) compilation that was initiated in the above cited work, which gives the mean CO2 number density and temperature profiles for different latitude bins. The method has been improved and has been applied to more data. The new compilation which is given on the same latitudinal grid now distinguishes between the two sides of the terminator. The compilation also confirms the main thermal layering characteristics that were identified in the earlier version: the succession of a warm layer (230±30 K, 1-σ standard deviation) at a pressure level of 3.2×10-7 mbar (~140 km), a very cold layer (125±32 K) at 2.5×10-5 mbar (~123 km), a warm layer (204±17 K) at 0.01 mbar (~102 km) and finally a colder layer at 0.4 mbar (171±34 K, ~87 km). The layering of all the temperature profiles is explained by radiative rather than dynamical processes. The temporal temperature variation is larger than the mean latitudinal temperature variation. VAST is compared with temperature profiles obtained from other Venus Express instruments, VeRa and SPICAV-UV, and ground based measurements.

  1. First Results of Venus Express Spacecraft Observations with Wettzell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calves, Guifre Molera; Wagner, Jan; Neidhardt, Alexander; Kronschnabl, Gerhard; Ayucar, Miguel Perez; Cimo, Giuseppe; Pogrebenko, Sergei

    2010-01-01

    The ESA Venus Express spacecraft was observed at X-band with the Wettzell radio telescope in October-December 2009 in the framework of an assessment study of the possible contribution of the European VLBI Network to the upcoming ESA deep space missions. A major goal of these observations was to develop and test the scheduling, data capture, transfer, processing, and analysis pipeline. Recorded data were transferred from Wettzell to Metsahovi for processing, and the processed data were sent from Mets ahovi to JIVE for analysis. A turnover time of 24 hours from observations to analysis results was achieved. The high dynamic range of the detections allowed us to achieve a milliHz level of spectral resolution accuracy and to extract the phase of the spacecraft signal carrier line. Several physical parameters can be determined from these observational results with more observational data collected. Among other important results, the measured phase fluctuations of the carrier line at different time scales can be used to determine the influence of the solar wind plasma density fluctuations on the accuracy of the astrometric VLBI observations.

  2. Sulfuric acid vapor in the atmosphere of Venus as observed by the Venus Express Radio Science experiment VeRa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oschlisniok, Janusz; Pätzold, Martin; Häusler, Bernd; Tellmann, Silvia; Bird, Mike; Andert, Tom

    2016-04-01

    The cloud deck within Venus' atmosphere, which covers the entire planet between approx. 50 and 70 km altitude, consists mostly of liquid and gaseous sulfuric acid. The gaseous part increases strongly just below the main clouds and builds an approx. 15 km thick haze layer of H2SO4. This region is responsible for a strong absorption of radio waves as seen in VeRa radio science observations. The amount of the absorption, which is used to derive the abundance of gaseous sulfuric acid, depends on the signal frequency. VeRa probed the atmosphere of Venus between 2006 and 2015 with radio signals at 13 cm (S-band) and 3.6 cm (X-band) wavelengths. We present H2SO4 profiles derived from S-band and X-band absorption during the first occultation season in 2006. The comparison of the H2SO4 profiles derived from both frequency bands provides a reliable picture of the H2SO4 abundance. Distinct differences in the S- and X-band profiles may give a clue to increased SO2 abundances. The derived VeRa results shall be compared with results provided by other experiments onboard Venus Express as well as with previous missions.

  3. 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-μm 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-μm 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-μm 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.

  4. High energy particles at Mars and Venus: Phobos-2, Mars Express and Venus Express observations and their interpretation by hybrid model simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKenna-Lawlor, Susan; Kallio, Esa; Fram, Rudy A.; Alho, Markku; Jarvinen, Riku; Dyadechkin, Sergey; Wedlund, Cyril Simon; Zhang, Tielong; Collinson, Glyn A.; Futaana, Yoshifumi

    2013-04-01

    Mars and Venus can both be reached by Solar Energetic Particles (SEPs). Such high energy particles (protons, multiply charged heavy ions, electrons) penetrate the upper atmospheres of Mars and Venus because, in contrast to Earth, these bodies do not have a significant, global, intrinsic magnetic field to exclude them. One especially well documented, complex and prolonged SEP took in place in early 1989 (Solar Cycle 23) when the Phobos-2 spacecraft was orbiting Mars. This spacecraft had a dedicated high energy particle instrument onboard (SLED), which measured particles with energies in the keV range up to a few tens of MeV. There was in addition a magnetometer as well as solar wind plasma detectors onboard which together provided complementary data to support contemporaneous studies of the background SEP environment. Currently, while the Sun is displaying maximum activity (Solar Cycle 24), Mars and Venus are being individually monitored by instrumentation flown onboard the Mars Express (MEX) and Venus Express (VEX) spacecraft. Neither of these spacecraft carry a high energy particle instrument but their Analyzer of Space Plasmas and Energetic Atoms (ASPERA) experiments (ASPERA-3 on MEX and ASPERA-4 on VEX), can be used to study SEPs integrated over E ≥ ~30 MeV which penetrate the instrument hardware and form background counts in the plasma data. In the present work we present SEP events measured at Mars and Venus based on Phobos-2, 1989 data and on, more recent, MEX and VEX (identified from particle background) observations. We further introduce numerical global SEP simulations of the measured events based on 3-D self-consistent hybrid models (HYB-Mars and HYB-Venus). Through comparing the in situ SEP observations with these simulations, new insights are provided into the properties of the measured SEPs as well as into how their individual planetary bow shocks and magnetospheres affect the characteristics of their ambient Martian and Venusian SEP environments.

  5. Results from VIRTIS on board Venus Express after the end of the mission operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piccioni, G.; Drossart, P.; VIRTIS Venus Express team

    After more than 8 years since the orbit insertion, the Venus Express mission is now at its end of mission operations. VIRTIS aboard the Venus Express spacecraft has addressed a significant amount of scientific results from the surface up to the upper atmosphere, in terms of mapping, composition, structure and dynamics. The VIRTIS instrument consists of two channels: VIRTIS-M, an imaging spectrometer with moderate spectral resolution in the range from 0.25 to 5.2 mu m and VIRTIS-H, a high spectral resolution spectrometer in the range from 2 to 5 mu m co-aligned with the field of view of –M \\citep{Piccioni2007a,Drossart2007a}. The resolution of VIRTIS-M is 2 nm from 0.25 to 1 mu m, and 10 nm from 1 to 5.2 mu m. The resolution of VIRTIS-H is about 2 nm. The atmosphere above the clouds has been observed both on day and night sides, in solar reflection and thermal emission in nadir geometry \\citep{Ignatiev2009, Cottini2012, Peralta2012, Peralta2009}. Limb observations provided O2\\citep{Piccioni2009, Garcia2009a, Gerard2013, Migliorini2013a, Gerard2008, Gerard2009}, OH \\citep{Piccioni2008,Gerard2010,Soret2010,Soret2012}, NO \\citep{Garcia2009b}, CO2 \\citep{Drossart2007b,Lopez-Valverde2011} and CO \\citep{Gilli2009,Gilli2015,Gilli2011} emissions, through nightglow and fluorescence observations. Spectroscopy of the 4-5 mu m range gave access to the cloud structure in the 60-95 km altitude levels \\citep{Irwin2008a,Grassi2014, Grassi2008,Grassi2010,Luz2011}. The deeper atmospheric windows, limited by CO2 and H2O bands were accessible only in thermal emission on the night side. The sounded levels at 1.7 and 2.3 mu m were limited respectively to 30-20 km altitude \\citep{Barstow2012,Bezard2009,Marcq2008a,Satoh2009,Tsang2009, Tsang2010,Tsang2008,Wilson2008,Wilson2009}, while at shorter wavelengths (1.18, 1.10, 1.01, 0.9 and 0.85 mu m), the hot surface of Venus was seen through the scattering clouds \\citep{Mueller2009,Helbert2008,Arnold2008a,Smrekar2010,Mueller2012

  6. 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

  7. Optical properties of the Venus upper clouds from the data obtained by Venus Monitoring Camera on-board the Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shalygina, O. S.; Petrova, E. V.; Markiewicz, W. J.; Ignatiev, N. I.; Shalygin, E. V.

    2015-08-01

    During more than 6 years of the Venus Express (VEx) mission, the Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC) took around 300 000 images in four channels covering almost all the latitudes, including night and day sides. Here we give an overview of the VMC data and summarize results of retrievals of the optical properties of the Venus upper clouds. The in-flight characterization and calibration of VMC are also described. We model the phase dependence of brightness (phase range α = 0 - 140 °) retrieved from the dayside images obtained in NIR1 VMC channel at various latitudes (30°N-60°S) and local solar times (6-18 h). The radiative transfer calculations were performed for the plane-parallel atmospheric layers, and the Mie theory was used for the calculations of the single scattering phase functions of the cloud aerosols. The size distribution of cloud particles and their refractive index were estimated for each of the regions observed. These retrievals show some temporal and spatial variations. In general, the particles at low latitudes are somewhat larger than in the regions closer to the southern pole (Reff = 1.2 - 1.4 μmversus 0.9 - 1.05 μm). At latitudes 40°S-60°S the refractive index is usually smaller than in the other regions (mr = 1.44 - 1.45versus 1.45-1.47 with sporadic spikes of up to 1.49). The retrievals robustly show presence of particles with a radius of about Reff = 0.9 μm in the clouds and/or the haze above them in these mid-latitudes. Small submicron (Reff = 0.23 μm) particles are detected mostly in the morning.

  8. Infrared spectrometry of Venus: IR Fourier spectrometer on Venera 15 as a precursor of PFS for Venus express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zasova, L. V.; Moroz, V. I.; Formisano, V.; Ignatiev, N. I.; Khatuntsev, I. V.

    2004-01-01

    Thermal infrared spectrometry in the range 6-40 μm with spectral resolution of 4.5-6.5 cm -1 was realized onboard of Venera 15 for the middle atmosphere of Venus investigations. The 3-D temperature and zonal wind fields ( h, ϕ, LT) in the range 55-100 km and the 3-D aerosol field ( h, ϕ, LT) in the range 55-70 km were retrieved and analyzed. The solar related waves at isobaric levels, generated by the absorbed solar energy, were investigated. In the thermal IR spectral range the, ν1, ν2 and ν3 SO 2 and the H 2O rotational (40 μm) and vibro-rotational (6.3 μm) absorption bands are observed and used for minor compounds retrieval. An advantage of the thermal infrared spectrometry method is that both the temperature and aerosol profiles, which need for retrieval of the vertical profiles of minor compounds, are evaluated from the same spectrum. The Fourier spectrometer on Venera-15 may be considered as a precursor of the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer (PI Prof. V. Formisano), which is included in the payload of the planned Venus Express mission. It has a spectral range 0.9-45 μm, separated into two channels: a short wavelength channel (SWC) in the range 0.9-5 μm and a long wavelength channel (LWC) from 6 to 45 μm, and spectral resolution of 1-2 cm -1. In the history of planetary Fourier spectrometry the PFS is a unique instrument, which possesses a short wavelength channel. A functioning of this instrument on the polar orbit with a good spatial and local time coverage will advance our knowledge in the fundamental problems of the Venus atmosphere.

  9. First results from VIRTIS on Venus Express 2.Radiative transfer and atmospheric modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drossart, P.; Piccioni, G.; Coradini, A.; Arnold, G.; Sémery, A.; Peter, G.; Cosi, M.; Pasqui, C.; Bézard, B.; Marinangeli, L.; Virtis Team

    The VIRTIS observations of Venus will provide information on various levels into the atmosphere The atmosphere above the cloud will be observed by Venus Express both on day and night side in solar reflection and thermal emission with different type of radiative transfer models adapted to the different atmospheric domains Limb observations are expected to give access to mesospheric CO 2 and CO emissions through fluorescence observations non-LTE modelling of CO 2 and CO bands will constrain the physical parameters of these layers Spectroscopy of the 4-5 micron range with VIRTIS-M and --H channels will give access to thermal structure retrieval and cloud structure at the 60-90 km altitude levels Finally the deeper atmospheric windows limited by CO 2 and H 2 O bands are accessible only in thermal emission on the night side The sounded levels at 2 3 1 7 mu m are limited respectively to 30-20 km altitude when at shorter wavelength 1 18 1 10 1 01 0 9 and 0 85 mu m the hot surface of Venus is seen through the scattering clouds Atmospheric modelling is therefore the key to decrypt the mysteries of Venus by ultimately removing atmospheric contributions to search for possible variations of surface emissivity Results on the different types of atmospheric contributions observed by VIRTIS will be shown if the Venus Express mission permits

  10. The latest results on the energetic neutral atoms and plasma of Venus from the ASPERA-4 instrument of Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barabash, S.; Sauvaud, J.-A.; Aspera-4

    The Venus Express mission carries the instrument ASPERA-4 Analyzer of Space Plasmas and Energetic Atom to perform for the first time comprehensive plasma measurements at Venus ASPERA-4 is a replica of the instrument ASPERA-3 for the Mars Express mission orbiting Mars for about 2 years The general scientific objective of the ASPERA-4 experiment is to study the solar wind - atmosphere interaction and characterize the plasma atmospheric escape through energetic neutral atom ENA imaging and in-situ ion and electron measurements The ASPERA-4 instrument comprises four sensors two ENA sensors and an electron and ion spectrometer The Neutral Particle Imager NPI provides measurements of the integral ENA flux in the energy range 0 1 - 60 keV with no mass and energy resolution but comparatively high angular resolution 4 6 deg x 11 5 deg The Neutral Particle Detector NPD provides measurements of the ENA flux in the energy range 0 1 - 10 keV resolving velocity and mass H and O with a coarse angular resolution The Electron Spectrometer ELS is a standard top-hat electrostatic analyzer in a very compact design with the high 8 energy resolution to perform photoelectron spectroscopy These three sensors are located on a scanning platform to cover ideally the full sphere Ion Mass Analyzer IMA provides ion measurements in the energy range 0 01 - 30 keV q for the main ion components 1 2 4 16 amu q and the group of molecular ions 20 - 80 amu q The instantaneous field of view is 4 6 deg x 360 deg Electrostatic sweeping performs the elevation 90 deg

  11. 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.

  12. Mars Express and Venus Express Data Retention In-Flight Performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lebrédonchel, J.; Rombeck, F.-J.

    2007-08-01

    Venus, Mars and Earth, three out of the four inner or 'rocky' planets of the Solar System, have a lot in common: a solid surface you could walk on, a comparable surface composition, an atmosphere and a weather system. European Space Agency (ESA) Mars Express (MEx) and Venus Express (VEx) pioneer scientific missions aim at exploring these two neighbours of the Earth, in order to enrich our knowledge of our planet and of the Solar System. Both projects are based on the same spacecraft bus, and in particular on 'sister' Solid State Mass Memory (SSMM) units, in charge of the acquisition, storage and retrieval of all on board data, relevant both to the platform and to the instruments. This paper recalls the common SSMM design and the inner fault tolerant memory array module architecture based on Computer Off The Shelf (COTS) Samsung 64 Mbit Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory (SDRAM) chips, and presents the comparative in-flight data retention performance for both MEx and Vex units, since their respective June 2003 and November 2005 launches. Both units have shown to successfully withstand the radiative deep space environment, including during the outstanding October 2003 solar flare, and no uncorrectable data corruption was ever reported. Beyond this stable retention performance over time, the memory scrubbing correctable error accounting feedback allows evaluating the deep space Single Event Upset (SEU) rates, to be compared with the theoretical SSMM radiation assessment as well as with other previous missions in-flight qualitative reference performance records, and finally enables to derive a couple of recommendations from the lessons' learnt.

  13. Geographic distribution of zonal wind and UV albedo at cloud top level from VMC camera on Venus Express: Influence of Venus topography through stationary gravity waves vertical propagation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bertaux, J.-L.; Khatunstsev, I. V.; Hauchecorne, A.; Markiewicz, W.; Marcq, E.; Lebonnois, S.; Patsaeva, M. V.; Turin, A. V.

    2015-10-01

    Based on the analysis of UV images (at 365 nm) of Venus cloud top collected with VMC camera on board Venus Express[4,5], it is found that the zonal wind speed south of the equator (from 5°S to 15°s) shows a conspicuous variation with geographic longitude of Venus, correlated with underlying relief of Aphrodite Terra. We interpret this pattern as the result of stationary gravity waves produced at ground level by the up lift of air when the horizontal wind encounters a mountain slope. The cloud albedo map at 365 nm varies also in longitude and latitude, perhaps the result of increased vertical mixing associated to wave breaking, and decreased abundance of the UV absorber which makes the contrast in images.

  14. The relationship between mesoscale circulation and cloud morphology at the upper cloud level of Venus from VMC/Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patsaeva, M. V.; Khatuntsev, I. V.; Patsaev, D. V.; Titov, D. V.; Ignatiev, N. I.; Markiewicz, W. J.; Rodin, A. V.

    2015-08-01

    The Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC) acquired a set of ultraviolet (UV) images during the Venus Express mission unprecedented in its duration from May 2006 to September 2013. Here we present the results of digital tracking of the cloud features in the upper cloud layer at latitudes 25-75°S using images from 257 orbits with the best spatial coverage. The method relies on analysis of correlations between pairs of UV images separated in time. The bulk of data processed allows us to clarify the reasons why the mid-latitude jet is not always present in latitudinal wind profiles. Comparing VMC images with wind velocity fields we found a relationship between cloud morphology at middle latitudes and the circulation. The vector field in middle latitudes depends on the presence of a contrast global streak in the cloud morphology tilted with respect to latitude circles. The angle of the flow deflection (the angle between the wind velocity and latitudinal circles) and the difference of the zonal velocity on the opposite sides of the streak are in direct relationship to the angle between the streak and latitude circles. During such orbits the jet bulge does not appear in the latitudinal profile of the zonal wind component. Otherwise a zonal flow with small changes of the meridional velocity dominates in middle latitudes and manifests itself as a jet bulge. The relationship between the cloud cover morphology and circulation peculiarities can be attributed to the motion of global cloud features, like the Y-feature. We prepared plots of zonal and meridional velocities averaged with respect to the entire observation period. The average zonal velocity has a diurnal maximum at 15:00 local solar time and at 40°S. The meridional velocity reaches its maximum between 13:00 and 16:00 and at 50°S. The velocities obtained by the digital method are in good agreement with results of the visual method in the middle latitudes published earlier by Khatuntsev et al. (2013).

  15. The inversion layer at the tropopause of the Venus atmosphere: new insights from the Radio Science Experiment (VeRa) onboard Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

    The inversion layer at the tropopause of the Venus atmosphere is a very common and prominent feature in the vertical temperature profile at higher latitudes. The inversion layer is of particular interest because it separates the stratified troposphere from the highly variable mesosphere. The altitude range of the inversion layer is therefore a likely location for the formation of gravity waves [1]. The Radio Science Experiment (VeRa) onboard Venus Express [2,3] is capable to sound the Venus atmosphere from 100 km downward to 40 km [4,5] and delivered more than 800 vertical profiles of temperature, pressure and neutral number density at almost all local times and latitudes. The tropopause is typically located at 60 km altitude. Spatial changes of the refractive index over a short altitude range lead to multi-path effects which cannot be fully retrieved with common closed-loop recording methods. The development of a new data processing tool based on VeRa open loop data sets provided the necessary frequency resolution to fully resolve multipath effects occurring along a short range of 2 km at the tropopause location. The inversion layer presents itself up to 15K colder than commonly thought. The new results shall help to find a consistent picture of the Venus' thermal atmosphere structure and therefore help to improve atmospheric models.

  16. Densities inferred from ESA's Venus Express aerobraking campaign at 130 km altitude

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruinsma, Sean; Marty, Jean-Charles; Svedhem, Håkan; Williams, Adam; Mueller-Wodarg, Ingo

    2015-04-01

    In June-July 2014, ESA performed a planned aerobraking campaign with Venus Express to measure neutral densities above 130 km in Venus' atmosphere by means of the engineering accelerometers. To that purpose, the orbit perigee was lowered to approximately 130 km in order to enhance the atmospheric drag effect to the highest tolerable levels for the spacecraft; the accelerometer resolution and precision were not sufficient at higher altitudes. This campaign was requested as part of the Venus Express Atmospheric Drag Experiment (VExADE). A total of 18 orbits (i.e. days) were processed using the attitude quaternions to correctly orient the spacecraft bus and solar arrays in inertial space, which is necessary to accurately compute the exposed surface in the ram direction. The accelerometer data provide good measurements approximately from 130-140 km altitude; the length of the profiles is about 85 seconds, and they are on the early morning side (LST=4.5) at high northern latitude (70°N-82°N). The densities are a factor 2-3 larger than Hedin's VTS-3 thermosphere model, which is consistent with earlier results obtained via classical precise orbit determination at higher altitudes. Wavelike structures with amplitudes of 20% and more are detected, with wavelengths of about 100-500 km. We cannot entirely rule out that these waves are caused by the spacecraft or due to some unknown instrumental effect, but we estimate this probability to be very low.

  17. 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.

  18. Dayside temperatures in the Venus upper atmosphere from Venus Express/VIRTIS nadir measurements at 4.3 μm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peralta, J.; López-Valverde, M. A.; Gilli, G.; Piccialli, A.

    2016-01-01

    In this work, we analysed nadir observations of atmospheric infrared emissions carried out by VIRTIS, a high-resolution spectrometer on board the European spacecraft Venus Express. We focused on the ro-vibrational band of CO2 at 4.3 μm on the dayside, whose fluorescence originates in the Venus upper mesosphere and above. This is the first time that a systematic sounding of these non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (NLTE) emissions has been carried out in Venus using this geometry. As many as 143,218 spectra have been analysed on the dayside during the period 14/05/2006 to 14/09/2009. We designed an inversion method to obtain the atmospheric temperature from these non-thermal observations, including a NLTE line-by-line forward model and a pre-computed set of spectra for a set of thermal structures and illumination conditions. Our measurements sound a broad region of the upper mesosphere and lower thermosphere of Venus ranging from 10-2-10-5 mb (which in the Venus International Reference Atmosphere, VIRA, is approximately 100-150 km during the daytime) and show a maximum around 195 ± 10 K in the subsolar region, decreasing with latitude and local time towards the terminator. This is in qualitative agreement with predictions by a Venus Thermospheric General Circulation Model (VTGCM) after a proper averaging of altitudes for meaningful comparisons, although our temperatures are colder than the model by about 25 K throughout. We estimate a thermal gradient of about 35 K between the subsolar and antisolar points when comparing our data with nightside temperatures measured at similar altitudes by SPICAV, another instrument on Venus Express (VEx). Our data show a stable temperature structure through five years of measurements, but we also found episodes of strong heating/cooling to occur in the subsolar region of less than two days. The table with numerical data and averaged temperatures displayed in Fig. 7A provided as a CSV data file is only available at the CDS via

  19. Comparison of Thermal Structure Results from Venus Express and Ground Based Observations since Vira

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limaye, Sanjay

    2016-07-01

    An international team was formed in 2013 through the International Space Studies Institute (Bern, Switzerland) to compare recent results of the Venus atmospheric thermal structure from spacecraft and ground based observations made since the Venus International Reference Atmosphere (VIRA) was developed (Kliore et al., 1985, Keating et al., 1985). Five experiments on European Space Agency's Venus Express orbiter mission have yielded results on the atmospheric structure during is operational life (April 2006 - November 2014). Three of these were from occultation methods: at near infrared wavelengths from solar occultations, (SOIR, 70 - 170 km), at ultraviolet wavelengths from stellar occultations (SPICAV, 90-140 km), and occultation of the VEx-Earth radio signal (VeRa, 40-90 km). In-situ drag measurements from three different techniques (accelerometry, torque, and radio tracking, 130 - 200 km) were also obtained using the spacecraft itself while passive infrared remote sensing was used by the VIRTIS experiment (70 - 120 km). The only new data in the -40-70 km altitude range are from radio occultation, as no new profiles of the deep atmosphere have been obtained since the VeGa 2 lander measurements in 1985 (not included in VIRA). Some selected ground based results available to the team were also considered by team in the inter comparisons. The temperature structure in the lower thermosphere from disk resolved ground based observations (except for one ground based investigation), is generally consistent with the Venus Express results. These experiments sampled at different periods, at different locations and at different local times and have different vertical and horizontal resolution and coverage. The data were therefore binned in latitude and local time bins and compared, ignoring temporal variations over the life time of the Venus Express mission and assumed north-south symmetry. Alternating warm and cooler layers are present in the 120-160 altitude range in results

  20. First Results from VIRTIS on Venus Express1. From Surface to Cloud Level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piccioni, Giuseppe; Drossart, P.; VIRTIS/Venus Express Team

    2006-09-01

    VIRTIS is the imaging spectrometer of the ESA/Venus Express mission, in orbit around Venus since 2006, April 11th. It consists in two channels : VIRTIS-M, an imaging spectrometer with 0.25 mrad instantaneous field of view, working from 0.3 to 1 μm at 2nm spectral sampling (VIRTIS-M-vis) and from 1 to 5.2 μm at 10 nm resolution (VIRTIS-M-ir) and VIRTIS-H, a high resolution spectrometer working from 1.9 to 5.0 μm on an aperture of 0.58 x 1.74 mrad at 2000 resolving power. The main scientific objectives for the lower part of the atmosphere are the following:

    • Surface characteristics
    • Composition of the lower atmosphere, and spatial or temporal variations (night side)
    • Cloud structure (composition, scattering properties, and dynamics)
    • Thermal structure
    An important new result from VIRTIS is the first detailed study of the South polar vortex. This feature exhibits unique characteristics of essential importance for the understanding of the global dynamics of Venus. The rotation of the vortex is observed by VIRTIS at different altitudes for different wavelengths. The vortex has a complex structure, exhibiting high thermal contrasts and filamentary clouds forming an inverse "S” shape. The 1.7 μm and 2.3 μm spectral images, observed in the night side within these deep atmospheric windows, are the first observations of the deep structure of the vortex. Future observations during the Venus Express mission will allow us to continue the vortex observation to study its long term variations.

  1. Investigation of planetary space weather effects at Venus observed by the ASPERA-4 particle analyzer and the magnetometer flying onboard of Venus Express Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vech, Daniel; Szego, Karoly; Opitz, Andrea; Fraenz, Markus

    2014-05-01

    In this study we identified several coronal mass-ejections (CME's) interacting with the induced magnetosphere of Venus during 2010 and 2011 using STEREO observations and ENLIL simulations. Our purpose is to analyze the response of the induced magnetosphere and the ionosphere to these extreme conditions based on measurements made by the ASPERA-4 and MAG instruments on Venus Express. The parameters of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) during these solar events are also discussed. Previously we investigated the effects of the May 2007 solar eruption on the induced magnetosphere of Venus in a poster publication (EPSC2013-266). During the analyzed solar event large scale rotation of the interplanetary magnetic field was observed and in the polar region, the altitude where planetary ions were present decreased compared to the average cases. Polarity reversal of the induced magnetosphere also took place, similar to the cases discussed by Edberg et. al (2011). Several CME's interacted with Venus in November 2011. One of the largest lifted off on 3rd November and reached Venus on 5th November. The solar wind parameters showed large variations: the velocity peaked over 900 km/s, and the magnitude of the IMF suddenly increased threefold. The magnetic field reached 240 nT inside the induced magnetosphere, which is extremely high compared to normal conditions. The heavy ion density measured by VEX peaked over 1000 1/cm3 providing clear evidence for ionosphere crossing. Due to the orbit parameters it is possible to investigate the magnetic structure in the tail. The other selected solar eruptions caused similar changes including the sudden increase in the solar wind velocity and magnitude of the magnetic field in the magnetic barrier but due to the different orbital parameters other regions of the induced magnetosphere were investigated as well. In conclusion the observed planetary space weather effects include that in the shocked solar wind we observed Increased velocity

  2. Solar zenith angle-dependent asymmetries in Venusian bow shock location revealed by Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chai, Lihui; Wan, Weixing; Fraenz, Markus; Zhang, Tielong; Dubinin, Eduard; Wei, Yong; Li, Yi; Rong, Zhaojin; Zhong, Jun; Han, Xiuhong; Futaana, Yoshifumi

    2015-06-01

    It has been long known that the Venusian bow shock (BS) location is asymmetric from the observations of the long-lived Pioneer Venus Orbiter mission. The Venus Express (VEX) mission crossed BS near perpendicularly not only in the terminator region but also in the near-subsolar and tail regions. Taking the advantage of VEX orbit geometry, we examined a large data set of BS crossings observed during the long-lasting solar minimum between solar cycles 23 and 24 and found that the Venusian BS asymmetries exhibit dependence of solar zenith angle. In the terminator and tail regions, both the magnetic pole-equator and north-south asymmetries are observed in Venusian BS location, which is similar to the Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO) observation near terminator. However, in the near-subsolar region, only the magnetic north-south is observed; i.e., the BS shape is indented inward over magnetic south pole and bulged outward over magnetic north pole. The absence of the magnetic pole-equator asymmetry in the near-subsolar region suggests that the magnetic pole-equator asymmetry is mainly caused by the asymmetric wave propagation rather than the ion pickup process. The evident magnetic north-south asymmetry in solar minimum, which is not observed by PVO, suggests that even during the low long-lasting solar minimum, the ion pickup process is very important in Venusian space environment.

  3. The Challenges and Opportunities for International Cooperative Radio Science; Experience with Mars Express and Venus Express Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holmes, Dwight P.; Thompson, Tommy; Simpson, Richard; Tyler, G. Leonard; Dehant, Veronique; Rosenblatt, Pascal; Hausler, Bernd; Patzold, Martin; Goltz, Gene; Kahan, Daniel; Valencia, Jose

    2008-01-01

    Radio Science is an opportunistic discipline in the sense that the communication link between a spacecraft and its supporting ground station can be used to probe the intervening media remotely. Radio science has recently expanded to greater, cooperative use of international assets. Mars Express and Venus Express are two such cooperative missions managed by the European Space Agency with broad international science participation supported by NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN) and ESA's tracking network for deep space missions (ESTRAK). This paper provides an overview of the constraints, opportunities, and lessons learned from international cross support of radio science, and it explores techniques for potentially optimizing the resultant data sets.

  4. Long-term variations of carbon monoxide and trace species in the Venus troposphere from Venus Express/VIRTIS between 2006-2009

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsang, Constantine; McGouldrick, Kevin

    2015-11-01

    The understanding of spatial and temporal variations in tropospheric abundances of trace gases such as carbon monoxide is key to understanding the deep atmosphere of Venus. These gases are entrained in the global circulation, as well as being key ingredients to creating the sulfuric acid clouds. Long-term temporal variations of these species across Venus’s disc would be provide key insights into the large-scale circulation and cloud forming processes in the troposphere.The Venus Express spacecraft orbited Venus from April 2006 to December 2014. The VIRTIS instrument is a near-infrared imaging spectrometer that covers 0.3 to 5.0 µm. Nightside thermal emissions at 2.32 µm is sensitive to CO at 35 km. We present long term abundances of CO and other trace abundances as observed by VIRTIS from April 2006 through October 2008, when the MIR channel ceased operations. We compare the methods of Tsang et al. (2009) and Barstow et al. (2012) of deriving CO from band ratios. We will also provide long-term variations of cloud particle sizes. This work is done in conjunction with a study of long-term variations of 1.73 µm thermal emission brightnesses, a proxy of cloud optical depth in the lower atmosphere, with the same data (McGouldrick and Tsang 2015). This work is supported by NASA’s Planetary Mission Data Analysis Program, grant number NNX14AP94G.

  5. First observation of 628 CO 2 isotopologue band at 3.3 μm 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 μm. 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.

  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

  7. Six years of Venus winds at the upper cloud level from UV, visible and near infrared observations from VIRTIS on Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

    The Venus Express mission has provided a long-term monitoring of Venus atmosphere including the morphology and motions of its upper clouds. Several works have focused on the dynamics of the upper cloud visible on the day-side in ultraviolet images sensitive to the 65-70 km altitude and in the lower cloud level (50 km height) observable in the night-side of the planet in the 1.74 μm spectral window. Here we use VIRTIS-M spectral images in nearby wavelengths to study the upper cloud layer in three channels: ultraviolet (360-400 nm), visible (570-680 nm) and near infrared (900-955 nm) extending in time the previous analysis of VIRTIS-M data. The ultraviolet images show relatively well contrasted cloud features at the cloud top. Cloud features in the visible and near infrared images lie a few kilometers below the upper cloud top, have very low contrast and are distinct to the features observed in the ultraviolet. Wind measurements were obtained on 118 orbits covering the Southern hemisphere over a six-year period and using a semi-automatic cloud correlation algorithm. Results for the upper cloud from VIRTIS-M ultraviolet data confirm previous analysis based on images obtained by the Venus Monitoring Camera (Khatuntsev et al. (2013)). At the cloud top the mean zonal and meridional winds vary with local time accelerating towards the local afternoon. The upper branch of the Hadley cell circulation reaches maximum velocities at 45° latitude and local times of 14-16 h. The mean zonal winds in the ultraviolet cloud layer accelerated in the course of the 2006-2012 period at least 15 m s-1. The near infrared and visible images show a more constant circulation without significant time variability or longitudinal variations. The meridional circulation is absent or slightly reversed in near infrared and visible images indicating that, either the Hadley-cell circulation in Venus atmosphere is shallow, or the returning branch of the meridional circulation extends to levels below

  8. Geographic distribution of zonal wind and UV albedo at cloud top level from VMC camera on Venus Express: Influence of Venus topography through stationary gravity waves vertical propagation.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Khatunstsev, Igor; Hauchecorne, Alain; Markiewicz, Wojciech; Marcq, Emmanuel; Lebonnois, Sébastien; Patsaeva, Marina; Turin, Alexander

    2015-04-01

    UV images (at 365 nm) of Venus cloud top collected with VMC camera on board Venus Express allowed to derive a large number of wind measurements at altitude 67±2 km from tracking of cloud features in the period 2006-2012. Both manual (45,600) and digital (391,600) individual wind measurements over 127 orbits were analyzed showing various patterns with latitude and local time. A new longitude-latitude geographic map of the zonal wind shows a conspicuous region of strongly decreased zonal wind, a remarkable feature that was unknown up to now. While the average zonal wind near equator (from 5°S to 15°s) is -100.9 m/s in the longitude range 200-330°, it reaches -83.4 m/s in the range 60-100°, a difference of 17.5 m/s. When compared to the altimetry map of Venus, it is found that the zonal wind pattern is well correlated with the underlying relief in the region of Aphrodite Terra, with a downstream shift of about 30° (˜3,200 km). We interpret this pattern as the result of stationary gravity waves produced at ground level by the up lift of air when the horizontal wind encounters a mountain slope. These waves can propagate up to cloud top level, break there and transfer their momentum to the zonal flow. A similar phenomenon is known to operate on Earth with an influence on mesospheric winds. The LMD-GCM for Venus was run with or without topography, with and without a parameterization of gravity waves and does not display such an observed change of velocity near equator. The cloud albedo map at 365 nm varies also in longitude and latitude. We speculate that it might be the result of increased vertical mixing associated to wave breaking, and decreased abundance of the UV absorber which makes the contrast in images. The impact of these new findings on current super rotation theories remains to be assessed. This work was triggered by the presence of a conspicuous peak at 117 days in a time series of wind measurements. This is the length of the solar day as seen at the

  9. Fluctuations in the Venusian Ionosphere and Their Effect on Venus Express Lightning Detection Rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    Venus Express completed its nearly 9 year campaign at Earth's sister planet in late 2014. During this period the onboard fluxgate magnetometer collected data up to 64 Hz in frequency near periapsis. This is the expected frequency range for lightning-generated whistler-mode waves at Venus, between the local electron (~100 Hz) and ion gyrofrequencies (~1 Hz). These waves are right-hand circularly polarized and are guided by the local magnetic field. When the Venusian ionopause is low enough to reside in the collisional region, the interplanetary magnetic field can get carried down with the ions and magnetize the lower ionosphere. As the field travels towards terminator it gains a radial component, enabling whistlers to reach higher altitudes and be detected by the spacecraft. The mission covered almost an entire solar cycle and frequently observed a magnetized ionosphere during the solar minimum phase when the ionosphere was weak due to reduced incident EUV. In addition, the detection rate of whistler-mode signals varied with the solar cycle. Here, we examine the changes in the ionospheric properties associated with the evolution of the solar cycle and the rate of detection of these lightning-generated signals.

  10. Habitats for life in the Venusian Environment? Can the VENUS EXPRESS payload answer?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muller, C.

    2003-04-01

    The Venusian conditions are unique in the solar system. Venus abounds in molecules which could feed a life form except that the usual missing factor, energy, is present in excessive amounts from both active geothermic phenomena and from the nearby solar radiation trapped in a dense carbon dioxide atmosphere. Its surface conditions are hotter than the best practiced in hospital sterilisation; volcanism injects highly toxic gases which in the absence of water can accumulate in the atmosphere. Its upper atmosphere lays bare to solar radiation with only carbon dioxide to act as a confirmed EUV filter, so any consideration of life might seem excessive compared to what was known from life on earth before extremophile bacterias were discovered in dark undersea high temperature sulphur rich volcanic vents. However, some regions of the atmosphere might show conditions similar to the earth surface and could be a habitat of earth like microbial life. A synergy between the different atmospheric instruments of the VENUS-Express payload: SPICAM, VIRTIS and PFS can provide the way to probe the actual environmental conditions of this region and to check its capabilities of preserving an extant life or providing nutrients to a new one.

  11. 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.

  12. Missions to Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-10-01

    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 1962-1992 by the family of Soviet Venera and Vega spacecraft and US Mariner, Pioneer Venus, and Magellan missions discovered an entirely different, exotic world hidden behind a curtain of dense clouds. These studies gave us a basic knowledge of the conditions on the planet, but generated many more questions concerning the atmospheric composition, chemistry, structure, dynamics, surface-atmosphere interactions, atmospheric and geological evolution, and the plasma environment. Despite all of this exploration by more than 20 spacecraft, the "morning star" still remains a mysterious world. But for more than a decade Venus has been a "forgotten" planet with no new missions featuring in the plans of the world space agencies. Now we are witnessing the revival of interest in this planet: the Venus Orbiter mission is approved in Japan, Venus Express - a European orbiter mission - has successfully passed the selection procedure in ESA, and several Venus Discovery proposals are knocking at the doors of NASA. The paper presents an exciting story of Venus spacecraft exploration, summarizes open scientific problems, and builds a bridge to the future missions.

  13. 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

  14. The first results from the ASPERA-4 instrument of Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barabash, S.; Sauvaud, J.-A.; Fedorov, A.; Aspera-4

    The Venus Express mission carries the instrument ASPERA-4 Analyzer of Space Plasmas and Energetic Atom to perform for the first time comprehensive plasma measurements at Venus ASPERA-4 is a replica of the instrument ASPERA-3 for the Mars Express mission orbiting Mars for about 2 years The general scientific objective of the ASPERA-4 experiment is to study the solar wind - atmosphere interaction and characterize the plasma atmospheric escape through energetic neutral atom ENA imaging and in-situ ion and electron measurements The ASPERA-4 instrument comprises four sensors two ENA sensors and an electron and ion spectrometer The Neutral Particle Imager NPI provides measurements of the integral ENA flux in the energy range 0 1 - 60 keV with no mass and energy resolution but comparatively high angular resolution 4 6 deg x 11 5 deg The Neutral Particle Detector NPD provides measurements of the ENA flux in the energy range 0 1 - 10 keV resolving velocity and mass H and O with a coarse angular resolution The Electron Spectrometer ELS is a standard top-hat electrostatic analyzer in a very compact design with the high 8 energy resolution to perform photoelectron spectroscopy These three sensors are located on a scanning platform to cover ideally the full sphere Ion Mass Analyzer IMA provides ion measurements in the energy range 0 01 - 30 keV q for the main ion components 1 2 4 16 amu q and the group of molecular ions 20 - 80 amu q The instantaneous field of view is 4 6 deg x 360 deg Electrostatic sweeping performs the elevation 90 deg

  15. Initial Venus Express magnetic field observations of the magnetic barrier at solar minimum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, T. L.; Delva, M.; Baumjohann, W.; Volwerk, M.; Russell, C. T.; Barabash, S.; Balikhin, M.; Pope, S.; Glassmeier, K.-H.; Wang, C.; Kudela, K.

    2008-05-01

    Although there is no intrinsic magnetic field at Venus, the convected interplanetary magnetic field piles up to form a magnetic barrier in the dayside inner magnetosheath. In analogy to the Earth's magnetosphere, the magnetic barrier acts as an induced magnetosphere on the dayside and hence as the obstacle to the solar wind. It consists of regions near the planet and its wake for which the magnetic pressure dominates all other pressure contributions. The initial survey performed with the Venus Express magnetic field data indicates a well-defined boundary at the top of the magnetic barrier region. It is clearly identified by a sudden drop in magnetosheath wave activity, and an abrupt and pronounced field draping. It marks the outer boundary of the induced magnetosphere at Venus, and we adopt the name "magnetopause" to address it. The magnitude of the draped field in the inner magnetosheath gradually increases and the magnetopause appears to show no signature in the field strength. This is consistent with PVO observations at solar maximum. A preliminary survey of the 2006 magnetic field data confirms the early PVO radio occultation observations that the ionopause stands at ˜250 km altitude across the entire dayside at solar minimum. The altitude of the magnetopause is much lower than at solar maximum, due to the reduced altitude of the ionopause at large solar zenith angles and the magnetization of the ionosphere. The position of the magnetopause at solar minimum is coincident with the ionopause in the subsolar region. This indicates a sinking of the magnetic barrier into the ionosphere. Nevertheless, it appears that the thickness of the magnetic barrier remains the same at both solar minimum and maximum. We have found that the ionosphere is magnetized ˜95% of the time at solar minimum, compared with 15% at solar maximum. For the 5% when the ionosphere is un-magnetized at solar minimum, the ionopause occurs at a higher location typically only seen during solar

  16. 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

  17. Wetlab-2 - Quantitative PCR Tools for Spaceflight Studies of Gene Expression Aboard the International Space Station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schonfeld, Julie E.

    2015-01-01

    Wetlab-2 is a research platform for conducting real-time quantitative gene expression analysis aboard the International Space Station. The system enables spaceflight genomic studies involving a wide variety of biospecimen types in the unique microgravity environment of space. Currently, gene expression analyses of space flown biospecimens must be conducted post flight after living cultures or frozen or chemically fixed samples are returned to Earth from the space station. Post-flight analysis is limited for several reasons. First, changes in gene expression can be transient, changing over a timescale of minutes. The delay between sampling on Earth can range from days to months, and RNA may degrade during this period of time, even in fixed or frozen samples. Second, living organisms that return to Earth may quickly re-adapt to terrestrial conditions. Third, forces exerted on samples during reentry and return to Earth may affect results. Lastly, follow up experiments designed in response to post-flight results must wait for a new flight opportunity to be tested.

  18. Venus - Ushas Mons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    This area of Venus northeast of Ushas Mons measures 40 by 112 kilometers (25 by 70 miles) and shows evidence of possible explosive volcanism. A surface deposit that shows brightly in radar extends and broadens away from the 1 kilometer diameter (0.6 mile diameter) crater in the middle of the image. The deposit is brighter near the crater, fades gradually into the plains and ends about 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the crater. The underlying crisscross pattern becomes more visible away from the crater as the covering deposit thins out. These characteristics are typical of deposits on Earth formed by fallout from volcanic explosion plumes. A similar but darker deposit extends to the right of the crater. The crater on the western edge of the image also shows similar deposits. North is at the top of the image. The Magellan Mission 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 Magellan's primary mission. During that time Magellan will map about 80 percent of the Venus surface. Subsequent missions of equal duration will provide complete mapping of the planet. Magellan was launched May 4, 1989, aboard the space shuttle Atlantis and went into orbit around Venus August 10, 1990. The spacecraft completes one orbit every three hours and 15 minutes, passing as close to the planet as 294 kilometers (183 miles) and as far away from Venus as 8,472 kilometers (5,265 miles). The smallest objects seen in this image measure approximately 120 meters (400 feet).

  19. A new view of Earth's sister: Insights following nine years of Venus Express observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Titov, Dmitrij; Svedhem, Håkan; Drossart, Pierre; Taylor, Fredric W.; Zhang, Tielong; Barabash, Stas; Paetzold, Martin; Piccioni, Giuseppe; Markiewicz, Wojciech; Vandaele, Ann C.; Wilson, Colin; Bertaux, Jean-Loup

    Since April 2006 ESA’s Venus Express has been performing a global survey of the remarkably dense, cloudy, and dynamic atmosphere of our near neighbour. The mission delivers comprehensive data on the temperature structure, the atmospheric composition, the cloud morphology, the atmospheric dynamics, the solar wind interaction and the escape processes. Vertical profiles of the atmospheric temperature show strong latitudinal trend in the mesosphere and upper troposphere correlated with changes in the cloud top structure and indicate convective instability in the main cloud deck at 50-60 km. Observations reveal significant latitudinal variations and temporal changes in the global cloud top morphology, which modulate the solar energy deposited in the atmosphere. 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 vast polar depression. UV imaging shows for the first time 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 dynamics. Solar occultation observations and deep atmosphere spectroscopy in spectral transparency windows mapped the distribution of the major trace gases H _{2}O, SO _{2}, CO, COS and their variations above and below the clouds, revealing key features of the dynamical and chemical processes at work. Tracking motions of cloud features provided the most complete characterization of the mean atmospheric circulation as well as its variability. Low and middle latitudes show an almost constant zonal wind speed at the cloud tops and vertical wind shear of 2-3 m/s/km. The zonal wind speed increased from 84±20 m/s to 110±16 m/s over the course of the mission. Towards the pole, the wind speed drops quickly and the vertical shear vanishes. The meridional poleward wind ranges from 0 at equator to about 15 m/s in

  20. Visualization of RelB expression and activation at the single-cell level during dendritic cell maturation in Relb-Venus knock-in mice.

    PubMed

    Seki, Takao; Yamamoto, Mami; Taguchi, Yuu; Miyauchi, Maki; Akiyama, Nobuko; Yamaguchi, Noritaka; Gohda, Jin; Akiyama, Taishin; Inoue, Jun-ichiro

    2015-12-01

    RelB is activated by the non-canonical NF-κB pathway, which is crucial for immunity by establishing lymphoid organogenesis and B-cell and dendritic cell (DC) maturation. To elucidate the mechanism of the RelB-mediated immune cell maturation, a precise understanding of the relationship between cell maturation and RelB expression and activation at the single-cell level is required. Therefore, we generated knock-in mice expressing a fusion protein between RelB and fluorescent protein (RelB-Venus) from the Relb locus. The Relb(Venus/Venus) mice developed without any abnormalities observed in the Relb(-/-) mice, allowing us to monitor RelB-Venus expression and nuclear localization as RelB expression and activation. Relb(Venus/Venus) DC analyses revealed that DCs consist of RelB(-), RelB(low) and RelB(high) populations. The RelB(high) population, which included mature DCs with projections, displayed RelB nuclear localization, whereas RelB in the RelB(low) population was in the cytoplasm. Although both the RelB(low) and RelB(-) populations barely showed projections, MHC II and co-stimulatory molecule expression were higher in the RelB(low) than in the RelB(-) splenic conventional DCs. Taken together, our results identify the RelB(low) population as a possible novel intermediate maturation stage of cDCs and the Relb(Venus/Venus) mice as a useful tool to analyse the dynamic regulation of the non-canonical NF-κB pathway. PMID:26115685

  1. In situ observations of waves in Venus’s polar lower thermosphere with Venus Express aerobraking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller-Wodarg, Ingo C. F.; Bruinsma, Sean; Marty, Jean-Charles; Svedhem, Håkan

    2016-08-01

    Waves are ubiquitous phenomena found in oceans and atmospheres alike. From the earliest formal studies of waves in the Earth’s atmosphere to more recent studies on other planets, waves have been shown to play a key role in shaping atmospheric bulk structure, dynamics and variability. Yet, waves are difficult to characterize as they ideally require in situ measurements of atmospheric properties that are difficult to obtain away from Earth. Thus, we have incomplete knowledge of atmospheric waves on planets other than our own, and we are thereby limited in our ability to understand and predict planetary atmospheres. Here we report the first ever in situ observations of atmospheric waves in Venus’s thermosphere (130-140 km) at high latitudes (71.5°-79.0°). These measurements were made by the Venus Express Atmospheric Drag Experiment (VExADE) during aerobraking from 24 June to 11 July 2014. As the spacecraft flew through Venus’s atmosphere, deceleration by atmospheric drag was sufficient to obtain from accelerometer readings a total of 18 vertical density profiles. We infer an average temperature of T = 114 +/- 23 K and find horizontal wave-like density perturbations and mean temperatures being modulated at a quasi-5-day period.

  2. Hydrogen density in the dayside venusian exosphere derived from Lyman-α observations by SPICAV on Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaufray, J.-Y.; Bertaux, J.-L.; Quémerais, E.; Villard, E.; Leblanc, F.

    2012-02-01

    A series of observations of the venusian hydrogen corona made by SPICAV on Venus Express are analyzed to estimate the amount of hydrogen in the exosphere of Venus. These observations were made between November 2006 and July 2007 at altitudes from 1000 km to 8000 km on the dayside. The Lyman-α brightness profiles derived are reproduced by the sum of a cold hydrogen population dominant below ˜2000 km and a hot hydrogen population dominant above ˜4000 km. The temperature (˜300 K) and hydrogen density at 250 km (˜10 5 cm -3) derived for the cold populations, near noon, are in good agreement with previous observations. Strong dawn-dusk exospheric asymmetry is observed from this set of observations, with a larger exobase density on the dawn side than on the dusk side, consistent with asymmetry previously observed in the venusian thermosphere, but with a lower dawn/dusk contrast. The hot hydrogen density derived is very sensitive to the sky background estimate, but is well constrained near 5000 km. The density of the hot population is reproduced by the exospheric model from Hodges (Hodges, R.R. [1999]. J. Geophys. Res. 104, 8463-8471) in which the hot population is produced by neutral-ions interactions in the thermosphere of Venus.

  3. Vertical structure of Venus polar thermosphere from in-situ data of the Venus Express Atmospheric Drag Experiment (VExADE)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mueller-Wodarg, Ingo; Svedhem, Håkan; Bruinsma, Sean; Gurvits, Leonid; Cimo, Giuseppe; Molera Calves, Guifre; Bocanegra Bahamon, Tatiana; Rosenblatt, Pascal; Duev, Dmitry; Marty, Jean-Charles; Progebenko, Sergei

    The Venus Express Atmospheric Drag Experiment (VExADE) has enabled first ever in-situ measurements of the density of the near-polar thermosphere of Venus above an altitude of 165 km. The measured values have been compared with existing models such as VTS3, which has been built mainly with the Pioneer Venus Orbiter Mass Spectrometer (PV-ONMS) data taken near 16˚ latitude, but extrapolated globally. The VExADE density values have been derived from the Precise Orbit Determination (POD) of the VEx spacecraft using both navigation and dedicated tracking data around pericenter passes during several VExADE campaigns. The last campaign has also benefited from the Planetary Radio Interferometry and Doppler Experiment (PRIDE) tracking. The combination of POD techniques has provided 46 reliable estimates of the polar thermosphere density. An independent set of density measurements was also taken by inferring the torque of the VEx spacecraft exerted by Venus’ upper atmosphere on the spacecraft during pericenter passes. This method has provided more than 120 density values in remarkably good agreement with the density values provided by the POD method. To date, the VExADE data have probed a range of 160 to 185 km in altitude, 80 to 90 degrees North in latitude and 5 to 20 hours in local time. While sampling in these ranges is insufficient to establish detailed horizontal density structures of the polar thermosphere a set of important properties can be inferred. First, the densities are lower by a factor of around 1.5 than the densities predicted by VTS3. At the same time, we find the density scale heights of VExADE and VTS3 to be consistent. Second, the density values exhibit strong variability, which is not taken into account in the VTS3 model. In order to investigate this dynamical behavior of the polar thermosphere, the ratio between the VExADE and VTS3 density has been analyzed. The latitude, altitude and local time trends are tentatively identified, but the sparse

  4. Venus Express: highlights of a four-year survey of our planet-neighbour

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Titov, Dmitri; Svedhem, Håkan; Barabash, S.; Bertaux, J.-L.; Drossart, P.; Haeusler, B.; Korablev, O. I.; Markiewicz, W. J.; Paetzold, M.; Piccioni, G.; Taylor, F. W.; Vandaele, A.-C.; Zhang, T.

    Since April 2006 Venus Express has been performing a global survey of the remarkably dense, cloudy, and dynamic atmosphere of our near neighbour. A consistent picture of the climate on Venus is emerging on the basis of the new data, which enables us to provide an overview of the global temperature structure, the composition and its variations, the cloud morphology at various levels, the atmospheric dynamics and general circulation, and near-infrared emissions from trace species such as oxygen in the mesosphere. Vertical profiles of atmospheric tempera-ture in the mesosphere and upper troposphere show strong variability correlated with changes in the cloud top structure and many fine details indicating dynamical processes. Temperature sounding also shows that the cloud deck at 50-60 km is convectively unstable, in agreement with the analysis of UV images. Imaging also reveals strong latitudinal variations and significant temporal changes in the global cloud top morphology, which will inevitably modulate the solar energy deposited in the atmosphere. The cloud top altitude varies from ˜72 km in the low and middle latitudes to ˜64 km in the polar region, marking vast polar depressions that form as a result of the Hadley-type meridional circulation. Stellar and solar occultation measurements have revealed an extended upper haze of submicron particles and provided information on its optical properties. Solar occultation observations and deep atmosphere spectroscopy in several spectral transparency windows have quantified the distribution of the major trace gases H2O, SO2, CO, COS and their variations above and below the clouds, and so provided important input and validation for models of chemical cycles and dynamical transport. Cloud motion monitoring has characterised the mean state of the atmospheric circulation as well as its vari-ability. Low and middle latitudes show an almost constant zonal wind speed of 100+/-20 m/s at the cloud tops and vertical wind sheer of 2

  5. 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.

  6. Mars and Venus - The Express Way : Evolution and Heritage in Flexi Type Missions Concerning Model Philosophy and Environmental Test Design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rustichelli, S.; McCoy, D.; Florino, T.; Pereira, J.; Pendaries, M.

    2004-08-01

    Mars Express is the first example of ESA's "Flexible Missions", a new and more economic way of building space science missions based on maximum use of existing technology that is either 'off-the-shelf' or technology that has already been developed for other programs. The high level of recurrence in the design, the re-use of existing hardware and the implementation of new project management practices made possible to Mars Express to meet the objective of shortening the time from original concept to launch, being built unusually quickly to meet its narrow launch window in June 2003. The objective of being assembled, fully tested and prepared for launch in a record time, 30% faster than other comparable missions and with reduced financial funding, could be achieved only with a thorough re- thinking of the model philosophy and environmental test design. The encouraging results obtained with Mars Express are the basis of the AIV program of the second ESA's Flexible Mission, Venus Express. Highly recurrent of Mars Express, even if with important peculiarities due to the different mission and planetary environment, this Project will benefit of the qualifications achieved on its predecessor, allowing a single module approach where the AIT campaign will start directly on the PFM. This paper presents the innovative concepts implemented in the definition of Mars Express Model Philosophy and Environmental Test campaigns, showing the influence of the adopted solutions on the in-flight performances. An overview of Venus Express Test Campaign is also given, focusing on the effects of the previous experience and the lessons learned as well as the peculiarities of the new mission.

  7. On ion escape from Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jarvinen, Riku

    2011-04-01

    This doctoral thesis is about the solar wind influence on the atmosphere of the planet Venus. A numerical plasma simulation model was developed for the interaction between Venus and the solar wind to study the erosion of charged particles from the Venus upper atmosphere. The developed model is a hybrid simulation where ions are treated as particles and electrons are modelled as a fluid. The simulation was used to study the solar wind induced ion escape from Venus as observed by the European Space Agency's Venus Express and NASA's Pioneer Venus Orbiter spacecraft. Especially, observations made by the ASPERA-4 particle instrument onboard Venus Express were studied. The thesis consists of an introductory part and four peer-reviewed articles published in scientific journals. In the introduction Venus is presented as one of the terrestrial planets in the Solar System and the main findings of the work are discussed within the wider context of planetary physics. Venus is the closest neighbouring planet to the Earth and the most earthlike planet in its size and mass orbiting the Sun. Whereas the atmosphere of the Earth consists mainly of nitrogen and oxygen, Venus has a hot carbon dioxide atmosphere, which is dominated by the greenhouse effect. Venus has all of its water in the atmosphere, which is only a fraction of the Earth's total water supply. Since planets developed presumably in similar conditions in the young Solar System, why Venus and Earth became so different in many respects? One important feature of Venus is that the planet does not have an intrinsic magnetic field. This makes it possible for the solar wind, a continuous stream of charged particles from the Sun, to flow close to Venus and to pick up ions from the planet's upper atmosphere. The strong intrinsic magnetic field of the Earth dominates the terrestrial magnetosphere and deflects the solar wind flow far away from the atmosphere. The region around Venus where the planet's atmosphere interacts with the

  8. On ion escape from Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jarvinen, R.

    2011-04-01

    This doctoral thesis is about the solar wind influence on the atmosphere of the planet Venus. A numerical plasma simulation model was developed for the interaction between Venus and the solar wind to study the erosion of charged particles from the Venus upper atmosphere. The developed model is a hybrid simulation where ions are treated as particles and electrons are modelled as a fluid. The simulation was used to study the solar wind induced ion escape from Venus as observed by the European Space Agency's Venus Express and NASA's Pioneer Venus Orbiter spacecraft. Especially, observations made by the ASPERA-4 particle instrument onboard Venus Express were studied. The thesis consists of an introductory part and four peer-reviewed articles published in scientific journals. In the introduction Venus is presented as one of the terrestrial planets in the Solar System and the main findings of the work are discussed within the wider context of planetary physics.Venus is the closest neighbouring planet to the Earth and the most earthlike planet in its size and mass orbiting the Sun. Whereas the atmosphere of the Earth consists mainly of nitrogen and oxygen, Venus has a hot carbon dioxide atmosphere, which is dominated by the greenhouse effect. Venus has all of its water in the atmosphere, which is only a fraction of the Earth's total water supply. Since planets developed presumably in similar conditions in the young Solar System, why Venus and Earth became so different in many respects?One important feature of Venus is that the planet does not have an intrinsic magnetic field. This makes it possible for the solar wind, a continuous stream of charged particles from the Sun, to flow close to Venus and to pick up ions from the planet's upper atmosphere. The strong intrinsic magnetic field of the Earth dominates the terrestrial magnetosphere and deflects the solar wind flow far away from the atmosphere. The region around Venus where the planet's atmosphere interacts with the

  9. 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.

  10. Comet Halley: The view from Pioneer Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    The plans to scan Halley's Comet at close range using the Pioneer Venus Orbiter are discussed. The composition of comets, their paths through space, and the history of comet encounters are examined. An ultraviolet spectrometer aboard the spacecraft will determine the composition of the gaseous coma and will measure the total gas production during its passage. The Pioneer Venus Orbiter will observe the comet for five weeks before solar interference with communications occurs as Venus passes on the far side of the Sun from Earth. Diagrams of the solar system and the relationship of the comet to the planets and the Sun are provided.

  11. The Role of Different Parameters in the Pressurant Budget of Venus Express and its Dynamic Evolution during the Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valencia Bel, F.; Lang, M.

    2004-10-01

    An insufficient amount of pressurant gas in the propulsion system or a working temperature in the pressurant tank outside the qualification limits can cause a decrease in the performance of the thrusters or even the loss of the mission. This paper presents an engineering tool used able to compute the Pressurant budget of a mission and the effects of influencing parameters. The updated tool allows to also compute the temperature, pressure and mass evolution inside the pressurant tank during the various mission phases. The tool has been used to verify the calculations done by Astrium Stevenage for Mars Express and Venus Express [1]. The pressurant gas used for both cases was helium. The tool permits to use other combinations of pressurant gases and propellants for different propellant systems (monopropellant and bipropellant systems).

  12. 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

  13. Venus Then and Now: Simulating Sulfuric Acid Clouds Using Latitudinally Dependent VIRA and VeRA Temperature Profiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, P.; Parkinson, C. D.; Bardeen, C.; Yung, Y. L.

    2014-12-01

    Observations from the Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO) and from SPICAV/SOIR aboard Venus Express (VEx) have shown the upper haze (UH) of Venus to be highly spatially and temporally variable. Previous models of this system, using typical temperature profiles representative of the Venus atmosphere as a whole, did not investigate the effects of temperature variations on the UH particle distributions. Parkinson et al. (2014, submitted) showed that the inclusion of latitudinally dependent temperature profiles retrieved from SPICAV/SOIR observations in the Venus cloud model of Gao et al. (2014) resulted in markedly different cloud distributions between the different latitude cases, such as a lowered cloud base near the equator and a slightly thicker UH at the poles. Thus, temperature variations across Venus could help explain spatial variations in the atmospheric aerosol distribution. In this work, we expand on the aforementioned study by including VIRA temperature profiles derived from Venera and PVO observations (Kliore et al. 1985) at similar latitudes as the SPICAV/SOIR profiles to assess how the aerosol distribution varies spatially and temporally. By comparing the simulated cloud and haze distributions arising from the two sets of temperature profiles, we can evaluate whether secular changes have occurred in the ~30 years between the PVO and VEx epochs.

  14. [Establishment of goat limbal stem cell strain expressing Venus fluorescent protein and construction of limbal epithelial sheets].

    PubMed

    Yin, Jiqing; Liu, Wenqiang; Liu, Chao; Zhao, Guimin; Zhang, Yihua; Liu, Weishuai; Hua, Jinlian; Dou, Zhongying; Lei, Anmin

    2010-12-01

    The integrity and transparency of cornea plays a key role in vision. Limbal Stem Cells (LSCs) are precursors of cornea, which are responsible for self-renewal and replenishing corneal epithelium. Though it is successful to cell replacement therapy for impairing ocular surface by Limbal Stem Cell Transplantation (LSCT), the mechanism of renew is unclear after LSCT. To real time follow-up the migration and differentiation of corneal transplanted epithelial cells after transplanting, we transfected venus (a fluorescent protein gene) into goat LSCs, selected with G418 and established a stable transfected cell line, named GLSC-V. These cells showed green fluorescence, and which could maintain for at least 3 months. GLSC-V also were positive for anti-P63 and anti-Integrinbeta1 antibody by immunofluorescent staining. We founded neither GLSC-V nor GLSCs expressed keratin3 (k3) and keratinl2 (k12). However, GLSC-V had higher levels in expression of p63, pcna and venus compared with GLSCs. Further, we cultivated the cells on denude amniotic membrane to construct tissue engineered fluorescent corneal epithelial sheets. Histology and HE staining showed that the constructed fluorescent corneal epithelial sheets consisted of 5-6 layers of epithelium. Only the lowest basal cells of fluorescent corneal epithelial sheets expressed P63 analyzed by immunofluorescence, but not superficial epithelial cells. These results showed that our constructed fluorescent corneal epithelial sheets were similar to the normal corneal epithelium in structure and morphology. This demonstrated that they could be transplanted for patents with corneal impair, also may provide a foundation for the study on the mechanisms of corneal epithelial cell regeneration after LSCT. PMID:21387825

  15. Photochemical Control of the Distribution of Water and Sulphuric Acid Aerosols in the Clouds and Upper Haze of Venus with Comparison to Venus Express SOIR Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parkinson, C. D.; Gao, P.; Yung, Y. L.; Bougher, S. W.; Bardeen, C.

    2014-12-01

    Observations of the middle and lower cloud layers of Venus has established the water vapour mixing ratio there as ~ 30-35 ppm (Ignatiev et al. 1997), while more recent data suggests that the water vapor mixing ratio of the upper haze of Venus is ~ 1 ppm (Bertaux et al. 2007). The transition region between these two regimes, the upper cloud, is an active site of photochemistry and production of sulfuric acid, which occurs through the formation of SO3 from the oxidation of SO2, and subsequent reactions between SO3 and water. These reactions have been shown by Parkinson et al. (2014a, submitted) as capable of causing an order of magnitude decrease of the water vapor mixing ratio in the upper cloud and upper haze if the SO2 mixing ratio at the upper cloud base were increased by only ~20%, as the resulting high SO3 concentrations rapidly react with any available water to form sulfuric acid. The opposite is true when water is in high abundance. This is likely to have profound effects on the sulfuric acid clouds and hazes themselves, as 1) the depletion of either species will decrease the production rate of sulfuric acid and 2) the saturation vapor pressure of the cloud droplets increases with decreasing water fraction, and thus a "drying" of the clouds may result in decreased cloud thickness. In this work we will use the Venus microphysical cloud models of Gao et al. (2014) and Parkinson et al. (2014b, submitted) to simulate the sulfuric acid clouds and hazes of Venus from 40 to 100 km altitude and evaluate how their structure and particle sizes depend on the background water vapor profile and sulfuric acid production rate as determined by Parkinson et al. (2014a, submitted). We also show how they respond to transient episodes of increased/decreased SO2/H2O mixing ratios and discuss the plausibility of possible causes, such as volcanic activity.

  16. Venus geology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McLaughlin, W. I.

    1991-05-01

    The Magellan mission to Venus is reviewed. The scientific investigations conducted by 243-day cycles encompass mapping with a constant incidence angle for the radar, observing surface changes from one cycle to the next, and targeting young-looking volcanos. The topography of Venus is defined by the upper boundary of the crust and upwelling from lower domains. Tectonic features such as rift zones, linear mountain belts, ridge belts, and tesserae are described. The zones of tesserae are unique to the planet. Volcanism accounts for about 80 percent of the observed surface, the remainder being volcanic deposits which have been reworked by tectonism or impacts. Magellan data reveal about 900 impact craters with flow-like ejecta resulting from the fall of meteoroids. It is concluded that the age of the Venusian surface varies between 0 and 800 million years. Tectonic and volcanic activities dominate the formation of the Venus topography; such processes as weathering and erosion are relatively unimportant on Venus.

  17. 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)

  18. Venus Syndrome

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, J.; Kharecha, P.; Lacis, A.; Russell, G.; Sato, M.

    2012-06-01

    We use three alternative avenues to investigate climate sensitivity on Earth and the conditions that could lead to extermination of human life on the planet or even a Venus-like runaway greenhouse effect.

  19. Venus geology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mclaughlin, W. I.

    1991-01-01

    The Magellan mission to Venus is reviewed. The scientific investigations conducted by 243-day cycles encompass mapping with a constant incidence angle for the radar, observing surface changes from one cycle to the next, and targeting young-looking volcanos. The topography of Venus is defined by the upper boundary of the crust and upwelling from lower domains. Tectonic features such as rift zones, linear mountain belts, ridge belts, and tesserae are described. The zones of tesserae are unique to the planet. Volcanism accounts for about 80 percent of the observed surface, the remainder being volcanic deposits which have been reworked by tectonism or impacts. Magellan data reveal about 900 impact craters with flow-like ejecta resulting from the fall of meteoroids. It is concluded that the age of the Venusian surface varies between 0 and 800 million years. Tectonic and volcanic activities dominate the formation of the Venus topography; such processes as weathering and erosion are relatively unimportant on Venus.

  20. 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)

  1. Bimodal Distribution of Sulfuric Acid Aerosols in the Atmosphere of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Peter; Zhang, X.; Crisp, D.; Bardeen, C. G.; Yung, Y. L.

    2013-10-01

    Observations by the SPICAV/SOIR instruments aboard Venus Express have revealed that the upper haze of Venus, between 70 and 90 km, is variable on the order of days and that it is populated by two particle modes. In this work, we posit that the observed phenomena are caused by the transient mixing of the clouds and the haze, as well as another source of sulfuric acid aerosols in the upper haze that nucleate on meteoric dust. We test this hypothesis by simulating a column of the Venus atmosphere from 40 to 100 km above the surface using a model based upon the Community Aerosol and Radiation Model for Atmospheres and consider the effects of meteoric dust and polysulfur acting as condensation nuclei in the upper haze and upper cloud, respectively, as well as transient winds at the cloud tops caused by subsolar convection. Our aerosol number density results are consistent with Pioneer Venus data from Knollenberg and Hunten (1980), while our gas distribution results match the Magellan radio occultation data as analyzed by Kolodner and Steffes (1998) below 55 km. The size distribution of cloud particles shows two distinct modes in the upper clouds region and three distinct modes in the middle and lower clouds regions, qualitatively matching the observations of Pioneer Venus. The UH size distribution shows one distinct mode that is likely an upwelled cloud particle population with which an in situ meteoric dust condensation particle population has coagulated. The results of the transient wind simulations yield a variability timescale that is consistent with Venus Express observations, as well as a clear bimodal size distribution in the UH.

  2. Context Images for Venus Express Radio Occultations: a Search for a Dynamical-Convective Origin of Cloud-top UV Contrasts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roos-Serote, M.; Wilson, C. F.; MacDonald, R.; Tellmann, S.; Häusler, B.; Lee, Y. J.; Khatuntsev, I.

    2015-12-01

    It has been known for many decades that Venus shows strong contrasts when observed at UV wavelengths, as opposed to longer wavelengths in the visible and NIR, where Venus looks very homogeneous. This has been explained by the presence of a so-called UV absorber, which chemical identity is still unclear. Two hypothesis concerning the source and distribution of the UV-absorber have been put forward. For one of them the argument is that the absorbing substance is being transported from below the clouds up to the cloud top level by means of convection. This implies that in regions with more convection the absorber would be more abundant at the cloud-tops, thus resulting in lower brightness when observed in the UV. In the other scenario, it is haze-forming material which is brought to the cloud-tops by convection; in this case regions with stronger convection produce higher cloud tops would therefore show brighter in the UV.The premise behind the current analysis is to combine data from the Venus Express Radio Science experiment (VeRa) and from the Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC), to search for any correlation between the temperature structure (Tz and static stability, Sz) as sounded on one specific location and the UV brightness of that same location.Between 25 November and 31 December 2013 a special observing "South Polar Dynamics" campaign was performed with Venus Express. On each orbit one VeRa atmosphere sounding was acquired shortly after the pericentre passage, as well as a series of VMC-UV images capturing the very VeRa sounding location on that orbit before and after the sounding as it moves across the planet pushed by the zonal and meridional winds. Additional data was found from the another 42 orbits from entire mission Venus Express data set. The sounded latitudes varied between 0˚and -83º.The question is whether or not we can identify any statistically significant correlations between the temperature structure at a given location and the relative UV

  3. 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

  4. Upstream proton cyclotron waves at Venus near solar maximum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delva, M.; Bertucci, C.; Volwerk, M.; Lundin, R.; Mazelle, C.; Romanelli, N.

    2015-01-01

    magnetometer data of Venus Express are analyzed for the occurrence of waves at the proton cyclotron frequency in the spacecraft frame in the upstream region of Venus, for conditions of rising solar activity. The data of two Venus years up to the time of highest sunspot number so far (1 Mar 2011 to 31 May 2012) are studied to reveal the properties of the waves and the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) conditions under which they are observed. In general, waves generated by newborn protons from exospheric hydrogen are observed under quasi- (anti)parallel conditions of the IMF and the solar wind velocity, as is expected from theoretical models. The present study near solar maximum finds significantly more waves than a previous study for solar minimum, with an asymmetry in the wave occurrence, i.e., mainly under antiparallel conditions. The plasma data from the Analyzer of Space Plasmas and Energetic Atoms instrument aboard Venus Express enable analysis of the background solar wind conditions. The prevalence of waves for IMF in direction toward the Sun is related to the stronger southward tilt of the heliospheric current sheet for the rising phase of Solar Cycle 24, i.e., the "bashful ballerina" is responsible for asymmetric background solar wind conditions. The increase of the number of wave occurrences may be explained by a significant increase in the relative density of planetary protons with respect to the solar wind background. An exceptionally low solar wind proton density is observed during the rising phase of Solar Cycle 24. At the same time, higher EUV increases the ionization in the Venus exosphere, resulting in higher supply of energy from a higher number of newborn protons to the wave. We conclude that in addition to quasi- (anti)parallel conditions of the IMF and the solar wind velocity direction, the higher relative density of Venus exospheric protons with respect to the background solar wind proton density is the key parameter for the higher number of

  5. Radial Evolution of a Magnetic Cloud: MESSENGER, STEREO, and Venus Express Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Good, S. W.; Forsyth, R. J.; Raines, J. M.; Gershman, D. J.; Slavin, J. A.; Zurbuchen, T. H.

    2015-07-01

    The Solar Orbiter and Solar Probe Plus missions will provide observations of magnetic clouds closer to the Sun than ever before, and it will be good preparation for these missions to make full use of the most recent in situ data sets from the inner heliosphere—namely, those provided by MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) and Venus Express—for magnetic cloud studies. We present observations of the same magnetic cloud made by MESSENGER at Mercury and later by Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory-B (STEREO-B), while the spacecraft were radially aligned in 2011 November. Few such radial observations of magnetic clouds have been previously reported. Estimates of the solar wind speed at MESSENGER are also presented, calculated through the application of a previously established technique. The cloud's flux rope has been analyzed using force-free fitting; the rope diameter increased from 0.18 to 0.41 AU (corresponding to an {r}{{H}}0.94 dependence on heliocentric distance, rH), and the axial magnetic field strength dropped from 46.0 to 8.7 nT (an {r}{{H}}-1.84 dependence) between the spacecraft, clear indications of an expanding structure. The axial magnetic flux was ˜0.50 nT AU2 at both spacecraft, suggesting that the rope underwent no significant erosion through magnetic reconnection between MESSENGER and STEREO-B. Further, we estimate the change in the cloud's angular width by assuming helicity conservation. It has also been found that the rope axis rotated by 30° between the spacecraft to lie close to the solar equatorial plane at STEREO-B. Such a rotation, if it is a common feature of coronal mass ejection propagation, would have important implications for space weather forecasting.

  6. 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.

  7. Venus Middle Atmosphere Chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mills, F. P.; Sundaram, M.; Slanger, T. G.; Allen, M.; Yung, Y. L.

    2005-08-01

    Venus is the most similar planet to Earth, and years of research have sought to understand their similarities and differences. Yet, it is still not clear what chemical processes maintain the long-term stability of Venus' primarily CO2 atmosphere. CO2 dissociates into CO and O after absorbing photons at wavelengths < 210 nm. These O atoms should combine to form O2, and observations of intense airglow confirm rapid production of O2 on both day and night sides. CO and O2 are sufficiently stable that an initially pure CO2 atmosphere would rapidly evolve to have 7-8% CO and 3.5-4% O2 [1]. The observed upper limit on O2 (0.3 ppm [2]), however, indicates catalytic mechanisms [3], rapidly convert CO and oxygen into CO2. The current understanding of Venus middle atmosphere chemistry, the state of lab data, and prospects for advances based on Venus Express will be reviewed. Recent work evaluating newly proposed mechanisms for producing CO2, which could be important depending on the rates of poorly constrained reactions, will be described. This research was supported by funding from NASA's Planetary Atmospheres program and the Australian Research Council. Part of this work was carried out by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with NASA. [1] Nair, et al., Icarus 111, 124 (1994), [2] Trauger and Lunine, Icarus 55, 272 (1983), [3] Pernice, et al., PNAS 101, 14007 (2004)

  8. "Depend on, Rely on, Count on": Economic Subjectivities Aboard "The Polar Express"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saltmarsh, Sue

    2009-01-01

    Christmas literature and film produced for children is an important, albeit under-researched, site for the production of cultural values and norms. This paper analyses Chris Van Allsburg's 1985 picture book "The Polar Express", the 2004 Warner Brothers feature film of the same title, the film's official website, and resources for teachers…

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Exploring the surface of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

    The VIRTIS instrument on the ESA mission Venus Express has produced the first in-orbit mapping of the surface of Venus using the atmospheric windows near 1 micron. Based on the data returned by VIRTIS a map of surface brightness variations could be obtained which are indicative of emissivity variations on the surface. The mapping in general indiactes three surface types, characterized by average, increased and decreased emissivity. These surface types show a good correlation with geological units identified by radar mapping. In general high emissivity units are found on very fresh lava flows, while tesserae terrain is typically associated with the low emissivity unit. This completely new dataset, that is highly complementary to the geological mapping based on radar data can provide significant support for the design and planning of future missions to Venus. For the first time there are strong indications for the heterogeneity of the surface composition of Venus. This is not only important for the selection of potential landing sites, but can provide important insights in the evolution of Venus. To support the mapping activity and the instrument development for future Venus missions we have started to obtain high temperature emissivity spectra of analog materials at Venus surface temperatures. This laboratory measurements will provide for the first time realistic near infrared spectral data for the surface of Venus. Obtaining data of samples at 500°C and taking emissivity measurements at 1 micron is a very challenging task. After more than 3 years of preparation the setup at the Planetary Emissivity Laboratory in Berlin is near completion and first test measurements have been obtained successfully.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Hot flow anomalies at Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collinson, G. A.; Sibeck, D. G.; Masters, A.; Shane, N.; Slavin, J. A.; Coates, A. J.; Zhang, T. L.; Sarantos, M.; Boardsen, S.; Moore, T. E.; Barabash, S.

    2012-04-01

    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.

  15. New Interface for Accessing Archived European Space Agency Planetary Science Data, Such as the New Venus Express Atmospheric Drag Experiment Data Set

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grotheer, E.; Barbarisi, I.; Rios, C.; Macfarlane, A. J.; Docasal, R.; Arviset, C.; Besse, S.; Heather, D.; Gonzalez, J.; De Marchi, G.; Martinez, S.; Lim, T.; Fraga, D.

    2015-12-01

    All Venus Express (VEX) instruments delivered their data products according to the Planetary Data System version 3 (PDS3) standard, and the atmospheric drag experiment (ADE) data was no exception. The European Space Agency's (ESA) Planetary Science Archive (PSA), which can be accessed at www.rssd.esa.int/PSA, is being upgraded to make PDS4 data available from newer missions such as ExoMars and BepiColombo. Thus, the PSA development team has been working to ensure that the legacy PDS3 data will be accessible via the new interface as well. We will preview some of the new methods of accessing legacy VEX data via the new interface, with a focus being placed on the ADE data set. We will show how the ADE data can be accessed using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and our plans for making this and other data sets compatible with the Virtual European Solar and Planetary Access (VESPA) project for creating a virtual observatory. From February 2010 through March 2014, ESA's Venus Express mission conducted 11 ADE campaigns. During these observation campaigns, VEX's pericenter was in the range of 165 to 190 km, while the spacecraft was near Venus' North pole, and the entire spacecraft was used to make in situ measurements of the atmospheric density. This was done by rotating the solar panels in a manner that somewhat resembles a windmill. Also, VEX 's attitude and orbit control system was tasked with maintaining the spacecraft in a 3-axis stabilized mode during these pericenter passes. The torques that the reaction wheels had to exert to maintain this attitude were then analyzed to yield density readings.

  16. Simulation of Radar-Backscattering from Phobos - A Contribution to the Experiment MARSIS aboard MarsExpress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plettemeier, D.; Hahnel, R.; Hegler, S.; Safaeinili, A.; Orosei, R.; Cicchetti, A.; Plaut, J.; Picardi, G.

    2009-04-01

    MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding) on board MarsExpress is the first and so far the only space borne radar that observed the Martian moon Phobos. Radar echoes were measured for different flyby trajectories. The primary aim of the low frequency sounding of Phobos is to prove the feasibility of deep sounding, into the crust of Phobos. In this poster we present a numerical method that allows a very precise computation of radar echoes backscattered from the surface of large objects. The software is based on a combination of physical optics calculation of surface scattering of the radar target, and Method of Moments to calculate the radiation pattern of the whole space borne radar system. The calculation of the frequency dependent radiation pattern takes into account all relevant gain variations and coupling effects aboard the space craft. Based on very precise digital elevation models of Phobos, patch models in the resolution of lambda/10 were generated. Simulation techniques will be explained and a comparison of simulations and measurements will be shown. SURFACE BACKSCATTERING SIMULATOR FOR LARGE OBJECTS The computation of surface scattering of the electromagnetic wave incident on Phobos is based on the Physical Optics method. The scattered field can be expressed by the induced equivalent surface currents on the target. The Algorithm: The simulation program itself is split into three phases. In the first phase, an illumination test checks whether a patch will be visible from the position of the space craft. If this is not the case, the patch will be excluded from the simulation. The second phase serves as a preparation stage for the third phase. Amongst other tasks, the dyadic products for the Js and Ms surface currents are calculated. This is a time-memory trade-off: the simulation will need additional 144 bytes of RAM for every patch that passes phase one. However, the calculation of the dyads is expensive, so that considerable

  17. Venus Highland Anomalous Reflectivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simpson, Richard A.; Tyler, G. L.; Häusler, B.; Mattei, R.; Patzold, M.

    2009-09-01

    Maxwell Montes was one of several unusually bright areas identified from early Venus radar backscatter observations. Pioneer Venus' orbiting radar associated low emissivity with the bright areas and established a correlation between reflectivity and altitude. Magellan, using an oblique bistatic geometry, showed that the bright surface dielectric constant was not only large but also imaginary -- i.e., the material was conducting, at least near Cleopatra Patera (Pettengill et al., Science, 272, 1996). Venus Express (VEX) repeated Magellan's bistatic observations over Maxwell, using the more conventional circular polarization carried by most spacecraft. Although VEX signal-to-noise ratio was lower than Magellan's, echoes were sufficiently strong to verify the Magellan conclusions near Cleopatra (see J. Geophys. Res., 114, E00B41, doi:10.1029/2008JE003156). Only about 40% of the surface at Cleopatra scatters specularly, opening the Fresnel (specular) interpretation model to question. Elsewhere in Maxwell, the specular percentage may be even lower. Nonetheless, the echo polarization is reversed throughout Maxwell, a result that is consistent with large dielectric constants and difficult to explain without resorting qualitatively (if not quantitatively) to specular models. VEX was scheduled to explore other high altitude regions when its S-Band (13-cm wavelength) radio system failed in late 2006, so further probing of high altitude targets awaits arrival of a new spacecraft.

  18. 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

  19. Nature of the Venus thermosphere derived from satellite drag measurements (solicited paper)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keating, G.; Theriot, M.; Bougher, S.

    2008-09-01

    density, scale height, inferred temperature, pressure, and other parameters as a function of altitude. The risk involved in the orbital decay and accelerometer measurements is minimal. We have not lost any spacecraft orbiting Venus or Mars due to unexpected thermospheric drag effects in over 30 years. The Venus Express accelerometer drag experiment is very similar to accelerometer experiments aboard Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter which orbit Mars. The Venus Express drag measurements of the polar region will allow a global empirical model of the thermosphere to emerge. Previous drag measurements have been made principally near the equator. The experiment may help us understand on a global scale, tides, winds, gravity waves, planetary waves, and the damping of waves. Comparisons will be made between low and high latitude results; between the middle and upper atmosphere; and with other instruments that provide information from current and previous measurements. The character of the sharp temperature gradient near the day/night terminator needs to be studied at all latitudes. The cryosphere we discovered on the nightside needs to be studied at high latitudes. The rotating vortex dipole over the North Pole surrounded by a colder "collar" needs to be analyzed to identify how wave activity extends into the polar thermosphere. We have already discovered super-rotation in the equatorial thermosphere, but we need to study 4-day super-rotation at higher latitudes to obtain a global picture of the thermosphere. The super-rotation may affect escape rates and the evolution of the atmosphere. References: [1] Keating, G. M., et al: Venus Thermosphere and Exosphere: First Satellite Drag Measurements of an Extraterrestrial Atmosphere. Science, Vol. 203, No. 4382, 772-774, Feb. 23, 1979. [2] Keating, G. M. and Bougher, S.W.: Isolation of Major Venus Cooling Mechanism and Implications for Earth and Mars, Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 97, 4189

  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. Venus cartography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Batson, R. M.; Kirk, R. L.; Edwards, Kathleen; Morgan, H. F.

    1994-10-01

    The entire surface of the planet Venus is being mapped at global and regional scales (1:50 million through 1:1.5 million) with synthetic aperture radar (SAR), radar altimeter, and radiometer measurements of physical properties from the Magellan spacecraft. The mapping includes SAR image mosaics, shaded relief maps, and topographic contour overlays made from altimetry data and by radargrammetric methods. Methods used include new techniques of radar image processing that became operational as a result of the Magellan mission. Special cartographic support products prepared by the USGS include: synthetic stereograms, color thematic maps of physical properties, digital shaded relief maps from opposite-look SAR, and topographic maps by radargrammetry. The area being mapped (at a resolution of 75 m/pixel) is roughly equivalent to that of Earth, including sea-floors. The mapping is designed to support geologic and geophysical investigations.

  2. Simulation of Radar-Backscattering from Phobos - A Contribution to the Experiment MARSIS aboard MarsExpress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plettemeier, D.; Hahnel, R.; Hegler, S.; Safaeinili, A.; Orosei, R.; Cicchetti, A.; Plaut, J.; Picardi, G.

    2009-04-01

    MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding) on board MarsExpress is the first and so far the only space borne radar that observed the Martian moon Phobos. Radar echoes were measured for different flyby trajectories. The primary aim of the low frequency sounding of Phobos is to prove the feasibility of deep sounding, into the crust of Phobos. In this poster we present a numerical method that allows a very precise computation of radar echoes backscattered from the surface of large objects. The software is based on a combination of physical optics calculation of surface scattering of the radar target, and Method of Moments to calculate the radiation pattern of the whole space borne radar system. The calculation of the frequency dependent radiation pattern takes into account all relevant gain variations and coupling effects aboard the space craft. Based on very precise digital elevation models of Phobos, patch models in the resolution of lambda/10 were generated. Simulation techniques will be explained and a comparison of simulations and measurements will be shown. SURFACE BACKSCATTERING SIMULATOR FOR LARGE OBJECTS The computation of surface scattering of the electromagnetic wave incident on Phobos is based on the Physical Optics method. The scattered field can be expressed by the induced equivalent surface currents on the target. The Algorithm: The simulation program itself is split into three phases. In the first phase, an illumination test checks whether a patch will be visible from the position of the space craft. If this is not the case, the patch will be excluded from the simulation. The second phase serves as a preparation stage for the third phase. Amongst other tasks, the dyadic products for the Js and Ms surface currents are calculated. This is a time-memory trade-off: the simulation will need additional 144 bytes of RAM for every patch that passes phase one. However, the calculation of the dyads is expensive, so that considerable

  3. PIONEER VENUS 2 MULTI PROBE IS LIFTED FOR FINAL INSPECTION PRIOR TO ENCAPSULATION

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1978-01-01

    A crane in Hangar AO gently lifts the 2,000-pound Pioneer Venus Multiprobe for a final inspection by technicians prior to encapsulation in its protective nose fairing. The Multiprobe, the second of two Venus-bound spacecraft, is being launched by NASA on August 7 aboard an Atlas Centaur rocket. The Multiprobe will fly a direct path to Venus and its four heavily instrumented scientific probes will encounter the planet five days after the arrival of the pioneer Venus Orbiter launched by NASA on May 20, 1978. Together, the two Pioneer Venus missions will obtain more data about Venus than was gained through all telescopic observations and previous United States missions combined.

  4. Generation of Small-Mode Particles via Nucleation of Meteoric Dust in the Upper Haze of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yung, Yuk; Gao, P.; Zhang, X.; Crisp, D.; Bardeen, C. G.

    2012-10-01

    Observations by the SPICAV/SOIR instruments aboard Venus Express has revealed that the Upper Haze of Venus is populated by two particle modes, as reported by Wilquet et al. (J. Geophys. Res., 114, E00B42, 13pp, 2009). In this work we posit that the large mode is due to the upwelling of cloud particles, while the smaller mode is generated by the nucleation of meteoric dust. We test this hypothesis by using version 3.0 of the Community Aerosol and Radiation Model for Atmospheres, first developed by Turco et al. (J. Atmos. Sci., 36, 699-717, 1979) and upgraded by Bardeen et al. (The CARMA 3.0 microphysics package in CESM, Whole Atmosphere Working Group Meeting, 2011). Using the meteoric dust production profile of Kalashnikova et al. (Geophys. Res. Lett., 27, 3293-3296, 2000), the sulfur/sulfate condensation nuclei production profile of Imamura and Hashimoto (J. Atmos. Sci., 58, 3597-3612, 2001), and sulfuric acid vapour production profile of Zhang et al. (Icarus, 217, 714-739, 2012), we numerically simulate a column of the Venus atmosphere from 40 to 100 km above the surface. Our aerosol number density results agree well with Pioneer Venus data from Knollenberg and Hunten (J. Geophys. Res., 85, 8039-8058, 1980), while our gas distribution results match that of Kolodner and Steffes (Icarus, 132, 151-169, 1998). There is a mediocre agreement between our cloud deck size distribution and Pioneer Venus data. The Upper Haze size distribution shows two lognormal distributions overlapping each other, possibly indicating the presence of two modes, though more analysis is required at this time. Finally, we treat the simulated aerosol particles as Mie scatterers and compute their optical parameters. The results show a minimum in the optical depth at a wavelength of 300 nm, comparable to the results of Lacis (J. Atmos. Sci., 32, 1107-1124, 1975).

  5. Stereo-Derived Magellan Topography, VIRTIS Emissivity Estimates, and Tesserae on Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nunes, D. C.; Mitchell, K. L.; Hensley, S.; Shaffer, S.; Mueller, N. T.; Smrekar, S. E.

    2013-12-01

    The VIRTIS instrument aboard the Venus Express spacecraft has allowed for emissivity estimates of surface materials for a variety of terrains in the southern latitudes of Venus. In the case of tesserae, such as Alpha Regio, emissivity signatures tend to be relatively low and suggest a possibly more evolved, Si-rich composition [Mueller et al, 2008]. If confirmed for tesserae, such a composition would imply crustal recycling, a locally depressed solidus and weaker crust. This would not only help constrain our understanding of tessera formation, whether it is due to crustal contraction or volcanic underplating over 1 Gyr ago, but also the environmental conditions prevailing on Venus then. A more silicic composition would imply a wetter, and therefore cooler (more habitable?) Venus and a dramatically different planet from the one we see today. The significance of such a climatic transition would be profound. Correcting for topography is a key step in deriving emissivity from the surface brightness obtained by VIRTIS at 1.02 μm. Magellan altimetry suffers from large errors at tessera because the rough relief caused surface returns that were more complex than those in the templates used in the processing of the Magellan altimetry data. We are working to produce a high-accuracy DEM from Magellan stereo SAR coverage for a patch of tessera present that is also present in the VIRTIS dataset. Our technique [Hensley and Shaffer, 1994] uses a hierarchical scheme that applies a 2-D normalized correlation function to determine offsets between two images with formal error calculation, which is of crucial importance in constraining emissivity values. Our preliminary results have lateral resolution of 600 m and vertical resolutions of less than 100 m. First estimates of vertical error lie in the 0 to 40 m range.

  6. PIONEER VENUS 1 SPACECRAFT BEING VIEWED BY NEWS MEDIA REPRESENTATIVES

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1978-01-01

    Numerous representatives of local, regional and national news media turned out today to view the Pioneer Venus-A spacecraft, now undergoing checkout for launch aboard an Atlas Centaur rocket in May. The spacecraft is to enter orbit around the planet in December and be on station to monitor data from probes being hurled into the Venusian atmosphere by the Pioneer Venus-B spacecraft, which is scheduled for launch in August. Briefing the press on the project were Don Sheppard, Chief of Spacecraft Operations at KSC; Ralph W. Holtzclaw, Spacecraft Manager, and Dave Sinnott, Test Integration Manager for Experiments, the latter two both from the Ames Research Center, Mountain View, Calif.

  7. Meteoric Dust as Condensation Nuclei of Small-Mode Particles in the Upper Haze of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, P.; Zhang, X.; Crisp, D.; Bardeen, C.; Yung, Y. L.

    2012-12-01

    Observations by the SPICAV/SOIR instruments aboard Venus Express have revealed that the Upper Haze of Venus is populated by two particle modes, as reported by Wilquet et al. (J. Geophys. Res., 114, E00B42, 2009). In this work, we posit that the large mode is made up of cloud particles that have diffused upwards from the cloud deck below, while the smaller mode is generated by the in situ nucleation of meteoric dust. We test this hypothesis by using version 3.0 of the Community Aerosol and Radiation Model for Atmospheres, first developed by Turco et al. (J. Atmos. Sci., 36, 699-717, 1979) and upgraded to version 3.0 by Bardeen et al. (The CARMA 3.0 microphysics package in CESM, Whole Atmosphere Working Group Meeting, 2011). Using the meteoric dust production profile of Kalashnikova et al. (Geophys. Res. Lett., 27, 3293-3296, 2000), the sulfur/sulfate condensation nuclei production profile of Imamura and Hashimoto (J. Atmos. Sci., 58, 3597-3612, 2001), and sulfuric acid vapor production profile of Zhang et al. (Icarus, 217, 714-739, 2012), we numerically simulate a column of the Venus atmosphere from 40 to 100 km above the surface. Our aerosol number density results agree well with Pioneer Venus data from Knollenberg and Hunten (J. Geophys. Res., 85, 8039-8058, 1980), while our gas distribution results match that of Kolodner and Steffes below 55 km (Icarus, 132, 151-169, 1998). The resulting size distribution of cloud particles shows two distinct modes, qualitatively matching the observations of Pioneer Venus. We also observe a third mode in our results with a size of a few microns at 48 km altitude, which appears to support the existence of the controversial third mode in the Pioneer Venus data. This mode disappears if coagulation is not included in the simulation. The Upper Haze size distribution shows two lognormal-like distributions overlapping each other, possibly indicating the presence of the two distinct modes. We test our hypothesis by simulating the

  8. 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

  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. Bimodal distribution of sulfuric acid aerosols in the upper haze of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Peter; Zhang, Xi; Crisp, David; Bardeen, Charles G.; Yung, Yuk L.

    2014-03-01

    Observations by the SPICAV/SOIR instruments aboard Venus Express have revealed that the upper haze (UH) of Venus, between 70 and 90 km, is variable on the order of days and that it is populated by two particle modes. We use a one-dimensional microphysics and vertical transport model based on the Community Aerosol and Radiation Model for Atmospheres to evaluate whether interaction of upwelled cloud particles and sulfuric acid particles nucleated in situ on meteoric dust are able to generate the two observed modes, and whether their observed variability are due in part to the action of vertical transient winds at the cloud tops. Nucleation of photochemically produced sulfuric acid onto polysulfur condensation nuclei generates mode 1 cloud droplets, which then diffuse upwards into the UH. Droplets generated in the UH from nucleation of sulfuric acid onto meteoric dust coagulate with the upwelled cloud particles and therefore cannot reproduce the observed bimodal size distribution. By comparison, the mass transport enabled by transient winds at the cloud tops, possibly caused by sustained subsolar cloud top convection, are able to generate a bimodal size distribution in a time scale consistent with Venus Express observations. Below the altitude where the cloud particles are generated, sedimentation and vigorous convection causes the formation of large mode 2 and mode 3 particles in the middle and lower clouds. Evaporation of the particles below the clouds causes a local sulfuric acid vapor maximum that results in upwelling of sulfuric acid back into the clouds. In the case where the polysulfur condensation nuclei are small and their production rate is high, coagulation of small droplets onto larger droplets in the middle cloud may set up an oscillation in the size modes of the particles such that precipitation of sulfuric acid “rain” may be possible immediately below the clouds once every few Earth months. Reduction of the polysulfur condensation nuclei production

  11. 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

  12. Colonization of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2003-01-01

    Although the surface of Venus is an extremely hostile environment, at about 50 kilometers above the surface the atmosphere of Venus is the most earthlike environment (other than Earth itself) in the solar system. It is proposed here that in the near term, human exploration of Venus could take place from aerostat vehicles in the atmosphere, and that in the long term, permanent settlements could be made in the form of cities designed to float at about fifty kilometer altitude in the atmosphere of Venus.

  13. 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

  14. GSFC Venus atmosphere simulator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cridlin, M. S.; Munford, J. A.

    1974-01-01

    The design and preliminary testing of a Venus Atmosphere Simulation System are described. The system was designed for testing a quadrupole mass spectrometer proposed for the Pioneer-Venus Experiment. The system is capable of providing programmed temperature cycles up to 550 C, and manually controlled pressure up to 100 atmospheres.

  15. Progress towards a Venus reference cloud model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, Colin; Ignatiev, Nikolay; Marcq, Emmanuel

    Venus is completely enveloped by clouds. The main cloud layers stretch from altitudes of 48 - 75 km, with additional tenuous hazes found at altitudes 30 - 100 km. Clouds play a crucial role in governing atmospheric circulation, chemistry and climate on all planets, but particularly so on Venus due to the optical thickness of the atmosphere. The European Space Agency’s Venus Express (VEx) satellite has carried out a wealth of observations of Venus clouds since its arrival at Venus in April 2006. Many VEx observations are relevant to cloud science - from imagers and spectrometers to solar, stellar and radio occultation - each covering different altitude ranges, spectral ranges and atmospheric constituents. We have formed an International Team at the International Space Science Institute to bring together scientists from each of the relevant Venus Express investigation teams as well as from previous missions, as well as those developing computational and analytical models of clouds and hazes. The aims of the project are (1) to create self-consistent reference cloud/haze models which capture not only a mean cloud structure but also its main modes of variability; and (2) to bring together modelers and observers, to reach an understanding of clouds and hazes on Venus which matches all observables and is physically consistent. Our approach is to first to assemble an averaged cloud profile for low latitudes, showing how cloud number abundances and other observables vary as a function of altitude, consistent with all available observations. In a second step, we will expand this work to produce a reference cloud profile which varies with latitude and local solar time, as well as optical thickness of the cloud. We will present our status in progressing towards this goal. We acknowledge the support of the International Space Science Institute of Berne, Switzerland, in hosting our Team’s meetings.

  16. Pioneer Venus Sounder Probe Solar Flux Radiometer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tomasko, M. G.; Doose, L. R.; Palmer, J. M.; Holmes, A.; Wolfe, W. L.; Debell, A. G.; Brod, L. G.; Sholes, R. R.

    1980-01-01

    The Solar Flux Radiometer aboard the Pioneer Venus Sounder Probe operated successfully during its descent through the atmosphere of Venus. The instrument measured atmospheric radiance over the spectral range from 400 to 1800 nm as a function of altitude. Elevation and azimuthal measurements on the radiation field were made with five optical channels. Twelve filtered Si and Ge photovoltaic detectors were maintained near 30 C with a phase-change material. The detector output currents were processed with logarithmic transimpedance converters and digitized with an 11-bit A/D converter. Atmospheric sampling in both elevation and azimuth was done according to a Gaussian integration scheme. The serial output data averaged 20 bits/sec, including housekeeping (sync, spin period, sample timing and mode). The data were used to determine the deposition of solar energy in the atmosphere of Venus between 67 km and the surface along with upward and downward fluxes and radiances with an altitude resolution of several hundred meters. The results allow for more accurate modeling of the radiation balance of the atmosphere than previously possible.

  17. 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.

  18. Characterization of dust activity from Martian Year (MY) 27 to MY 32 observed by the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer aboard the Mars Express spacecraft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolkenberg, Paulina; Giuranna, Marco; Aoki, Shohei; Scaccabarozzi, Diego; Saggin, Bortolino; Formisano, Vittorio

    2016-04-01

    More than 2,500,000 spectra have been collected by the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer aboard Mars Express spacecraft after 12 years of activity. The data span more than six Martian years, from MY26, Ls = 331°, to MY 33, Ls = 78°. This huge dataset has been used to build a new database of atmospheric parameters, including atmospheric and surface temperatures, and dust and water ice opacity. Dust aerosols suspended in the atmosphere affect its thermal structure and are a major driver of the circulation. They are always present in the Martian atmosphere, but the amount varies greatly depending on location and season. We analyze dust opacities at 1075 cm-1 retrieved from the PFS long-wavelength channel spectra to characterize the dust activity on Mars for the relevant period. The dust storm season (Ls= 185° - 310°) is monitored for each Martian year. All dust observations show a seasonal pattern, which is ruled by the occurrence of regional and/or global dust storms. Regional dust storms are observed every year, while a planet encircling dust storm occurred in MY 28, when the highest values of dust opacity are also observed (~ 2.45). We characterize the spatial and temporal evolution of these regional and global dust events and investigate the effect of dust on surface and atmospheric temperatures.

  19. Modelling of ultraviolet and visible dayglow emissions on Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jain, Sonal Kumar; Bhardwaj, Anil

    The ultraviolet dayglow emissions on Venus is mainly dominated by the CO _{2} and its dissociated products (CO, O, and C). The SPICAV instrument on-board Venus Express (VEx) has recently made first observation of CO Cameron and CO _{2}(+) UV doublet emissions in the dayglow of Venus. We have developed a model to study the ultraviolet and visible dayglow emissions on Venus for low, moderate, and high solar activity conditions. Our calculation shows that CO Cameron band emission on Venus is mainly produced by electron impact excitation of CO (e-CO), however, this process is sensitive to the e-CO cross section used in the calculation. At the altitude of emission peak (˜135 km), the model predicted limb intensity of CO Cameron band and CO _{2}(+) UV doublet emissions in moderate (F10.7 = 130) solar activity condition is about 2400 and 300 kR, respectively, which is in agreement with the very recently published SPICAV/Venus Express observation A model for N _{2} triplet band emissions is developed to predict the intensity of these emissions on Venus. We have developed a detail coupled chemistry model to understand the various processes governing the oxygen ultraviolet (2972 Å), and visible (green and red lines) emission on Venus. The results will be presented and discussed.

  20. Ion flows in Venus' magnetotail

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kollmann, P.; Brandt, P. C.; Futaana, Y.; Fedorov, A.

    2014-12-01

    The plasma environment of Venus, including its magnetotail up to 3 Venus radii distance has been studied by the Venus Express spacecraft since 2006. We use the ASPERA/IMA instrument that measures protons and oxygen ions in the eV to keV range. Oxygen ions deriving from Venus' atmosphere and flowing down the magnetotail have been reported and contribute to atmospheric escape (Barabash et al. 2007). There have also been ions observed that flow Venusward in the tail (Dubinin et al. 2014). Signatures of magnetic reconnection have been found (Zhang et al. 2012), which might contribute to these flows. We have numerically calculated flow velocities and densities of protons and oxygen ions in the tail. Since the IMA instrument cannot cover all directions during one scan, we manually identified hundreds of cases of clear and mostly unbiased plasma flows. This approach avoids cases that lead to incorrect results. We find that the Venusward fluxes of both protons and oxygen ions are on average smaller but on the same order of magnitude as the tailward escape fluxes. Venusward fluxes are commonly quasi-steady i.e. observed throughout most of a tail passage, which takes several ten minutes. The instantaneous flow directions can differ by more than 100 degrees in the tail. Their net tailward or Venusward direction is opposite in about half of the cases. Comparison with magnetic field data shows that tailward and Venusward bulk flows are roughly field-aligned. The calculation of plasma moments does not imply that the underlying distributions are thermal and described well with a Maxwellian distribution. About a third of the proton spectra show a suprathermal component. Such cases are more common for Venusward fluxes and can be observed over longer periods. In some cases the additional component is a clearly separated second peak but most of the time it fits well with a flat power law (exponents 0 to 3).

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. AKATSUKI returns to Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, Masato; Imamura, Takeshi; Ishii, Nobuaki; Abe, Takumi; Kawakatsu, Yasuhiro; Hirose, Chikako; Satoh, Takehiko; Suzuki, Makoto; Ueno, Munetaka; Yamazaki, Atsushi; Iwagami, Naomoto; Watanabe, Shigeto; Taguchi, Makoto; Fukuhara, Tetsuya; Takahashi, Yukihiro; Yamada, Manabu; Imai, Masataka; Ohtsuki, Shoko; Uemizu, Kazunori; Hashimoto, George L.; Takagi, Masahiro; Matsuda, Yoshihisa; Ogohara, Kazunori; Sato, Naoki; Kasaba, Yasumasa; Kouyama, Toru; Hirata, Naru; Nakamura, Ryosuke; Yamamoto, Yukio; Horinouchi, Takeshi; Yamamoto, Masaru; Hayashi, Yoshi-Yuki; Kashimura, Hiroki; Sugiyama, Ko-ichiro; Sakanoi, Takeshi; Ando, Hiroki; Murakami, Shin-ya; Sato, Takao M.; Takagi, Seiko; Nakajima, Kensuke; Peralta, Javier; Lee, Yeon Joo; Nakatsuka, Junichi; Ichikawa, Tsutomu; Inoue, Kozaburo; Toda, Tomoaki; Toyota, Hiroyuki; Tachikawa, Sumitaka; Narita, Shinichiro; Hayashiyama, Tomoko; Hasegawa, Akiko; Kamata, Yukio

    2016-05-01

    AKATSUKI is the Japanese Venus Climate Orbiter that was designed to investigate the climate system of Venus. The orbiter was launched on May 21, 2010, and it reached Venus on December 7, 2010. Thrust was applied by the orbital maneuver engine in an attempt to put AKATSUKI into a westward equatorial orbit around Venus with a 30-h orbital period. However, this operation failed because of a malfunction in the propulsion system. After this failure, the spacecraft orbited the Sun for 5 years. On December 7, 2015, AKATSUKI once again approached Venus and the Venus orbit insertion was successful, whereby a westward equatorial orbit with apoapsis of ~440,000 km and orbital period of 14 days was initiated. Now that AKATSUKI's long journey to Venus has ended, it will provide scientific data on the Venusian climate system for two or more years. For the purpose of both decreasing the apoapsis altitude and avoiding a long eclipse during the orbit, a trim maneuver was performed at the first periapsis. The apoapsis altitude is now ~360,000 km with a periapsis altitude of 1000-8000 km, and the period is 10 days and 12 h. In this paper, we describe the details of the Venus orbit insertion-revenge 1 (VOI-R1) and the new orbit, the expected scientific information to be obtained at this orbit, and the Venus images captured by the onboard 1-µm infrared camera, ultraviolet imager, and long-wave infrared camera 2 h after the successful initiation of the VOI-R1.

  5. Basic facts about Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colin, L.

    1983-01-01

    Because of the disturbing influence of the earth's atmosphere on terrestrial and airborne telescopy, radiometry, thermal mapping, spectroscopy, polarimetry and radar astronomy of Venus, major improvements in the body of theory concerning that planet, began with the Mariner 2 planetary exploration program in 1962. The effect of spacecraft exploration culminated with the influx of data yielded by the Pioneer Venus and Venera 11 and 12 missions of 1978. Attention is presently given to the quantitative enhancement of widely accepted, basic facts about Venus that has resulted from the analysis of space probe data, together with an overview of the major features of past and planned planetary missions.

  6. 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.

  7. Analysis of high-altitude planetary ion velocity space distributions detected by the Ion Mass Analyzer aboard Mars Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, B. C.; Liemohn, M. W.; Fraenz, M.; Curry, S.; Mitchell, D. L.

    2012-12-01

    We present observations of planetary ion velocity space distributions from the Ion Mass Analyzer (IMA) onboard Mars Express (MEX). The magnetometer data from Mars Global Surveyor is used to obtain a rough estimate of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) orientation. Characteristic features of the velocity space distributions will be examined and discussed for orbits aligned with the convective electric field and those in the Mars terminator plane. This study will focus on the high (keV) energy ions, as well as the relative importance of a high-altitude magnetosheath source of escaping planetary ions. Furthermore, this paper will examine various methods for converting the IMA detector counts to species-specific fluxes. After mimicking the methods previously used by researchers, we apply each of these methods of species extraction to data collected during the same time intervals. We discuss the implications for planetary ion motion around Mars, using the details of the velocity space observations to better understand the solar wind interaction with Mars. Comparisons to virtual detections using a test particle simulation will also provide insight into ion origins and trajectories.

  8. 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.

  9. The Atmosphere of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hansen, J. E. (Editor)

    1975-01-01

    Topics considered at the conference included the dynamics, structure, chemistry, and evolution of the Venus atmosphere, as well as cloud physics and motion. Infrared, ultraviolet, and radio occultation methods of analysis are discussed, and atmospheric models are described.

  10. SOHO Sees Venus' Approach

    NASA Video Gallery

    This video taken by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) shows the Sun's corona and Venus' approach for the transit. This was taken with the Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT) in ...

  11. Astrobiology and Venus exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grinspoon, David H.; Bullock, Mark A.

    For hundreds of years prior to the space age, Venus was considered among the most likely homes for extraterrestrial life. Since planetary exploration began, Venus has not been considered a promising target for Astrobiological exploration. However, Venus should be central to such an exploration program for several reasons. At present Venus is the only other Earth-sized terrestrial planet that we know of, and certainly the only one we will have the opportunity to explore in the foreseeable future. Understanding the divergence of Earth and Venus is central to understanding the limits of habitability in the inner regions of habitable zones around solar-type stars. Thus Venus presents us with a unique opportunity for putting the bulk properties, evolution and ongoing geochemical processes of Earth in a wider context. Many geological and meteorological processes otherwise active only on Earth at present are currently active on Venus. Active volcanism most likely affects the climate and chemical equilibrium state of the atmosphere and surface, and maintains the global cloud cover. Further, if we think beyond the specifics of a particular chemical system required to build complexity and heredity, we can ask what general properties a planet must possess in order to be considered a possible candidate for life. The answers might include an atmosphere with signs of flagrant chemical disequilibrium and active, internally driven cycling of volatile elements between the surface, atmosphere and interior. At present, the two planets we know of which possess these characteristics are Earth and Venus. Venus almost surely once had warm, habitable oceans. The evaporation of these oceans, and subsequent escape of hydrogen, most likely resulted in an oxygenated atmosphere. The duration of this phase is poorly understood, but during this time the terrestrial planets were not isolated. Rather, due to frequent impact transport, they represented a continuous environment for early microbial

  12. 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.

  13. Plate tectonics on Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, D. L.

    1981-04-01

    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.

  14. Hypothetical habitability of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ksanfomality, Leonid

    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.

  15. Three-dimensional thermal structure of the South Polar Vortex of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hueso, Ricardo; Garate-Lopez, Itziar; Garcia-Muñoz, Antonio; Sánchez-Lavega, Agustín

    2014-11-01

    We have analyzed thermal infrared images provided by the VIRTIS-M instrument aboard Venus Express (VEX) to obtain high resolution thermal maps of the Venus south polar region between 55 and 85 km altitudes. The maps investigate three different dynamical configurations of the polar vortex including its classical dipolar shape, a regularly oval shape and a transition shape between the different configurations of the vortex. We apply the atmospheric model described by García Muñoz et al. (2013) and a variant of the retrieval algorithm detailed in Grassi et al. (2008) to obtain maps of temperature over the Venus south polar region in the quoted altitude range. These maps are discussed in terms of cloud motions and relative vorticity distribution obtained previously (Garate-Lopez et al. 2013). Temperature maps retrieved at 55 - 63 km show the same structures that are observed in the ~5 µm radiance images. This altitude range coincides with the optimal expected values of the cloud top altitude at polar latitudes and magnitudes derived from the analysis of ~5 µm images are measured at this altitude range. We also study the imprint of the vortex on the thermal field above the cloud level which extends up to 80 km. From the temperature maps, we also study the vertical stability of different atmospheric layers. The cold collar is clearly the most statically stable structure at polar latitudes, while the vortex and subpolar latitudes show lower stability values. Furthermore, the hot filaments present within the vortex at 55-63 km exhibit lower values of static stability than their immediate surroundings.ReferencesGarate-Lopez et al. Nat. Geosci. 6, 254-257 (2013).García Muñoz et al. Planet. Space Sci. 81, 65-73 (2013).Grassi, D. et al. J. Geophys. Res. 113, 1-12 (2008).AcknowledgementsWe thank ESA for supporting Venus Express, ASI, CNES and the other national space agencies supporting VIRTIS on VEX and their principal investigators G. Piccioni and P. Drossart. This work

  16. The Planet Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luhmann, Janet

    This book is not so much for the space scientist looking for background material for research as it is for one interested in the history of planetary exploration. The first half (˜100 pps) is devoted to studies of Venus before the space age, starting at several hundred years BC. It is obvious from the multitude of detailed descriptions of observers' accounts that considerable library research went into this section. While sometimes tedious, this chronology of Venus research is punctuated with amusing facts. While many may know about the Velikovsky theory of the cometary origin of the planet, few may know that Lowell drew pictures of Cytherian canals similar to the canals of Mars or that Frederick the Great of Prussia proposed to name the (once suspected) satellite of Venus D'Alembert, after the mathematician. An equally amusing appendix shows the ups and downs of the rotation period of this planet with the invisible surface. Much attention is focused on early telescope observations, the ashen light, and transits of Venus. At the end of this half, one appreciates that Venus has played a fairly important role in history in the areas of religion, science, and technology.

  17. Astrobiology and Venus exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grinspoon, David H.; Bullock, Mark A.

    For hundreds of years prior to the space age, Venus was considered among the most likely homes for extraterrestrial life. Since planetary exploration began, Venus has not been considered a promising target for Astrobiological exploration. However, Venus should be central to such an exploration program for several reasons. At present Venus is the only other Earth-sized terrestrial planet that we know of, and certainly the only one we will have the opportunity to explore in the foreseeable future. Understanding the divergence of Earth and Venus is central to understanding the limits of habitability in the inner regions of habitable zones around solar-type stars. Thus Venus presents us with a unique opportunity for putting the bulk properties, evolution and ongoing geochemical processes of Earth in a wider context. Many geological and meteorological processes otherwise active only on Earth at present are currently active on Venus. Active volcanism most likely affects the climate and chemical equilibrium state of the atmosphere and surface, and maintains the global cloud cover. Further, if we think beyond the specifics of a particular chemical system required to build complexity and heredity, we can ask what general properties a planet must possess in order to be considered a possible candidate for life. The answers might include an atmosphere with signs of flagrant chemical disequilibrium and active, internally driven cycling of volatile elements between the surface, atmosphere and interior. At present, the two planets we know of which possess these characteristics are Earth and Venus. Venus almost surely once had warm, habitable oceans. The evaporation of these oceans, and subsequent escape of hydrogen, most likely resulted in an oxygenated atmosphere. The duration of this phase is poorly understood, but during this time the terrestrial planets were not isolated. Rather, due to frequent impact transport, they represented a continuous environment for early microbial

  18. Chasing Venus: Putting the Transits of Venus on Exhibition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brashear, R. S.

    2003-12-01

    The upcoming 2004 transit of Venus provides a great opportunity to develop programs to educate the public about the history of the observations of the transits. The Smithsonian Institution Libraries is well-placed to take part in this effort with its collection of rare books that deal with the 17th- and 18th-century transits. The exhibition called ``Chasing Venus" will be on display at the National Museum of American History, Behring Center, from March 2004 to April 2005. The Museum will loan a number of its 19th-century artifacts and the US Naval Observatory is also cooperating with the loan of a telescope and some rare books from the USNO Library to flesh out the story of the 19th-century transits. The talk will take a closer look at the books and artifacts that will be used to tell the history of the transit observations in the special context of a library exhibition. Books from a wide variety of authors such as Kepler, Horrocks, Capt. Cook, Rittenhouse, Mason & Dixon, and even John Philip Sousa (!) will help express the authors' excitement about the event to the public at large.

  19. VIRTIS emissivity of Alpha Regio, Venus, with implications for tessera composition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilmore, Martha S.; Mueller, Nils; Helbert, Jörn

    2015-07-01

    The composition of Venus tessera terrain is unknown. The Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) aboard Venus Express (VEx) collects data that yields the surface emissivity at ∼1 μm, which contains information convolving a number of surface properties, including composition. We examine the variation of emissivity in the vicinity of Alpha Regio, which is the largest exposure of tessera terrain imaged by VIRTIS. We find that the emissivity of Alpha Regio tessera is lower than adjacent plains materials and the deposits and flows of Eve corona, both of which have previously been interpreted to be basaltic. The emissivity of the bulk of Alpha is also lower than its western boundary, which is interpreted to comprise plains structurally deformed to the same degree as tessera terrain. This suggests that the lower emissivity of Alpha is independent of structural elements, macroscale roughness, or local sedimentation processes, and is due to material properties like composition or grain size. The deviation of the emissivity of Alpha from that of the plains for which a bulk basaltic composition is well supported corresponds to a significant difference in rock type or surface mineral assemblage. The 1 μm emissivity of Alpha is consistent with rocks with low ferrous iron content. This includes felsic igneous rocks like granitoids that form under either water-rich or water-poor conditions. A water-rich origin would require both a hydrosphere and a plate recycling mechanism and thus be limited to the lifetime of surface water on Venus. Alternatively, granitoids could form via the differentiation of basaltic melts. The production of all tessera terrain by this mechanism would require the accumulation and preservation of felsic melts from a volume of mafic magma that exceeds what is preserved in the currently observed plains. Both mechanisms of granitoid formation would require that tessera terrain be formed prior to the emplacement of the plains, consistent

  20. Thermal evolution of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arkani-Hamed, J.; Toksoz, M. N.

    1984-09-01

    A modification of the Boussinesq fluid assumption is the basis of the present theory of three-dimensional and finite amplitude convection in a viscous spherical shell with temperature- and pressure-dependent physical parameters. The theory is applied to the definition of thermal evolution models for Venus which emphasize the effects of certain physical parameters on thermal evolution, rather than the specific thermal history of the planet. It is suggested that a significant portion of the present temperature in the mantle and surface heat flux of Venus is due to the decay of a high temperature that was established in the planet at the completion of its core formation, and that Venus has been highly convective over the course of its history, until about 0.5 Ga ago.

  1. 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.

  2. Venus: Not evil, jus t a bit unfortunate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, Fw

    2010-02-01

    The Venus Express mission, currently orbiting Earth's nearest planetary neighbour, has just had its mission extended until the end of 2012 by the European Space Agency (ESA). In December 2010 it will be joined by the Japanese Venus Climate Orbiter, which has similar goals of understanding the atmosphere and climate. In this article Fred Taylor looks at what has been learned so far and what remains mysterious about our nearby twin, with its torrid weather and its global warming issues.

  3. Venus ionopause during solar minimum

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mahajan, K. K.; Mayr, H. G.

    1989-01-01

    Pioneer Venus ion composition measurements are used to study the Venus ionosphere during solar minimum. It is suggested that the topside electron density profile at Venus during solar minimum has two distinct regimes. One beween 140 and 180 km is dominated by O2(+) ions which are in photochemical equilibrium. The other regime is above 180 km and is dominated by O(+) ions which are disturbed by the solar wind induced plasma transport. For Pioneer Venus, Mariner 10, and Venera 9 and 10 data, it is found that Venus exhibits a photodynamical type of ionopause during solar minimum.

  4. Aeolian processes on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, Ronald

    1989-01-01

    This review assesses the potential aeolian regime on Venus as derived from spacecraft observations, laboratory simulations, and theoretical considerations. The two requirements for aeolian processes (a supply of small, loose particles and winds of sufficient strength to move them) appear to be met on Venus. Venera 9, 10, 13, and 14 images show particles considered to be sand and silt size on the surface. In addition, dust spurts (grains 5 to 50 microns in diameter) observed via lander images and inferred from the Pioneer-Venus nephalometer experiments suggest that the particles are loose and subject to movement. Although data on near surface winds are limited, measurements of 0.3 to 1.2 m/sec from the Venera lander and Pioneer-Venus probes appear to be well within the range required for sand and dust entrainment. Aeolian activity involves the interaction of the atmosphere, lithosphere, and loose particles. Thus, there is the potential for various physical and chemical weathering processes that can effect not only rates of erosion, but changes in the composition of all three components. The Venus Simulator is an apparatus used to simulate weathering under venusian conditions at full pressure (to 112 bars) and temperature (to 800 K). In one series of tests, the physical modifications of windblown particles and rock targets were assessed and it was shown that particles become abraded even when moved by gentle winds. However, little abrasion occurs on the target faces. Thus, compositional signatures for target rocks may be more indicative of the windblown particles than of the bedrock. From these and other considerations, aeolian modifications of the venusian surface may be expected to occur as weathering, erosion, transportation, and deposition of surficial materials. Depending upon global and local wind regimes, there may be distinctive sources and sinks of windblown materials. Radar imaging, especially as potentially supplied via the Magellan mission, may enable the

  5. 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.

  6. Venus radar images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goldstein, R. M.; Green, R. R.; Rumsey, H. C.

    1976-01-01

    The paper presents a set of seven radar brightness images and the corresponding altitude contours of small portions (circular regions of 1500-km diameter) of the Venus surface located at the center of the disk taken in the winter of 1973-1974. The regions imaged are arranged in an equatorial belt on the one face of Venus which is always seen on the occasions of closest approach to earth. A real resolution for the images is, typically, 100 x 10 km, while altitude resolution is 500 m.

  7. 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.

  8. Simulations of Wave Features in Venus' Deep Atmosphere Associated with Topography, Using a Venus GCM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parish, H. F.

    2015-12-01

    Venus' cloud-level atmosphere is characterized by the presence of waves with a range of periods and scale sizes. Wave phenomena can have important dynamical effects and may deposit significant momentum and energy into the atmosphere. Fluctuations with scale sizes of a few km to 10's of km have been observed at cloud altitudes in temperatures, winds or UV images from Mariner 10, Pioneer Venus, Venera 9, Magellan and Venus Express, suggesting the presence of gravity waves. Measurements of Venus' cloud level atmosphere have also identified planetary scale waves, with periods of around 4 to 5 days, which have been associated with Rossby or Kelvin waves. Longer term variations have also been observed in wind velocities at cloud heights, with periods of the order of several years. Planetary scale waves or gravity waves at cloud altitudes may be generated by a number of different mechanisms, for example by instabilities such as the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability or convective instability below the upper cloud layer, or they may be generated at lower altitudes and propagate upwards. Recent analyses from Venus Express observations suggest an association of gravity waves at cloud heights with significant topographical features. Although many measurements are available at cloud altitudes, little is known about waves in the poorly measured deep atmosphere. In order to explore the characteristics of waves generated near the surface we perform numerical simulations using the Venus Community Atmosphere Model general circulation model, which includes realistic topography based on measurements from the Magellan mission. We examine the influence of topography in generating waves near the surface associated with topographical features and the vertical development of simulated waves.

  9. Plains Tectonics on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Banerdt, W. B.; McGill, G. E.; Zuber, M. T.

    1996-01-01

    Tectonic deformation in the plains of Venus is pervasive, with virtually every area of the planet showing evidence for faulting or fracturing. This deformation can be classified into three general categories, defined by the intensity and areal extent of the surface deformation: distributed deformation, concentrated deformation, and local fracture patterns.

  10. 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…

  11. The Prodigal Sister - Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barlow, Nadine G.

    1995-09-01

    If you think Venus is a hellhole now, be thankful you weren't there 500 million years ago. Those were the days, many planetary scientists believe, of apocalypse on our sister world: Volcanoes wracked the land, while greenhouse gases broiled the air. Is this the Earth's fate, too?

  12. Venus - Sinuous Channel

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    This full resolution radar mosaic from Magellan at 49 degrees south latitude, 273 degrees east longitude of an area with dimensions of 130 by 190 kilometers (81 by 118 miles), shows a 200 kilometer (124 mile) segment of a sinuous channel on Venus. The channel is approximately 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) wide. These channel-like features are common on the plains of Venus. In some places they appear to have been formed by lava which may have melted or thermally eroded a path over the plains' surface. Most are 1 to 3 kilometers (0.6 to 2 miles) wide. They resemble terrestrial rivers in some respects, with meanders, cutoff oxbows, and abandoned channel segments. However, Venus channels are not as tightly sinuous as terrestrial rivers. Most are partly buried by younger lava plains, making their sources difficult to identify. A few have vast radar-dark plains units associated with them, suggesting large flow volumes. These channels appear to be older than other channel types on Venus, as they are crossed by fractures and wrinkle ridges, and are often buried by other volcanic materials. In addition, they appear to run both upslope and downslope, suggesting that the plains were warped by regional tectonism after channel formation. Resolution of the Magellan data is about 120 meters (400 feet).

  13. Venus - Lessons for earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hunten, D. M.

    1992-01-01

    The old idea that Venus might possess surface conditions to those of an overcast earth has been thoroughly refuted by space-age measurements. Instead, the two planets may have started out similar, but diverged because of the greater solar flux at Venus. This cannot be proved, but is consistent with everything known. A runaway greenhouse effect could have evaporated an 'ocean'. The hydrogen would escape, and most of the oxygen would be incorporated into the crust. Without liquid water, CO2 would remain in the atmosphere. Chlorine atoms would catalyze the recombination of any free oxygen back to CO2. The same theories apply to the future of the earth, and to the explanation of the polar ozone holes; the analogies are striking. There is no likelihood that the earth will actually come to resemble Venus, but Venus serves both as a warning that major environmental effects can flow from seemingly small causes, and as a testbed for the predictive models of the earth.

  14. Aboard the Space Shuttle.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steinberg, Florence S.

    This 32-page pamphlet contains color photographs and detailed diagrams which illustrate general descriptive comments about living conditions aboard the space shuttle. Described are details of the launch, the cabin, the condition of weightlessness, food, sleep, exercise, atmosphere, personal hygiene, medicine, going EVA (extra-vehicular activity),…

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Venus, Earth, Xenon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zahnle, K. J.

    2013-12-01

    Xenon has been regarded as an important goal of many proposed missions to Venus. This talk is intended to explain why. Despite its being the heaviest gas found in natural planetary atmospheres, there is more evidence that Xe escaped from Earth than for any element apart from helium: (i) Atmospheric Xe is very strongly mass fractionated (at about 4% per amu) from any known solar system source. This suggests fractionating escape that preferentially left the heavy Xe isotopes behind. (ii) Xe is underabundant compared to Kr, a lighter noble gas that is not strongly mass fractionated in air. (iii) Radiogenic Xe is strongly depleted by factors of several to ~100 compared to the quantities expected from radioactive decay of primordial solar system materials. In these respects Xe on Mars is similar to Xe on Earth, but with one key difference: Xe on Mars is readily explained by a simple process like hydrodynamic escape that acts on an initially solar or meteoritic Xe. This is not so for Earth. Earth's Xe cannot be derived by an uncontrived mass fractionating process acting on any known type of Solar System Xe. Earth is a stranger, made from different stuff than any known meteorite or Mars or even the Sun. Who else is in Earth's family? Comets? We know nothing. Father Zeus? Data from Jupiter are good enough to show that jovian Xe is not strongly mass-fractionated but not good enough to determine whether Jupiter resembles the Earth or the Sun. Sister Venus? Noble gas data from Venus are incomplete, with Kr uncertain and Xe unmeasured. Krypton was measured by several instruments on several spacecraft. The reported Kr abundances are discrepant and were once highly controversial. These discrepancies appear to have been not so much resolved as forgotten. Xenon was not detected on Venus. Upper limits were reported for the two most abundant xenon isotopes 129Xe and 132Xe. From the limited data it is not possible to tell whether Venus's affinities lie with the solar wind, or with

  18. Tectonics and composition of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, D. L.

    1980-01-01

    The uncompressed density of Venus is a few percent less than the Earth. The high upper mantle temperature of Venus deepens the eclogite stability field and inserts a partial melt field. A thick basaltic crust is therefore likely. The anomalous density of Venus relative to the progression from Mercury to Mars may therefore have a tectonic rather than a cosmo-chemical explanation. There may be no need to invoke differences in composition or oxidization state.

  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

  20. ESA Venus Entry Probe Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    vandenBerg, M. L.; Falkner, P.; Phipps, A.; Underwood, J. C.; Lingard, J. S.; Moorhouse, J.; Kraft, S.; Peacock, A.

    2005-01-01

    The Venus Entry Probe is one of ESA s Technology Reference Studies (TRS). The purpose of the Technology Reference Studies is to provide a focus for the development of strategically important technologies that are of likely relevance for future scientific missions. The aim of the Venus Entry Probe TRS is to study approaches for low cost in-situ exploration of Venus and other planetary bodies with a significant atmosphere. In this paper, the mission objectives and an outline of the mission concept of the Venus Entry Probe TRS are presented.

  1. The new face of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stofan, Ellen R.

    1993-01-01

    The Magellan data on the Venus landscape which revealed volcanoes, shining mountains, relaxing plateaus, and craters on the surface of about 500 C, with an atmospheric pressure 90 times that of earth, are discussed. Venus is considered to be a planet that is both incredibly similar and dissimilar to earth. Venus might not exhibit plate tectonism but it might be dominated by catastrophes. The greenhouse around Venus has operated for at least the last 500 million years. The Magellan data revealed channels extending for thousands of kilometers, beautiful outflows surrounding impact craters, and odd volcanic constructs like the steep-sided domes.

  2. 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.

  3. Impact craters on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schaber, G. G.

    1991-01-01

    Compared with volcanism and tectonism, impact cratering on Venus has played an overall minor role in sculpting the present-day landscape. The study of Venus impact craters is vital to help place the chronology of the geologic features on the surface in the context of the planet's geological evolution. The degradation of impact craters also provides information on surface and interior processes, particularly alteration by tectonism and volcanism. Through orbit 1422, Magellan mapped about 450 impact craters, with diameters ranging from 2 to 275 km, within an area of about 226 million sq km, or 49 percent of the planet's surface. These craters and their associated deposits show surprisingly little evidence of degradation at the 75 m/pixel resolution of the Magellan SAR. Remarkably few craters in the Magellan images appear to be in the process of being buried by volcanic deposits or destroyed by tectonic activity.

  4. Venus methane and water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Donahue, T. M.; Hodges, R. R.

    1993-04-01

    Data collected by the Pioneer Venus Large Probe Neutral Mass Spectrometer are presented and discussed. Results indicate the presence of a large amount of methane in the Venus atmosphere from 60 km to the surface. Deuterium transfer from atmospheric HDO to poorly deuterated methane may account for the puzzling apparent gradient in the water vapor mixing ration below 10 km. Deuterium transfer within the mass spectrometer may cause reduction in the apparent ratio of HDO to H2O. Accounting for the deuterium atoms leads to a revised water vapor mixing ratio of 28 ppm. Arguments against the methane detected being purely atmospheric are overwhelming. The methane may have been generated by a reaction between a highly deuterated atmospheric constituent and a poorly deuterated instrumental contaminant.

  5. Soybean Growth Aboard ISS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    This is a photo of soybeans growing in the Advanced Astroculture (ADVASC) Experiment aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The ADVASC experiment was one of the several new experiments and science facilities delivered to the ISS by Expedition Five aboard the Space Shuttle Orbiter Endeavor STS-111 mission. An agricultural seed company will grow soybeans in the ADVASC hardware to determine whether soybean plants can produce seeds in a microgravity environment. Secondary objectives include determination of the chemical characteristics of the seed in space and any microgravity impact on the plant growth cycle. Station science will also be conducted by the ever-present ground crew, with a new cadre of controllers for Expedition Five in the ISS Payload Operations Control Center (POCC) at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Controllers work in three shifts around the clock, 7 days a week, in the POCC, the world's primary science command post for the Space Station. The POCC links Earth-bound researchers around the world with their experiments and crew aboard the Space Station.

  6. Decadal Periodicities in a Venus Atmosphere General Circulation Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parish, Helen; Schubert, G.; Covey, C.; Walterscheid, R.; Grossman, A.; Lebonnois, S.

    2010-10-01

    We have modified a 3-dimensional Earth-based climate model, CAM (Community Atmosphere Model), to simulate the dynamics of Venus' atmosphere. We have removed Earth-related processes and introduced parameters appropriate for Venus. We use a simplified Newtonian cooling approximation for the radiation scheme, without seasonal or diurnal cycles or topography. We use a high resolution (1 degree in latitude and longitude) to take account of small-scale dynamical processes that might be important on Venus. Rayleigh friction is used to represent surface drag and to prevent upper boundary wave reflection. The simulations generate superrotation at cloud heights with wind velocities comparable to those found in measurements. We find a significant decadal oscillation in the zonal winds at cloud top heights and below. A vacillation cycle is seen in the cloud top mid-latitude zonal jets which wax and wane on an approximate 10 year cycle. The decadal oscillations we find may be excited by an instability near the surface, possibly a symmetric instability. Analyses of angular momentum transport show that the jets are built up by poleward transport by a meridional circulation while angular momentum is redistributed to lower latitudes primarily by transient eddies. Observations suggest that a cyclic variation similar to that found in the model might occur in the real Venus atmosphere. Observations by Mariner 10, Pioneer Venus, and Venus Express reveal variability in cloud top wind magnitudes and in the structure of Venus' cloud level mid-latitude jets with timescales of 5 to 10 years. Oscillations in CO composition and in temperature above the cloud tops also exhibit a periodicity around 10 years and changes in the atmospheric SO2 content over 40 years show a periodicity around 20 to 25 years. Venus' atmosphere must be observed over multi-year time scales and below the clouds if we are to understand its dynamics.

  7. Simulated Craters on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zahnle, Kevin; Cuzzi, Jeffrey N. (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    The thick atmosphere of Venus prevents all but the largest impactors from cratering the surface. The number of small craters on Venus provides an interesting, and statistically significant test of models for the disruption and deceleration of impacting bodies. Here we compare Monte Carlo simulated crater distributions to the observed crater distribution on Venus. The simulation assumes: (1) a power law mass distribution for impactors of the form N(sub cum) alpha m (exp-b) where b=0.8; (2) isotropic incidence angles; (3) velocity at the top of the atmosphere of 20 kilometers per second (more realistic velocity distributions are also considered); (4) Schmidt-Housen crater scaling, modified such that only the normal component of the impact velocity contributes to cratering, and using crater slumping as parameterized (5) and modern populations (60% carbonaceous, 40% stone, 3% iron) and fluxes of asteroids. We use our previously developed model for the disruption and deceleration of large bodies striking thick planetary atmospheres to calculate the impact velocity at the surface as a function of impactor mass, incident velocity, and incident angle. We use a drag coefficient c(sub d) =1; other parameters are as described in Chyba et al. We set a low velocity cutoff of 500 meters per second on crater-forming impacts. Venus's craters are nicely matched by the simulated craters produced by 700 million years of striking asteroids. Shown for comparison are the simulated craters produced by incident comets over the same period, where for comets we have assumed b=0.7 and a flux at 10(exp 14) g 30% that of asteroids. Systematic uncertainties in crater scaling and crater slumping may make the surface age uncertain by a factor of two.

  8. 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.

  9. Venus: atmospheric evolution.

    PubMed

    Dayhoff, M O; Eck, R V; Lippincott, E R; Sagan, C

    1967-02-01

    Because of the high temperatures prevailing in the lower atmosphere of Venus, its chemistry is dominated by the tendency toward thermodynamic equilibrium. From the atomic composition deduced spectroscopically, the thermodynamic equilibrium composition of the atmosphere of Venus is computed, and the following conclusions drawn. (i) There can be no free carbon, hydrocarbons, formaldehyde, or any other organic molecule present in more than trace amounts. (ii) The original atomic composition of the atmosphere must have included much larger quantities of hydrogen and a carbon/oxygen ratio Venus are so unique that an evolutionary mechanism involving two independent processes seems necessary, as follows. Water, originally present in large quantities, has been photodissociated in the upper atmosphere, and the resulting atomic hydrogen has been lost in space. The resulting excess oxygen has been very effectively bound to the surface materials. (iv) There must be some weathering process, for example, violent wind erosion, to disturb and expose a sufficient quantity of reduced surface material to react with the oxygen produced by photodissociation. PMID:17737405

  10. Venus - Dead or alive?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, Harry A., Jr.; Cloutier, Paul A.

    1986-01-01

    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. Furthemore, 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.

  11. Geochemistry of Venus: Progress, Prospects and New Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Treiman, A. H.

    2009-04-01

    Available geochemical data on Venus' surface materials are limited and of poor precision. Those data were obtained by the Venera and VEGA lander missions, which were engineering and scientific triumphs of their days. However, their chemical analyses of the Venus surface do not permit detailed geochemical interpretations, such as are routine for terrestrial analyses and MER APXS rover analyses from Mars. In particular, the Venera and VEGA analyses of major elements (by XRF) did not return abundances of Na, and their data on Mg and Al are little more than detections at the 2s level. Their analyses for K, U, and Th (by gamma rays) are imprecise, except for one (Venera 8) with extremely high K contents (~4% K2O) and one (Venera 9) with a non-chondritic U/Th abundance ratio. In addition, the Venera and VEGA landers sampled only materials from the Venus lowlands - they did not target sites in any of the highland areas: shield volcanoes, tesserae, nor the unique plateau construct of Ishtar Terra. The Virtis imaging spectrometer on Venus Express has provided new global data of likely geochemical importance - maps of surface emittance at near 1.2 µm - but it remains unclear just what causes its observed variations in emittance. The limitations of the available data on Venus' surface rock compositions and mineralogy highlight the huge opportunities in additional chemical and mineralogical analyses of Venus' surface. In geochemistry, currently available instruments could provide much more precise analyses for major and minor elements, even within the engineering constraints of the Venera / VEGA lander systems. Such precise analyses would be welcome for basalts of Venus' lowland plains, but would be especially desirable for the highland tesserae and for Ishtar Terra. The tesserae may well represent ancient crust that predates the most recent volcanic resurfacing event and so provide a geochemical look into Venus' distant past. Ishtar Terra may be composed (at least in part

  12. 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

  13. Periodic variations of oxygen EUV dayglow in the upper atmosphere of Venus: Hisaki/EXCEED observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Masunaga, K.; Seki, K.; Terada, N.; Tsuchiya, F.; Kimura, T.; Yoshioka, K.; Murakami, G.; Yamazaki, A.; Kagitani, M.; Tao, C.; Fedorov, A.; Futaana, Y.; Zhang, T. L.; Shiota, D.; Leblanc, F.; Chaufray, J.-Y.; Yoshikawa, I.

    2015-12-01

    Using the Extreme Ultraviolet Spectroscope for Exospheric Dynamics (EXCEED) aboard Hisaki and the Solar Extreme Ultraviolet Monitor on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, we investigate variations of the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) dayglow brightness for OII 83.4 nm, OI 130.4 nm, and OI 135.6 nm in the Venusian upper atmosphere observed in March-April (period 1), April-May (period 2), and June-July (period 3) in 2014. The result shows that characteristic periodicities exist in the dayglow variations other than the ~27 day solar rotational effect of the solar EUV flux: 1.8, 2.8, 3.1, 4.5, and 9.9 day in period 1; 1.1 day in period 2; and 1.0 and 11 day in period 3. Many of these periodicities are consistent with previous observations and theory. We suggest these periodicities are related to density oscillations of oxygen atoms or photoelectrons in the thermosphere. The cause of these periodicities is still uncertain, but planetary-scale waves and/or gravity waves propagating from the middle atmosphere, and/or minor periodic variations of the solar EUV radiation flux may play a role. Effects of the solar wind parameters (velocity, dynamic pressure, and interplanetary magnetic field's intensity) on the dayglow variations are also investigated using the Analyser of Space Plasma and Energetic Atoms (ASPERA-4) and magnetometer aboard Venus Express. Although clear correlation with the dayglow variations is not found, their minor periodicities are similar to the dayglow periodicities. Contribution of the solar wind to the dayglow remains still unknown, but the solar wind parameters might affect the dayglow variations.

  14. 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.

  15. Pioneer venus radar mapper experiment.

    PubMed

    Pettengill, G H; Ford, P G; Brown, W E; Kaula, W M; Keller, C H; Masursky, H; McGill, G E

    1979-02-23

    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 1/2500 and may be substantially smaller. PMID:17833006

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Mesoscale roughness of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garvin, J. B.; Frawley, James J.

    1994-01-01

    The global distribution of multi-kilometer (approx. 9 km) length scale 'roughness' (hereafter mesoscale roughness or MR) on Venus can be estimated from the Magellan global altimetry dataset (GxDR) and then compared with MR data derived for Earth from 5' ETOP5 data and for Mars (from USGS Mars DTM dataset). The mesoscale roughness parameter (MR) represents the RMS variance in meters of the actual planetary surface topography relative to the best fitting tangent plane defined on the basis of a 3x3 pixel sliding window. The best-fit plane was computed using a least-squares solution which minimizes delta H, the sum of the squares of the differences between the 9 local elevation values (H(sub i)), and the elevation of best-fit plane at the same grid location. Using the best-fit plane and delta H, we have computed the RMS 'roughness' var(delta R), where this parameter is always minimized on the basis of its calculation using least squares. We have called this 'ruggedness' parameter the Mesoscale Roughness (MR) because it is directly related to the high-frequency variance of topography after mesoscale slopes and tilts (i.e., for Venus, the baseline over which MR is computed (dx) is approx. 8.8 km and dx for Earth is approx. 9.3 km) are removed. As such, MR represents the degree to which a planetary surface is more rugged than approximately 10 km scale facets or tilts. It should not be confused with the radar 'RMS Roughness' parameter computed at 0.1 to 10 m length scales on the basis of the Magellan radar altimeter echo. We will use our MR parameter to investigate the global ruggedness properties of Venus as they relate to geological provinces and in comparison with the spatial pattern of MR for Earth and Mars.

  20. Transition Parameter applied to boundaries at Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guymer, Gemma; Grande, Manuel; Fraenz, Marcus; Barabash, Stas; Zhang, Tielong; Pinter, Balazs

    2015-04-01

    We have used a transition parameter to characterise magnetospheric boundaries at Venus. The technique allows sparsely sampled data to be related to a variable and rapidly moving structure, such as the Bow shock, Magnetic Pile-up boundary or Ion Composition boundary. The solar minimum in 2009 was one of the lowest on record, and by 2006 minimum conditions were already in place. Utilising the ASPERA-4 Ion Mass Analyzer data and the paired magnetometers on board Venus Express the relation between the ions and flux ropes are investigated, in order to determine whether they a part of the replenishment or loss of the Venusian atmosphere. First, by using the magnetometer to identify the flux rope in the ionosphere Wei H.Y. (2006 -personal communication) and then by using the IMA to observe coincident composition changes. The altitude of ropes is dependent on the time spent in the ionosphere, with older ropes increasing weight and dropping weight. However, the occurrence of flux ropes and a mixed populations of ionospheric and solar wind ions is coincidental. Venus boundaries are examined during 2007, and 2011 / 2012 going toward solar maximum. A new use of the transition parameter is put forward; to aid with boundary placement. The bow shock is located with an automatic algorithm and this is then compared with previous models, giving a sense of Venus reaction to solar activity. It is shown that the bow shock position is largely unchanged. The ion composition boundary and the magnetic pile-up boundary are also located. They coincide to within an ion sampling period, but transition parameter analysis reveals that they are not coincident, with the ion composition boundary inside the pileup boundary.

  1. First observation of the Venus UV dayglow at limb from SPICAV/VEX

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaufray, Jean-Yves; Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Leblanc, Francois

    2012-10-01

    We present the first limb observations of the dayglow emissions by the UV channel of SPICAV aboard Venus Express between October and December 2011. The CO Cameron bands between 180-260 nm and CO2+ doublet at 289 nm are clearly identified for the first time in the Venusian dayglow. The Cameron bands brightness peaks at 137.5 ± 1.5 km with a peak brightness of 2000 ± 100 kR and the CO2+ doublet peaks at 135.5 ± 2.5 km with a peak brightness of 270 ± 20 kR. The temperature near 145 km derived from the CO2+ bands scale height is 290 ± 60 K, in good agreement with other types of measurement. The spectral shape of the Cameron bands is similar to the spectral shape of the Cameron bands observed on Mars with the same coarse 10 nm resolution. The stronger brightness of the Venusian dayglow with respect to Mars dayglow in the 200-300 nm range cannot be explained only by the distance to the Sun and by the difference in EUV solar flux at the time of the observations.

  2. 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.

  3. The Venus Balloon Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stelzried, C. T.; Preston, R. A.; Hildebrand, C. E.; Wilcher, J. H.; Ellis, J.

    1986-01-01

    On June 11 and 15, 1985, two instrumental balloons were released from the Soviet VEGA 1 and VEGA 2 spacecraft and deployed in the atmosphere of Venus. The VEGA probes flew by the planet on their way to a rendezvous with comet Halley in March 1986. Drifting with the wind at altitudes of 54 km, the balloons traveled one-third of the way around the planet during their 46-hour lifetimes. Sensors on-board the gondolas made periodic measurements of pressure, temperature, vertical wind velocity, cloud particle density, ambient light level, and frequency of lightning. The data were transmitted to Earth and received at the Deep Space Network (DSN) 64-m stations and at several large antennas in the USSR. Approximately 95 percent of the telemetry data were successfully decoded at the DSN complexes and in the Soviet Union, and were provided to the international science team for analysis. Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) data were acquired by 20 radio observatories around the world for the purpose of monitoring the Venus winds. The DSN 64-m subnet was part of a 15-station VLBI network organized by the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) of France. In addition, five antennas of the Soviet network participated. VLBI data from the CNES network are currently being processed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

  4. 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.

  5. The spin vector of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shapiro, I. I.; Chandler, J. F.; Campbell, D. B.; Hine, A. A.; Stacy, N. J. S.

    1990-01-01

    Analysis of radar observations from 1964 through 1983 yields the following values for the components of the spin vector of Venus: P = 243.026 + or - 0.006 d (retrograde); alpha = 272.75 + or - 0.09 deg; and delta = 67.10 + or - 0.09 deg, where the standard errors quoted are three- to five-fold larger than the statistical standard errors and encompass the changes in results obtained by various tests designed to expose possible systematic errors. These values demonstrate conclusively that the spin state of Venus is not in resonance with the relative orbital motions of Venus and earth.

  6. Venus lower atmospheric composition - Preliminary results from Pioneer Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoffman, J. H.; Hodges, R. R., Jr.; Mcelroy, M. B.; Donahue, T. M.; Kolpin, M.

    1979-01-01

    Initial examination of data from the neutral mass spectrometer on the Pioneer Venus sounder probe indicates that the abundances of argon-36, argon-38, and neon-20 in the Venus atmosphere are much higher than those of the corresponding gases in Earth's atmosphere, although the abundance of radiogenic argon-40 is apparently similar for both planets. The lower atmosphere of Venus includes significant concentrations of various gaseous sulfur compounds. The inlet leak to the mass spectrometer was temporarily blocked by an apparently liquid component of the Venus clouds during passage through the dense cloud layer. Analysis of gases released during the evaporation of the droplets shows the presence of water vapor to some compound or compounds of sulfur.

  7. 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

  8. Clouds and aerosols on Venus: an overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Titov, Dmitri; Ignatiev, Nikolay; McGouldrick, Kevin; Wilquet, Valerie; Wilson, Colin

    2015-04-01

    The past decade demonstrated significant progress in understanding of the Venus cloud system. Venus Express observations revealed significant latitudinal variations and temporal changes in the global cloud top morphology. 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. The 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. 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. Based on the 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 mid-wavelength IR (SPICAV-SOIR), the size distribution of aerosols in the upper haze of Venus was retrieved, assuming H2SO4/water composition of the droplets. 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

  9. Little or no solar wind enters Venus' atmosphere at solar minimum.

    PubMed

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

    2007-11-29

    Venus has no significant internal magnetic field, which allows the solar wind to interact directly with its atmosphere. A field is induced in this interaction, which partially shields the atmosphere, but we have no knowledge of how effective that shield is at solar minimum. (Our current knowledge of the solar wind interaction with Venus is derived from measurements at solar maximum.) The bow shock is close to the planet, meaning that it is possible that some solar wind could be absorbed by the atmosphere and contribute to the evolution of the atmosphere. Here we report magnetic field measurements from the Venus Express spacecraft in the plasma environment surrounding Venus. The bow shock under low solar activity conditions seems to be in the position that would be expected from a complete deflection by a magnetized ionosphere. Therefore little solar wind enters the Venus ionosphere even at solar minimum. PMID:18046399

  10. Aboard the Space Shuttle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steinberg, F. S.

    1980-01-01

    Livability aboard the space shuttle orbiter makes it possible for men and women scientists and technicians in reasonably good health to join superbly healthy astronauts as space travelers and workers. Features of the flight deck, the mid-deck living quarters, and the subfloor life support and house-keeping equipment are illustrated as well as the provisions for food preparation, eating, sleeping, exercising, and medical care. Operation of the personal hygiene equipment and of the air revitalization system for maintaining sea level atmosphere in space is described. Capabilities of Spacelab, the purpose and use of the remote manipulator arm, and the design of a permanent space operations center assembled on-orbit by shuttle personnel are also depicted.

  11. Solar wind alpha particle capture at Mars and Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stenberg, Gabriella; Barabash, Stas; Nilsson, Hans; Fedorov, A.; Brain, David; André, Mats

    Helium is detected in the atmospheres of both Mars and Venus. It is believed that radioactive decay of uranium and thorium in the interior of the planets' is not sufficient to account for the abundance of helium observed. Alpha particles in the solar wind are suggested to be an additional source of helium, especially at Mars. Recent hybrid simulations show that as much as 30We use ion data from the ASPERA-3 and ASPERA-4 instruments on Mars and Venus Express to estimate how efficient solar wind alpha particles are captured in the atmospheres of the two planets.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. The role of magnetospheric energy sources on Titan and Venus: A comparative evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mueller-Wodarg, I.; Yelle, R.; Cui, J.; Galand, M.

    2010-05-01

    The atmospheres of Venus and Titan on one level share many similarities, but at the same time host interesting differences which motivate a more comprehensive comparison. As a result of highly successful missions like Pioneer Venus and Venus Express, the atmosphere of Venus is the most extensively observed planetary atmosphere apart from the Earth's. The ongoing tour of Cassini-Huygens has led to a vast increase in our knowledge and understanding of Titan's atmosphere, but important information gaps remain. How much can we learn from Venus when attempting to understand the upper atmosphere of Titan? One fundamental question to address is that of the global energy balance in the atmosphere of Titan, and in particular in the upper atmosphere (thermosphere/ionosphere region), which in turns drives the global dynamics and affects the neutral and ion species distribution. One potentially important energy source on Titan derives from magnetosphere-atmosphere coupling by a combination of energetic particle precipitation and the closing of magnetospheric currents in the ionosphere. As a result of weaker solar forcing at Titan, these magnetospheric energy sources may play a comparatively stronger factor in driving the global energy balance and thereby dynamics on Titan than they do on Venus. This paper will evaluate the energy balance on Venus and Titan by assessing the ease at which numerical models driven by solar heating reproduce observed thermosphere densities. We will discuss the relative roles of solar and magnetospheric energy sources on Venus and Titan and outline the wider consequences of their differences.

  15. Hinode SOT Plate Scale Reinvestigated by G-Band Images on the 2012 Transit of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanao, M.; Shimizu, T.; Imamura, T.; Nakamura, M.

    2015-05-01

    The Hinode Solar Optical Telescope (SOT) successfully observed the transit of Venus with an unprecedented high spatial resolution on 5 - 6 June 2012, providing images of the aureole refracted by the atmosphere of Venus and the dark Venus disk against the bright solar surface. The transit of Venus provided a unique opportunity for calibrating the plate scale of SOT images. With the examination of the radius of the dark Venus disk, we determined the plate scale of G-band 430.5 nm images with high accuracy: 0.05369±0.00005 arcsec pixel-1. The radius was defined at the intensity level of the 0.5 transmittance and compared with the angular radius of Venus including the thickness of the atmosphere determined with the measurements of SPICAV onboard Venus Express. Thanks to the high spatial resolution, SOT images show that the dark Venus can be well represented by an ellipse. We observed 7.6 km difference in altitude between the equator and the polar regions.

  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. Atmospheric structure and cloud properties on Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zasova, L. V.

    temporary variable. Soviet and American missions investigated Venus in the past, European Venus Express is working successfully now, Japan mission Planet-C is preparing to be launch in 2007 and Venera-D mission is included in Russian Federal Space Program with launch around 2016.

  18. ISS Update: Transit of Venus

    NASA Video Gallery

    ISS Update commentator Brandi Dean interviews Mario Runco, NASA astronaut, about Venus's transit across the sun on June 5, 2012. Questions? Ask us on Twitter @NASA_Johnson and include the hashtag #...

  19. Japan launches mission to Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banks, Michael

    2010-06-01

    The Japanese space agency JAXA has launched its first mission to Venus. The Akatsuki craft, which means "dawn" in Japanese, took off last month from the Tanegashima Space Center on the island of Kagoshima, south-west of mainland Japan.

  20. 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.

  1. Venus Atmosphere and Surface Explorer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esposito, Larry W.; Hall, Jeff; Schofield, Tim

    2014-11-01

    ContextVenus is Earth’s twin planet, but it is an evil twin! To understand how Venus went wrong, to understand the terrestrial planets in our Solar System, those around other stars, and the future of the Earth… we must understand Venus history, evolution and current processes. This requires entering the Venus atmosphere and examining its surface. Future missions will land on Venus, but they need better characterization of its atmosphere and of possible landing sites. VASE can build on discoveries from previous missions, on technical advances in the last decades and on improved balloon technology. The hybrid mission links together a single vertical profile with two weeks of temporal and longitudinal data on a global scale. We can investigate the linked surface and atmosphere processes. We will measure the noble gases which retain indicators of Venus formation; clouds, winds, and chemistry that drive the current Venus processes; and take descent images that extend the Magellan RADAR results to sub-1m resolution, providing ground truth for Magellan’s global mapping and to characterize possible future landing sites.Science Objectives VASE will measure the complete inventory of atmospheric noble gas and light stable isotopes to constrain theories of planetary formation and evolution. It will take nested surface images on descent. It will provide the first complete atmospheric structure profile from clouds to surface of temperature, pressure and wind. VASE will measure with critical accuracy the trace and reactive gas composition profile from clouds to surface. VASE will map the surface emissivity along the surface below two balloon circumnavigations of Venus.Mission VASE is a hybrid Venus mission consisting of a large balloon and a small probe. It reaches Venus after a 4 month trip from Earth. The probe deploys from the entry vehicle and falls to surface in 1.5 hours. The balloon mission lasts 2 weeks, flying in the clouds at 55 km and circumnavigating Venus twice

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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 μm 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 φ > 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 φ > 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 φ = 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.

  5. Storms on Venus: Lightning-induced chemistry and predicted products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

    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 of C,O,S,N,H-containing molecules will recombine during cooldown to form new sets of molecules. Spark and discharge experiments in the literature suggest that lightning effects on the main atmospheric molecules CO2, N2, SO2, H2SO4 and H2O will yield carbon oxides and suboxides (COm, CnOm), sulfur oxides (SnO, SnOm), oxygen (O2), elemental sulfur (Sn), nitrogen oxides (NO, N2O, NO2), sulfuric acid clusters (HnSmOx-.aHnSmOx e.g. HSO4-.mH2SO4), polysulfur oxides, carbon soot and other exotic species. While the amounts generated in lightning storms would be much less than that derived from photochemistry, during storms these species can build up in a small area and so their local concentrations may increase significantly. For a storm of 100×100 km, the increase could be ~5 orders of magnitude if they remain in the storm region for a period before becoming well-mixed. Some of these molecular species may be detectable by instruments onboard Venus Express while they are concentrated in the storm regions. We explore the diversity of new products likely created in lightning storms on Venus.

  6. Some questions about the Venus atmosphere from past measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limaye, Sanjay

    2015-11-01

    The many missions undertaken in the past half a century to explore Venus with fly-by spacecraft, orbiters, descending probes, landers and floating balloons, have provided us with a wealth of data. These data have been supplemented by many ground based observations at reflected solar wavelengths, short and long wave infrared to radio waves. Inter-comparison of the results from such measurements provide a good general idea of the global atmosphere. However, re-visiting these observations also raises some questions about the atmosphere that have not received much attention lately but deserve to be explored and considered for future measurements.These questions are about the precise atmospheric composition in the deep atmosphere, the atmospheric state in the lower atmosphere, the static stability of the lower atmosphere, the clouds and hazes, the nature of the ultraviolet absorber and wind speed and direction near the surface from equator to the pole. The answers to these questions are important for a better understanding of Venus, its weather and climate. The measurements required to answer these questions require careful and sustained observations within the atmosphere and from surface based stations. Some of these measurements should and can be made by large missions such as Venera-D (Russia), Venus Climate Mission (Visions and Voyages - Planetary Science Decadal Survey 2013-2022 or the Venus Flagship Design Reference Mission (NASA) which have been studied in recent years, but some have not been addressed in such studies. For example, the fact that the two primary constituents of the Venus atmosphere - Carbon Dioxide and Nitrogen are supercritical has not been considered so far. It is only recently that properties of binary supercritical fluids are being studied theoretically and laboratory validation is needed.With the end of monitoring of Venus by Venus Express orbiter in November 2014 after nearly a decade of observations and the imminent insertion of JAXA

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Thermal Structure and Radiative Balance of the Venus Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limaye, S. S.

    2014-04-01

    Venus Express, observing since April 2006 has returned a wealth of useful information about the atmospheric temperature and density structure of the planet. New and refined instruments have advanced not only the accuracy but also the altitude range of the inferred structure. With multiple experiments on Venus Express contributing to the inferred vertical structure, there is overlap in some altitude regions, allowing and requiring conciliation of the inferred values in terms of spatial and temporal coverage as well as errors and biases. In addition, there are older spacecraft results as well as recent ground based observations that contribute to the new information about the thermal structure of the atmosphere. Regarding the radiative balance, we have new information about changes in the absorbed solar radiation over the duration of the Venus Express mission, but little new information in terms of the emitted radiation from the planet. A coordinated effort was initiated in late 2013 to assess these new data through an international team hosted by the International Space Studies Institute [1]. This solicited chapter for the Venus III book being developed at present [2] is based on the efforts of this group.

  12. Volcanic lightning on Venus and early Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Airey, Martin; Aplin, Karen

    2016-04-01

    Lightning may have been crucial in the development of life, as it enables key chemical reactions to occur. We cannot directly observe early Earth's hot, CO2-rich, atmosphere; however, similar conditions exist today on Venus, where there may be volcanic and/or meteorological lightning. Recent observations made by ESA's Venus Express satellite have provided evidence for active volcanism [1-3] and lightning discharges [e.g. 4], which may be volcanic in origin. This study uses laboratory experiments to simulate ash generation and to measure its electrical charging under typical atmospheric conditions for Venus and the early Earth (specifically the Hadean eon, up to 4 billion years ago, and the Archean eon, from 4 billion to 2.5 billion years ago). Ultimately the work will address the following questions: (a) is volcanic activity a feasible mechanism for lightning generation on Venus and early Earth, (b) how would these extreme paleo-environmental conditions affect lightning, (c) can the similarities in atmospheric conditions inform us of planetary evolutionary concepts, (d) could volcanic lightning have been important in the emergence of life on Earth, and (e) what are the wider implications for the likelihood of the emergence of life on other planets? A 1-litre atmospheric simulation chamber will be used to simulate the high-pressure, high-temperature, CO2-dominated atmospheres of the surface of early Earth, and Venus at ~10 km altitude (~5 MPa, 650 K) (where ash plume-forming eruptions on Venus are more likely to occur [5]). The chamber contains temperature/pressure monitoring and logging equipment, a collision apparatus to generate the charged rock fragments, and electrodes for charge measurement with an electrometer [6]. The planned experimental programme will measure the effects of varying temperature, pressure, atmospheric, and sample composition under a range of conditions appropriate to Venus and early Earth. Comparative work with present day Earth conditions

  13. Robots Aboard International Space Station

    NASA Video Gallery

    Ames Research Center, MIT and Johnson Space Center have two new robotics projects aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Robonaut 2, a two-armed humanoid robot with astronaut-like dexterity,...

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Investigation of Venus Surface Properties

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ford, Peter G.

    2002-01-01

    Strong localized radar echoes have been observed at decimeter wavelengths from the highlands of Venus since the earliest radar maps were obtained over 30 years ago. These echoes are some five to ten times stronger than those from the presumably basaltic rocks seen at lower altitudes elsewhere on Venus. Observations of thermal emission from the visible disk of Venus at wavelengths corresponding to those used in the radar mapping confirm that the regions of high reflectivity also exhibit low emissivity, as expected from considerations of detailed thermodynamic balance. Two possibilities have been put forward to explain this unexpected aspect of the Venus highlands: 1) surface materials of high effective dielectric constant, probably associated with finite electrical conductivity, and 2) volume scattering associated with multiple scattering from a layer of very-low-loss material containing voids and extending down a few hundred wavelengths beneath the surface. Analogs to these two mechanisms are found elsewhere in the solar system, and each is capable of explaining the basic observations. as of the early 1990's. In 1993, however, it became possible to carry out a bistatic observation of the anomalous highland regions using the Magellan spacecraft, then in orbit about Venus. In this experiment the on-board telemetry transmitter was aimed at the planet's surface with its linear S-band polarization vector oriented at 45 deg to the spacecraft-Venus-Earth scattering plane. The pointing of the transmitting antenna was adjusted so that the spacecraft-to-illuminated-surface incidence angle equalled the Earth-to-Venus-surface incidence angle. In this way, the experiment emphasized the specular scattering component. A full Stokes-Vector analysis of the reflected signal as received on Earth was carried out as the illuminated region scanned across the highland regions of Venus. From the observed position angle of the echo, it was possible to calculate the Fresnel reflectivity of

  17. 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.

  18. Entry-probe studies of the atmospheres of earth, Mars, and Venus - A review (Von Karman Lecture)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Seiff, Alvin

    1990-01-01

    This paper overviews the history (since 1963) of the exploration of planetary atmospheres by use of entry probes. The techniques used to measure the compositions of the atmospheres of the earth, Mars, and Venus are described together with the key results obtained. Attention is also given to the atmosphere-structure experiment aboard the Galileo Mission, launched on October 17, 1989 and now under way on its 6-yr trip to Jupiter, and to future experiments.

  19. 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.

  20. Clouds and aerosols on Venus: an overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Titov, Dmitri; Ignatiev, Nikolay; McGouldrick, Kevin; Wilquet, Valerie; Wilson, Colin

    2015-04-01

    The past decade demonstrated significant progress in understanding of the Venus cloud system. Venus Express observations revealed significant latitudinal variations and temporal changes in the global cloud top morphology. 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. The 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. 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. Based on the 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 mid-wavelength IR (SPICAV-SOIR), the size distribution of aerosols in the upper haze of Venus was retrieved, assuming H2SO4/water composition of the droplets. 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

  1. Solar wind precipitation - a comparison between Mars and Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stenberg Wieser, Gabriella; Nilsson, Hans; Futaana, Yoshifumi; Holmström, Mats; Barabash, Stas

    2015-04-01

    Mars and Venus both have atmospheres but both lack a substantial intrinsic magnetic field. Hence, their interaction with the solar wind is similar. Due to currents set up in the ionospheres the interplanetary magnetic field embedded in the solar wind drapes around the planets forming induced magnetospheres. The plasma instrument packages ASPERA-3 and ASPERA-4 on the two spacecraft Mars Express and Venus Express are very similar and invite to a comparison between the two plasma environments. In this study we used the Ion Mass Analyser (IMA) on both spacecraft to investigate the solar wind precipitation onto the upper atmospheres. We focus on the differences between the two planets. We conclude that on Mars we regularly observe precipitating solar wind ions (H+ and He2+) inside the induced magnetosphere boundary (IMB). The precipitation is clearly guided by the solar wind convection electric field and He2+ and H+ are seen independently of each other. On Venus precipitation of He2+ is only observed close to the IMB and always together with H+. The precipitation events on Venus have no clear correlation with the solar wind electric field.

  2. 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.

  3. Episodic plate tectonics on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Turcotte, Donald

    1992-01-01

    Studies of impact craters on Venus from the Magellan images have placed important constraints on surface volcanism. Some 840 impact craters have been identified with diameters ranging from 2 to 280 km. Correlations of this impact flux with craters on the Moon, Earth, and Mars indicate a mean surface age of 0.5 +/- 0.3 Ga. Another important observation is that 52 percent of the craters are slightly fractured and only 4.5 percent are embayed by lava flows. These observations led researchers to hypothesize that a pervasive resurfacing event occurred about 500 m.y. ago and that relatively little surface volcanism has occurred since. Other researchers have pointed out that a global resurfacing event that ceased about 500 MYBP is consistent with the results given by a recent study. These authors carried out a series of numerical calculations of mantle convection in Venus yielding thermal evolution results. Their model considered crustal recycling and gave rapid planetary cooling. They, in fact, suggested that prior to 500 MYBP plate tectonics was active in Venus and since 500 MYBP the lithosphere has stabilized and only hot-spot volcanism has reached the surface. We propose an alternative hypothesis for the inferred cessation of surface volcanism on Venus. We hypothesize that plate tectonics on Venus is episodic. Periods of rapid plate tectonics result in high rates of subduction that cool the interior resulting in more sluggish mantle convection.

  4. The Soviet maps of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robertson, D. F.

    1990-02-01

    The USSR began mapping parts of Venus almost six years ago and have published a series of scientific results, reaching a few limited conclusions about Venus. While based on the traditional second generation Venera orbiter design, Veneras 15 and 16 carried Polyus-V sidelooking synthetic-aperture radars which used the orbiter's motion over Venus to 'synthesize' an antenna of far larger size than could practically be carried to the planet. The resolution and coverage achieved is better than one kilometer over most of the surface compared with one tenth of a kilometer partial cover expected from the Venus Radar Mapper. The radar data will take years to analyze completely, but initial results have been released and the Soviet Union has compiled an atlas of radar images. Cartographers named two craters after American astronauts Judith Resnik and Sharon Christa McAuliffe. One of the conclusions is that Venus is not a 'single plate' planet, like the earth's moon or Mercury; its crust is distinctly broken into individual blocks with independent movements. It appears that extensive volcanism is a universal factor in the evolution of planets in the inner solar system.

  5. The European Venus Explorer (EVE) mission proposal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chassefiere, E.; Wilson, C. F.; Titov, D.; Korablev, O.; Aplin, K.; Baines, K.; Balint, T.; Blamont, J.; Cochrane, C.; Ferencz, Cs.; Ferri, F.; Gerasimov, M.; Imamura, T.; Leitner, J.; Lopez-Moreno, J.; Marty, B.; Martynov, M.; Pogrebenko, S.; Rodin, A.; Whiteway, J.; Zasova, L.

    2007-08-01

    The European Venus Explorer (EVE) is a mission proposed to the European Space Agency (ESA) under the Cosmic Vision Call for Ideas, for launch in 2016-2018. The central goal of this mission is to investigate the evolution of Venus and its climate, in order to understand better the 'life cycle' of Earth-like planets everywhere. After the excellent results being obtained from ESA's Venus Express orbiter, in situ measurements will be required to answer many of the outstanding questions, specially relating to the evolution of the planet, its complex cloud chemistry and the stability of its climate. The baseline EVE mission consists of one balloon platform floating at an altitude of 50-60 km, one descent probe provided by Russia, and an orbiter with a polar orbit which will perform science observations as well as relay data from the balloon and descent probe. The minimum lifetime of the balloon is 7 days, required for one full circle around the planet, much longer than the 48 hour data returned from Russia's VEGA balloons. Earth-based VLBI and Doppler measurements provide tracking information for the orbiter, allowing measurement of the variations in the planet's gravity field, and for the balloon and descent probe to yield wind measurements in the lower atmosphere. The descent probe's fall through the atmosphere is expected to last 60 minutes, followed by a lifetime of 30 minutes on the surface. The Japanese space agency (JAXA) also proposes to include another independent platform, a small water vapour-inflated balloon which would be deployed at 35 km altitude and would communicate directly to Earth. Further details of the EVE mission, including proposals for Education & Outreach schemes, can be viewed at the mission website: http://www.aero.jussieu.fr/EVE/

  6. Latest results of the LMD Venus GCM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lebonnois, S.; Marcq, E.; Lott, F.

    2012-12-01

    The LMD Venus General Circulation Model (GCM), under development since 2005, models the circulation in Venus atmosphere (from the surface up to roughly 100 km), in particular the superrotation feature. The temperature structure is computed using a specific radiative transfer module based on net-exchange matrix formulation. Since the publication of the GCM details (Lebonnois et al, JGR 115, 2010, doi:10.1029/2009JE003458), some improvements were done, especially for the boundary layer scheme that affects the exchange of angular momentum between atmosphere and surface. Surprising impact of initial conditions on the steady-state zonal winds is also discussed. Passive tracers, tuned to mimic CO and OCS distributions, have also been added to the model to simulate the latitudinal distributions induced by transport. In this presentation, comparisons between our latest simulations and available observations from Venus Express (winds, temperature fields, CO and OCS distributions) are detailed: zonal and meridional wind distributions in the cloud region and above, thermal tide features in winds and temperature near the cloud-top, CO and OCS latitudinal profiles below the clouds. These comparisons help constrain the meridional circulation and its impact on trace species distributions, the chemical relaxation timescale of the same trace species as well as the thermal tides and their role in the angular momentum budget and in the superrotation mechanism. The impact on the zonal wind field of gravity waves that may be generated near the surface is currently investigated with a new parametrisation. These gravity waves have been suggested as a significant contributor in the angular momentum budget and superrotation mechanism (Hou and Farrell, J. Atmos. Sci. 44, pp.1049-1061, 1987, doi:10.1175/1520-0469(1987)044<1049:SIBCLA>2.0.CO;2). This parametrisation and its first results are presented here.

  7. First observations of VIRTIS at Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drossart, P.; Piccioni, G.; Virtis/Venus Express Team

    After the orbit insertion of Venus Express on 2006, April 11, VIRTIS observations have taken place during the Venus Orbit Insertion (VOI), followed by a commissioning phase and the first science orbits. After verification of the instrument performances and calibration phase, first science observations have begun. A description of the observations during the first 43 orbits will be given. VIRTIS is a three channel instrument (ESA-SP in press): VIRTIS-M-vis (imaging spectrometry from 0.3 to 1 micron), VIRTIS-M-IR (imaging spectrometry from 1 to 5 micron) and VIRTIS-H (high spectral resolution channel from 2 to 5 micron), working usually in parallel. A combined observation through the three channels have provided the following results: • The first direct observations of the South Polar Vortex, which mirrors the observations of the North Polar Vortex observed by Pioneer Venus (Taylor et al., JGR, 1980). Observations at different wavelengths in thermal emission show a complex horizontal and vertical structure. • Dynamical measurements of the deep cloud structure from thermal emission (night side), at a global scale from South pole to Equator. • The detection of large fluorescent emission in CO2 at 4.3 micron (day side), with prominent peak at the limb and substantial emission in nadir viewing. • An accurate measurement of the CO latitudinal profile from night side observations, with a maximum at ˜60dg South latitude, confirming with a higher accuracy the pioneer observations made by Galileo / NIMS in 1990 (Collard et al, PSS, 1993). • A measurement of the atmospheric composition at 30 km from night side observations at 2.3 micron. • Observations of CO at 2.3 micron (day side), above the cloud level. • The detection and the mapping of the surface in the infrared windows on the night side at 1-1.18 micron. Future observations will focus on dynamics, structure and composition.

  8. Imaging sprites aboard TARANIS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farges, Thomas; Blanc, Elisabeth; Sato, Mitsuteru; Takahashi, Yukihiro; Suzuki, Makoto; Grosjean, Olivier

    TLE (Transient Luminous Event) is the generic name for phenomena which occur over thundercloud from the troposphere to the lower thermosphere (20 to 100 km-height). They are called sprites, elves, blue jets, gigantic jets . . . Each class of phenomenon has their own properties: duration, vertical and horizontal extension, delay after their parent lightning. They are mainly observed from ground since 1990 and from space since 2004 with the ISUAL experiment. All these observations have been done pointing at the limb. We propose an experiment, to image and characterize TLEs and lightning from space, which novelty is looking at the nadir. This concept was tested by the CEA with the Lightning and Sprite Observations on board the International Space Station from 2001 to 2004. The advantage of this point of view is that other radiations (as gamma-rays, electron beams, or electrostatic field) emitted mainly vertically and simultaneously to TLE or lightning can be observed with the same satellite, but the difficulty is how the superimposed light from lightning and TLE can be differentiate. Taking account this constraint and other ones due to satellite accommodation, we define a set of sensors allowing the detection, the localisation and the characterisation of lightning and TLE. Our studies show that two cameras and four photometers are necessary to reach those objectives. This experiment, called MCP for MicroCameras and Photometers, will be aboard TARANIS (Tool for the Analysis of RAdiations from lightNIngs and Sprites) which is a microsatellite project of the CNES Myriade program with a launch planned in 2011. The photometer set will be provided by a Japanese team joining Hokkaido and Tohoku Universities and ISAS/JAXA. In this talk, we will present the main scientific goals of MCP. Need requirement studies (particularly radiometric analysis including sensor trade-off) will be described. We will finish describing the actual development status of the sensors.

  9. Venus - Impact Crater 'Isabella

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    Crater Isabella, with a diameter of 175 kilometers (108 miles), seen in this Magellan radar image, is the second largest impact crater on Venus. The feature is named in honor of the 15th Century queen of Spain, Isabella of Castile. Located at 30 degrees south latitude, 204 degrees east longitude, the crater has two extensive flow-like structures extending to the south and to the southeast. The end of the southern flow partially surrounds a pre-existing 40 kilometer (25 mile) circular volcanic shield. The southeastern flow shows a complex pattern of channels and flow lobes, and is overlain at its southeastern tip by deposits from a later 20 kilometer (12 mile) diameter impact crater, Cohn (for Carola Cohn, Australian artist, 1892-1964). The extensive flows, unique to Venusian impact craters, are a continuing subject of study for a number of planetary scientists. It is thought that the flows may consist of 'impact melt,' rock melted by the intense heat released in the impact explosion. An alternate hypothesis invokes 'debris flows,' which may consist of clouds of hot gases and both melted and solid rock fragments that race across the landscape during the impact event. That type of emplacement process is similar to that which occurs in violent eruptions on Earth, such as the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption in the Philippines.

  10. Pancakelike domes on Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKenzie, Dan; Ford, Peter G.; Liu, Fang; Pettengill, Gordon H.

    1992-10-01

    A comparison between the shape of seven large domes on the plains of Venus (volumes between 100 and 1000 cu cm) and that of an axisymmetric gravity current spreading over a rigid horizontal surface is presented. Both the altimetric profiles and the horizontal projection of the line of intersection of domes on the synthetic aperture radar images agree well with the theoretical similarity solution for a Newtonian fluid but not with the shape calculated for a rigid-plastic rheology or with that for a static model with a strong skin. The stress induced by the flow in the plains material below is obtained, and is found to be large enough to produce the short radial cracks in the surface of the plains beyond the domes. The viscosity of the domes can be estimated from their thermal time constant if spreading is possible only when the fluid is hot and lies between 10 exp 14 and 10 exp 17 Pa s. Laboratory experiments show that such viscosities correspond to temperatures of 610 to 700 C in dry rhyolitic magmas. It is shown that dome development can be understood using simple fluid dynamical ideas and that the magmas involved can be produced by wet melting at depths below 10 km, followed by eruption and degassing.

  11. Wave granulation in the Venus' atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kochemasov, G.

    2007-08-01

    corresponding them wave granule sizes. (1/338 : 1/6)πR = πR/56.3 = 342 km. (1/338 x 1/6)πR = πR/2028 = 9.5 km. The larger granules as well arranged network were seen in the near IR Galileo image PIA00073 (several miles below the visible cloud tops). The smaller granules, hopefully, will be detected by the Venus Express cameras. So, the wave planetology applying wave methods to solid planetary bodies and to surrounding them gaseous envelopes shows their structural unity. This understanding may help to analyze and predict very complex behavior of atmospheric sells at Earth (anticyclones up to 5000 km across or πR/4), other planets and Titan. Long time ago known the solar supergranules about 30000 km across were never fully understood. The comparative wave planetology placing them together with wave features of planets and satellites throws light on their origin and behavior and thus expands into an area of the solar physics. In this respect it is interesting to note that rather typical for Sun radio emission in 1 meter diapason also was never properly explained. But applying modulation of the solar photosphere frequency 1/ 1month by the Galaxy frequency 1/ 200 000 000 y. one can obtain such short waves [5]. Radio emissions of planets of the solar system also can be related to this modulation by Galaxy rotation [5]. References: [1] Kochemasov G.G. (1992) Comparison of blob tectonics (Venus) and pair tectonics (Earth) // LPS XXIII, Houston, LPI, pt. 2, 703-704; [2] Kochemasov G.G. (2000) Orbiting frequency modulation in Solar system and its imprint in shapes and structures of celestial bodies // Vernadsky-Brown microsymposium 32 on Comparative planetology, Oct. 9-11, 2000, Moscow, Russia, Abstracs, 88-89; [3] Kochemasov G.G. (2000) Titan: frequency modulation of warping waves // Geophys. Res. Abstr., v. 2, (CD-ROM); [4] Kochemasov G.G. (2005) Cassini' lessons: square craters, shoulderto- shoulder even-size aligned and in grids craters having wave interference nature must be

  12. Wave granulation in the Venus' atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kochemasov, G.

    2007-08-01

    corresponding them wave granule sizes. (1/338 : 1/6)πR = πR/56.3 = 342 km. (1/338 x 1/6)πR = πR/2028 = 9.5 km. The larger granules as well arranged network were seen in the near IR Galileo image PIA00073 (several miles below the visible cloud tops). The smaller granules, hopefully, will be detected by the Venus Express cameras. So, the wave planetology applying wave methods to solid planetary bodies and to surrounding them gaseous envelopes shows their structural unity. This understanding may help to analyze and predict very complex behavior of atmospheric sells at Earth (anticyclones up to 5000 km across or πR/4), other planets and Titan. Long time ago known the solar supergranules about 30000 km across were never fully understood. The comparative wave planetology placing them together with wave features of planets and satellites throws light on their origin and behavior and thus expands into an area of the solar physics. In this respect it is interesting to note that rather typical for Sun radio emission in 1 meter diapason also was never properly explained. But applying modulation of the solar photosphere frequency 1/ 1month by the Galaxy frequency 1/ 200 000 000 y. one can obtain such short waves [5]. Radio emissions of planets of the solar system also can be related to this modulation by Galaxy rotation [5]. References: [1] Kochemasov G.G. (1992) Comparison of blob tectonics (Venus) and pair tectonics (Earth) // LPS XXIII, Houston, LPI, pt. 2, 703-704; [2] Kochemasov G.G. (2000) Orbiting frequency modulation in Solar system and its imprint in shapes and structures of celestial bodies // Vernadsky-Brown microsymposium 32 on Comparative planetology, Oct. 9-11, 2000, Moscow, Russia, Abstracs, 88-89; [3] Kochemasov G.G. (2000) Titan: frequency modulation of warping waves // Geophys. Res. Abstr., v. 2, (CD-ROM); [4] Kochemasov G.G. (2005) Cassini' lessons: square craters, shoulderto- shoulder even-size aligned and in grids craters having wave interference nature must be

  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

  14. 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

  15. Limb Altitude and the Southern Hemispheric Vortex Observed by Venus Monitoring Camera on VEX Orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limaye, Sanjay; Krauss, Robert; Markiewicz, Wojciech

    2013-04-01

    The Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC) on European Space Agency's Venus Express orbiter has been collecting almost daily images at four wavelengths (365, 550, 980 and 1050 nm) since June 2006 with a few gaps during solar conjunctions. These data provide a nearly continuous record of the southern vortex (Limaye at al. 2009) that spans the entire hemisphere and reveal a dynamic, constantly evolving structure and showing a range of dynamical instability features in the central region. These instability features are also seen in the near infrared observations from the VIRTIS instrument on Venus Express (Luz et al. 2011). Some similarities between the Venus hemispheric vortex and a tropical cyclone have been previously noted (Suomi and Limaye, 1981; Limaye et al., 2009; 2011) and more have been discovered from the VMC observations. While the details of the spatial structure of the vortex is easily observed from the imaging observations at ultraviolet (VMC) and near infrared wavelengths (VIRTIS), the vertical structure is more difficult to determine from Venus Express. Here we present inferences about the vertical level obtained from the visible limb of the planet in VMC images. The altitude of the limb has been measured using full or near full disk images and depicts the altitude of the Venus cloud cover which comprises the vortex circulation. By precisely locating the limb location by fitting each limb profile in the VMC images, the average latitudinal profile of the limb altitude has been estimated. Although the pixel size of the images used is ~ 30-45 km, the large number of images (> 25,000) provides a very large sample of limb altitude determinations at each latitude between the equator and about 60° S latitude enabling sub-pixel variations of the limb altitude. The latitudinal profile of the limb altitude is similar to that inferred from the near infrared observations from VIRTIS (Ignatiev et al., 2009; Cottini et al., 2012) - high in low latitudes and low in polar

  16. Evidence for lightning on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strangeway, R. J.

    1992-01-01

    Lightning is an interesting phenomenon both for atmospheric and ionospheric science. At the Earth lightning is generated in regions where there is strong convection. Lightning also requires the generation of large charge-separation electric fields. The energy dissipated in a lightning discharge can, for example, result in chemical reactions that would not normally occur. From an ionospheric point of view, lightning generates a broad spectrum of electromagnetic radiation. This radiation can propagate through the ionosphere as whistler mode waves, and at the Earth the waves propagate to high altitudes in the plasmasphere where they can cause energetic particle precipitation. The atmosphere and ionosphere of Venus are quite different from those on the Earth, and the presence of lightning at Venus has important consequences for our knowledge of why lightning occurs and how the energy is dissipated in the atmosphere and ionosphere. As discussed here, it now appears that lightning occurs in the dusk local time sector at Venus.

  17. Optimizing Aerobot Exploration of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ford, Kevin S.

    1997-01-01

    Venus Flyer Robot (VFR) is an aerobot; an autonomous balloon probe designed for remote exploration of Earth's sister planet in 2003. VFR's simple navigation and control system permits travel to virtually any location on Venus, but it can survive for only a limited duration in the harsh Venusian environment. To help address this limitation, we develop: (1) a global circulation model that captures the most important characteristics of the Venusian atmosphere; (2) a simple aerobot model that captures thermal restrictions faced by VFR at Venus; and (3) one exact and two heuristic algorithms that, using abstractions (1) and (2), construct routes making the best use of VFR's limited lifetime. We demonstrate this modeling by planning several small example missions and a prototypical mission that explores numerous interesting sites recently documented in the plane tary geology literature.

  18. A Retrospective Look at the Collected Results on the Large Scale Ionospheric Magnetic Fields at Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luhmann, J. G.; Ma, Y.-J.; Villarreal, M.; Russell, C. T.; Zhang, T.-L.; Alvarez, K.

    2015-10-01

    We revisit the collected large scale ionospheric magnetic field results obtained by the Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO) and Venus Express (VEX) missions to ask how much we really understand about that field's global structure. To assist in this assessment we make use of several previously described MHD simulations of the solar wind interaction that reproduce its other observed features. These comparisons help to support our conceptual pictures in some cases, and to raise questions in others.

  19. Venus - Global surface radio emissivity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ford, P. G.; Pettengill, G. H.

    1983-01-01

    Observations of thermal radio emission from the surface of Venus, made by the Pioneer Venus radar mapper at a wavelength of 17 cm, show variations that are dominated by changes in surface emissivity. The regions of lowest emissivity (0.54 + or - 0.05 for the highland areas of Aphrodite Terra and Theia Mons) correspond closely to regions of high radar reflectivity reported earlier. These results support the inference of inclusions of material with high electrical conductivity in the surface rock of these areas.

  20. Was Venus wet? Deuterium reconsidered

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grinspoon, David H.

    1987-01-01

    The ratio of deuterium to hydrogen on Venus has been accepted as proof of a wetter, more earth-like part on that planet. However, the present-day water abundance and the nonthermal hydrogen escape flux on Venus imply that hydrogen is in a steady state and that a hydrogen source, most likely cometary infall, is present. An alternative interpretation of the D/H ratio is offered, in which the measured value is consistent with a steady-state evolution over the age of the solar system. No past water excess is required to explain the isotopic data.

  1. Largest impact craters on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ivanov, B. A.; Weitz, C. M.; Basilevsky, A. T.

    1992-01-01

    High-resolution radar images from the Magellan spacecraft have allowed us to perform a detailed study on 25 large impact craters on Venus with diameters from 70 to 280 km. The dimension of these large craters is comparable with the characteristic thickness of the venusian lithosphere and the atmospheric scale height. Some physical parameters for the largest impact craters on Venus (LICV), such as depth, ring/diameter ratio, and range of ballistic ejecta deposits, have been obtained from the SAR images and the altimetry dataset produced by MIT. Data related to each of these parameters is discussed.

  2. Venus Atmospheric Exploration by Solar Aircraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.; LaMarre, C.; Colozza, A.

    2002-01-01

    The Venus atmosphere is a favorable environment for flying powered aircraft. The atmospheric pressure makes flight much easier than on planets such as Mars. Above the clouds, solar energy is available in abundance on Venus, and the slow rotation of Venus allows a solar airplane to be designed for flight within continuous sunlight. The atmosphere between 50 km and 75 km on Venus is one of the most dynamic and interesting regions of the planet. The challenge for a Venus aircraft will be the fierce winds and caustic atmosphere. 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. An aircraft 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Venus - Ovda Regio

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    This image covers much of Ovda Regio, which forms the western part of Aphrodite Terra. It covers an area about 2,250 kilometers (1,386 miles) wide by 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) north to south, and ranges in latitude from 8 degrees north to 12 degrees south and in longitude from 62 degrees east to 90 degrees east. Ovda Regio is a highland region that rises over 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) above the surrounding plain. Magellan images show a complex surface, with several generations of structures. A pervasive fabric of irregular broad domes and ridges and associated curvilinear valleys was flooded by lava, then fractured. The circular feature surrounded by dark lava flows in the western part of the image is a caldera, or large volcanic collapse pit. Late-stage extension created long graben, or fault-bounded valleys, is best seen near the center of the image. The northern boundary of Ovda Regio is a steep, curvilinear mountain belt made up of long, narrow, rounded ridges. These ridges are similar in appearance to folded mountain belts on Earth. Several impact craters, such as the circular features on the western margin of the image, are scattered across the area. The bright area in the southeast part of the image indicates the presence of a radar-reflective mineral such as pyrite. Most of the highland areas on Venus display a similar bright signal. Each pixel of this image covers an area on the surface 675 meters (2,215 feet) across, representing a 9- times reduction in resolution compared to full-scale resolution data.

  5. Pancakelike domes on Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKenzie, Dan; Ford, Peter G.; Liu, Fang; Pettengill, Gordon H.

    1992-12-01

    The shape of seven large domes on the plains of Venus, with volumes between 100 and 1000 cu km, is compared with that of an axisymmetric gravity current spreading over a rigid horizontal surface. Both the altimetric profiles and the horizontal projection of the line of intersection of domes on the SAR images agree well with the theoretical similarity solution for a newtonian fluid, but not with the shape calculated for a rigid-plastic rheology, nor with that for a static model with a strong skin. As a viscous current spreads, it generates an isotropic strain rate tensor whose magnitude is independent of radius. Such a flow can account for the randomly oriented cracks that are uniformly distributed on the surface of the domes. The stress induced by the flow in the plains material below is obtained, and is probably large enough to produce the short radial cracks in the surface of the plains beyond the domes. The viscosity of the domes can be estimated from their thermal time constants if spreading is possible only when the fluid is hot, and lies between 1014 and 1017 Pa s. Laboratory experiments show that such viscosities correspond to temperatures of 610 - 690 C in dry rhyolitic magmas. These temperatures agree with laboratory measurements of the solidus temperature of wet rhyolite. These results show that the development of the domes can be understood using simple fluid dynamical ideas, and that the magmas involved can be produced by wet melting at depths below 10 km, followed by eruption and degassing.

  6. Venus Phoebe Regio

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    This Magellan radar image is of part of the Phoebe region of Venus. It is a mosaic of parts of revolutions 146 and 147 acquired in the first radar test on Aug. 16, 1990. The area in the image is located at 291 degrees east longitude, 20 degrees south latitude. The image shows an area 30 kilometers (19.6 miles) wide and 76 km (47 miles) long. The image shows a broad, up to 17 km (11 miles) wide, radar bright, lobate lava flow that extends 25 km (15.5 miles) northwest across the image strip. The volcanic flow appears bright in this image because it is rough on a scale of a few centimeters to a few meters (a few inches to a few yards), much like lava flows on Earth that are called by geologists 'aa' (ah-ah), a Hawaiian word that probably mimics the sound the ancients uttered while running barefoot over the rough, jagged surface. It is located near the southeast flank of Phoebe Regio and has flowed into local topographic lows. This lava flow has flooded the darker plains and appears to have buried north-south trending lineaments that cut the darker material. No obvious volcanic sources area visible in this image. The flow has a markedly uniform surface texture in contrast to the more mottled texture of adjacent deposits; this suggests it may represent the most recent in a series of eruptions that subsequently have been obscured. To the north and south are northwest trending graben crustal depression, or fault, areas that may belong to the system of fractures associated with Phoebe Regio.

  7. Pancakelike domes on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mckenzie, Dan; Ford, Peter G.; Liu, Fang; Pettengill, Gordon H.

    1992-01-01

    The shape of seven large domes on the plains of Venus, with volumes between 100 and 1000 cu km, is compared with that of an axisymmetric gravity current spreading over a rigid horizontal surface. Both the altimetric profiles and the horizontal projection of the line of intersection of domes on the SAR images agree well with the theoretical similarity solution for a newtonian fluid, but not with the shape calculated for a rigid-plastic rheology, nor with that for a static model with a strong skin. As a viscous current spreads, it generates an isotropic strain rate tensor whose magnitude is independent of radius. Such a flow can account for the randomly oriented cracks that are uniformly distributed on the surface of the domes. The stress induced by the flow in the plains material below is obtained, and is probably large enough to produce the short radial cracks in the surface of the plains beyond the domes. The viscosity of the domes can be estimated from their thermal time constants if spreading is possible only when the fluid is hot, and lies between 10(exp 14) and 10(exp 17) Pa s. Laboratory experiments show that such viscosities correspond to temperatures of 610 - 690 C in dry rhyolitic magmas. These temperatures agree with laboratory measurements of the solidus temperature of wet rhyolite. These results show that the development of the domes can be understood using simple fluid dynamical ideas, and that the magmas involved can be produced by wet melting at depths below 10 km, followed by eruption and degassing.

  8. A survey of hot flow anomalies at Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collinson, G. A.; Sibeck, D. G.; Masters, A.; Shane, N.; Zhang, T. L.; Fedorov, A.; Barabash, S.; Coates, A. J.; Moore, T. E.; Slavin, J. A.; Uritsky, V. M.; Boardsen, S.; Sarantos, M.

    2014-02-01

    We present the first survey of hot flow anomalies (HFAs) at the bow shock of Venus, expanding on our recent initial case study. A 3.06 sol (774 Earth day) survey of Venus Express magnetometer, ion spectrometer, and electron spectrometer data was undertaken in order to identify Cytherian HFAs. Seven events were discovered, corresponding to a statistical frequency ≈1.2±0.8 per day, approximately the same rate as at the Earth. All seven HFAs were centered on a discontinuity in the solar wind, with inward pointing motional electric fields on at least one side, and exhibited electron and ion perturbations consistent with heating. For one event the calculation of continuous electron moments is possible, revealing that electron temperature increased from ≈2×105 K to 8×105 K in the HFA core (comparable to terrestrial and Kronian HFA observations), and density increased from ≈1 cm-3 to ~2→2.5 cm-3 in the bounding compression regions. Cytherian HFAs were found to be physically smaller (0.4→1.7 Venus radii (RV)) than their terrestrial or Kronian counterparts, although are much larger when compared to the overall size of the system (≈130% of the subsolar bow shock distance), and occur very close (1.5→3.0RV) to the planet. Thus, we hypothesize that HFAs have a much more dominant role in the dynamics of the induced magnetosphere of Venus relative to the magnetospheres of magnetized planets.

  9. A mantle plume model for the Equatorial Highlands of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kiefer, Walter S.; Hager, Bradford H.

    1991-01-01

    The possibility that the Equatorial Highlands are the surface expressions of hot upwelling mantle plumes is considered via a series of mantle plume models developed using a cylindrical axisymmetric finite element code and depth-dependent Newtonian rheology. The results are scaled by assuming whole mantle convection and that Venus and the earth have similar mantle heat flows. The best model fits are for Beta and Atla. The common feature of the allowed viscosity models is that they lack a pronounced low-viscosity zone in the upper mantle. The shape of Venus's long-wavelength admittance spectrum and the slope of its geoid spectrum are also consistent with the lack of a low-viscosity zone. It is argued that the lack of an asthenosphere on Venus is due to the mantle of Venus being drier than the earth's mantle. Mantle plumes may also have contributed to the formation of some smaller highland swells, such as the Bell and Eistla regions and the Hathor/Innini/Ushas region.

  10. Introduction to the special issue on Venus exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Svedhem, H.; Wilson, C.; Piccioni, G.

    2015-08-01

    Venus Express ended its mission in December 2014 after an extraordinary successful eight and a half years at Venus. The first years of the mission concentrated on the original objectives of the mission, namely to study the dynamics, structure and chemistry of the atmosphere, to investigate the plasma environment and its interaction with the solar wind, and to study certain topics of the surface and the surface atmosphere interaction. The latter part of the mission was focussing on dedicated campaigns for the study of specific topics, often in coordination with ground based observations. The highly elliptical polar orbit permitted a study of all latitudes, particularly of the polar regions. The optimised payload and orbit of the mission, together with the systematic and long-term observations of the atmosphere has enabled a wealth of data to be analysed. It has already resulted in many exciting new findings and a significantly improved understanding of Venus, even if only a part of the data has been analysed so far. In the last year of the mission a two month long aerobraking campaign was performed, resulting in a valuable data set on the structure of the atmosphere down to below 130 km - a region difficult to sample with remote techniques, before the fuel ran out at the end of November 2014. This campaign also provided a lot of engineering and operational experience, useful for future missions that may use aerobraking techniques at Venus or other planets.

  11. Venus and Mercury as Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1974-01-01

    A general evolutionary history of the solar planetary system is given. The previously observed characteristics of Venus and Mercury (i.e. length of day, solar orbit, temperature) are discussed. The role of the Mariner 10 space probe in gathering scientific information on the two planets is briefly described.

  12. Phlogopite Decomposition, Water, and Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, N. M.; Fegley, B., Jr.

    2005-01-01

    Venus is a hot and dry planet with a surface temperature of 660 to 740 K and 30 parts per million by volume (ppmv) water vapor in its lower atmosphere. In contrast Earth has an average surface temperature of 288 K and 1-4% water vapor in its troposphere. The hot and dry conditions on Venus led many to speculate that hydrous minerals on the surface of Venus would not be there today even though they might have formed in a potentially wetter past. Thermodynamic calculations predict that many hydrous minerals are unstable under current Venusian conditions. Thermodynamics predicts whether a particular mineral is stable or not, but we need experimental data on the decomposition rate of hydrous minerals to determine if they survive on Venus today. Previously, we determined the decomposition rate of the amphibole tremolite, and found that it could exist for billions of years at current surface conditions. Here, we present our initial results on the decomposition of phlogopite mica, another common hydrous mineral on Earth.

  13. Transits of Venus in Public Education and Contemporary Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasachoff, J. M.

    2011-10-01

    Transits of Venus are among the rarest predictable astronomical event that humans can enjoy, and the 2012 transit will be visible by almost all the people on Earth. It is our job as educators to bring out the thrill of being able to see the tiny dot of Venus silhouetted against the solar disk even with just a simple eye-protection filter. My Website at http://www.transitofvenus.info brings together not only historical information about the five previous transits of Venus that were observed through the 20th century--1639, 1761, 1769, 1874, and 1882--but also the scientific work carried out at the 2004 transit and at recent transits of Mercury. Based on space observations of the 1999 transit of Mercury with NASA's Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE), Glenn Schneider and I provided proof of the contemporary explanation of the black-drop effect as an amalgam of instrumental point-spread and solar limb-darkening [1]. Based on observations of the changes in the total solar irradiance during the transit, we provided an analysis of this solar-system analogue to exoplanet transits [2]. High-resolution (0.5 arcsec pixels) observations of ingress and egress with TRACE during the 2004 transit provided information about the visibility of Venus's atmosphere through its refraction of sunlight, interpreted with Venus Express observations [3]. We anticipate observing the 2012 transit with groundbased facilities of the University of Hawaii at Haleakala, and of the National Solar Observatory at Sacramento Peak, and Kitt Peak, as well as with NASA and JAXA spacecraft, including Solar Dynamics Observatory, ACRIMsat, and Hinode. The Program Group on Public Education on the Occasions of Eclipses and Transits of Commission 46 on Education and Development of the International Astronomical Union, which I chair, looks forward to participating in Education and Public Outreach efforts related to the 2012 transit.

  14. Potential vorticity of the south polar vortex of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garate-Lopez, I.; Hueso, R.; Sánchez-Lavega, A.; García Muñoz, A.

    2016-04-01

    Venus' atmosphere shows highly variable warm vortices over both of the planet's poles. The nature of the mechanism behind their formation and properties is still unknown. Potential vorticity is a conserved quantity when advective processes dominate over friction and diabatic heating and is a quantity frequently used to model balanced flows. As a step toward understanding the vortices' dynamics, we present maps of Ertel's potential vorticity (EPV) at Venus' south polar region. We analyze three configurations of the south polar vortex at the upper cloud level (P ~ 240 mbar; z ~ 58 km), based on our previous analyses of cloud motions and thermal structure from data acquired by the Visual and InfraRed Thermal Imaging Spectrometer instrument on board Venus Express. Additionally, we tentatively estimate EPV at the lower cloud level (P ~ 2200 mbar; z ~ 43 km), based on our previous wind measurements and on static stability data from Pioneer Venus and the Venus International Reference Atmosphere (VIRA) model. Values of EPV are on the order of 10-6 and 10-8 K m2 kg-1 s-1 at the upper and lower cloud levels, respectively, being 3 times larger than the estimated errors. The morphology observed in EPV maps is mainly determined by the structures of the vertical component of the relative vorticity. This is in contrast to the vortex's morphology observed in 3.8 or 5 µm images which are related to the thermal structure of the atmosphere at the cloud top. Some of the EPV maps point to a weak ringed structure in the upper cloud, while a more homogenous EPV field is found in the lower cloud.

  15. Geophysical models of Western Aphrodite-Niobe region: Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marchenkov, K. I.; Saunders, R. S.; Banerdt, W. B.

    1993-01-01

    The new topography and gravitational field data for Venus expressed in spherical harmonics of degree and order up to 50 allow us to analyze the crust-mantle boundary relief and stress state of the Venusian lithosphere. In these models, we consider models in which convection is confined beneath a thick, buoyant lithosphere. We divide the convection regime into an upper mantle and lower mantle component. The lateral scales are smaller than on Earth. In these models, relative to Earth, convection is reflected in higher order terms of the gravitational field. On Venus geoid height and topography are highly correlated, although the topography appears to be largely compensated. We hypothesize that Venus topography for those wavelengths that correlate well with the geoid is partly compensated at the crust-mantle boundary, while for the others compensation may be distributed over the whole mantle. In turn the strong sensitivity of the stresses to parameters of the models of the external layers of Venus together with geological mapping allows us to begin investigations of the tectonics and geodynamics of the planet. For stress calculations we use a new technique of space- and time-dependent Green's response functions using Venus models with rheologically stratified lithosphere and mantle and a ductile lower crust. In the basic model of Venus the mean crust is 50-70 km thick, the density contrast across the crust-mantle boundary is in the range from 0.3 to 0.4 g/cm(exp -3). The thickness of a weak mantle zone may be from 350 to 1000 km. Strong sensitivity of calculated stress to various parameters of the layered model of Venus together with geological mapping and analysis of surface tectonic patterns allow us to investigate the tectonics and geodynamics of the planet. The results are presented in the form of maps of compression-extension and maximum shear stresses in the lithosphere and maps of crust-mantle boundary relief, which can be presented as a function of time. We

  16. Decadal variations in a Venus general circulation model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parish, Helen F.; Schubert, Gerald; Covey, Curtis; Walterscheid, Richard L.; Grossman, Allen; Lebonnois, Sebastien

    2011-03-01

    angular momentum is redistributed to lower latitudes primarily by transient eddies. Possible changes in the structure of Venus’ cloud level mid-latitude jets measured by Mariner 10, Pioneer Venus, and Venus Express suggest that a cyclic variation similar to that found in the model might occur in the real Venus atmosphere, although no subrotating winds below the cloud level have been observed to date. Venus’ atmosphere must be observed over multi-year timescales and below the clouds if we are to understand its dynamics.

  17. Abstracts for the Venus Geoscience Tutorial and Venus Geologic Mapping Workshop

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    Abstracts and tutorial are presented from the workshop. Representative titles are: Geology of Southern Guinevere Planitia, Venus, Based on Analyses of Goldstone Radar Data; Tessera Terrain: Characteristics and Models of Origin; Venus Volcanism; Rate Estimates from Laboratory Studies of Sulfur Gas-Solid Reactions; and A Morphologic Study of Venus Ridge Belts.

  18. 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.

  19. BOOK REVIEW: June 8, 2004: Venus in Transit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maor, Eli

    2000-09-01

    A transit of Venus is a relatively rare astronomical event in which the silhouette of Venus is seen to move across the face of the Sun. The phenomenon typically lasts several hours, during which Venus is seen as a small dot against the half-degree angular diameter of the solar disc. The last transit of Venus occurred in 1882; the next will be 8 June 2004. Such transits were once of great importance in astronomy. By observing a transit simultaneously from well separated points on the Earth's surface, astronomers were able to measure, with some degree of accuracy, the crucially important separation of the Earth and the Sun. Knowing this enabled them to convert the relative spacings of the planets indicated by Kepler's laws into absolute interplanetary distances expressed in miles or kilometres. Eli Maor's book presents the general reader with a full account of Venusian transits that covers the history of their observation as well as their significance and the reasons for their rarity. The book is a light and enjoyable read that opens well with an imaginative description of observing the 2004 transit from the hills outside Jerusalem. Following an account of Kepler's prediction of a transit of Mercury in 1631 and its observation by Gassendi, the book moves on to describe the transit of Venus in 1639, giving particular emphasis to the prescient work of Jeremiah Horrocks, the extraordinary young English curate and astronomer who died just two years later at the age of 21. The story, however, really takes off with Edmond Halley's realization, in 1677, that transits of Venus might provide the key to determining distances within the solar system. The details of Halley's method are confined to an appendix, but the central chapters of the book detail the increasingly elaborate efforts that astronomers made to observe transits of Venus up to the time of the 1882 transit, when, due to the impact of new photographic methods, interest in transit observations was waning. By that

  20. Return to Venus of Japanese Venus Orbiter AKATSUKI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, M.; Ishii, N.; Abe, T.; Imamura, T.; Yamazaki, A.; Satoh, T.; Suzuki, M.; Ueno, M.; Ohtsuki, S.; Yamada, M.; Ogohara, K.; Uemizu, K.; Hirose, C.; Kawakatsu, Y.; Watanabe, S.; Takahashi, Y.; Iwagami, N.; Taguchi, M.

    2012-12-01

    Japanese Venus Climate Orbiter 'AKATSUKI' (PLANET-C) was successfully launched at 06:58:22JST on May 21, by H-IIA F17. The malfunction, which happened during the Venus Orbit Insertion (VOI) on 7 Dec, 2010 is as follows. 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 on 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. Most of the fuel still remains, but the OME was found to be broken. We decided to use only RCS for orbit maneuver and 3 minor maneuvers in November 2012 were successfully done so that AKATSUKI will meet Venus in late 2015. We are considering several scenarios only using RCS for VOI. In the presentation we will show the possible orbits and how we put the spacecraft into those orbits. They have higher apoapsis than we expected in the initial design, but they are still westward and equatorial that is ideal to reveal the mechanism of the super-rotation of the atmosphere, and we think we will be able to achieve the scientific goals which we have been proposing.

  1. Visualization of the Epiblast and Visceral Endodermal Cells Using Fgf5-P2A-Venus BAC Transgenic Mice and Epiblast Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Tsukiyama, Tomoyuki; Matsushita, Jun; Tsukiyama-Fujii, Setsuko; Takahashi, Satoru; Ema, Masatsugu

    2016-01-01

    Fibroblast growth factor 5 (Fgf5) has been widely used as a marker for the epiblast in the postimplantation embryo and epiblast stem cells (mEpiSCs) in the mouse, making it valuable for study of differentiation of various tissues and epiblast cells in vivo and in vitro. Here, we report for the first time the generation of Fgf5-P2A-Venus BAC transgenic (Tg) mice and show that the BAC Tg can recapitulate endogenous Fgf5 expression in epiblast and visceral endodermal cells of E6.5 and 7.5 embryos. We also show that Fgf5-P2A-Venus BAC Tg mEpiSCs in the undifferentiated state expressed abundant Venus, and upon reprogramming into naïve state, Venus was suppressed. Furthermore, while most Tg mEpiSCs expressed Venus abundantly, surprisingly the Tg mEpiSCs contained a minor subpopulation of Venus-negative cells that were capable of conversion to Venus-positive cells, indicating that even Fgf5 expression shows dynamic heterogeneity in mEpiSCs. Taken together, Fgf5-P2A-Venus BAC Tg mice and mEpiSCs generated in this study will be useful for developmental biology as well as stem cell biology research. PMID:27409080

  2. 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

  3. Observing Venus near the sun.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, A. T.; Young, L. G.

    1972-01-01

    Discussion of the special requirements posed by telescopic observing near the sun. The sky brightness in the image plane must be kept to a minimum. Sunlight scattered from dust in the atmosphere or on the optical surfaces is the main difficulty, particularly at red and infrared wavelengths where Rayleigh scattering by air molecules is weak. Atmospheric dust is less troublesome at high altitudes and in dry climates than at low, humid sites. Excellent seeing is required, especially to get the thin crescent of Venus at inferior conjunction into the narrow slit of a spectrograph. The spectroscopic phase effect of Venus is discussed, and the procedures used to carry out observations near the sun are described in detail.

  4. Tectonism on Venus: A review

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kozak, Richard C.; Schaber, Gerald G.

    1989-01-01

    Venus is more similar to Earth than to any other planet. It has elevated regions associated with marginal fold and thrust belts, fracture zones that extend tens of thousands of kilometers, crustal swells and shields that are hundreds of kilometers in diameter and 1 to 2 km high, and sublinear accumulations of volcanic cones and domes that stretch for thousands of kilometers across the plains. The Venusian surface is, however, distinctly different from Earth's in that: (1) its elevated terrains cannot be distinguished from its low plains on a hypsometric curve; (2) trenches have not been found plainsward of the marginal belts; (3) fracture zones bear no resemblance to mid-oceanic ridges; and (4) some features, such as the ridge-belt zone near 210 deg E, seem to have no terrestrial analog. Various theories about tectonism on Venus and Earth of other authors are reviewed.

  5. Venus - Lavinia Region Impact Craters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    Three large meteorite impact craters, with diameters that range from 37 to 50 kilometers (23 to 31 miles), are seen in this image of the Lavinia region of Venus. The image is centered at 27 degrees south latitude and 339 degrees east longitude (longitude on Venus is measured from 0 degrees to 360 degrees east), and covers an area 550 kilometers (342 miles) wide by about 500 kilometers (311 miles) long. Situated in a region of fractured plains, the craters show many features typical of meteorite impact craters, including rough (bright) material around the rim, terraced inner walls and central peaks. Numerous domes, probably caused by volcanic activity, are seen in the southeastern corner of the mosaic. The domes range in diameter from 1 to 12 kilometers (0.6 to 7 miles). Some of the domes have central pits that are typical of some types of volcanoes. North is at the top of the image.

  6. Solar wind absorption by Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gombosi, T. I.; Cravens, T. E.; Nagy, A. F.; Elphic, R. C.; Russell, C. T.

    1980-01-01

    The portion of solar wind interacting with the dayside ionosphere and atmosphere of Venus was determined based on magnetic field fluctuations in the ionosheath and the interaction with the upper neutral atmosphere above the ionopause. Fluctuations with the ratio of the number of particles intersecting the daytide ionopause to the total number of particles of 0.3 suggest that about 0.3% of solar wind may be absorbed. Most of fast H atoms resulting from the charge exchange interactions with the atmosphere escape; some of the energy deposition processes produce observable signatures (such as a narrow Lyman alpha emission region), but penetrating solar wind particles do not control the physical and/or chemical structure of the daytime Venus ionosphere.

  7. Venus transits - A French view

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Débarbat, Suzanne

    2005-04-01

    After a careful study of Mars observations obtained by Tycho Brahé (1546-1601), Kepler (1571-1630) discovered the now-called Kepler's third law. In 1627 he published his famous Tabulae Rudolphinae, a homage to his protector Rudolph II (1552-1612), tables (Kepler 1609, 1627) from which he predicted Mercury and Venus transits over the Sun. In 1629 Kepler published his Admonitio ad Astronomos Advertisement to Astronomers (Kepler 1630), Avertissement aux Astronomes in French Au sujet de phénomènes rares et étonnants de l'an 1631: l'incursion de Vénus et de Mercure sur le Soleil. This was the beginning of the interest of French astronomers, among many others, in such transits, mostly for Venus, the subject of this paper in which dates are given in the Gregorian calendar.

  8. The magnetic barrier at Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zhang, T. L.; Luhmann, J. G.; Russell, C. T.

    1991-01-01

    Altitude profiles of the Venus magnetic barrier are derived here from a statistical analysis of the Pioneer Venus Orbiter magnetometer data. The outer boundary of the magnetic barrier is then compared with the obstacle expected from gasdynamic models of the bow shock, and the stagnation pressure is compared with that expected from gasdynamic theory. The magnetic barrier is strongest at the subsolar point and weakens as expected with increasing solar zenith angle. The existence of a north-south asymmetry in the barrier strength is also demonstrated. The magnetic barrier is about 200 km thick at the subsolar point and 800 km thick at the terminator. The magnetic barrier transfers most of the solar wind dynamic pressure to the ionosphere via the enhanced magnetic pressure. The convected field gasdynamic model predicts the correct bow shock location if the magnetic barrier is treated as the obstacle.

  9. Radar observation of Venus' terrestrial analogues using TecSAR X-band SAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blumberg, D. G.

    2012-04-01

    Venus is shrouded in a dense CO2 atmosphere that prevents us from viewing the surface in visible light or with optronic sensors. Long wavelengths are required to 'see' through the dense atmosphere. In the early 1990s, the S-band synthetic aperture radar of the Magellan spacecraft acquired images of a variety of surface features on Venus, including morphologies attributed to wind processes. These include sand dunes, wind-sculpted hills (yardangs), and almost 6000 wind streaks. These aeolian landscapes were formed and shaped by near surface atmospheric circulation and local winds. These can serve as local markers, each providing an integrated wind direction. Since the Magellan mission, there were no missions to Venus until the Venus Express Mission of 2005 to examine the upper atmosphere. The future will probably include high-resolution SAR images of Venus. This poster will demonstrate high resolution SAR images in X-band from the TecSAR sensor launched by Israel in 2008. Observations of wind streaks, dunes and impact craters in desert areas will show the wealth of information that is extracted from high-res X-band data. Detailed images of Aurounga impact crater in Chad, Kelso dunes, California and Pisgah lava flow show immense detail of the morphologies associated with these features. These are compared with Magellan images of sites on Venus and SRL data in C and L-bands. The X-band provides extremely high resolution and resembles optical data much more than the longer wavelengths.

  10. The SPICAV-SOIR instrument probing the atmosphere of Venus: an overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trompet, Loïc; Mahieux, Arnaud; Wilquet, Valérie; Robert, Séverine; Chamberlain, Sarah; Thomas, Ian; Carine Vandaele, Ann; Bertaux, Jean-Loup

    2016-04-01

    The Solar Occultation in the Infrared (SOIR) channel mounted on top of the SPICAV instrument of the ESA's Venus Express mission has observed the atmosphere of Venus during more than eight years. This IR spectrometer (2.2-4.3 μm) with a high spectral resolution (0.12 cm-1) combined an echelle grating with an acousto-optic tunable filter for order selection. SOIR performed more than 1500 solar occultation measurements leading to about two millions spectra. The Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) was in charge of SOIR's development and operations as well as its data pipeline. BIRA-IASB carried out several studies on the composition of Venus mesosphere and lower thermosphere: carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen halide (HF, HCl, DF, DCl), sulfur dioxide, water (H2O, HDO) as well as sulphuric acid aerosols in the upper haze of Venus. Density and temperature profiles of the upper atmosphere of Venus (60 km to 170 km) at the terminator have been retrieved from SOIR's spectra using different assumptions, wherein the hydrostatic equilibrium and the local thermodynamical equilibrium in the radiative transfer calculations. These results allow us to produce an Atmospheric model of Venus called Venus Atmosphere from SOIR measurements at the Terminator (VAST). Data obtained by SOIR will also contribute to update the Venus International Reference Atmosphere (VIRA). Recently, the treatment of the raw data to transmittance has been optimized, and a new dataset of spectra has been produced. All raw spectra (PSA level 2) as well as calibrated spectra (PSA level 3) have been delivered to ESA's Planetary Science Archive (PDSPSA). Consequently the re-analysis of all spectra has been undergone. We will briefly present the improvements implemented in the data pipeline. We will also show a compilation of results obtained by the instrument considering the complete mission duration.

  11. An overview of venus geology.

    PubMed

    Saunders, R S; Arvidson, R E; Head, J W; Schaber, G G; Stofan, E R; Solomon, S C

    1991-04-12

    The Magellan spacecraft is producing comprehensive image and altimetry data for the planet Venus. Initial geologic mapping of the planet reveals a surface dominated by volcanic plains and characterized by extensive volcanism and tectonic deformation. Geologic and geomorphologic units include plains terrains, tectonic terrains, and surficial material units. Understanding the origin of these units and the relation between them is an ongoing task of the Magellan team. PMID:17769270

  12. Memristors in the Venus flytrap

    PubMed Central

    Volkov, Alexander G; Forde-Tuckett, Victoria; Reedus, Jada; Mitchell, Colee M; Volkova, Maya I; Markin, Vladislav S.; Chua, Leon

    2014-01-01

    A memristor is a nonlinear element because its current-voltage characteristic is similar to that of a Lissajous pattern for nonlinear systems. We investigated the possible presence of memristors in the electrical circuitry of the Venus flytrap’s upper and lower leaves. The electrostimulation of this plant by bipolar sinusoidal or triangle periodic waves induces electrical responses in the upper and lower leaves of the Venus flytrap with fingerprints of memristors. The analysis was based on cyclic voltammetric characteristics where the memristor, a resistor with memory, should manifest itself. Tetraethylammonium chloride, an inhibitor of voltage gated K+ channels, or NPPB, a blocker of voltage gated Cl- and K+ channels, transform a memristor to a resistor in plant tissue. Uncouplers carbonylcyanide-3-chlorophenylhydrazone (CCCP) and carbonylcyanide-4-trifluoromethoxy-phenyl hydrazone (FCCP) decrease the amplitude of electrical responses at low and high frequencies of bipolar periodic electrostimulating waves. Our results demonstrate that voltage gated K+ channels in the Venus flytrap have properties of memristors of type 1 and type 2. The discovery of memristors in plants creates a new direction in the modeling and understanding of electrical phenomena in plants. PMID:25763613

  13. 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.

  14. Memristors in the Venus flytrap.

    PubMed

    Volkov, Alexander G; Forde-Tuckett, Victoria; Reedus, Jada; Mitchell, Colee M; Volkova, Maya I; Markin, Vladislav S; Chua, Leon

    2014-05-16

    A memristor is a nonlinear element because its current-voltage characteristic is similar to that of a Lissajous pattern for nonlinear systems. We investigated the possible presence of memristors in the electrical circuitry of the Venus flytrap's upper and lower leaves. The electrostimulation of this plant by bipolar sinusoidal or triangle periodic waves induces electrical responses in the upper and lower leaves of the Venus flytrap with fingerprints of memristors. The analysis was based on cyclic voltammetric characteristics where the memristor, a resistor with memory, should manifest itself. Tetraethylammonium chloride, an inhibitor of voltage gated K(+) channels, or NPPB, a blocker of voltage gated Cl(-) and K(+) channels, transform a memristor to a resistor in plant tissue. Uncouplers carbonylcyanide-3-chlorophenylhydrazone (CCCP) and carbonylcyanide-4-trifluoromethoxy-phenyl hydrazone (FCCP) decrease the amplitude of electrical responses at low and high frequencies of bipolar periodic electrostimulating waves. Our results demonstrate that voltage gated K(+) channels in the Venus flytrap have properties of memristors of type 1 and type 2. The discovery of memristors in plants creates a new direction in the modeling and understanding of electrical phenomena in plants. PMID:24837439

  15. A radar tour of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beatty, J. K.

    1985-06-01

    The surface of Venus is briefly characterized in a summary of results obtained by the Soviet Venera 15 and 16 8-cm synthetic-aperture radars, IR radiometers, and radar altimeters. A series of radar images, mainly from Kotelnikov et al. (1984), are presented and discussed, and the descent vehicles to be released by the two Vega spacecraft as they pass Venus in June 1985 on their way to an encounter with Halley's comet are described. Plans for the missions Phobos (two spacecraft to orbit Mars, rendezvous with Phobos and Deimos, release small instrumented landers, and perform mass spectrometry of vapors released by laser pulses directed at the satellite surfaces, beginning in 1988), a lunar-orbiter mission for 1989-1990, and Vesta (a not-yet-approved 1991 mission comprising a French probe to the asteroid 4 Vesta and perhaps 53 Kalypso and 453 Tea and a Soviet spacecraft to release a kite-supported Venus-atmosphere probe before flying on to an unknown destination) are considered.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Solar wind alpha particle capture at Mars and Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stenberg, Gabriella; Barabash, Stas; Nilsson, Hans; Fedorov, Andrei; Brain, Dave

    2010-05-01

    Helium is detected in the atmospheres of both Mars and Venus. It is believed that radioactive decay of uranium and thorium in the interior of the planets' is not sufficient to account for the abundance of helium observed. Alpha particles in the solar wind are suggested to be an additional source of helium, especially at Mars. Recent hybrid simulations show that as much as 30% of the alpha particles can be lost from the solar wind due to charge-exchange processes associated with the Mars/solar wind interaction. We use ion data from the ASPERA-3 and ASPERA-4 instruments on Mars and Venus Express to estimate how efficient solar wind alpha particles are captured in the atmospheres of the two planets.

  19. Weak, Quiet Magnetic Fields Seen in the Venus Atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Zhang, T L; Baumjohann, W; Russell, C T; Luhmann, J G; Xiao, S D

    2016-01-01

    The existence of a strong internal magnetic field allows probing of the interior through both long term changes of and short period fluctuations in that magnetic field. Venus, while Earth's twin in many ways, lacks such a strong intrinsic magnetic field, but perhaps short period fluctuations can still be used to probe the electrical conductivity of the interior. Toward the end of the Venus Express mission, an aerobraking campaign took the spacecraft below the ionosphere into the very weakly electrically conducting atmosphere. As the spacecraft descended from 150 to 140 km altitude, the magnetic field became weaker on average and less noisy. Below 140 km, the median field strength became steady but the short period fluctuations continued to weaken. The weakness of the fluctuations indicates they might not be useful for electromagnetic sounding of the atmosphere from a high altitude platform such as a plane or balloon, but possibly could be attempted on a lander. PMID:27009234

  20. Weak, Quiet Magnetic Fields Seen in the Venus Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Tielong; Baumjohann, Wolfgang; Russell, Christopher; Luhmann, Janet

    2016-04-01

    The existence of a strong internal magnetic field allows probing of the interior through both long term changes of and short period fluctuations in that magnetic field. Venus, while Earth's twin in many ways, lacks such a strong intrinsic magnetic field, but perhaps short period fluctuations can still be used to probe the electrical conductivity of the interior. Toward the end of the Venus Express mission, an aerobraking campaign took the spacecraft below the ionosphere into the very weakly electrically conducting atmosphere. As the spacecraft descended from 150 to 140 km altitude, the magnetic field became weaker on average and less noisy. Below 140 km, the median field strength became steady but the short period fluctuations continued to weaken. The weakness of the fluctuations indicates they might not be useful for electromagnetic sounding of the atmosphere from a high altitude platform such as a plane or balloon, but possibly could be attempted on a lander.

  1. Weak, Quiet Magnetic Fields Seen in the Venus Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, T. L.; Baumjohann, W.; Russell, C. T.; Luhmann, J. G.; Xiao, S. D.

    2016-03-01

    The existence of a strong internal magnetic field allows probing of the interior through both long term changes of and short period fluctuations in that magnetic field. Venus, while Earth’s twin in many ways, lacks such a strong intrinsic magnetic field, but perhaps short period fluctuations can still be used to probe the electrical conductivity of the interior. Toward the end of the Venus Express mission, an aerobraking campaign took the spacecraft below the ionosphere into the very weakly electrically conducting atmosphere. As the spacecraft descended from 150 to 140 km altitude, the magnetic field became weaker on average and less noisy. Below 140 km, the median field strength became steady but the short period fluctuations continued to weaken. The weakness of the fluctuations indicates they might not be useful for electromagnetic sounding of the atmosphere from a high altitude platform such as a plane or balloon, but possibly could be attempted on a lander.

  2. A migratory mantle plume on Venus: Implications for Earth?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chapman, M.G.; Kirk, R.L.

    1996-01-01

    A spatially fixed or at least internally rigid hotspot reference frame has been assumed for determining relative plate motions on Earth. Recent 1:5,000,000 scale mapping of Venus, a planet without terrestrial-style plate tectonics and ocean cover, reveals a systematic age and dimensional progression of corona-like arachnoids occurring in an uncinate chain. The nonrandom associations between arachnoids indicate they likely formed from a deep-seated mantle plume in a manner similar to terrestrial hotspot features. However, absence of expected convergent "plate" margin deformation suggests that the arachnoids are the surface expression of a migratory mantle plume beneath a stationary surface. If mantle plumes are not stationary on Venus, what if any are the implications for Earth?

  3. Weak, Quiet Magnetic Fields Seen in the Venus Atmosphere

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, T. L.; Baumjohann, W.; Russell, C. T.; Luhmann, J. G.; Xiao, S. D.

    2016-01-01

    The existence of a strong internal magnetic field allows probing of the interior through both long term changes of and short period fluctuations in that magnetic field. Venus, while Earth’s twin in many ways, lacks such a strong intrinsic magnetic field, but perhaps short period fluctuations can still be used to probe the electrical conductivity of the interior. Toward the end of the Venus Express mission, an aerobraking campaign took the spacecraft below the ionosphere into the very weakly electrically conducting atmosphere. As the spacecraft descended from 150 to 140 km altitude, the magnetic field became weaker on average and less noisy. Below 140 km, the median field strength became steady but the short period fluctuations continued to weaken. The weakness of the fluctuations indicates they might not be useful for electromagnetic sounding of the atmosphere from a high altitude platform such as a plane or balloon, but possibly could be attempted on a lander. PMID:27009234

  4. 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

  5. Tidal constraints on the interior of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dumoulin, C.; Tobie, G.; Verhoeven, O.; Rosenblatt, P.; Rambaux, N.

    2015-10-01

    As a prospective study for a future exploration of Venus, we propose to systematically investigate the signature of the internal structure in the gravity field and the rotation state of Venus, through the determination of the moment of inertia and the tidal Love number.

  6. Excitation of the Venus night airglow

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lawrence, G. M.; Barth, C. A.; Argabright, V.

    1977-01-01

    The strongest spectral features in the Venus night airglow between 3000 and 8000 A are identified as the Herzberg II bands of molecular oxygen. These bands have been produced in a laboratory afterglow by the recombination of oxygen atoms in the presence of carbon dioxide molecules. It is hypothesized that the same mechanism produces this emission in the upper atmosphere of Venus.

  7. Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO) Ionosphere Evidence for Atmospheric Escape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grebowsky, J. M.; Hoegy, W. R.

    2009-12-01

    An early estimate of escape of H2O from Venus [McElroy et al., 1982] using observed hot oxygen densities inferred by Nagy et al. [1981] from PVO OUVS 1304 Å dayglow and using ionization rates from photoionization and electron impact. This resulted in an estimated oxygen ionization rate planet-wide above the plasmapause of 3x1025 atoms/s. Based on the energetic O+ being swept up and removed by solar wind, McElroy et al. [1982] gave an estimate of a loss rate for O of 6x106 atoms/cm2/s. Using a different method of estimating escape based data in the ionotail of Venus, Brace et al. [1987] estimated a total planetary O+ escape rate of 5x1025 ions/s. Their estimate was based on PVO measurements of superthermal O+ (energy range 9-16 eV) in the tail ray plasma between 2000 and 3000 km. Their estimated global mean flux was 107 atoms/cm2/s. The two escape rates are remarkably close considering all the errors involved in such estimates of escape. A study of escape by Luhmann et al. [2008] using VEX observations at low solar activity finds modest escape rates, prompting the authors to reconsider the evidence from both PVO and VEX of the possibility of enhanced escape during extreme interplanetary conditions. We reexamine the variation of escape under different solar wind conditions using ion densities and plasma content in the dayside and nightside of Venus using PVO ionosphere density during times of high solar activity. Citations: Brace, L.H., W. T. Kasprzak, H.A. Taylor, R. F. Theis, C. T. Russess, A. Barnes, J. D. Mihalov, and D. M. Hunten, "The Ionotail of Venus: Its Configuration and Evidence for Ion Escape", J. Geophys. Res. 92, 15-26, 1987. Luhmann, J.G., A. Fedorov, S. Barabash, E. Carlsson, Y. Futaana, T.L. Zhang, C.T. Russell, J.G. Lyon, S.A. Ledvina, and D.A. Brain, “Venus Express observations of atmospheric oxygen escape during the passage of several coronal mass ejections”, J. Geophys. Res., 113, 2008. McElroy, M. B., M. J. Prather, J. M. Rodiquez, " Loss

  8. Expedition Seven Launched Aboard Soyez Spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    Destined for the International Space Station (ISS), a Soyez TMA-1 spacecraft launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan on April 26, 2003. Aboard are Expedition Seven crew members, cosmonaut Yuri I. Malenchenko, Expedition Seven mission commander, and Astronaut Edward T. Lu, Expedition Seven NASA ISS science officer and flight engineer. Expedition Six crew members returned to Earth aboard the Russian spacecraft after a 5 and 1/2 month stay aboard the ISS. Photo credit: NASA/Scott Andrews

  9. Oxygen airglow emission on Venus and Mars as seen by VIRTIS/VEX and OMEGA/MEX imaging spectrometers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Migliorini, A.; Altieri, F.; Zasova, L.; Piccioni, G.; Bellucci, G.; Cardesín Moinelo, A.; Drossart, P.; D'Aversa, E.; Carrozzo, F. G.; Gondet, B.; Bibring, J.-P.

    2011-08-01

    Imaging spectrometers are highly effective instruments for investigation of planetary atmospheres. They present the advantage of coupling the compositional information to the spatial distribution, allowing simultaneous study of chemistry and dynamics in the atmospheres of Venus and Mars. In this work, we summarize recent results about the O 2(a 1Δg) night and day glows, respectively obtained by VIRTIS/Venus Express and OMEGA/Mars Express, the imaging spectrometers currently in orbit around Venus and Mars. The case of the O 2(a 1Δg - X 3Σg-) IR emission at 1.27 μm on the night side of Venus and the day side of Mars is analyzed, pointing out dynamical aspects of these planets, like the detection of gravity waves in their atmospheres. The monitoring of seasonal and daily airglow variations provides hints about the photochemistry on these planets.

  10. Atmospheric escape and solar wind precipitation - a comparison between Mars and Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stenberg, Gabriella; Nilsson, Hans; Barabash, Stas; Holmström, Mats; Futaana, Yoshifumi

    Mars and Venus both have atmospheres but both lack a substantial intrinsic magnetic field. Hence, their interaction with the solar wind is similar. Due to currents set up in the ionospheres the interplanetary magnetic field embedded in the solar wind drapes around the planets forming induced magnetospheres. The plasma instrument packages ASPERA-3 and ASPERA-4 on the two spacecraft Mars Express and Venus Express are very similar and invite to a comparison between the two plasma environments. In this study we used the Ion Mass Analyser (IMA) on both spacecraft to investigate both the atmospheric escape (outflow) from the two planets and the solar wind precipitation onto the upper atmospheres (inflow). We focus on the differences between the two planets. We look at the average morphology of the outflow and find that on Venus the heavy ion escape in more confined inside the induced magnetosphere boundary (IMB) compared to Mars. Comparing the temperatures of the escaping planetary ions and we note that the colder population we see on Mars is absent on Venus. We continue by investigating the average flow directions of heavy ions and protons and conclude that in the tail there is a clear difference. On Venus ions move towards the tail center while they flow more in the anti-sunward direction on Mars. For the protons the situation is the opposite: On Venus they move mainly anti-sunward and on Mars towards the tail center. Studying the inflow we conclude that on Mars we regularly observe precipitating solar wind ions (H (+) and He (2+) ) inside the IMB, while on Venus no precipitating alpha-particles have been detected and only a few cases of solar wind proton precipitation.

  11. Venus - 600 Kilometer Segment of Longest Channel on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    This compressed resolution radar mosaic from Magellan at 49 degrees north latitude, 165 degrees east longitude with dimensions of 460 by 460 kilometers (285 by 285 miles), shows a 600 kilometers (360 mile segment of the longest channel discovered on Venus to date. The channel is approximately 1.8 kilometers (1.1 miles) wide. At more than 7,000 kilometers (4,200 miles) long, it is several hundred kilometers longer than the Nile River, Earth's longest river, thus making it the longest known channel in the solar system. Both ends of the channel are obscured, however, so its original length is unknown. The channel was initially discovered by the Soviet Venera 15-16 orbiters which, in spite of their one kilometer resolution, detected more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) of the channel. These channel-like features are common on the plains of Venus. In some places they appear to have been formed by lava which may have melted or thermally eroded a path over the plains' surface. Most are 1 to 3 kilometers (0.6 to 2 miles) wide. They resemble terrestrial meandering rivers in some aspects, with meanders, cutoff bows and abandoned channel segments. However, Venus channels are not as tightly sinuous as terrestrial rivers. Most are partly buried by younger lava plains, making their sources difficult to identify. A few have vast radar-dark plains units associated with them, suggesting large flow volumes. These channels, with large deposits appear to be older than other channel types, as they are crossed by fractures and wrinkle ridges, and are often buried by other volcanic materials. In addition, they appear to run both upslope and downslope, suggesting that the plains were warped by regional tectonism after channel formation. Resolution of the Magellan data is about 120 meters (400 feet).

  12. Comments on the tectonism of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kozak, R. C.; Schaber, G. G.

    1987-01-01

    Preliminary tectonic mapping of Venus from Venera 15/16 images shows unquestionable evidence of at least limited horizontal tectonism. The majority of tectonic features on Venus have no relation to topography. In fact, many axes of disruption interconnect, and cross sharp topographic boundaries at large angles, thereby discounting gravity as the driving force. Compressional zones (CZ's), unlike Extensional zones (EZ's), tend to be discontinuous, and, whereas EZ's cross tectonic and topographic boundaries at various angles, many CZ's on Venus are subparallel to these boundaries. Strike-like faulting is curiously lacking from the mapping, possible due to the steep incidence angle of the radar, which is far from optimal for detecting faults of small throw. A chronology of horizontal crustal movements, and hence the analysis of Venus' thermal development, is large dependent on understanding the crater form features. Regardless of their uncertain origin, the craters still could hold the answer to whether, and to what extent, crustal shuffling is occurring on Venus.

  13. The interior of Venus and Tectonic implications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Phillips, R. J.; Malin, M. C.

    1983-01-01

    It is noted in the present consideration of the Venus lithosphere and its implications for plate tectonics that the major linear elevated regions of Venus, which are associated with Beta Regio and Aphrodite Terra, do not seem to have the shape required for sure interpretation as the divergent plate boundaries of seafloor spreading. Such tectonics instead appear to be confined to the median plains, and may not be resolvable in the Pioneer Venus altimetry data. The ratios of gravity anomalies to topographic heights indicate that surface load compensation occurs at depths greater than about 100 km under the western Aphrodite Terra and 400 km under Beta Regio, with at least some of this compensation probably being maintained by mantle convection. It is also found that the shape of Venus's hypsogram is very different from the ocean mode of the earth's hypsogram, and it is proposed that Venus tectonics resemble intraplate, basin-and-swell tectonics on earth.

  14. Venus surface mineralogy - Observational and theoretical constraints

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fegley, Bruce, Jr.; Treiman, Allan H.; Sharpton, Virgil L.

    1992-01-01

    Earth-based, earth-orbital, and spacecraft observations of the atmosphere and surface of Venus, thermodynamic models of atmosphere-lithosphere interactions, and where available kinetic data on relevant gas-solid reactions to place constraints on the mineralogy of the surface of Venus are used. Which minerals and mineral assemblages are stable on the surface of Venus and which, if any, of these minerals are involved in controlling the abundances of reactive gases in the atmosphere of Venus. It is concluded by identifying key issues facing us today about the mineralogy and geochemistry of the surface of Venus and suggest experimental, observational, and theoretical studies that can improve knowledge of these important questions are discussed.

  15. The tectonics of Venus: An overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Solomon, Sean C.

    1992-01-01

    While the Pioneer Venus altimeter, Earth-based radar observatories, and the Venera 15-16 orbital imaging radars provided views of large-scale tectonic features on Venus at ever-increasing resolution, the radar images from Magellan constitute an improvement in resolution of at least an order of magnitude over the best previously available. A summary of early Magellan observations of tectonic features on Venus was published, but data available at that time were restricted to the first month of mapping and represented only about 15 percent of the surface of the planet. Magellan images and altimetry are now available for more than 95 percent of the Venus surface. Thus a more global perspective may be taken on the styles and distribution of lithospheric deformation on Venus and their implications for the tectonic history of the planet.

  16. Atmospheric dynamics at the southern pole of Venus: Three-dimensional winds, temperature and vorticity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    The atmospheric vortex at the southern pole of Venus is a complex structure well observed over the Venus Express mission. The vortex is highly variable in morphology exhibiting large-scale transitions with time scales of a few days. In order to better understand the relation between the vortex's morphology and its dynamics, we measure the wind field at the lower and upper clouds levels (at ~43 km and ~59 km, respectively) and retrieve the three-dimensional thermal structure of the polar atmosphere using data from the infrared channel of the instrument VIRTIS on board Venus Express. Combining wind and temperature fields we calculate the horizontal spatial structure of Ertel's potential vorticity (EPV) at both clouds levels. Our analysis shows that the South Polar Vortex of Venus is a vertically depressed structure when observed in isentropic surfaces between 55 and 85 km altitude, and that the horizontal distribution of EPV does not retain the structure seen in radiance or temperature maps, but resembles the distribution of the relative vorticity (determined purely from tracked motions). With the temperature profiles at hand, we calculate the thermal winds over the south polar atmosphere of Venus by means of the cyclostrophic approximation. We improve the method to retrieve the thermal winds at high latitudes (so far inconsistent with cloud tracking measurements [1, 2]) by taking into account the meridional component of the wind to fully explore the three-dimensional structure of the vortex in the upper troposphere. [1] Mendonça, J. M., Read, P. L., Wilson, C. F., & Lewis, S. R. (2012). Zonal winds at high latitudes on Venus: An improved application of cyclostrophic balance to Venus Express observations. Icarus, 217, 629-639. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2011.07.010 [2] Piccialli, A., Tellmann, S., Titov, D. V., Limaye, S. S., Khatuntsev, I. V., Pätzold, M., & Häusler, B. (2012). Dynamical properties of the Venus mesosphere from the radio-occultation experiment Ve

  17. ISS Update: Science Aboard Kounotori3

    NASA Video Gallery

    NASA Public Affairs Officer Amiko Kauderer interviews Pete Hasbrook, associate program scientist, about the experiments traveling to the International Space Station aboard the H-II Transfer Vehicle...

  18. Results of refraction-angle measurement of radio waves in the Venus atmosphere on the basis of bistatic radar data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salimzyanov, R. R.; Pavel'Ev, D. A.

    1993-08-01

    Improved measurements of refraction in the Venus atmosphere using bistatic radar data have been obtained. To describe the refraction effects, a theoretical model is developed that makes it possible to determine the parameters for calculating radio communication lines in the Venus troposphere from the height dependence of the refractive index. Expressions are obtained relating the phase path length of radio waves and the integral absorption of radio waves in the atmosphere to the parameters of the theoretical model.

  19. Outgassing history of Venus and the absence of water on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zhang, Youxue; Zindler, Alan

    1992-01-01

    Similarities in the size and mean density of Earth and Venus encourage the use of Earth-analogue models for the evolution of Venus. However, the amount of water in the present Venus atmosphere is miniscule compared to Earth's oceans. The 'missing' water is thus one of the most significant problems related to the origin and evolution of Venus. Other researchers proposed that Venus accreted with less water, but this was challenged. The high D/H ratio in Venus' atmosphere is consistent with an earlier water mass more than 100 times higher than at present conditions and is often cited to support a 'wet' Venus, but this amounts to only 0.01 to 0.1 percent of the water in terrestrial oceans and the high D/H ratio on Venus could easily reflect cometary injection. Nevertheless, many authors begin with the premise that Venus once had an oceanlike water mass on its surface, and investigate the many possible mechanisms that might account for its loss. In this paper we propose that Venus degassed to lower degree than the Earth and never had an oceanlike surface water mass.

  20. 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

  1. Carbon monoxide observed in Venus' atmosphere with SOIR/VEx

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vandaele, A. C.; Mahieux, A.; Chamberlain, S.; Ristic, B.; Robert, S.; Thomas, I. R.; Trompet, L.; Wilquet, V.; Bertaux, J. L.

    2016-07-01

    The SOIR instrument on board the ESA Venus Express mission has been operational during the complete duration of the mission, from April 2006 up to December 2014. Spectra were recorded in the IR spectral region (2.2-4.3 μm) using the solar occultation geometry, giving access to a vast number of ro-vibrational lines and bands of several key species of the atmosphere of Venus. Here we present the complete set of vertical profiles of carbon monoxide (CO) densities and volume mixing ratios (vmr) obtained during the mission. These profiles are spanning the 65-150 km altitude range. We discuss the variability which is observed on the short term, but also the long term trend as well as variation of CO with solar local time and latitude. Short term variations can reach one order of magnitude on less than one month periods. SOIR does not observe a marked long term trend, except perhaps at the beginning of the mission where an increase of CO density and vmr has been observed. Evening abundances are systematically higher than morning values at altitudes above 105 km, but the reverse is observed at lower altitudes. Higher abundances are observed at the equator than at the poles for altitude higher than 105 km, but again the reverse is seen at altitudes lower than 90 km. This illustrates the complexity of the 90-100 km region of the Venus' atmosphere where different wind regimes are at play.

  2. The loss of ions from Venus through the plasma wake.

    PubMed

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

    2007-11-29

    Venus, unlike Earth, is an extremely dry planet although both began with similar masses, distances from the Sun, and presumably water inventories. The high deuterium-to-hydrogen ratio in the venusian atmosphere relative to Earth's also indicates that the atmosphere has undergone significantly different evolution over the age of the Solar System. Present-day thermal escape is low for all atmospheric species. However, hydrogen can escape by means of collisions with hot atoms from ionospheric photochemistry, and although the bulk of O and O2 are gravitationally bound, heavy ions have been observed to escape through interaction with the solar wind. Nevertheless, their relative rates of escape, spatial distribution, and composition could not be determined from these previous measurements. Here we report Venus Express measurements showing that the dominant escaping ions are O+, He+ and H+. The escaping ions leave Venus through the plasma sheet (a central portion of the plasma wake) and in a boundary layer of the induced magnetosphere. The escape rate ratios are Q(H+)/Q(O+) = 1.9; Q(He+)/Q(O+) = 0.07. The first of these implies that the escape of H+ and O+, together with the estimated escape of neutral hydrogen and oxygen, currently takes place near the stoichometric ratio corresponding to water. PMID:18046398

  3. New Analysis of Hydrogen and Deuterium Escape from Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Donahue, Thomas M.

    1999-10-01

    This paper is concerned with the time required for escape of hydrogen and deuterium to produce the present D/ H ratio in Venus water, the sizes of the original hydrogen reservoirs and their sensitivity to the magnitude of the present escape fluxes, the characteristics of exogenous and endogenous hydrogen sources, and the D/ H ratio for primordial Venus hydrogen. The procedure followed allowed the H escape flux to vary over a large range, the ratio of input to escape flux to vary from 0 to 1, and the fractionation factor, which expresses the relative efficiency of D and H escape, to vary between 0.02 and 0.5. It was found that, unless deuterium escape is very efficient, the present H escape flux (averaged over a solar cycle) cannot be larger than about 10 7 cm -2 s -1 if today's water is to be the remnant of water deposited eons ago. On the other hand if the escape flux is as large as large as 3×10 7 cm -2 s -1, today's water would be the remnant of water outgassed only about 500 million years ago. These conclusions are relatively insensitive to factors other than the magnitude of the escape flux. Since recent analysis of escape fluxes indicates that the H escape fluxes may be in the neighborhood of 3×10 7 cm -2 s -1 and the fractionation factor may be 0.14 or larger, the suggestion of Grinspoon (1993, Nature 363, 1702-1704) that the water now on Venus was created during a recent massive resurfacing event is credible. However, since it is still possible that the average escape flux is as small as 7×10 6 cm -2 s -1, the choice between 4 and 0.5 Gyr must await a resolution of this conflict by reanalysis of Pioneer Venus Lyman α data (Paxton, L., D. E. Anderson, and A. I. F. Stewart 1988, J. Geophys. Res. 93, 1766-1772).

  4. Comparing the plasma environments of Venus, Mars and Titan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edberg, Niklas J. T.; Andrews, David. J.; Luhmann, Janet. G.; Opgenoorth, Hermann. J.; Shebanits, Oleg; Vigren, Erik; Wahlund, Jan-Erik

    2015-04-01

    The Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO), the Mars Express (MEX) and the Cassini spacecraft have performed measurements of the Venus, Mars and Titan plasma environments, respectively, for approximately a full solar cycle in each case. We use data taken by instruments capable of measuring thermal plasma densities (OETP, MARSIS, RPWS/LP, respectively) carried by these spacecraft to perform a comparative study of the global plasma environments of these three celestial bodies. The main ionization source of each upper atmosphere is photoionization, while other, secondary, factors control the structure of each plasma environment. The bodies have in common that their respective ionospheres are strongly controlled by the solar zenith angle in the sense that the plasma density drops with raising solar zenith angle. Their ionospheres are also controlled by the phase of the solar cycle. However, there are significant differences between the three ionospheres. For instance, the structure of Venus upper atmosphere is strongly affected by the solar wind dynamic pressure, like the other bodies too, but at Venus this can compress the plasma environment and control if the ionosphere is magnetized or unmagnetized. Mars' plasma environment is affected by its strong crustal magnetic fields and it has been shown that the crustal fields affect both the electron density above as well as the location of global plasma boundaries (magnetic pile-up boundary and bow shock) surrounding the planet. Titan's plasma environment is controlled by a complex organic chemistry in the neutral atmosphere and ionosphere but is also affected by the phase of Titan's orbit around Saturn and the dynamics of Saturn's magnetosphere.

  5. Geologic Map of the Niobe Planitia Quadrangle (V-23), Venus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hansen, Vicki L.

    2009-01-01

    The Niobe Planitia quadrangle (V-23) encompasses approximately 8,000,000 km2 of the Venusian equatorial region extending from lat 0 deg to 25 deg N. and from long 90 deg to 120 deg E. (approximately 9,500 15-minute quadrangles on Earth). The map area lies along the north margin of the equatorial highland, Aphrodite Terra (V-35), and extends into the lowland region to the north, preserving a transition from southern highlands to northern lowlands (figs. 1, 2, map sheet). The northern parts of the crustal plateau, Ovda Regio and Haasttse-baad Tessera, mark the south margin of the map area; Niobe and Sogolon Planitiae make up the lowland region. The division between Niobe and Sogolon Planitiae is generally topographic, and Sogolon Planitia forms a relatively small elongate basin. Mesolands, the intermediate topographic level of Venus, are essentially absent or represented only by Gegute Tessera, which forms a slightly elevated region that separates Niobe Planitia from Llorona Planitia to the east (V-24). Lowlands within the map area host five features currently classified as coronae: Maya Corona (lat 23 deg N., long 97 deg E.) resides to the northwest and Dhisana, Allatu, Omeciuatl, and Bhumiya Coronae cluster loosely in the east-central area. Lowlands extend north, east, and west of the map area. Mapping the Niobe Planitia quadrangle (V-23) provides an excellent opportunity to examine a large tract of lowlands and the adjacent highlands with the express goal of clarifying the processes responsible for resurfacing this part of Venus and the resulting implications for Venus evolution. Although Venus lowlands are widely considered to have a volcanic origin, lowlands in the map area lack adjacent coronae or other obvious volcanic sources.

  6. Venus magmatic and tectonic evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Phillips, R. J.; Hansen, V. L.

    1993-01-01

    Two years beyond the initial mapping by the Magellan spacecraft, hypotheses for the magmatic and tectonic evolution of Venus have become refined and focused. We present our view of these processes, attempting to synthesize aspects of a model for the tectonic and magmatic behavior of the planet. The ideas presented should be taken collectively as an hypothesis subject to further testing. The quintessence of our model is that shear and buoyancy forces in the upper boundary layer of mantle convection give rise to a spatially and temporally complex pattern of strain in a one-plate Venusian lithosphere and modulate the timing and occurrence of magmatism on a global basis.

  7. William Crabtree's Venus transit observation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kollerstrom, Nicholas

    2005-04-01

    The close collaboration between the two North-country astronomers Jeremiah Horrocks and William Crabtree gave them special insight into the new astronomy published by the recently-deceased Kepler, whereby Horrocks became the only person to apprehend that the Rudolphine tables were in fact predicting a Venus transit in 1639. This paper focuses especially upon William Crabtree's role and contribution. A comparison is made with an earlier, unsuccessful endeavour by these two concerning a possible transit of Mercury. Much of the record of their work was lost during the civil war. Finally, thanks to Christiaan Huygens, Horrock's manuscript was published by Johannes Hevelius in Danzig, in 1662.

  8. Mars and Venus: unequal planets.

    PubMed

    Zimmerman, T S; Haddock, S A; McGeorge, C R

    2001-01-01

    Self-help books, a pervasive and influential aspect of society, can have a beneficial or detrimental effect on the therapeutic process. This article describes a thematic analysis and feminist critique of the best-selling self-help book, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. This analysis revealed that the author's materials are inconsistent with significant family therapy research findings and key principles of feminist theories. His descriptions of each gender and his recommendations for improving relationships serve to endorse and encourage power differentials between women and men. PMID:11215990

  9. Measurements Needed to Understand Superrotation and Circulation in the Venus Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parish, H. F.; Schubert, G.; Covey, C. C.

    2013-12-01

    many satellite and ground based instruments. Recent measurements from Venus Express also indicate that the average cloud top wind speeds have steadily and significantly increased over the last six years. Variability on multi-year and shorter timescales occurs in at least one Venus general circulation model (Parish et al., 2011) for a variety of choices of input assumptions (Lebonnois et al., 2012). The same model also indicates significant hemispheric asymmetries in the zonal winds and angular momentum, related to hemispheric asymmetries in the surface topography. Accordingly, future observations must include multi-year observations and in situ measurements of the lower atmosphere that cover a full range of both latitudes and local solar times.

  10. Venus as a laboratory for studying planetary surface, interior, and atmospheric evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smrekar, S. E.; Hensley, S.; Helbert, J.

    2013-12-01

    As Earth's twin, Venus offers a laboratory for understanding what makes our home planet unique in our solar system. The Decadal Survey points to the role of Venus in answering questions such as the supply of water and its role in atmospheric evolution, its availability to support life, and the role of geology and dynamics in controlling volatiles and climate. On Earth, the mechanism of plate tectonics drives the deformation and volcanism that allows volatiles to escape from the interior to the atmosphere and be recycled into the interior. Magellan revealed that Venus lacks plate tectonics. The number and distribution of impact craters lead to the idea Venus resurfaced very rapidly, and inspired numerous models of lithospheric foundering and episodic plate tectonics. However we have no evidence that Venus ever experienced a plate tectonic regime. How is surface deformation affected if no volatiles are recycled into the interior? Although Venus is considered a ';stagnant' lid planet (lacking plate motion) today, we have evidence for recent volcanism. The VIRTIS instrument on Venus Express mapped the southern hemisphere at 1.02 microns, revealing areas likely to be unweathered, recent volcanic flows. Additionally, numerous studies have shown that the crater population is consistent with ongoing, regional resurfacing. How does deformation and volcanism occur in the absence of plates? At what rate is the planet resurfacing and thus outgassing? Does lithospheric recycling occur with plate tectonics? In the 25 years since Magellan, the design of Synthetic Aperture Radar has advanced tremendously, allowing order of magnitude improvements in altimetry and imaging. With these advanced tools, we can explore Venus' past and current tectonic states. Tesserae are highly deformed plateaus, thought to be possible remnants of Venus' earlier tectonic state. How did they form? Are they low in silica, like Earth's continents, indicating the presence of abundant water? Does the plains

  11. 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 μm) 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 ΦN = ΦSun - ΦEarth 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 ΦN. The main purpose of our work is to provide variable wind measurements with respect to the background atmosphere, complementary to simultaneous

  12. Venus tectonics - Another earth or another Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcgill, G. E.

    1979-01-01

    The paper reexamines the evidence on the intensity of Venusian tectonic/volcanic activity and suggests alternate hypotheses. Three major questions are discussed: (1) whether the presence of large, presumably primordial craters on Venus requires an intensity of tectonic/volcanic activity significantly less than on earth, (2) what thicknesses of lithosphere are implied for reasonable models of temperature and volatile content of the upper mantle of Venus, and (3) can the recently obtained Ar-40 content of the Venus lower atmosphere help define the relative tectonic/volcanic activities of Venus and earth. It was shown that the abundance of Ar-40 in the Venus atmosphere lies between the earth value and one-tenth of the earth value, and since erosional liberation of Ar-40 on Venus will be inefficient, this range for Ar-40 abundance indicates an active tectonic history. It is concluded that the presence of craters and possible mantle dryness does not restrict Venus tectonics to a Mars-like model, and an earth-like model is equally probable.

  13. Quantitative tests for plate tectonics on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kaula, W. M.; Phillips, R. J.

    1981-01-01

    Quantitative comparisons are made between the characteristics of plate tectonics on the earth and those which are possible on Venus. Considerations of the factors influencing rise height and relating the decrease in rise height to plate velocity indicate that the rate of topographic dropoff from spreading centers should be about half that on earth due to greater rock-fluid density contrast and lower temperature differential between the surface and interior. Statistical analyses of Pioneer Venus radar altimetry data and global earth elevation data is used to identify 21,000 km of ridge on Venus and 33,000 km on earth, and reveal Venus ridges to have a less well-defined mode in crest heights and a greater concavity than earth ridges. Comparison of the Venus results with the spreading rates and associated heat flow on earth reveals plate creation rates on Venus to be 0.7 sq km/year or less and indicates that not more than 15% of Venus's energy is delivered to the surface by plate tectonics, in contrast to values of 2.9 sq km a year and 70% for earth.

  14. Plasma Waves in the Magnetosheath of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strangeway, Robert J.

    1996-01-01

    Research supported by this grant is divided into three basic topics of investigation. These are: (1) Plasma waves in the Venus magnetosheath, (2) Plasma waves in the Venus foreshock and solar wind, (3) plasma waves in the Venus nightside ionosphere and ionotail. The main issues addressed in the first area - Plasma waves in the Venus magnetosheath - dealt with the wave modes observed in the magnetosheath and upper ionosphere, and whether these waves are a significant source of heating for the topside ionosphere. The source of the waves was also investigated. In the second area - Plasma waves in the Venus foreshock and solar wind, we carried out some research on waves observed upstream of the planetary bow shock known as the foreshock. The foreshock and bow shock modify the ambient magnetic field and plasma, and need to be understood if we are to understand the magnetosheath. Although most of the research was directed to wave observations on the dayside of the planet, in the last of the three basic areas studied, we also analyzed data from the nightside. The plasma waves observed by the Pioneer Venus Orbiter on the nightside continue to be of considerable interest since they have been cited as evidence for lightning on Venus.

  15. Venus' thermospheric temperature field using a refraction model at terminator : comparison with 2012 transit observations using SDO/HMI, VEx/SPICAV/SOIR and NSO/DST/FIRS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Widemann, Thomas; Jaeggli, Sarah; Reardon, Kevin; Tanga, Paolo; Père, Christophe; Pasachoff, Jay M.; Vandaele, Ann Carine; Wilquet, Valerie; Mahieux, Arnaud; Wilson, Colin

    2014-11-01

    The transit of Venus in June 2012 provided a unique case study of the Venus' atmosphere transiting in front of the Sun, while at the same time ESA's Venus Express orbiter observed the evening terminator at solar ingress and solar egress.We report on mesospheric temperature at Venus' morning terminator using SDO/HMI aureole photometry and comparison with Venus Express. Close to ingress and egress phases, we have shown that the aureole photometry reflects the local density scale height and the altitude of the refracting layer (Tanga et al. 2012). The lightcurve of each spatially resolved aureole element is fit to a two-parameter model to constrain the meridional temperature gradient at terminator. Our measurements are in 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) captured from the Venus Express orbiter at the time Venus transited the Sun.We also performed spectroscopy and polarimetry during the transit of Venus focusing on extracting signatures of CO2 absorption. Observations were taken during the first half of the transit using the Facility InfraRed Spectropolarimeter (FIRS) on the Dunn Solar Telescope (DST). Although the predicted CO2 transmission spectrum of Venus was not particularly strong at 1565 nm, this region of the H-band often used in magnetic field studies of the Sun's photosphere provides a particularly flat solar continuum with few atmospheric lines. Sun-subtracted Venus limb observations show intensity distribution of vibrational CO2 bands 221 2v+2v2+v3 at 1.571μm and 141 v1+4v2+v3 at 1.606μm.

  16. 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.

  17. Global Geological Map of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivanov, M. A.

    2008-09-01

    Introduction: The Magellan SAR images provide sufficient data to compile a geological map of nearly the entire surface of Venus. Such a global and selfconsistent map serves as the base to address the key questions of the geologic history of Venus. 1) What is the spectrum of units and structures that makes up the surface of Venus [1-3]? 2) What volcanic/tectonic processes do they characterize [4-7]? 3) Did these processes operated locally, regionally, or globally [8- 11]? 4) What are the relationships of relative time among the units [8]? 5) At which length-scale these relationships appear to be consistent [8-10]? 6) What is the absolute timing of formation of the units [12-14]? 7) What are the histories of volcanism, tectonics and the long-wavelength topography on Venus? 7) What model(s) of heat loss and lithospheric evolution [15-21] do these histories correspond to? The ongoing USGS program of Venus mapping has already resulted in a series of published maps at the scale 1:5M [e.g. 22-30]. These maps have a patch-like distribution, however, and are compiled by authors with different mapping philosophy. This situation not always results in perfect agreement between the neighboring areas and, thus, does not permit testing geological hypotheses that could be addressed with a self-consistent map. Here the results of global geological mapping of Venus at the scale 1:10M is presented. The map represents a contiguous area extending from 82.5oN to 82.5oS and comprises ~99% of the planet. Mapping procedure: The map was compiled on C2- MIDR sheets, the resolution of which permits identifying the basic characteristics of previously defined units. The higher resolution images were used during the mapping to clarify geologic relationships. When the map was completed, its quality was checked using published USGS maps [e.g., 22-30] and the catalogue of impact craters [31]. The results suggest that the mapping on the C2-base provided a highquality map product. Units and

  18. Dynamics of the Venus atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ingersoll, A. P.

    1992-01-01

    The superrotation of the Venus atmosphere is a major unanswered problem in planetary science. At cloud-top levels (65-70 km altitude) the atmosphere rotates with a five-day period, corresponding to an equatorial wind speed of 90 m/s. Angular velocity is roughly constant on spherical shells, and decreases linearly with altitude to zero at the surface. The direction of rotation is the same as that of the solid planet, which is retrograde--opposite to the direction of orbital motion, but the 5-day period is short compared to the 243-day spin period of the solid planet or to the mean solar day, which is 117 Earth-days at the surface. The problem with the superrotation is that shearing stresses tend to transfer angular momentum downward, and would slow the atmosphere until it is spinning with the solid planet. Some organized circulation pattern is counteracting the tendency, but the pattern has not been identified. A simple Hadley-type circulation cannot do it because such a circulation is zonally symmetric and Hide's Theorem states that in an axisymmetric circulation an extremum in angular momentum per unit mass M can exist only at the surface. Venus violates the last condition, having a maximum of retrograde M on the equator at 70-80 km altitude. This leaves waves and eddies to maintain the superrotation but the length scales and forcing mechanisms for these motions need to be specified. Possible forcing mechanisms associated with waves, eddies and tides are discussed.

  19. The chemistry of Venus' atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sze, N. D.; Smith, W. H.

    1978-01-01

    A model for the Venus atmosphere involving photochemistry of oxygen, hydrogen, chlorine and sulfur species is presented. Sulfur reaction schemes and hydrogen and chlorine reaction schemes were included. The impact of sulfur on the oxygen budget and the subsequent production of H2SO4 molecules for the Venus cloud deck were explored. A major new reaction scheme for production of H2SO4 molecules involving sulfur and oxygen chemistry was established shown to dominate over the odd hydrogen scheme proposed earlier. The efficiency of the scheme in formation of H2SO4 is only about 50%, with the remaining sulfur residing in SO2 molecules. The calculated downward flux of H2SO4 may be sufficient to maintain a steady state sulfuric acid cloud if the resident time of H2SO4 droplets in the cloud is as long as a few years. If however, the resident time is half a year or shorter, additional chemistry capable of more efficient conversion of SO2 to SO3 is required.

  20. 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.

  1. Venus in motion. [Mariner 10 television pictures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, J. L.; Danielson, G. E.; Evans, N.; Soha, J. M.; Belton, M. J. S.

    1978-01-01

    A comprehensive set of television pictures of Venus taken by the Mariner 10 spacecraft is presented. Included is a chronological sequence of television images illustrating the development, variety, and circulation of Venus upper-atmospheric phenomena as viewed in the near-ultraviolet. The higher-resolution images have been assembled into global mosaics to facilitate comparison. Figures and tables describing the imaging sequences have been included to provide a guide to the more complete set of 3400 Venus images on file at the National Space Science Data Center.

  2. Contrasts in evolution of Venus and Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kaula, W. M.

    1985-01-01

    The differences of the two planets in dynamical characteristics and inert gas abundances require major differences of formation. There probably was an impact into the Earth much greater than any into Venus. The resulting heat pulse would have caused more rapid and thorough outgassing of the Earth, lending to an ocean retaining water. Water is the key to the differences in evolution between the planets. A most important consequence was less effective recycling of lithosphere on Venus, leading to a thick global crust which suppressed plate tectonics. Stratification is more pronounced in Venus, but there must remain sufficient heat sources at depth for convective support of the high plateaus.

  3. Erosion and the rocks of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sagan, C.

    1976-01-01

    Photographs of the surface of Venus returned by the Venera 9 and 10 spacecraft have revealed the presence of smooth and angular rockline forms. Two mechanisms previously suggested (Sagan, 1975) for erosion of crater ramparts on the surface of Venus might also explain the erosion of rocks. Chemical weathering by the hydrochloric, hydrofluoric, and sulfuric acids present in the atmosphere of Venus may have been sufficient to erode angular projections of silicous rocks. Alternatively, the contours of rocks containing such low-melting materials as NaOH, KOH, HgS and KNO2 may have softened as the result of exposure to the high surface temperatures of the planet.

  4. The Atmosphere and Climate of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bullock, M. A.; Grinspoon, D. H.

    Venus lies just sunward of the inner edge of the Sun's habitable zone. Liquid water is not stable. Like Earth and Mars, Venus probably accreted at least an ocean's worth of water, although there are alternative scenarios. The loss of this water led to the massive, dry CO2 atmosphere, extensive H2SO4 clouds (at least some of the time), and an intense CO2 greenhouse effect. This chapter describes the current understanding of Venus' atmosphere, established from the data of dozens of spacecraft and atmospheric probe missions since 1962, and by telescopic observations since the nineteenth century. Theoretical work to model the temperature, chemistry, and circulation of Venus' atmosphere is largely based on analogous models developed in the Earth sciences. We discuss the data and modeling used to understand the temperature structure of the atmosphere, as well as its composition, cloud structure, and general circulation. We address what is known and theorized about the origin and early evolution of Venus' atmosphere. It is widely understood that Venus' dense CO2 atmosphere is the ultimate result of the loss of an ocean to space, but the timing of major transitions in Venus' climate is very poorly constrained by the available data. At present, the bright clouds allow only 20% of the sunlight to drive the energy balance and therefore determine conditions at Venus' surface. Like Earth and Mars, differential heating between the equator and poles drives the atmospheric circulation. Condensable species in the atmosphere create clouds and hazes that drive feedbacks that alter radiative forcing. Also in common with Earth and Mars, the loss of light, volatile elements to space produces long-term changes in composition and chemistry. As on Earth, geologic processes are most likely modifying the atmosphere and clouds by injecting gases from volcanos as well as directly through chemical reactions with the surface. The sensitivity of Venus' atmospheric energy balance is quantified in

  5. Contribution from SOIR/VEX to the updated Venus International Reference Atmosphere (VIRA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vandaele, A. C.; Chamberlain, S.; Mahieux, A.; Ristic, B.; Robert, S.; Thomas, I.; Trompet, L.; Wilquet, V.; Belyaev, D.; Fedorova, A.; Korablev, O.; Bertaux, J. L.

    2016-01-01

    The SOIR instrument on-board Venus Express is an infrared spectrometer covering the 2.2-4.3 μm spectral region. This instrument allows the detection of several key species of the Venus atmosphere, including CO2, CO, H2O/HDO, HCl, HF and SO2. From the CO2 density measurements, temperature is inferred giving information on the thermal structure of the atmosphere. Here we described the kind of data (profiles, latitudinal average, etc.) that will be provided to the updated VIRA compilation.

  6. First operations of the SOIR occultation infrared spectrometer in Venus orbit.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nevejans, D.; Neefs, E.; Vandaele, A. C.; Muller, C.; Fussen, D.; Berkenbosch, S.; Clairquin, R.; Korablev, O.; Federova, A.; Bertaux, J. L.

    Since May 2006, the Venus-Express spacecraft is in its nominal orbit around VENUS and the SPICAV optical package has begun to acquire spectra. The SOIR extension to SPICAV is an echelle spectrometer associated to an AOTF (Acousto-Optical Tunable Filter) for the order selection, which performs solar occultation measurements in the IR region (2.2-4.3 µm) at a resolution of 0.1 cm-1 . The detailed optical study and design as well as the manufacturing were performed at the BIRA/IASB in collaboration with its industrial partners OIP and PEDEO. It was funded by the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office under the ESA PRODEX programme. The wavelength range allows a detailed chemical inventory of the Venus atmosphere above the cloud layer with an emphasis on vertical distribution of gases. The first results look promising and will be qualitatively presented.

  7. A transition parameter method for reordering ion data at magnetospheric boundaries at Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guymer, G.; Grande, M.; Barabash, S.; Zhang, T.

    2012-09-01

    The current work is an investigation of the characteristics of the bow shock, magnetic pile-up boundary, and ion composition boundary at Venus. The aim is to provide better resolution for the boundaries detected from ion data. The data from the Venus Express Ion Mass Analyser (IMA), magnetometer (MAG), and Electrostatic Analyser (ELS) are used. These were gathered over a period of 14 months Due to fluctuations in the solar wind at Venus, which cause boundary motions which are rapid compared to the spacecraft velocity, we need a procedure to identify the position of the spacecraft relative to the boundary. Using electron measurements of dayside boundary crossings a transition parameter is defined. This is then used to reorder the sparse ion data.

  8. Energetic Neutral Atom Emissions From Venus: VEX Observations and Theoretical Modeling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fok, M.-C.; Galli, A.; Tanaka, T.; Moore, T. E.; Wurz, P.; Holmstrom, M.

    2007-01-01

    Venus has almost no intrinsic magnetic field to shield itself from its surrounding environment. The solar wind thus directly interacts with the planetary ionosphere and atmosphere. One of the by-products of this close encounter is the production of energetic neutral atom (ENA) emissions. Theoretical studies have shown that significant amount of ENAs are emanated from the planet. The launch of the Venus Express (VEX) in 2005 provided the first light ever of the Venus ENA emissions. The observed ENA flux level and structure are in pretty good agreement with the theoretical studies. In this paper, we present VEX ENA data and the comparison with numerical simulations. We seek to understand the solar wind interaction with the planet and the impacts on its atmospheres.

  9. Three 2012 Transits of Venus: From Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasachoff, Jay M.; Schneider, G.; Babcock, B. A.; Lu, M.; Edelman, E.; Reardon, K.; Widemann, T.; Tanga, P.; Dantowitz, R.; Silverstone, M. D.; Ehrenreich, D.; Vidal-Madjar, A.; Nicholson, P. D.; Willson, R. C.; Kopp, G. A.; Yurchyshyn, V. B.; Sterling, A. C.; Scherrer, P. H.; Schou, J.; Golub, L.; McCauley, P.; Reeves, K.

    2013-01-01

    We observed the 2012 June 6/5 transit seen from Earth (E/ToV), simultaneously with Venus Express and several other spacecraft not only to study the Cytherean atmosphere but also to provide an exoplanet-transit analog. From Haleakala, the whole transit was visible in coronal skies; among our instruments was one of the world-wide Venus Twilight Experiment's nine coronagraphs. Venus's atmosphere became visible before first contact. SacPeak/IBIS provided high-resolution images at Hα/carbon-dioxide. Big Bear's NST also provided high-resolution observations of the Cytherean atmosphere and black-drop evolution. Our liaison with UH's Mees Solar Observatory scientists provided magneto-optical imaging at calcium and potassium. Solar Dynamics Observatory's AIA and HMI, and the Solar Optical Telescope (SOT) and X-ray Telescope (XRT) on Hinode, and total-solar-irradiance measurements with ACRIMSAT and SORCE/TIM, were used to observe the event as an exoplanet-transit analog. On September 20, we imaged Jupiter for 14 Hubble Space Telescope orbits, centered on a 10-hour ToV visible from Jupiter (J/ToV), as an exoplanet-transit analog in our own solar system, using Jupiter as an integrating sphere. Imaging was good, although much work remains to determine if we can detect the expected 0.01% solar irradiance decrease at Jupiter and the even slighter differential effect between our violet and near-infrared filters caused by Venus's atmosphere. We also give a first report on our currently planned December 21 Cassini UVIS observations of a transit of Venus from Saturn (S/ToV). Our E/ToV expedition was sponsored by the Committee for Research and Exploration/National Geographic Society; supplemented: NASA/AAS's Small Research Grant Program. We thank Rob Ratkowski, Stan Truitt, Rob Lucas, Aram Friedman, and Eric Pilger '82 at Haleakala, and Joseph Gangestad '06 at Big Bear for assistance, and Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Lab and Hinode science and operations teams for support

  10. The Venus-solar wind interaction: Is it purely ionospheric?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    The Venus solar wind interaction is often regarded as the prototypical example of an induced magnetosphere. Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO) observations during a period of moderate to strong solar EUV fluxes led to a fairly detailed picture in which the currents in the conducting ionosphere produce a nearly impenetrable obstacle to the incident magnetized plasma flow, resulting in a classical draped field magnetosheath region and a comet-like magnetotail. Inspired by the availability of Venus Express (VEX) observations from the north polar region, and their sometimes unexpected behavior, we reanalyzed the observed Venus wake magnetic fields in the altitude range ~150 to ~450 km to determine whether some signature of a weak planetary field could have been missed. Our results suggest the presence of a small (few nT) but persistent radial field direction bias in the deep nightside, low to mid-latitude range sampled on PVO. The bias has a hemispheric dependence, with the more positive (outward) fields in the south and the more negative (inward) fields in the north. However the VEX counterpart of these data, obtained just nightward of the north polar terminator, shows no significant bias. This observation raises several questions about our understanding of the fields at the surface of Venus. We investigate whether the PVO radial field bias could be the subtle signature of a weak global dipole with , higher by ~10× than the previously established upper limits. A weak dipole solar wind interaction model produces results in the center of the low altitude wake that compare favorably with the observed field bias seen by PVO; however, the lack of agreement with the higher latitude and VEX observations suggests other explanations need to be considered. For example, effects related to previously observed convection electric field-controlled hemispheric asymmetries provide a possible alternative, as are external fields that diffuse into and through the interior. This work points

  11. The development of studies of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cruikshank, D. P.

    1983-01-01

    An historical account is given of the major figures, observational techniques and theories involved in Venus studies prior to space probe-based researches. Those who followed Galileo Galilei (1610) with the simple telescopes of the 17th and early 18th centuries confirmed the phases of the illuminated face of Venus. Lomonosov (1761) noted a gray halo surrounding the planet as it was partially silhouetted against the sun, and correctly inferred that Venus has an atmosphere. The brightness and nearly featureless appearance of the planet, together with the halo effect, led to the early conclusion that the atmosphere is cloudy. While visual and photographic spectroscopy had been applied to Venus many times, the first indication of spectral features different from the solar spectrum was found in 1932 with the high dispersion spectrograph on the Mt. Wilson 2.5-m telescope.

  12. Hinode Views the 2012 Venus Transit

    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...

  13. Hinode Views the Transit of Venus

    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 ...

  14. The transit of Venus across the Sun

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simaan, Arkan

    2004-05-01

    This article explains the significance of a transit of Venus and relates scientists' efforts at making precise observations of transits over the past 250 years. JG was supported by KBN grant no 2 P03A 020 24.

  15. Magellan Paints a Portrait of Venus.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kerr, Richard A.

    1991-01-01

    Details of the landscape of the planet Venus as revealed by the Magellan spacecraft are discussed and illustrated. Advances beyond previous space probes are demonstrated. Details of the program are described. Additional work from this project is proposed. (CW)

  16. ISS Update: After the Venus Transit

    NASA Video Gallery

    ISS Update commentator Brandi Dean interviewed astronaut Mario Runco about the results of the Expedition 31 crew’s effort to photograph Venus transit. Questions? Ask us on Twitter @NASA_Johnson a...

  17. Venus lives!. [evidence for active volcanoes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, Charles A.; Francis, Peter W.

    1988-01-01

    Observational evidence which supports the contention that Venus is a volcanically and tectonically active planet is discussed. It is argued that, although there are no observations to date that would prove that Venus has been volcanically active during the last decade, planetological studies presented evidence for youthful volcanic mountains on Venus: the surface of the northern quarter of Venus is considered to be younger than 1 Gy, and some units are likely to be much younger. Because of the small sizes of likely volcanic manifestations and the long intervals expected between eruptions, it is unlikely that any direct evidence of eruptions will be detected with existing and planned spacecraft. It is suggested that future studies of the dynamics and the chemical mixing of the Venusian atmosphere might supply an unequivocal evidence for active volcanism on this planet.

  18. The thermosphere and ionosphere of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cravens, T. E.

    1992-01-01

    Our knowledge of the upper atmosphere and ionosphere of Venus and its interaction with the solar wind has advanced dramatically over the last decade, largely due to the data obtained during the Pioneer Venus mission and to the theoretical work that was motivated by this data. Most of this information was obtained during the period 1978 through 1981, when the periapsis of the Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO) was still in the measurable atmosphere. However, solar gravitational perturbations will again lower the PVO periapsis into the upper atmosphere in September 1992, prior to the destruction of the spacecraft toward the end of this year. The physics and chemistry of the thermosphere and ionosphere of Venus are reviewed.

  19. 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.

  20. Venus general atmosphere circulation described by Pioneer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

    The predominant weather pattern for Venus is described. Wind directions and wind velocities are given. Possible driving forces of the winds are presented and include solar heating, planetary rotation, and the greenhouse effect.

  1. 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)

  2. Obliquity Variations of a Rapidly Rotating Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quarles, Billy L.; Barnes, Jason W.; Lissauer, Jack J.; Chambers, John E.; Hedman, Matthew M.

    2016-05-01

    Venus clearly differs from Earth in terms of its spin and atmospheric composition, where the former is controlled by solid-body and atmospheric thermal tides. However, this may have been different during earlier stages of planetary evolution, when the Sun was fainter and the Venusian atmosphere was less massive. We investigate how the axial tilt, or obliquity, would have varied during this epoch considering a rapidly rotating Venus. Through numerical simulation of an ensemble of hypothetical Early Venuses, we find the obliquity variation to be simpler than a Moonless Earth (Lissauer et al., 2012). Most low-obliquity Venuses show very low total obliquity variability comparable to that of the real Moon-influenced Earth.

  3. Dynamic models for ridge belt formation on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Simons, Mark; Solomon, Sean C.; Hager, Bradford H.

    1991-01-01

    The hypothesis is tested that the lithospheric shortening expressed by the ridge belts is the result of convective downwelling beneath the lowland planitia. Dynamical models are developed for the interaction of mantle convection with the crust and the models are compared to the characteristics of the ridge belts in Lavinia Planitia. The models support the hypothesis that convective stresses can produce the broad topographic depression of lowlands on Venus and can lead to the formation of ridge belts on either side of the topographic low.

  4. PIONEER VENUS 1 SPACECRAFT UNDERGOES INSPECTION PRIOR TO ENCAPSULATION

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1978-01-01

    NASA's Pioneer Venus-A spacecraft undergoes inspection in Kennedy Space Center Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility (SAEF) prior to encapsulation for move to the launch site. Pioneer Venus-A is scheduled for launch from Cape Canaveral's Complex 36 no earlier than May 20. Liftoff atop an Atlas Centaur rocket is scheduled during an opportunity extending from 9:13 to 9:28 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Pioneer Venus-A is scheduled to enter orbit around Venus on December 4. Pioneer Venus-B, a multi- probe spacecraft, is scheduled for launch to Venus on August 7.

  5. Venus - Detailed mapping of Maxwell Montes region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexandrov, Yu. N.; Crymov, A. A.; Kotelnikov, V. A.; Petrov, G. M.; Rzhiga, O. N.; Sidorenko, A. I.; Sinilo, V. P.; Zakharov, A. I.; Akim, E. L.; Basilevski, A. T.; Kadnichanski, S. A.; Tjuflin, Yu. S.

    1986-03-01

    From October 1983 to July 1984, the north hemisphere of Venus, from latitude 30° to latitude 90°, was mapped by means of the radar imagers and altimeters of the spacecraft Venera 15 and Venera 16. This report presents the results of the radar mapping of the Maxwell Montes region, one of the most interesting features of Venus' surface. A radar mosaic map and contour map have been compiled.

  6. Particulate matter in the Venus atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ragent, B.; Esposito, L. W.; Tomasko, M. G.; Marov, M. IA.; Shari, V. P.

    1985-01-01

    The paper presents a summary of the data currently available (June 1984) describing the planet-enshrouding particulate matter in the Venus atmosphere. A description and discussion of the state of knowledge of the Venus clouds and hazes precedes the tables and plots. The tabular material includes a precis of upper haze and cloud-top properties, parameters for model-size distributions for particles and particulate layers, and columnar masses and mass loadings.

  7. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    The session"Venus" included the following reports:Venera-Vega Geochemical Analyses: What Geologic Units are the Source of the Analyzed Material?; Mapping of Rift Zones on Venus, Preliminary Results: Spatial Distribution, Relationship with Regional Plains, Morphology of Fracturing, Topography and Style of Volcanism; An Effect of Stimulated Radiation Processes on Radio Emission from Major Planets; and Venusian Craters and the Origin of Coronae.

  8. Venus and the Archean Earth: Thermal considerations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sleep, N. H.

    1989-01-01

    The Archean Era of the Earth is not a direct analog of the present tectonics of Venus. In this regard, it is useful to review the state of the Archean Earth. Most significantly, the temperature of the adiabatic interior of the Earth was 200 to 300 C hotter than the current temperature. Preservation biases limit what can be learned from the Archean record. Archean oceanic crust, most of the planetary surface at any one time, has been nearly all subducted. More speculatively, the core of the Earth has probably cooled more slowly than the mantle. Thus the temperature contrast above the core-mantle boundary and the vigor of mantle plumes has increased with time on the Earth. The most obvious difference between Venus and the present Earth is the high surface temperature and hence a low effective viscosity of the lithosphere. In addition, the temperature contrast between the adiabatic interior and the surface, which drives convection, is less on Venus than on the Earth. It appears that the hot lithosphere enhanced tectonics on the early Venus significantly enough that its interior cooled faster than the Earth's. The best evidence for a cool interior of Venus comes from long wavelength gravity anomalies. The low interior temperatures retard seafloor spreading on Venus. The high surface temperatures on Venus enhance crustal deformation. That is, the lower crust may become ductile enough to permit significant flow between the upper crust and the mantle. There is thus some analogy to modern and ancient areas of high heat flow on the Earth. Archean crustal blocks typically remained stable for long intervals and thus overall are not good analogies to the deformation style on Venus.

  9. A global traveling wave on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Michael D.; Gierasch, Peter J.; Schinder, Paul J.

    1993-01-01

    The dominant large-scale pattern in the clouds of Venus has been described as a 'Y' or 'Psi' and tentatively identified by earlier workers as a Kelvin wave. A detailed calculation of linear wave modes in the Venus atmosphere verifies this identification. Cloud feedback by infrared heating fluctuations is a plausible excitation mechanism. Modulation of the large-scale pattern by the wave is a possible explanation for the Y. Momentum transfer by the wave could contribute to sustaining the general circulation.

  10. A global traveling wave on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Michael D.; Gierasch, Peter J.; Schinder, Paul J.

    1992-01-01

    The dominant large-scale pattern in the clouds of Venus has been described as a 'Y' or 'Psi' and tentatively identified by earlier workers as a Kelvin wave. A detailed calculation of linear wave modes in the Venus atmosphere verifies this identification. Cloud feedback by infrared heating fluctuations is a plausible excitation mechanism. Modulation of the large-scale pattern by the wave is a possible explanation for the Y. Momentum transfer by the wave could contribute to sustaining the general circulation.

  11. Venus: detailed mapping of maxwell montes region.

    PubMed

    Alexandrov, Y N; Crymov, A A; Kotelnikov, V A; Petrov, G M; Rzhiga, O N; Sidorenko, A I; Sinilo, V P; Zakharov, A I; Akim, E L; Basilevski, A T; Kadnichanski, S A; Tjuflin, Y S

    1986-03-14

    From October 1983 to July 1984, the north hemisphere of Venus, from latitude 30 degrees to latitude 90 degrees , was mapped by means of the radar imagers and altimeters of the spacecraft Venera 15 and Venera 16. This report presents the results of the radar mapping of the Maxwell Montes region, one of the most interesting features of Venus' surface. A radar mosaic map and contour map have been compiled. PMID:17839563

  12. Plasma waves near Venus - Initial observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scarf, F. L.; Taylor, W. W. L.; Green, I. M.

    1979-01-01

    The Pioneer Venus electric field detector was used to observe significant effects of the interaction of the solar wind with the ionosphere of Venus all along the orbiter trajectory. Information on sharp and diffuse shock structures and on plasma oscillations emitted by suprathermal electrons beyond the bow shock is considered, and wave particle interaction phenomena important near the boundary of the dayside ionosphere are noted.

  13. Venus: uniformity of clouds, and photography.

    PubMed

    Keene, G T

    1968-01-19

    Photographs of Earth at a resolution of about 600 kilometers were compared to pictures of Venus taken from Earth at about the same resolution . Under these conditions Earth appear very heavily covered by clouds. Since details on the surface of Earth can be recorded from Earth orbit, it may be possible to phiotograph protions of the surface of Venus, through openings in the clouds, from an orbiting satellite. PMID:17799560

  14. Dynamics investigation in the Venus upper atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    The O_2 nightglow emissions in the infrared spectral range are important features to investigate dynamics at the mesospheric altitudes, in the planetary atmosphere. In this work, 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 to investigate possible gravity waves characteristics at the airglow altitudes. Indeed, 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. We discuss results from 30 profiles showing double peaked structures, focusing on vertical wavelength and wave amplitude of the possible gravity waves. 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 \\citep{altieri_2014}. \\ The research is supported by ASI (contract ASI-INAF I/050/10/0).

  15. A Landsailing Rover for Venus Mobility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Landis, G.

    The surface of Venus is a location that is of great interest for future scientific exploration, but designing a rover that can move and conduct science operations on Venus is a difficult task. Electronic and materials technologies are available that could survive the furnace of Venus, but such a rover represents a challenging design problem. One approach to the problem is to make use of the features of the Venus environment, such as the thick atmosphere. A new approach for rover mobility is proposed, in which the rover motive force is produced by a sail. Such a Venus landsailing rover could be small and low powered, since the main power required for motion is generated by the wind, rather than by motors. Although the wind velocities on Venus are low, estimated at 0.6 ± 0.3 m/sec at the Venera landing sites, due to the high density of the atmosphere, sufficient force would be generated on a sail to allow good mobility for a lightweight rover.

  16. 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.

  17. A dynamic model of Venus's gravity field

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kiefer, W. S.; Richards, M. A.; Hager, B. H.; Bills, B. G.

    1984-01-01

    Unlike Earth, long wavelength gravity anomalies and topography correlate well on Venus. Venus's admittance curve from spherical harmonic degree 2 to 18 is inconsistent with either Airy or Pratt isostasy, but is consistent with dynamic support from mantle convection. A model using whole mantle flow and a high viscosity near surface layer overlying a constant viscosity mantle reproduces this admittance curve. On Earth, the effective viscosity deduced from geoid modeling increases by a factor of 300 from the asthenosphere to the lower mantle. These viscosity estimates may be biased by the neglect of lateral variations in mantle viscosity associated with hot plumes and cold subducted slabs. The different effective viscosity profiles for Earth and Venus may reflect their convective styles, with tectonism and mantle heat transport dominated by hot plumes on Venus and by subducted slabs on Earth. Convection at degree 2 appears much stronger on Earth than on Venus. A degree 2 convective structure may be unstable on Venus, but may have been stabilized on Earth by the insulating effects of the Pangean supercontinental assemblage.

  18. The rate of volcanism on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fegley, Bruce, Jr.; Prinn, Ronald G.

    1988-01-01

    The maintenance of the global H2SO4 clouds on Venus requires volcanism to replenish the atmospheric SO2 which is continually being removed from the atmosphere by reaction with calcium minerals on the surface of Venus. The first laboratory measurements of the rate of one such reaction, between SO2 and calcite (CaCO3) to form anhydrite (CaSO4), are reported. If the rate of this reaction is representative of the SO2 reaction rate at the Venus surface, then we estimate that all SO2 in the Venus atmosphere (and thus the H2SO4 clouds) will be removed in 1.9 million years unless the lost SO2 is replenished by volcanism. The required rate of volcanism ranges from about 0.4 to about 11 cu km of magma erupted per year, depending on the assumed sulfur content of the erupted material. If this material has the same composition as the Venus surface at the Venera 13, 14 and Vega 2 landing sites, then the required rate of volcanism is about 1 cu km per year. This independent geochemically estimated rate can be used to determine if either (or neither) of the two discordant (2 cu km/year vs. 200 to 300 cu km/year) geophysically estimated rates is correct. The geochemically estimated rate also suggests that Venus is less volcanically active than the Earth.

  19. A dynamic model of Venus's gravity field

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kiefer, W. S.; Richards, M. A.; Hager, B. H.; Bills, B. G.

    1986-01-01

    Unlike Earth, long wavelength gravity anomalies and topography correlate well on Venus. Venus's admittance curve from spherical harmonic degree 2 to 18 is inconsistent with either Airy or Pratt isostasy, but is consistent with dynamic support from mantle convection. A model using whole mantle flow and a high viscosity near surface layer overlying a constant viscosity mantle reproduces this admittance curve. On Earth, the effective viscosity deduced from geoid modeling increases by a factor of 300 from the asthenosphere to the lower mantle. These viscosity estimates may be biased by the neglect of lateral variations in mantle viscosity associated with hot plumes and cold subducted slabs. The different effective viscosity profiles for Earth and Venus may reflect their convective styles, with tectonism and mantle heat transport dominated by hot plumes on Venus and by subducted slabs on Earth. Convection at degree 2 appears much stronger on Earth than on Venus. A degree 2 convective structure may be unstable on Venus, but may have been stabilized on Earth by the insulating effects of the Pangean supercontinental assemblage.

  20. Venus - Landslide in Navka Region

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    The Magellan spacecraft has observed remnant landslide deposits apparently resulting from the collapse of volcanic structures. This Magellan radar image is centered about 25.4 degrees south latitude and 308 degrees east longitude in the southwestern Navka Region of Venus. The image shows a 17.4 kilometer (10.8 mile) diameter volcanic dome on the plains. The dome is approximately 1.86 kilometers (1.2 mile) in height and it has a slope of about 23 degrees. The northwest and northeast flanks of the dome have collapsed to form landslides that have deposited debris on the plains. The image shows an area 110 kilometers (68 miles) across and 100 kilometers (62 miles) in length.

  1. Venus lower atmosphere heat balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ingersoll, A. P.; Pechmann, J. B.

    1980-12-01

    Pioneer Venus observations of temperatures and radiative fluxes are examined in an attempt to understand the thermal balance of the lower atmosphere. If all observations are correct and the probe sites are typical of the planet, the second law of thermodynamics requires that the bulk of the lower atmosphere heating must come from a source other than direct sunlight or a thermally driven atmospheric circulation. Neither the so-called greenhouse models nor the mechanical heating models are consistent with this interpretation of the observations. One possible interpretation is that two out of the three probe sites are atypical of the planet. Additional lower atmosphere heat sources provide another possible interpretation. These include a planetary heat flux that is 250 times the earth's, a secular cooling of the atmosphere, and a chemically energetic rain carrying solar energy from the clouds to the surface. Other data make these interpretations seem unlikely, so measurement error remains a serious possibility.

  2. Studying Venus' atmosphere and ionosphere with Planetary Radio Interferometry and Doppler Experiment (PRIDE)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bocanegra-Bahamon, T. M.; Cimo, G.; Duev, D. A.; Gurvits, L. I.; Marty, J. Ch.; Pogrebenko, S. V.; Rosenblatt, P.

    2014-04-01

    The Planetary Radio Interferometry and Doppler Experiment (PRIDE) is a technique that can provide a multi-disciplinary enhancement of the science return of planetary missions. By performing precise Doppler tracking of a spacecraft carrier radio signal, at Earth-based radio telescopes, and VLBI-style processing of these signals in phase-referencing mode, the technique allows the determination of the radial velocity and lateral coordinates of the spacecraft with very high accuracy[1]. Because of the 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 planetary research. The application of this technique for atmospheric studies has been assessed by observing ESA's Venus Express (VEX) during Venus occultation events in 2012 and 2014, and by participating in one of the Venus Express Atmospheric Drag Experiment (VExADE) campaigns in 2012. Both studies are contributing to the characterization efforts of the atmosphere and ionosphere of Venus. During the Venus Express Atmospheric Drag Experiment (VExADE) campaigns VEX's orbit pericenter was 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]. In the December 2012 campaign 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

  3. Recent deformation rates on Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grimm, Robert E.

    1994-11-01

    Constraints on the recent geological evolution of Venus may be provided by quantitative estimates of the rates of the principal resurfacing processes, volcanism and tectonism. This paper focuses on the latter, using impact craters as strain indicators. The total postimpact tectonic strain lies in the range 0.5-6.5%, which defines a recent mean strain rate of 10-18-10-17/s when divided by the mean surface age. Interpretation of the cratering record as one of pure production requires a decline in resurfacing rates at about 500 Ma (catastrophic resurfacing model). If distributed tectonic resurfacing contributed strongly before that time, as suggested by the widespread occurrence of tessera as inliers, the mean global strain rate must have been at least approximately 10-15/s, which is also typical of terrestrial active margins. Numerical calculations of the response of the lithosphere to inferred mantle convective forces were performed to test the hypothesis that a decrease in surface strain rate by at least two orders of magnitude could be caused by a steady decline in heat flow over the last billion years. Parameterized convection models predict that the mean global thermal gradient decreases by only about 5 K/km over this time; even with the exponential dependence of viscosity upon temperature, the surface strain rate drops by little more than one order of magnitude. Strongly unsteady cooling and very low thermal gradients today are necessary to satisfy the catastrophic model. An alternative, uniformitarian resurfacing hypothesis holds that Venus is resurfaced in quasi-random 'patches' several hundred kilometers in size that occur in response to changing mantle convection patterns.

  4. 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

  5. SO2 on Venus: A final cross-calibration with Pioneer Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stern, S. Alan

    1993-01-01

    In the present reporting period we have met with the Pioneer Venus PI to collaborate on the recalibration of the UV spectrometer of Pioneer Venus. The associated data reduction and analysis activities have been completed. The sensitivity of the UV spectrometer has been steadily declining since orbit insertion of Pioneer Venus in 1978 due to aging of the detector tubes. The sensitivity decline is a strong function of wavelength and the rate of decline is also a function of time. Measures were taken to reduce the light dose received by the instrument to slow down the sensitivity decline. The stellar calibration using the bright UV star Hadar in 1990 indicates that the sensitivity decline may have slowed down more than have been previously estimated. The derived amount of SO2 from Pioneer Venus depends on the accuracy of the absolute sensitivity of the UV spectrometer. The previous cross calibration between IUE and Pioneer Venus led to the use of the same solar flux data for reducing and modelling data from both IUE and Pioneer Venus. The comparison between the 1991 IUE results and the Pioneer Venus stellar calibration carried out in 1990 will allow a more accurate determination of sensitivity decline of the PV UV spectrometer. The result of this comparison will be crucial in determining the trend of SO2 in the Venus atmosphere.

  6. Near infrared imaging of the surface of Venus and implications for crustal composition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller, N.; Helbert, J.

    2009-04-01

    Venus Express is an ESA spacecraft orbiting Venus since April 2006. The instrument VIRTIS acquires multispectral images in the range from 0.2 to 5 m wavelength. An analysis of VIRTIS images at the wavelengths of the atmospheric window at 1.02 m shows evidence for variation of surface emissivity on the southern hemisphere [Mueller et al. 2008]. Inferred surface emissivity is correlated to some extend with morphological units identified from radar images of the NASA/JPL Magellan mission [Tanaka et al. 1997]. Alpha and Phoebe Regios are highlands mostly composed of tessera terrain, which is defined as a region strongly deformed by compressive and extensional tectonism in at least two directions. In comparison to lowland plains and other less tectonized highlands, these regions generally emit less thermal radiation, which implies lower emissivity. A recent analysis of NIR data from the Galileo fly-by in 1990 finds, that highland regions on Venus on average have a lower emissivity than lowlands [Hashimoto et al. 2008]. As a significant part of Venus highlands in the area observed by Galileo is composed of tessera, this observation is consistent with the observation of Mueller et al. [2008]. In situ measurements by the Venera and Vega landers are at most places consistent with basaltic surface composition. The hypsometry of Venus is unimodal. Inferred lava viscosity of most volcanic features is low, consistent with basaltic composition. All these observations hint towards a crust mostly composed of basalt [Basilevsky et al 1997]. However, no landing site was on tessera terrain, tessera are hypsometrically elevated and the morphology is dominated by tectonic deformation. Among other arguments this leads to the hypothesis that tessera highlands crust is more abundant in feldspar and silica, comparable to lunar highlands or continents on Earth [Nikolaeva et al., 1992]. NIR mapping supports this hypothesis, although other interpretations of the NIR data can not be ruled out

  7. Circulation in upper mesosphere of Venus in the Southern and Northern hemispheres from the O2 1.27 μm night glow (VIRTIS-M/VEX data)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zasova, L.; Shakun, A.; Khatuntsev, I.; Gorinov, D.; Migliorini, A.; Altieri, F.; Piccioni, G.; Drossart, P.

    2014-04-01

    Mapping spectrometer VIRTIS-M on board Venus Express [1] made observations of the O2 1.27 μm airglow intensity distribution on the night side of Venus in nadir and limb modes in Southern and Northern hemispheres respectively. The work is devoted to comparison of the results, obtained for both hemispheres.

  8. Results of the first statistical study of Pioneer Venus Orbiter plasma observations in the distant Venus tail - Evidence for a hemispheric asymmetry in the pickup of ionospheric ions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Intriligator, Devrie S.

    1989-01-01

    Pioneer Venus Orbiter plasma and magnetometer observations from the first nine tail seasons of crossings of the Venus wake are used to study ion pickup in the far wake of an unmagnetized object embedded in the solar wind. This statistical study treats all of the plasma spectra containing pickup ions in the vicinity of the Venus tail. A hemispheric asymmetry is found in the pickup of ionospheric ions, with approximately four times more O(+) events observed in the 'northern' magnetic hemisphere (where the induced electric field points outward) than in the 'southern' magnetic hemisphere. Out of a total of 167 large O(+) events, 125, or 75 percent, occurred in the northern hemisphere when position is calculated in terms of Venus radii, and 129 or 77 percent occurred in the 'northern' hemisphere when position is expressed in gyroradii. This hemispheric asymmetry in ion pickup is consistent with the prediction of the Cloutier et al. (1974) mass loading model for Venusian ions above the ionopause boundary.

  9. Asteroid flux and impact cratering rate on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shoemaker, E. M.; Wolfe, R. F.; Shoemaker, C. S.

    1991-01-01

    By the end of 1990, 65 Venus-crossing asteroids were recognized; these represent 59 percent of the known Earth-crossing asteroids. Further studies, chiefly numerical integrations of orbit evolution, may reveal one or two more Venus crossers among the set of discovered asteroids. A Venus crosser was defined as an asteroid whose orbit can intersect the orbit of Venus as a result of secular (long range) perturbations. Venus crossers revolving on orbits that currently overlap the orbit of Venus are called Venapol asteroids, and those on orbit that don't overlap are called Venamor asteroids; 42 Venapols and 23 Venamors were recognized. Collision probabilities with Venus for 60 of the known Venus crossers were determined.

  10. PIONEER VENUS 1 SPACECRAFT PARTIALLY COVERED BY ENCAPSULATION SHROUD

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1978-01-01

    Segments of the shroud that will protect Pioneer Venus-A as it moves through the atmosphere following launch on a flight to Venus are moved into position to encapsulate the spacecraft. Pioneer Venus-A is scheduled for launch from Complex 36, Cape Canaveral, on May 20. Liftoff is scheduled during a opportunity extending from 9:13 to 9:28 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Pioneer Venus-A, to be renamed Pioneer Venus-1 after launch, will be placed in orbit around Venus on December 4. A second Pioneer Venus, a multi-probe spacecraft, is scheduled for launch August 4. The two scientific spacecraft are designed to sample Venusian weather patterns and hopefully provide answers for scientist to some of the unknown factors of the Venus atmosphere.

  11. The Ashen Light. [faint luminosity on nightside of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Russell, C. T.; Phillips, J. L.

    1990-01-01

    Present understanding of the Ashen Light of Venus is reviewed. Ashen Light is most often reported when Venus is in the evening sky, when the evening terminator of Venus is toward the earth. It is argued that the local time asymmetry is too great to be explained by terrestrial effects alone. It is argued that Venus lightning is the only known phenomenon that shows a marked dawn-dusk asymmetry on Venus and which could also explain the occurrence of Ashen Light. The following factors appear to affect the visibility of Ashen Light from earth: the distance of Venus from the earth, the length of time Venus is above the horizon, and the local time distribution of the Ashen Light source on Venus.

  12. Hemispheric asymmetries of the Venus plasma environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jarvinen, R.; Kallio, E.; Dyadechkin, S.

    2013-07-01

    We study the Venus-solar wind interaction and the hemispheric asymmetries of the Venus plasma environment in the global HYB-Venus hybrid simulation. We concentrate especially on the role of the flow-aligned interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) component (i.e., the Parker spiral angle or the IMF cone angle) and analyze the dawn-dusk and Esw asymmetries between four magnetic quadrants around Venus. Using the simulation model, we study two upstream condition cases in detail: the perpendicular IMF to the solar wind flow case and the nominal Parker spiral case (dominant flow-aligned IMF component). Several differences and similarities were found in these two simulation runs. Common features of the Venus plasma environment between the two cases include asymmetric magnetic barrier and tail lobes and asymmetric planetary ion escape in the direction of the solar wind convection electric field. Further, protons of planetary origin and of solar wind origin were found to follow similar velocity patterns in the Venus plasma wake in both cases. The differences when the IMF flow-aligned component is dominating compared to the perpendicular IMF case, the so-called (magnetic) dawn-dusk asymmetries, include the parallel bow shock and the foreshock region, the asymmetric magnetic barrier, the asymmetric tail current system, and the asymmetric central tail current sheet. Further, the escaping planetary H+ and O+ ion fluxes are concentrated more on the hemisphere of the parallel bow shock. When interpreting in situ plasma and magnetic observations from Venus, the features of at least these two basic IMF configurations should be considered.

  13. Error analysis for retrieval of Venus' IR surface emissivity from VIRTIS/VEX measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kappel, David; Haus, Rainer; Arnold, Gabriele

    2015-08-01

    Venus' surface emissivity data in the infrared can serve to explore the planet's geology. The only global data with high spectral, spatial, and temporal resolution and coverage at present is supplied by nightside emission measurements acquired by the Visible and InfraRed Thermal Imaging Spectrometer VIRTIS-M-IR (1.0 - 5.1 μm) aboard ESA's Venus Express. A radiative transfer simulation and a retrieval algorithm can be used to determine surface emissivity in the nightside spectral transparency windows located at 1.02, 1.10, and 1.18 μm. To obtain satisfactory fits to measured spectra, the retrieval pipeline also determines auxiliary parameters describing cloud properties from a certain spectral range. But spectral information content is limited, and emissivity is difficult to retrieve due to strong interferences from other parameters. Based on a selection of representative synthetic VIRTIS-M-IR spectra in the range 1.0 - 2.3 μm, this paper investigates emissivity retrieval errors that can be caused by interferences of atmospheric and surface parameters, by measurement noise, and by a priori data, and which retrieval pipeline leads to minimal errors. Retrieval of emissivity from a single spectrum is shown to fail due to extremely large errors, although the fits to the reference spectra are very good. Neglecting geologic activity, it is suggested to apply a multi-spectrum retrieval technique to retrieve emissivity relative to an initial value as a parameter that is common to several measured spectra that cover the same surface bin. Retrieved emissivity maps of targets with limited extension (a few thousand km) are then additively renormalized to remove spatially large scale deviations from the true emissivity map that are due to spatially slowly varying interfering parameters. Corresponding multi-spectrum retrieval errors are estimated by a statistical scaling of the single-spectrum retrieval errors and are listed for 25 measurement repetitions. For the best of the

  14. Atmospheric thermal structure and cloud features in the southern hemisphere of Venus as retrieved from VIRTIS/VEX radiation measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-04-01

    Thermal structure and cloud features in the atmosphere of Venus are investigated using spectroscopic nightside measurements recorded by the Visible and InfraRed Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) aboard ESA’s Venus Express mission in the moderate resolution infrared mapping channel (M-IR, 1-5 μm). New methodical approaches and retrieval results for the northern hemisphere have been recently described by Haus et al. (Haus, R., Kappel, D., Arnold, G. [2013]. Planet. Space Sci. 89, 77-101. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pss.2013.09.020). Now, southern hemisphere maps of mesospheric temperature and cloud parameter fields are presented that cover variations with altitude, latitude, local time, and mission time. Measurements from the entire usable data archive are utilized comprising radiation spectra recorded during eight Venus solar days between April 2006 and October 2008. Zonal averages of retrieved temperature altitude profiles in both hemispheres are very similar and give evidence of global N-S axial symmetry of atmospheric temperature structure. Cold collar and warmer polar vortex regions exhibit the strongest temperature variability with standard deviations up to 8.5 K at 75°S and 63 km altitude compared with about 1.0 K at low and mid latitudes above 75 km. The mesospheric temperature field strongly depends on local time. At altitudes above about 75 km, the atmosphere is warmer in the second half of night, while the dawn side at lower altitudes is usually colder than the dusk side by about 8 K. Local minimum temperature of 220 K occurs at 03:00 h local time at 65 km and 60°S. Temperature standard deviation at polar latitudes is particularly large near midnight. Temperature variability with solar longitude is forced by solar thermal tides with a dominating diurnal component. The influence of observed cloud parameter changes on retrieved mesospheric zonal average temperature structure is moderate and does not exceed 2-3 K at altitudes between 60 and 75 km

  15. Absorption of sunlight in the atmosphere of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tomasko, M. G.; Doose, L. R.

    1982-01-01

    The profiles of upward, downward and net solar flux on Venus were measured at altitudes from about 62 km to the surface in three spectral bands at a vertical resolution of a few hundred meters. These data measured the penetration and absorption of solar energy in Venus' lower atmosphere quantities that are essential in evaluating the role of the greenhouse mechanism in supporting Venus' remarkably high surface temperature. In addition, the data constrained the vertical structure and optical properties of the Venus clouds.

  16. Numerical models of thermal convection in Venus interior: implications for its atmospheric composition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sotin, C.; Choblet, G.; Smrekar, S. E.

    2012-12-01

    The composition of Venus atmosphere is the result of several processes including the accretion of volatiles during the formation of the planet and then the outgassing of volatiles that are trapped into the mantle rocks, during volcanic events. Spacecraft can more easily study the atmosphere of a planet than its interior. Observations of the atmosphere can therefore provide important information on the interior dynamics and the thermal evolution of a planet such as Venus. This study describes the results of numerical simulations of thermal convection in Venus mantle. These simulations investigate the effects of spherical geometry, internal heating rate, and complex viscosity on the characteristics of mantle plumes. In particular, they provide key information on the velocities and temperature of the upwelling plumes. Temperature and vertical velocities control the occurrence and amount of partial melt that can eventually migrate to the surface and release the gas compounds that were incorporated into the melt. Numerical simulations are carried out in the stagnant lid regime since Venus does not show any evidence of mobile lid or plate tectonics. In that regime, the thickness of the lid is very large and the temperature exceeds the melting temperature of mantle rocks only if water is present in the rocks. The recent volcanic activity suggests that melt is produced at depth. The results of these numerical simulations imply that Venus' mantle is wet. The information on the radial velocity of the plumes and the number of plumes allows us to investigate the amount of water that can be extracted from the mantle. The values are compared with the abundance of water in the low atmosphere, which has been estimated by the analysis of infrared spectra obtained by the VIRTIS instrument onboard the VenusExpress spacecraft. Similarly, we have investigated the amount of 40Ar that can be released during the partial melting of upwelling mantle plumes. This work has been performed at

  17. Geologic map of the Artemis Chasma quadrangle (V-48), Venus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bannister, Roger A.; Hansen, Vicki L.

    2010-01-01

    . So although it seems clear what Artemis is not, there is little consensus about what Artemis is, much less how Artemis formed. Debate during the past decade has resulted in the proposal of at least four hypotheses for Artemis' formation. The first (herein referred to as H1) is that Artemis Chasma represents a zone of northwest-directed convergence and subduction. The second hypothesis (herein referred to as H2) is that Artemis consists of a composite structure with a part of its interior region marking the exposure of deformed ductile deep-crustal rocks analogous to a terrestrial metamorphic core complex. The third (herein referred to as H3) is that Artemis reflects the surface expression of an ancient (>3.5 Ga) huge bolide impact event on cold strong lithosphere. The fourth hypothesis (herein referred to as H4) is that Artemis marks the surface expression of a deep mantle plume. Each of these hypotheses holds different implications for Venus geodynamics and evolution processes, and for terrestrial planet processes in general. Viability of H1 would provide support that terrestrial-like plate-tectonic processes once occurred on Earth's sister planet. The feasibility of H2 would require high values of crustal extension and therefore imply that significant horizontal displacements occurred on Venus-displacement that may or may not be related to terrestrial-like plate-tectonic processes. The possibility of H3 would suggest that Venus' surface is extremely old, and that Venus has experienced very little dynamic activity for the last 3.5 billion years or more; this would further imply that Venus is essentially tectonically dead, and has been for most of its history. This view contrasts strongly with studies that highlight a rich history of Venus including activity at least as young as 750 million years ago, and quite likely up to the present. If H4 has credibility, then Artemis could provide clues to cooling mechanisms of Earth's sister planet. Each of these hypotheses

  18. Validity of space weather prediction to Venus and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Opitz, A.; Vech, D.; Sanchez-Diaz, E.; Szego, K.; Witasse, O.; Andre, N.

    2015-10-01

    Both Venus and Mars have ionospheres, but no strong intrinsic magnetospheres, only Mars has some inhomogeneously distributed crustal field. The solar wind interaction with the ionosphere of these unmagnetized planets is highly important in defining the planets' plasma environment. The properties of their induced magnetospheres depend strongly on the solar input arriving at the planet. In order to study this interaction of the solar wind and the planetary plasma environment, ideally we would need measurements both in the solar wind and in this induced magnetosphere the same time. When there is only one spacecraft around the planet, it cannot perform such simultaneous observations, thus the prediction of solar wind properties and solar events to the different planetary objects becomes important. These predictions can be validated by in situ measurements onboard the planetary spacecraft such as Mars Express and Venus Express while these are located in the solar wind. The solar predictions are based on solar spacecraft observations such as SOHO, ACE, WIND, STEREO A and B, which are at different distances from the investigated planets. We show how the prediction accuracy depends on the spatial separation of the solar and the planetary spacecraft.

  19. Venus: A search for clues to early biological possibilities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colin, Larry; Kasting, James F.

    1992-01-01

    The extensive evidence that there is no extant life on Venus is summarized. The current atmospheric environment, which is far too hostile by terrestrial standards to support life, is described. However, exobiologists are interested in the possibility of extinct life on Venus. The early history of Venus is discussed in terms of its ability to sustain life that may now be extinct.

  20. 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.

  1. Lithospheric and atmospheric interaction on the planet Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Volkov, Vladislav P.

    1991-01-01

    Lithospheric and atmospheric interaction in the planet Venus are discussed. The following subject areas are covered: (1) manifestation of exogenic processes using photogeological data; (2) the chemical composition and a chemical model of the troposphere of Venus; (3) the mineral composition of surface rock on Venus; and (4) the cycles of volatile components.

  2. The Venus ionopause current sheet - Thickness length scale and controlling factors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1981-01-01

    Data from the fluxgate magnetometer, plasma wave experiment and Langmuir probe aboard Pioneer Venus are used to investigate the characteristic thickness length scale of the ionopause current sheet, as well as how this length scale is controlled. Thickness is found to be a bistatic quality, large scales being associated with high field strengths and current sheet altitudes below 300 km, while smaller scales are found with lower field strengths and ionopause altitudes above 300 km. Ion collisions and plasma wave activity contribute to the formation of the broader, low-altitude ionopause current sheets. Although evidence suggests that the wave activity influences the thin ionopause current sheets, a simple model points to the control of the thin ionopause current sheets by ionospheric ion and electron temperatures

  3. Large Volcanic Rises on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smrekar, Suzanne E.; Kiefer, Walter S.; Stofan, Ellen R.

    1997-01-01

    Large volcanic rises on Venus have been interpreted as hotspots, or the surface manifestation of mantle upwelling, on the basis of their broad topographic rises, abundant volcanism, and large positive gravity anomalies. Hotspots offer an important opportunity to study the behavior of the lithosphere in response to mantle forces. In addition to the four previously known hotspots, Atla, Bell, Beta, and western Eistla Regiones, five new probable hotspots, Dione, central Eistla, eastern Eistla, Imdr, and Themis, have been identified in the Magellan radar, gravity and topography data. These nine regions exhibit a wider range of volcano-tectonic characteristics than previously recognized for venusian hotspots, and have been classified as rift-dominated (Atla, Beta), coronae-dominated (central and eastern Eistla, Themis), or volcano-dominated (Bell, Dione, western Eistla, Imdr). The apparent depths of compensation for these regions ranges from 65 to 260 km. New estimates of the elastic thickness, using the 90 deg and order spherical harmonic field, are 15-40 km at Bell Regio, and 25 km at western Eistla Regio. Phillips et al. find a value of 30 km at Atla Regio. Numerous models of lithospheric and mantle behavior have been proposed to interpret the gravity and topography signature of the hotspots, with most studies focusing on Atla or Beta Regiones. Convective models with Earth-like parameters result in estimates of the thickness of the thermal lithosphere of approximately 100 km. Models of stagnant lid convection or thermal thinning infer the thickness of the thermal lithosphere to be 300 km or more. Without additional constraints, any of the model fits are equally valid. The thinner thermal lithosphere estimates are most consistent with the volcanic and tectonic characteristics of the hotspots. Estimates of the thermal gradient based on estimates of the elastic thickness also support a relatively thin lithosphere (Phillips et al.). The advantage of larger estimates of

  4. Ovarian Tumor Cells Studied Aboard the International Space Station (ISS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    In August 2001, principal investigator Jeanne Becker sent human ovarian tumor cells to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the STS-105 mission. The tumor cells were cultured in microgravity for a 14 day growth period and were analyzed for changes in the rate of cell growth and synthesis of associated proteins. In addition, they were evaluated for the expression of several proteins that are the products of oncogenes, which cause the transformation of normal cells into cancer cells. This photo, which was taken by astronaut Frank Culbertson who conducted the experiment for Dr. Becker, shows two cell culture bags containing LN1 ovarian carcinoma cell cultures.

  5. 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.

  6. Comparative hypsometric analysis of Earth and Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenblatt, P.; Pinet, P. C.; Thouvenot, E.

    1994-03-01

    The comparison between Earth and Venus global hypsometric distributions is reinvestigated on the basis of the high-resolution data provided by the recent Magellan global topographic coverage of Venus' surface, and the detailed ETOPO-5 topographic database for the Earth's surface. The study of the cumulative hypsometric curve for both planets reveals that there exists a domain of elevation for which the relationship between the elevation and the square root of cumulative area percentage is linear. This domain covers about 80% of the mapped venusian surface and nearly all the terrestrial oceanic surface (55% of the earth's surface) and corresponds to an elevation range of about 2000 m for both planets. Proposing the upper threshold elevation of this domain as a common geophysical reference level, it is shown that the terrestrial oceanic peak and the venusian peak coincide very closely. In addition, the terrestrial and venusian hypsometric distributions for elevations lower than this reference level are quite similar, in their amplitude, modal distribution, and pronounced symmetry. The correspondence of the venusian peak with the terrestrial oceanic peak is a striking feature, but it does not necessarily imply the occurrence of plate tectonics on Venus. The present observation is consistent with the existence of a similar thermal isostasy acting at the planetary scale. It places an upper bound at 90 +/- 10 km for the modal thermal lithospheric thickness of Venus, if the Venus mantle thermal conditions are earth-like. This estimate is reduced if hotter conditions occur.

  7. Deuterium on Venus: Observations from Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lutz, Barry L.; Debergh, C.; Bezard, B.; Owen, T.; Crisp, D.; Maillard, J.-P.

    1991-01-01

    In view of the importance of the deuterium-to-hydrogen ratio in understanding the evolutionary scenario of planetary atmospheres and its relationship to understanding the evolution of our own Earth, we undertook a series of observations designed to resolve previous observational conflicts. We observed the dark side of Venus in the 2.3 micron spectral region in search of both H2O and HDO, which would provide us with the D/H ratio in Venus' atmosphere. We identified a large number of molecular lines in the region, belonging to both molecules, and, using synthetic spectral techniques, obtained mixing ratios of 34 plus or minus 10 ppm and 1.3 plus or minus 0.2 ppm for H2O and HDO, respectively. These mixing ratios yield a D/H ratio for Venus of D/H equals 1.9 plus or minus 0.6 times 10 (exp 12) and 120 plus or minus 40 times the telluric ratio. Although the detailed interpretation is difficult, our observations confirm that the Pioneer Venus Orbiter results and establish that indeed Venus had a period in its early history in which it was very wet, perhaps not unlike the early wet period that seems to have been present on Mars, and that, in contrast to Earth, lost much of its water over geologic time.

  8. Finite Gyroradius Effects Observed in Pickup Oxygen Ions at Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hartle, Richard E.; Intriligator, Devrie; Grebowsky, Joseph M.; Einaudi, Franco (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    On the dayside of Venus, the hot oxygen corona extending above the ionopause is the principal source of pickup oxygen ions. The ions are born here and picked up by the ionosheath plasma as it is deflected around the planet. These pickup ions have been observed by the Orbiter Plasma Analyzer (OPA) throughout the Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO) mission. They were observed over a region extending from their dayside source to great distances downstream (about 10 Venus radii), in the solar wind wake, as PVO passed through apoapsis. Finite gyroradius effects in the velocity distribution of the oxygen pickup ions are expected in the source region because the gyroradius is several times larger than the scale height of the hot oxygen source. Such effects are also expected in those regions of the ionosheath where the scale lengths of the magnetic field and the ambient plasma velocity field are less than the pickup ion gyroradius. While explicitly accounting for the spatial distribution of the hot oxygen source, an analytic expression for the pickup oxygen ion velocity distribution is developed to study how it is affected by finite gyroradii. The analysis demonstrates that as the gyroradius increases by factors of three to six above the hot oxygen scale height, the peak of the pickup oxygen ion flux distribution decreases 25 to 50% below the maximum allowed speed, which is twice the speed of the ambient plasma times the sine of the angle between the magnetic field and the flow velocity. The pickup oxygen ion flux distribution observed by OPA is shown to follow this behavior in the source region. It is also shown that this result is consistent with the pickup ion distributions observed in the wake, downstream of the source, where the flux peaks are usually well below the maximum allowed speed.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Properties of planetward ion flows in Venus' magnetotail

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kollmann, P.; Brandt, P. C.; Collinson, G.; Rong, Z. J.; Futaana, Y.; Zhang, T. L.

    2016-08-01

    Venus is gradually losing some of its atmosphere in the form of ions through its induced magnetotail. Some of these ions have been reported previously to flow back to the planet. Proposed drivers are magnetic reconnection and deflection of pickup ions in the magnetic field. We analyze protons and oxygen ions with eV to keV energies acquired by the ASPERA-4/IMA instrument throughout the entire Venus Express mission. We find that venusward flowing ions are important in the sense that their density and deposition rate into the atmosphere is of the same order of magnitude as the density and escape rate of downtail flowing ions. Our analysis shows that during strong EUV irradiance, which occurs during solar maximum, the flux of venusward flowing protons is weaker and of oxygen ions is stronger than during weak irradiance. Since such a behavior was observed when tracing oxygen ions through a MHD model, the ultimate driver of the venusward flowing ions may simply be the magnetic field configuration around Venus. Although the pure downtail oxygen flux stays mostly unchanged for all observed EUV conditions, the increase in venusward oxygen flux for high irradiance results in a lower net atmospheric escape rate. Venusward bulk flows are mostly found in locations where the magnetic field is weak relative to the interplanetary conditions. Although a weak field is generally an indicator of proximity to the magnetotail current sheet, these flows do not cluster around current sheet crossings, as one may expect if they would be driven by magnetic reconnection.

  12. Coupled Sulfur and Chlorine Chemistry in Venus' Upper Cloud Layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mills, Franklin P.

    2006-09-01

    Venus' atmosphere likely contains a rich variety of sulfur and chlorine compounds because HCl, SO2, and OCS have all been observed. Photodissociation of CO2 and SO2 in the upper cloud layer produces oxygen which can react directly or indirectly with SO2 to form SO3 and eventually H2SO4. Photodissociation of HCl within and above the upper cloud layer produces chlorine which can react with CO and O2 to form ClCO and ClC(O)OO. These two species have been identified as potentially critical intermediaries in the production of CO2. Much less work has been done on the potential coupling between sulfur and chlorine chemistry that may occur within the upper cloud layer. Several aspects have been examined in recent modeling: (1) linkage of the CO2 and sulfur oxidation cycles (based on ideas from Yung and DeMore, 1982), (2) reaction of Cl with SO2 to form ClSO2 (based on ideas from DeMore et al., 1985), and (3) the chemistry of SmCln for m,n = 1,2 (based on preliminary work in Mills, 1998). Initial results suggest the chemistry of SmCln may provide a pathway for accelerated production of polysulfur, Sx, if the oxygen abundance in the upper cloud layer is as small as is implied by the observational limit on O2 (Trauger and Lunine, 1983). Initial results also suggest that ClSO2 can act as a buffer which helps increase the scale height of SO2 and decrease the rate of production of H2SO4. This presentation will describe the results from this modeling; discuss their potential implications for the CO2, sulfur oxidation, and polysulfur cycles; and outline key observations from Venus Express that can help resolve existing questions concerning the chemistry of Venus' upper cloud. Partial funding for this research was provided by the Australian Research Council.

  13. Glory on Venus cloud tops and the unknown UV absorber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Markiewicz, W. J.; Petrova, E.; Shalygina, O.; Almeida, M.; Titov, D. V.; Limaye, S. S.; Ignatiev, N.; Roatsch, T.; Matz, K. D.

    2014-05-01

    We report on the implications of the observations of the glory phenomenon made recently by Venus Express orbiter. Glory is an optical phenomenon that poses stringent constraints on the cloud properties. These observations thus enable us to constrain two properties of the particles at the cloud tops (about 70 km altitude) which are responsible for a large fraction of the solar energy absorbed by Venus. Firstly we obtain a very accurate estimate of the cloud particles size to be 1.2 μm with a very narrow size distribution. We also find that for the two observations presented here the clouds are homogenous, as far as cloud particles sizes are concerned, on scale of at least 1200 km. This is in contrast to previous estimates that were either local, from entry probes data, or averaged over space and time from polarization data. Secondly we find that the refractive index for the data discussed here is higher than that of sulfuric acid previously proposed for the clouds composition (Hansen, J.E., Hovenier, J.W. [1974]. J. Atmos. Sci. 31, 1137-1160; Ragent, B. et al. [1985]. Adv. Space Res. 5, 85-115). Assuming that the species contributing to the increase of the refractive index is the same as the unknown UV absorber, we are able to constrain the list of candidates. We investigated several possibilities and argue that either small ferric chloride (FeCl3) cores inside sulfuric acid particles or elemental sulfur coating their surface are good explanations of the observation. Both ferric chloride and elemental sulfur have been suggested in the past as candidates for the as yet unknown UV absorber (Krasnopolsky, V.A. [2006]. Planet. Space Sci. 54, 1352-1359; Mills, F.P. et al. [2007]. In: Esposito, L.W., Stofan, E.R., Cravens, T.E. (Eds.), Exploring Venus as a Terrestrial Planet, vol. 176. AGU Monogr. Ser., Washington, DC, pp. 73-100).

  14. Focal lengths of Venus Monitoring Camera from limb locations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limaye, Sanjay S.; Markiewicz, W. J.; Krauss, R.; Ignatiev, N.; Roatsch, T.; Matz, K. D.

    2015-08-01

    The Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC) carried by European Space Agency's Venus Express orbiter (Svedhem et al., 2007) consists of four optical units, each with a separate filter casting an image on a single CCD (Markiewicz et al., 2007a, 2007b). The desire to capture as much of the planet in a single frame during the spacecraft's 24 h, 0.84 eccentricity orbit led to optics with 18° field of view. Analysis of Venus images obtained by the VMC indicated that the computed limb radius and altitude of haze layers were somewhat inconsistent with prior knowledge and expectations. Possible causes include errors in the knowledge of image geometry, misalignment of the optic axis from the pointing direction, and optical distortion. These were explored and eliminated, leaving only deviations from the ground and pre-solar damage estimate of the focal length lengths as the most likely reason. We use the location of planet's limb to estimate the focal length of each camera using images of the planet when the orbiter was more than 20,000 km from planet center. The method relies on the limb radius to be constant at least over a small range of solar zenith angles. We were able to achieve better estimates for the focal lengths for all four cameras and also estimate small offsets to the boresight alignment. An outcome of this analysis is the finding that the slant unit optical depth varies more rapidly with solar zenith angle in the afternoon as compared to morning, with lowest values at local noon. A variation of this level is also observed with latitude. Both are indicative of the presence of overlying haze above the clouds, and the morning afternoon asymmetry suggests different photochemical processes in destruction and production of the haze.

  15. NASA's Venus Science and Technology Definition Team: A Flagship Mission to Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bullock, Mark Alan; Senske, D. A.; Balint, T. S.; Campbell, B. A.; Chassefiere, E.; Colaprete, A.; Cutts, J. A.; Glaze, L.; Gorevan, S.; Grinspoon, D. H.; Hall, J.; Hartford, W.; Hashimoto, G. L.; Head, J. W.; Hunter, G.; Johnson, N.; Kiefer, W. S.; Kolawa, E. A.; Kremic, T.; Kwok, J.; Limaye, S. S.; Mackwell, S. J.; Marov, M. Y.; Ocampo, A.; Schubert, G.; Stofan, E. R.; Svedhem, H.; Titov, D. V.; Treiman, A. H.

    2008-09-01

    The Venus Science and Technology Definition Team (STDT) was formed by NASA to look at science objectives, mission architecture, science investigations, and instrument payload for a Flagship-class mission to Venus. This $3-4B mission, to launch in the 2020-2025 timeframe, should revolutionize our understanding of how climate works on terrestrial planets, including the close relationship between volcanism, tectonism, the interior, and the atmosphere. It would also be capable of resolving the geologic history of Venus, including the existence and persistence of an ancient ocean. Achieving all these objectives will be necessary to understand the habitability of extrasolar terrestrial planets that should be detected in the next few years. The Venus STDT is comprised of scientists and engineers from the United States, the Russian Federation, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Japan. The team began work in January 2008, gave an interim report at NASA headquarters in May, and will deliver a final report in December 2008. The Venus STDT will also produce a technology roadmap to identify crucial investments to meet the unique challenges of in situ Venus exploration. We will discuss the mission architecture and payload that have been designed to address the science objectives, and the methods we used. Most of the science objectives in the latest VEXAG white paper can be addressed by a Venus Flagship mission, and equally importantly, NASA can fly a large mission to another Earth-sized planet with the explicit intention of better understanding our own.

  16. HAVOC: High Altitude Venus Operational Concept - An Exploration Strategy for Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arney, Dale; Jones, Chris

    2015-01-01

    The atmosphere of Venus is an exciting destination for both further scientific study and future human exploration. A lighter-than-air vehicle can carry either a host of instruments and probes, or a habitat and ascent vehicle for a crew of two astronauts to explore Venus for up to a month. The mission requires less time to complete than a crewed Mars mission, and the environment at 50 km is relatively benign, with similar pressure, density, gravity, and radiation protection to the surface of Earth. A recent internal NASA study of a High Altitude Venus Operational Concept (HAVOC) led to the development of an evolutionary program for the exploration of Venus, with focus on the mission architecture and vehicle concept for a 30 day crewed mission into Venus's atmosphere. Key technical challenges for the mission include performing the aerocapture maneuvers at Venus and Earth, inserting and inflating the airship at Venus, and protecting the solar panels and structure from the sulfuric acid in the atmosphere. With advances in technology and further refinement of the concept, missions to the Venusian atmosphere can expand humanity's future in space.

  17. Lomonosov, the discovery of Venus's atmosphere, and the eighteenth-century transits of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasachoff, Jay M.; Sheehan, William

    2012-03-01

    The discovery of Venus's atmosphere has been widely attributed to the Russian academician M.V. Lomonosov from his observations of the 1761 transit of Venus from St. Petersburg. Other observers at the time also made observations that have been ascribed to the effects of the atmosphere of Venus. Though Venus does have an atmosphere one hundred times denser than the Earth's and refracts sunlight so as to produce an 'aureole' around the planet's disk when it is ingressing and egressing the solar limb, many eighteenth century observers also upheld the doctrine of cosmic pluralism: believing that the planets were inhabited, they had a preconceived bias for believing that the other planets must have atmospheres. A careful re-examination of several of the most important accounts of eighteenth century observers and comparisons with the observations of the nineteenth century and 2004 transits shows that Lomonosov inferred the existence of Venus's atmosphere from observations related to the 'black drop', which has nothing to do with the atmosphere of Venus. Several observers of the eighteenth-century transits, includ-ing Chappe d'Auteroche, Bergman, and Wargentin in 1761 and Wales, Dymond, and Rittenhouse in 1769, may have made bona fide observations of the aureole produced by the atmosphere of Venus. Therefore, it appears that several observers-but not Lomonosov-should receive credit for first detecting the aureole due to refraction of sunlight by the atmosphere of Venus during a transit. This crucial observation occurred almost three decades before Johann Schroeter independently demonstrated the existence of the atmosphere of Venus from his analysis of extensions of the semicircle of light of the planet near inferior conjunction, which are produced by back-scattering of light by aerosol-sized particles.

  18. First laboratory high-temperature emissivity measurements of Venus analog measurements in the near-infrared atmospheric windows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helbert, J.; Maturilli, A.; Ferrari, S.; Dyar, M. D.; Smrekar, S. E.

    2014-12-01

    The permanent cloud cover of Venus prohibits observation of the surface with traditional imaging techniques over most of the visible spectral range. Venus' CO2 atmosphere is transparent exclusively in small spectral windows near 1 μm. The Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) team on the European Space Agency Venus-Express mission have recently used these windows successfully to map the southern hemisphere from orbit. VIRTIS is showing variations in surface brightness, which can be interpreted as variations in surface emissivity. Deriving surface composition from these variations is a challenging task. Comparison with laboratory analogue spectra are complicated by the fact that Venus has an average surface temperature of 730K. Mineral crystal structures and their resultant spectral signatures are notably affected by temperature, therefore any interpretations based on room temperature laboratory spectra database can be misleading. In order to support the interpretation of near-infrared data from Venus we have started an extensive measurement campaign at the Planetary Emissivity Laboratory (PEL, Institute of Planetary Research of the German Aerospace Center, Berlin). The PEL facility, which is unique in the world, allows emission measurements covering the 1 to 2 μm wavelength range at sample temperatures of up to 770K. Conciliating the expected emissivity variation between felsic and mafic minerals with Venera and VEGA geochemical data we have started with a set of five analog samples. This set includes basalt, gneiss, granodiorite, anorthosite and hematite, thus covering the range of mineralogies. Preliminary results show significant spectral contrast, thus allowing different samples to be distinguished with only 5 spectral points and validating the use of thermal emissivity for investigating composition. This unique new dataset from PEL not only allows interpretation of the Venus Express VIRTIS data but also provide a baseline for considering

  19. Venus - Sag Caldera 'Sachs Patera

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    This image of Sachs Patera on Venus is centered at 49 degrees north, 334 degrees east. Defined as a sag-caldera, Sachs is an elliptical depression 130 meters (81 feet) in depth, spanning 40 kilometers (25 miles) in width along its longest axis. The morphology implies that a chamber of molten material drained and collapsed, forming a depression surrounded by concentric scarps spaced 2-to-5 kilometers (1.2- to-3 miles) apart. The arc-shaped set of scarps, extending out to the north from the prominent ellipse, is evidence for a separate episode of withdrawal; the small lobe-shaped extension to the southwest may represent an additional event. Solidified lava flows 10-to-25 kilometers (6-to-16 miles) long, give the caldera its flower-like appearance. The flows are a lighter tone of gray in the radar data because the lava is blockier in texture and consequently returns more radar waves. Much of the lava, which was evacuated from the chamber, probably traveled to other locations underground, while some of it may have surfaced further south. This is unlike calderas on Earth, where a rim of lava builds up in the immediate vicinity of the caldera.

  20. A radar image of Venus.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goldstein, R. M.; Rumsey, H. C.

    1972-01-01

    Radar scans of Venus have yielded a brightness map of a large portion of the surface. The bright area in the south (alpha) and the twin such areas in the north (beta and delta) were first discovered by spectral analysis of radar echos. When range-gating is also applied, their shapes are revealed, and they are seen to be roundish and about 1000 km across. Although radar brightness can be the result of either intrinsic reflectivity or surface roughness, polarization studies show these features to be rough (to the scale of the wavelength, 12.5 cm). Dark, circular areas can also be seen, many with bright central spots. The dark areas are probably smooth. The blurring of the equatorial strip is an artifact of the range-Doppler geometry; all resolution disappears at the equator. Another artifact of the method is the 'ghost', in the south, of the images of beta and delta. Such ghosts appear only at the eastern and western extremes of the map.

  1. Chemical composition of Venus clouds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krasnopolsky, V. A.

    1985-01-01

    From estimates of drying effect in the cloud layer, data of the Venera 14 X-ray fluorescent spectroscopy, and evaluation of photochemical production of sulfuric acid, it follows that sulfuric acid and/or products of its further conversion should constitute not only the Mode 2 particles but most of the Mode 3 particles as well. The eddy mixing coefficient equal 20,000 sq cm per sec in the cloud layer. The presence of ferric chloride in the cloud layer is indicated by the Venus u.v. absorption spectrum in the range of 3200-5000 A, by the Venera 12 X-ray fluorescent spectrum, by the coincidence of the calculated FeCl3 condensate density profile and that of the Mode 1 in the middle and lower cloud layer, as well as by the upward flux of FeCl3 from the middle cloud layer which provides the necessary concentration of FeCl3 in H2SO4 solution. FeCl3 as the second absorber explains the localization of absorption in the upper cloud layer due to the FeCl3 conversion to ferric sulfate near the boundary between the upper and middle cloud layers. Other possible absorbers such as sulfur, ammonium pyrosulfite, nitrosylsulfuric acid, etc. are discussed.

  2. 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

  3. Pioneer Venus Orbiter magnetic field and plasma observations in the Venus magnetotail

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slavin, J. A.; Intriligator, D. S.; Smith, E. J.

    1989-01-01

    Pioneer Venus Orbiter magnetometry and plasma analysis data are presently used to investigate the draped-field Venus magnetotail, with a view to ascertaining the magnetic field and plasma conditions within the various regions of the tail and their dependence on the IMF's orientation. It is found that the distribution of plasma within the magnetotail is highly asymmetric, and controlled by IMF orientation. The magnetotail-ionosheath interface downstream of the Venus hemisphere over which the solar wind motional electric field is outward is very broad, and resembles a slow mode expansion fan with slowly decreasing field strength and gradually increasing plasma density.

  4. Pioneer Venus observations of plasma and field structure in the near wake of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Luhmann, J. G.; Russell, C. T.; Brace, L. H.; Knudsen, W. C.; Taylor, H. A.; Scarf, F. L.; Colburn, D. S.; Barnes, A.

    1982-01-01

    Ionospheric plasma density depletions or 'holes' are observed by the Pioneer Venus orbiter in association with radial magnetic fields in the near wake of Venus. This report presents examples of the collected observations of these unexpected features of the Venus nightside ionosphere obtained by the Langmuir probe, magnetometer, ion mass spectrometer, retarding potential analyzer, plasma analyzer, and electric field experiments. The connection between plasma density depletions and temperature changes, changes in ion composition, plasma wave emissions, and magnetic fields with a substantial radial component is illustrated. Mechanisms that may be responsible for the formation and maintenance of holes are suggested.

  5. Deuterium content of the Venus atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Clarke, John T.

    1989-01-01

    The abundance of deuterium in the atmosphere of Venus is an important clue to the role of water in the planet's history, because ordinary and deuterated water escape the atmosphere at different rates. The high-resolution mode of the IUE was used to measure hydrogen Lyman-alpha emission from Venus, but only an upper limit on deuterium Lyman-alpha emission was found, from which was inferred a D/H ratio of less than 0.002-0.005. This is smaller by a factor of 3-8 than the D/H ratio derived from measurements by the Pioneer Venus Large Probe, and may indicate either a stratification of D/H ratio with altitude or a smaller overall ratio than previously thought.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Sapphire Viewports for a Venus Probe

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bates, Stephen

    2012-01-01

    A document discusses the creation of a viewport suitable for use on the surface of Venus. These viewports are rated for 500 C and 100 atm pressure with appropriate safety factors and reliability required for incorporation into a Venus Lander. Sapphire windows should easily withstand the chemical, pressure, and temperatures of the Venus surface. Novel fixture designs and seals appropriate to the environment are incorporated, as are materials compatible with exploration vessels. A test cell was fabricated, tested, and leak rate measured. The window features polish specification of the sides and corners, soft metal padding of the sapphire, and a metal C-ring seal. The system safety factor is greater than 2, and standard mechanical design theory was used to size the window, flange, and attachment bolts using available material property data. Maintenance involves simple cleaning of the window aperture surfaces. The only weakness of the system is its moderate rather than low leak rate for vacuum applications.

  9. Artist concept of Magellan spacecraft orbiting Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    Magellan spacecraft orbits Venus in this artist concept. The continued quest for detailed topographic measurements of Venus will again be undertaken in April 1989 by Magellan, named after the 16th century Portuguese explorer. Magellan will orbit Venus about once every three hours, acquiring radar data for 37 minutes of each orbit when it is closest to the surface. Using an advanced instrument called a synthetic aperature radar (SAR), it will map more than 90 per cent of the surface with resolution ten times better than the best prior spacecraft. Magellan is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL); Martin Marietta is developing the spacecraft and Hughes Aircraft Company, the advanced imaging radar. Magellan will be deployed from the payload bay (PLB) of Atlantis, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 104, during mission STS-30.

  10. Dynamics of the Venus atmospheric superrotation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takagi, Masahiro

    It has been shown by Takagi and Matsuda (2006, 2007) that the thermal tides excited at the cloud levels propagate downward to the ground, and induce mean flow in the opposite direction to the Venus rotation at about 0-10 km levels. Surface friction acting on this counter flow can provide the Venus atmosphere with net angular momentum required for its superrotation. By using a nonlinear dynamical model, it has been confirmed that this mechanism generates the atmospheric superrotation extending from the ground to 80 km, whose vertical structure is consistent with observations. However, a mean zonal component of the solar heating is excluded in this model. Numerical experiments with the mean zonal solar heating imply that dynamical effects of the mean meridional circulation cannot be neglected. It is also necessary to construct a radiation scheme suitable for the Venus atmosphere with enormous optical depth. We are currently working on these tasks.

  11. Deuterium on Venus - Observations from earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    De Bergh, Catherine; Bezard, Bruno; Owen, Tobias; Crisp, David; Maillard, Jean-Pierre

    1991-01-01

    Absorption lines of HDO and H2O have been detected in a 0.23-wave number resolution spectrum of the dark side of Venus in the interval 2.34 to 2.43 microns, where the atmosphere is sounded in the altitude range from 32 to 42 kilometers (8 to 3 bars). The resulting value of the D/H ratio is 120 + or - 40 times the telluric ratio, providing unequivocal confirmation of in situ Pioneer Venus mass spectrometer measurements that were in apparent conflict with an upper limit set from International UIltraviolet Explorer spectra. The 100-fold enrichment of the D/H ratio on Venus compared to earth is thus a fundamental constraint on models for its atmospheric evolution.

  12. Ion populations in the tail of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vaisberg, O.; Fedorov, A.; Dunjushkin, F.; Kozhukhovsky, A.; Smirnov, V.; Avanov, L.; Russell, C. T.; Luhmann, J. G.

    1995-01-01

    Plasma measurements in the tails of Venus showed the existence of several ion populations. Measurements performed on Venera and Pioneer Venus spacecraft at different planetocentric distances showed the evolution of the plasma parameters along the tail. Low-energy ion fluxes measured in the tail at close downstream distances, are also observed farther downstream, and show low acceleration from 0.5 R(sub V) to 12 R(sub V). High energy ions (energetic O(+) ions) reported from Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO) observations in the tail at 10-12 R(sub V) seem to be the same ion component that was observed as energetic ions at the tail boundary close to the planet on Venera spacecraft. We give evidence that these ions are accelerated in the narrow shear layer near the tail boundary.

  13. Magnetic field fluctuations in the Venus magnetosheath

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Luhmann, J. G.; Tatrallyay, M.; Russell, C. T.; Winterhalter, D.

    1983-01-01

    Using a model for the convection pattern of the shocked solar wind flow around the Venus obstacle, Pioneer Venus observations of ultra-low-frequency (about 10-40 s period) magnetic field fluctuations in the magnetosheath have been traced along streamlines to the regions of the quasi-parallel bow shock. The periods and polarizations of the sinusoidal fluctuations are similar to those observed upstream of the quasi-parallel bow shock, where streaming superthermal particles are believed to produce MHD waves by a beam-plasma instability. The results suggest that both disturbances at the ionopause at Venus and the earth's magnetopause may be caused by convection of turbulent magnetic fields from the subsolar bow shock when the interplanetary field direction produces a quasi-parallel shock there.

  14. Innovative measurement within the atmosphere of Venus.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ekonomov, Alexey; Linkin, Vyacheslav; Manukin, Anatoly; Makarov, Vladislav; Lipatov, Alexander

    The results of Vega project experiments with two balloons flew in the cloud layer of the atmosphere of Venus are analyzed as to the superrotation nature and local dynamic and thermodynamic characteristics of the atmosphere. These balloons in conjunction with measurements of temperature profiles defined by the Fourier spectrometer measurements from the spacecraft Venera 15 allow us to offer a mechanism accelerating the atmosphere to high zonal velocities and supporting these speeds, the atmosphere superrotation in general. Spectral measurements with balloons confirm the possibility of imaging the planet's surface from a height of not more than 55 km. Promising experiments with balloons in the atmosphere of Venus are considered. In particular, we discuss the possibility of measuring the geopotential height, as Venus no seas and oceans to vertical positioning of the temperature profiles. As an innovative research facilities within the atmosphere overpressure balloon with a lifetime longer than 14 Earth days and vertical profile microprobes are considered.

  15. Origin of flux ropes in Venus' ionosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cole, Keith D.

    1994-08-01

    The joule dissipation inside flux ropes in Venus' ionosphere is so great that they must be formed near, and maintained at, the place where they are observed. Thus ropes are not formed by a Kelvin-Helmholtz instability of the ionopause. The hypothesis that ropes may be formed by the dynamo action of internal gravity waves in Venus' thermosphere (Luhmann and Elphic, 1985; Cole, 1993) is strengthened by discussion of a magnetic evolution equation which includes neutral air motion. However, the dynamo process would work only at altitudes at which vin is greater than or equal to omegai. At altitudes or parts of a rope where vin is much less than omegai, the process does not work. A solar wind dynamo is therefore examined to account for the ropes. Thereby a major new heat source for ions of the Venus ionosphere associated with the ropes is uncovered.

  16. Volcanism on Venus - A connecting link?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ksanfomaliti, L. V.

    1984-08-01

    The implications of recently acquired polarimetric and radiometric data for phenomena occurring on Venus are discussed. Polarimetric data revealed a Venus stratospheric enrichment of submicron particles in 1977-79. The droplets were later identified as condensed sulfuric acid, which may have arisen from SO2 photolysis. The data were gathered by the Pioneer Venus Orbiter and the Venera lander. It is argued that a small number of volcanoes injecting SO2 into the lower atmosphere could have also produced convective streams which transported the gas to the upper atmosphere. The Pioneer data also indicated enhanced lightning discharge activity over areas known for their volcanic formations. It is suggested that the entire planet is rife with volcanic activity, which serves as a relief for subsurface heat in the absence of tectonic plates like those on earth.

  17. An Orbit Plan toward AKATSUKI Venus Reencounter and Orbit Injection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kawakatsu, Yasuhiro; Campagnola, Stefano; Hirose, Chikako; Ishii, Nobuaki

    2012-01-01

    On December 7, 2010, AKATSUKI, the Japanese Venus explorer reached its destination and tried to inject itself into Venus orbit. However, due to a malfunction of the propulsion system, the maneuver was interrupted and AKATSUKI again escaped out from the Venus into an interplanetary orbit. Telemetry data from AKATSUKI suggests the possibility to perform orbit maneuvers to reencounter the Venus and retry Venus orbit injection. Reported in this paper is an orbit plan investigated under this situation. The latest results reflecting the maneuvers conducted in the autumn 2011 is introduced as well.

  18. Biologically Closed Electrical Circuits in Venus Flytrap[OA

    PubMed Central

    Volkov, Alexander G.; Carrell, Holly; Markin, Vladislav S.

    2009-01-01

    The Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula Ellis) is a marvel of plant electrical, mechanical, and biochemical engineering. The rapid closure of the Venus flytrap upper leaf in about 0.1 s is one of the fastest movements in the plant kingdom. We found earlier that the electrical stimulus between a midrib and a lobe closes the Venus flytrap upper leaf without mechanical stimulation of trigger hairs. The Venus flytrap can accumulate small subthreshold charges and, when the threshold value is reached, the trap closes. Here, we investigated the electrical properties of the upper leaf of the Venus flytrap and proposed the equivalent electrical circuit in agreement with the experimental data. PMID:19211696

  19. Submillimeter mapping of mesospheric minor species on Venus with ALMA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Encrenaz, T.; Moreno, R.; Moullet, A.; Lellouch, E.; Fouchet, T.

    2015-08-01

    uniform H2O mixing ratio of 2.5±0.6 ppm (corresponding to a HDO mixing ratio of 0.165±0.040 ppm). We note that our spectrum is also compatible with a H2O mixing ratio of 1.5 ppm in the 80-90 km altitude range, and a mixing ratio of 3 ppm outside this range, as suggested by the photochemical model of Zhang et al. (2012, Icarus, vol. 217, pp. 714-739). Our results are in good general agreement with previous single dish submillimeter observations of Sandor and Clancy (2005, Icarus, vol. 177, pp. 129-143), Gurwell et al. (2007, Icarus, vol. 188, p. 288), and Sandor et al. (2010, Icarus, vol. 208, pp. 49-60; 2012, Icarus, vol. 217, pp. 839-844) and with SPICAV/Venus Express results of Fedorova et al. (2008, J. Geophys. Res., vol. 113, p. E00B25) and Belyaev et al. (2012).

  20. Isostatic compensation of equatorial highlands on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kucinskas, Algis B.; Turcotte, Donald L.

    1994-01-01

    Spherical harmonic models for Venus' global topography and gravity incorporating Magellan data are used to test isostatic compensation models in five 30 deg x 30 deg regions representative of the main classes of equatorial highlands. The power spectral density for the harmonic models obeys a power-law scaling with spectral slope Beta approximately 2 (Brown noise) for the topography and Beta approximately 3 (Kaula's law) for the geoid, similar to what is observed for Earth. The Venus topography spectrum has lower amplitudes than Earth's which reflects the dominant lowland topography on Venus. Observed degree geoid to topography ratios (GTRs) on Venus are significantly smaller than degree GTRs for uncompensated topography, indicative of substantial compensation. Assuming a global Airy compensation, most of the topography is compensated at depths greater than 100 km, suggesting a thick lithosphere on Venus. For each region considered we obtain a regional degree of compensation C from a linear regression of Bouguer anomaly versus Bouguer gravity data. Geoid anomaly (N) versus topography variation (h) data for each sample were compared, in the least-squares sense, to theoretical correlations for Pratt, Airy, and thermal thinning isostasy models yielding regional GTR, zero-elevation crustal thickness (H), and zero elevation thermal lithosphere thickness (y(sub L(sub 0)), respectively. We find the regional compensation to be substantial (C approximately 52-80%), and the h, N data correlations in the chosen areas can be explained by isostasy models applicable on the Earth and involving variations in crustal thickness (Airy) and/or lithospheric (thermal thinning) thickness. However, a thick crust and lithosphere (y(sub L(sub 0)) approximately 300 km) must be assumed for Venus.

  1. Galileo infrared imaging spectroscopy measurements at venus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carlson, R.W.; Baines, K.H.; Encrenaz, Th.; Taylor, F.W.; Drossart, P.; Kamp, L.W.; Pollack, James B.; Lellouch, E.; Collard, A.D.; Calcutt, S.B.; Grinspoon, D.; Weissman, P.R.; Smythe, W.D.; Ocampo, A.C.; Danielson, G.E.; Fanale, F.P.; Johnson, T.V.; Kieffer, H.H.; Matson, D.L.; McCord, T.B.; Soderblom, L.A.

    1991-01-01

    During the 1990 Galileo Venus flyby, the Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer investigated the night-side atmosphere of Venus in the spectral range 0.7 to 5.2 micrometers. Multispectral images at high spatial resolution indicate substantial cloud opacity variations in the lower cloud levels, centered at 50 kilometers altitude. Zonal and meridional winds were derived for this level and are consistent with motion of the upper branch of a Hadley cell. Northern and southern hemisphere clouds appear to be markedly different. Spectral profiles were used to derive lower atmosphere abundances of water vapor and other species.

  2. The Tectonics and Evolution of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kaula, William M.

    1997-01-01

    This shift corresponded to a focusing of research on Venus. Some work included comparison with other planets. Venus research is being continued. The research can be summarized under five headings: (1) Planet formation; (2) Thermal and Compositional Evolution; (3) Tectonic structures and processes; (4) Determination and interpretation of gravity; and (5) Analyses of Ishtar Terra. Thirty-four publications were produced. References to publications supporting the summary are by year and letter: e.g., (1990 c,d) for the emphasis on the terminal phases in formation studies.

  3. Venus: Mantle convection, hotspots, and tectonics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Phillips, R. J.

    1989-01-01

    The putative paradigm that planets of the same size and mass have the same tectonic style led to the adaptation of the mechanisms of terrestrial plate tectonics as the a priori model of the way Venus should behave. Data acquired over the last decade by Pioneer Venus, Venera, and ground-based radar have modified this view sharply and have illuminated the lack of detailed understanding of the plate tectonic mechanism. For reference, terrestrial mechanisms are briefly reviewed. Venusian lithospheric divergence, hotspot model, and horizontal deformation theories are proposed and examined.

  4. Are the clouds of Venus sulfuric acid.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, A. T.

    1973-01-01

    It is shown that strong aqueous sulfuric acid solutions have the right refractive index and freeze at Venusian cloud temperature, explain the dryness of the Venusian stratosphere, are consistent with some features of the Venusian IR spectrum, and do not absorb in highly reflecting areas of Venus. It is also indicated that such solutions should be produced by reactions between known atmospheric constituents and most sulfur-bearing rock at the Venusian surface temperature, and require only small amounts of sulfur consistent with its cosmic abundance and with the amounts of other volatile elements present in the atmosphere. It is believed therefore that the clouds of Venus consist of sulfuric acid solutions.

  5. Galileo infrared imaging spectroscopy measurements at venus.

    PubMed

    Carlson, R W; Baines, K H; Encrenaz, T; Taylor, F W; Drossart, P; Kamp, L W; Pollack, J B; Lellouch, E; Collard, A D; Calcutt, S B; Grinspoon, D; Weissman, P R; Smythe, W D; Ocampo, A C; Danielson, G E; Fanale, F P; Johnson, T V; Kieffer, H H; Matson, D L; McCord, T B; Soderblom, L A

    1991-09-27

    During the 1990 Galileo Venus flyby, the Near Infaied Mapping Spectrometer investigated the night-side atmosphere of Venus in the spectral range 0.7 to 5.2 micrometers. Multispectral images at high spatial resolution indicate substanmial cloud opacity variations in the lower cloud levels, centered at 50 kilometers altitude. Zonal and meridional winds were derived for this level and are consistent with motion of the upper branch of a Hadley cell. Northern and southern hemisphere clouds appear to be markedly different. Spectral profiles were used to derive lower atmosphere abundances of water vapor and other species. PMID:17784099

  6. Global deformation on the surface of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bilotti, Frank; Connors, Chris; Suppe, John

    1992-01-01

    Large-scale mapping of tectonic structures on Venus shows that there is an organized global distribution to deformation. The structures we emphasize are linear compressive mountain belts, extensional rafted zones, and the small-scale but widely distributed wrinkle ridges. Ninety percent of the area of the planet's compressive mountain belts are concentrated in the northern hemisphere whereas the southern hemisphere is dominated by extension and small-scale compression. We propose that this striking concentration of fold belts in the northern hemisphere, along with the globe-encircling equatorial rift system, represents a global organization to deformation on Venus.

  7. Pioneer Venus multiprobe entry telemetry recovery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, R. B.; Ramos, R.

    1980-01-01

    The entry phase of the Pioneer Venus Multiprobe Mission involved data transmission over a two hour span. The criticality of recovering those two hours of data, coupled with the fact that there were no radio signals from the probes until their arrival at Venus, dictated unique telemetry recovery approaches on the ground. The result was double redundancy, use of spectrum analyzers to aid in rapid acquisition of the signals, and development of a technique for recovery of telemetry data without the use of real time coherent detection, which is normally employed for all other planetary missions.

  8. Emplacement Scenarios for Volcanic Domes on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glaze, Lori S.; Baloga, Steve M.; Stofan, Ellen R.

    2012-01-01

    One key to understanding the history of resurfacing on Venus is better constraints on the emplacement timescales for the range of volcanic features visible on the surface. A figure shows a Magellan radar image and topography for a putative lava dome on Venus. 175 such domes have been identified with diameters ranging from 19 - 94 km, and estimated thicknesses as great as 4 km. These domes are thought to be volcanic in origin and to have formed by the flow of viscous fluid (i.e., lava) on the surface.

  9. Intermittency of solar system plasma turbulence near Venus and Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teodorescu, Eliza; Echim, Marius; Chang, Tom

    2016-04-01

    We analyze magnetic field data from Venus Express (VEX) and CLUSTER to investigate the turbulent properties of the solar wind and the Earth's and Venus' magnetosheaths. A systematic study of the PDFs (Probability Distribution Functions) of the measured magnetic fluctuations and their fourth order moments (kurtosis) reveals numerous intermittent time series. The presence of intermittency is marked by non-Gaussian PDFs with heavy wings and a scale dependent kurtosis. Higher order analyses on the scale dependence of several moment orders of the PDFs, the structure functions, along with the scaling of the kurtosis allow for a selection of scales that pertain to different scaling regimes, governed by different physics. On such sub-ranges of scales we investigate the fractal structure of fluctuations through the Rank Ordered Multifractal Analysis - ROMA (Chang and Wu, 2008). ROMA is applied to a selection of intermittent magnetic field time series in the solar wind and planetary magnetosheaths and helps to quantify the turbulence properties through the estimation of a spectrum of local Hurst exponents. Research supported by the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement no 313038/STORM, and a grant of the Romanian Ministry of National Education, CNCS - UEFISCDI, project number PN-II-ID-PCE-2012-4-0418.

  10. Impact-generated winds on Venus: Causes and effects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schultz, Pater H.

    1992-01-01

    The pressure of the dense atmosphere of Venus significantly changes the appearance of ejecta deposits relative to craters on the Moon and Mercury. Conversely, specific styles and sequences of ejecta emplacement can be inferred to represent different intensities of atmospheric response winds acting over different timescales. Three characteristic timescales can be inferred from the geologic record: surface scouring and impactor-controlled (angle and direction) initiation of the long fluidized run-out flows; nonballistic emplacement of inner, radar-bright ejecta facies and radar-dark outer facies; and very late reworking of surface materials. These three timescales roughly correspond to processes observed in laboratory experiments that can be scaled to conditions on Venus (with appropriate assumptions): coupling between the atmosphere and earlytime vapor/melt (target and impactor) that produces an intense shock that subsequently evolves into blast/response winds; less energetic dynamic response of the atmosphere to the outward-moving ballistic ejecta curtain that generates nonthermal turbulent eddies; and late recovery of the atmosphere to impact-generated thermal and pressure gradients expressed as low-energy but long-lived winds. These different timescales and processes can be viewed as the atmosphere equivalent of shock melting, material motion, and far-field seismic response in the target. The three processes (early Processes, Atmospheric Processes, and Late Recovery Winds) are discussed at length.

  11. Radar characteristics of small craters - Implications for Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greeley, R.; Christensen, P. R.; McHone, J. F.

    1987-01-01

    Shuttle radar images (SIR-A) of volcanic and impact craters were examined to assess their appearance on radar images. Radar characteristics were determined for (1) nine maarlikie craters in the Pinacate volcanic field, Sonora, Mexico; (2) the caldera of Cerro Volcan Quemado, in the Bolivian Andes; (3) Talemzane impact crater, Algeria; and (4) Al Umchaimin, a possible impact structure in Iraq. SIR-A images were compared with conventional photographs and with results from field studies. Consideration was then given to radar images available for Venus, or anticipated from the Magellan mission. Of the criteria ordinarily used to identify impact craters, some can be assessed with radar images and others cannot be used; planimetric form, expressed as circularity, and ejecta-block distribution can be assessed on radar images, but rim and floor elevations relative to the surrounding plain and disposition of rim strata are difficult or impossible to determine. It is concluded that it will be difficult to separate small impact craters from small volcanic craters on Venus using radar images and is suggested that it will be necessary to understand the geological setting of the areas containing the craters in order to determine their origin.

  12. Global radar units on Venus derived from statistical analysis of Pioneer Venus Orbiter radar data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davis, P. A.; Kozak, R. C.; Schaber, G. G.

    1986-01-01

    The classification of surface radar units on Venus using an unsupervised cluster analysis of Pioneer Venus radar reflectivity and root-mean-square (rms)-slope data is described. The advantages of the unsupervised analysis are discussed. F tests are utilized to evaluate the numerical significance of the clusters. The derived rms-slope data and reflectivity for 15 radar units are presented. The relations between radar data bases and elevation are studied. The lowlands, rolling plains, highlands, and mountainous surface of Venus are examined. The geology of Venus landing sites and radar properties, and the surface radar reflectivity images and earth-based images are compared. The spatial relations between classification units are calculated. It is concluded that the unsupervised analysis data correlate well with Head et al. (1985b) data and produce more detailed classification images.

  13. Venus - Volcano With Massive Landslides

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    This Magellan full-resolution mosaic which covers an area 143 by 146 kilometers (89 by 91 miles) is centered at 55 degrees north latitude, 266 degrees east longitude. The bright feature, slightly south of center is interpreted to be a volcano, 15-20 kilometers (9.3 to 12.4 miles) in diameter with a large apron of blocky debris to its right and some smaller aprons to its left. A preferred explanation is that several massive catastrophic landslides dropped down steep slopes and were carried by their momentum out into the smooth, dark lava plains. At the base of the east-facing or largest scallop on the volcano is what appears to be a large block of coherent rock, 8 to 10 kilometers (5 to 6 miles) in length. The similar margin of both the scallop and block and the shape in general is typical of terrestrial slumped blocks (masses of rock which slide and rotate down a slope instead of breaking apart and tumbling). The bright lobe to the south of the volcano may either be a lava flow or finer debris from other landslides. This volcanic feature, characterized by its scalloped flanks is part of a class of volcanoes called scalloped or collapsed domes of which there are more than 80 on Venus. Based on the chute-like shapes of the scallops and the existence of a spectrum of intermediate to well defined examples, it is hypothesized that all of the scallops are remnants of landslides even though the landslide debris is often not visible. Possible explanations for the missing debris are that it may have been covered by lava flows, the debris may have weathered or that the radar may not be recognizing it because the individual blocks are too small

  14. Astrobiology: The Case for Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2003-01-01

    The scientific discipline of astrobiology addresses one of the most fundamental unanswered questions of science: are we alone? Is there life elsewhere in the universe, or is life unique to Earth? The field of astrobiology includes the study of the chemical precursors for life in the solar system; it also includes the search for both presently existing life and fossil signs of previously existing life elsewhere in our own solar system, as well as the search for life outside the solar system. Two of the promising environments within the solar system being currently considered are the surface of the planet Mars, and the hypothesized oceans underneath the ice covering the moon Europa. Both of these environments differ in several key ways from the environments where life is found on Earth; the Mars environment in most places too cold and at too low pressure for liquid water to be stable, and the sub-ice environment of Europa lacking an abundance of free energy in the form of sunlight. The only place in the solar system where we know that life exists today is the Earth. To look for life elsewhere in the solar system, one promising search strategy would be to find and study the environment in the solar system with conditions that are most similar to the environmental conditions where life thrives on the Earth. Specifically, we would like to study a location in the solar system with atmospheric pressure near one bar; temperature in the range where water is liquid, 0 to 100 C; abundant solar energy; and with the primary materials required for life, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen, present. Other than the surface of the Earth, the only other place where these conditions exist is the atmosphere of Venus, at an altitude of about fifty kilometers above the surface.

  15. Venus - Cycle 1, 2, and 3 Images of Imdr Region

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    This set of three Magellan images shows a small volcano, lava plains distorted into 'wrinkle ridges', and some unusual wispy-appearing surface deposits. The images were acquired during the first, second and third mapping cycles of the mission, in March 1991, November 1991 and July 1992, respectively. The area shown is about 400 kilometers by 100 kilometers (248 by 62 miles) and is centered near 47.5 degrees south latitude, 226 degrees east longitude, in the Imdr region of Venus. The middle image, from the second cycle, was acquired with the spacecraft facing toward the west (left), while the other images were acquired with an identical east-looking geometry. The differing appearance of the second image has intrigued Magellan scientists, because of the possibility that the bright patches observed in cycle 2 may have been caused by rearrangement of loose soil material between March and November, 1991. However, by duplicating the cycle 1 viewing geometry in cycle 3, the surface change theory has been tentatively ruled out. Instead, the radar brightness variations are attributed to reflections from an undulating surface, such as sand ripples or small dunes, that have an asymmetry in the east-west direction. The deposits are apparently associated with a 78 kilometers (48 miles) diameter impact crater, Stowe, which lies about 500 kilometers (310 miles) to the northeast. The fine-grained material created during the impact event may have settled out to form the unusual surface deposits observed here. Scientists are now trying to determine if the proposed ripple structures formed at the time of the impact, or are the result of ongoing wind action at the surface. Data quality during portions of cycle 3 was adversely affected by a faulty transmitter aboard the spacecraft, leading to the missing strips in the bottom image.

  16. Acoustic properties in the low and middle atmospheres of Mars and Venus.

    PubMed

    Petculescu, Andi

    2016-08-01

    Generic predictions for acoustic dispersion and absorption in the atmospheres of Mars and Venus are presented. For Mars, Pathfinder and Mars Express ambient data and averaged thermophysical parameters are used as inputs to a preliminary model based on the continuum approximation for Mars' thin atmosphere-the need for Boltzmann-based treatment is discussed in the context of Knudsen numbers. Strong absorption constrains acoustic sensing within the Martian planetary boundary layer. For the dense atmosphere of Venus, the van der Waals equation of state is used. The thermophysical and transport parameters were interpolated at the ambient conditions. Acoustic sensing is discussed at 50 km above Venus' surface, a level where aerostats (e.g., European Space Agency's EVE) and manned airships (e.g., NASA's HAVOC) may be deployed in the future. The salient atmospheric characteristics are described in terms of temperature, pressure, and convective stability profiles, followed by wavenumber predictions, and discussions of low- and high-frequency sensing applications. At low frequencies, emphasis is placed on infrasound. A simple generation mechanism by Martian dust devils is presented, yielding fundamental frequencies between 0.1 and 10 Hz. High-frequency sensing is exemplified by ultrasonic anemometry. Of the two environments, Venus is notably more dispersive in the ultrasonic range. PMID:27586769

  17. Carbon monoxide short term variability observed on Venus with SOIR/VEX

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vandaele, A. C.; Mahieux, A.; Robert, S.; Drummond, R.; Wilquet, V.; Bertaux, J. L.

    2015-08-01

    The SOIR instrument on board the ESA Venus Express mission has been operational since the insertion of the satellite around Venus in 2006. Since then, it has delivered high quality spectra of the atmosphere of Venus. Spectra are recorded in the IR spectral region (2.2-4.3 μm) using the solar occultation geometry and give access to a vast number of ro-vibrational lines and bands of several key species of the atmosphere of Venus. Here we present the retrieval strategy applied to obtain high quality vertical profiles of carbon monoxide (CO) densities and volume mixing ratios (vmr), spanning the 65-150 km altitude range. We discuss the methodology used to derive the profiles and the validation process implemented to ensure the quality and reproducibility of the results. Influence of ancillary data, such as temperature, is discussed. High variability of CO densities and vmr is observed in relatively short term periods. Correlation between CO and CO2 densities, as well as between CO and temperature above 110 km, corroborates that the major process at those altitudes is the photodissociation of CO2 into CO.

  18. 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.

  19. The Venus-new-world project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marchal, C.

    The search for life is one of the major domains of space research, but it is also the most disappointing. There remains a small hope of success near the southern tropic of Mars. The installation of large human communities is possible on some planets and satellites. For Venus the major problem is to cool down that very hot planet (460°C); it can be done through the interposition of a dust cloud between the Sun and Venus. An efficient dust cloud must be very heavy (billions of tons) and it can be obtained through the pulverization of a well chosen asteroid at a proper place. Thousands of asteroids cross the Venus orbit; it is possible to move some of them with atom bombs and to lead them to the desired place. When Venus will be cold its gaseous CO 2 will disappear into the rocks, the corresponding "greenhouse effect" will be destroyed and we will thus reach a new stable equilibrium. The most pleasant Venusian regions will certainly be the polar regions without night; the Venusian equator is indeed almost exactly in the orbital plane of the planet.

  20. Sulfuric Acid in the Venus Clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sill, G. T.

    1972-01-01

    The visible and ultraviolet transmission features of a thin layer of elemental bromine and hydrobromic acid dissolved in sulfuric acid somewhat resemble the Venus spectrum, up to 14 microns. The chemical process postulated for forming sulfuric acid involves the oxidation of sulfur and its compounds to sulfuric acid through the agency of elemental bromine, produced by the photolytic decomposition of hydrogen bromide.

  1. Sulfuric acid in the Venus clouds.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sill, G. T.

    1972-01-01

    The extremely dry nature of the Venus upper atmosphere appears to demand the presence of an efficient desiccating agent as the chief constituent of the clouds of Venus. On the basis of polarization measures it is to be expected that this substance is present as spherical droplets, 1 to 2 microns in diameter, with a refractive index n of 1.46 plus or minus 0.02 at 3500A in the observed region of the atmosphere, with T about equal to 235 K. This substance must have ultraviolet, visible, and infrared reflection properties not inconsistent with the observed spectrum of Venus. Sulfuric acid, of about 86% by weight composition, roughly fulfills the first of these properties. The visible and ultraviolet transmission features of a thin layer of elemental bromine and hydrobromic acid dissolved in sulfuric acid somewhat resemble the Venus spectrum, up to 14 microns. The chemical process postulated for forming sulfuric acid involves the oxidation of sulfur and its compounds to sulfuric acid through the agency of elemental bromine produced by the photolytic decomposition of hydrogen bromide.

  2. 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.

  3. Electrical discharges in the atmosphere of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ksanfomaliti, L. V.; Vasilchikov, N. M.; Ganpantserova, O. F.; Petrova, Y. V.; Suvorov, A. P.; Filippov, G. F.; Yablonskaya, O. V.; Yabrova, L. V.

    1979-01-01

    Data received from Venera 11 and 12 experiments involving the electrical activity of the atmosphere of Venus show that the electrical discharges occur in the cloud layer. Their energy is roughly the same as in terrestrial lightning, but with a pulse repetition frequency of the discharges which is much greater.

  4. Venus: Geochemical conclusions from the Magellan data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, J. A.

    1992-12-01

    Though the Magellan mission was not designed to collect geochemical or petrological information, it has done so nonetheless. Since the time of the Pioneer Venus mission it has been known that high-altitude (greater than 2.5-5 km) mountainous areas on Venus exhibit anomalously low radiothermal emissivity (e less than 0.6). Magellan has greatly refined and extended these observations. The low emissivity requires surface material in the uplands to have a mineralogical composition that gives it a high bulk dielectric constant, greater than 20. The dielectric constant of dry terrestrial volcanic rocks seldom exceeds 7. The high-dielectric character of high-altitude surface material cannot be a primary property of the local volcanic rock, because there is no reason why rock having the required special mineralogy would erupt only at high altitudes. Therefore it is a secondary property; the primary Venus rock has reacted with the atmosphere to form a mineralogically different surface layer, and the secondary minerals formed are controlled by the ambient temperature, which decreases with altitude on Venus. A further investigation of venusian mineralogy is presented.

  5. Windblown Features on Venus and Geological Mapping

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, Ronald

    1999-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to: 1) develop a global data base of aeolian features by searching Magellan coverage for possible time-variable wind streaks, 2) analyze the data base to characterize aeolian features and processes on Venus, 3) apply the analysis to assessments of wind patterns near the surface and for comparisons with atmospheric circulation models, 4) analyze shuttle radar data acquired for aeolian features on Earth to determine their radar characteristics, and 5) conduct geological mapping of two quadrangles. Wind, or aeolian, features are observed on Venus and aeolian processes play a role in modifying its surface. Analysis of features resulting from aeolian processes provides insight into characteristics of both the atmosphere and the surface. Wind related features identified on Venus include erosional landforms (yardangs), depositional dune fields, and features resulting from the interaction of the atmosphere and crater ejecta at the time of impact. The most abundant aeolian features are various wind streaks. Their discovery on Venus afforded the opportunity to learn about the interaction of the atmosphere and surface, both for the identification of sediments and in mapping near-surface winds.

  6. Solar Airplane Concept Developed for Venus Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2004-01-01

    An airplane is the ideal vehicle for gathering atmospheric data over a wide range of locations and altitudes, while having the freedom to maneuver to regions of scientific interest. Solar energy is available in abundance on Venus. Venus has an exoatmospheric solar flux of 2600 W/m2, compared with Earth's 1370 W/m2. The solar intensity is 20 to 50 percent of the exoatmospheric intensity at the bottom of the cloud layer, and it increases to nearly 95 percent of the exoatmospheric intensity at 65 km. At these altitudes, the temperature of the atmosphere is moderate, in the range of 0 to 100 degrees Celsius, depending on the altitude. A Venus exploration aircraft, sized to fit in a small aeroshell for a "Discovery" class scientific mission, has been designed and analyzed at the NASA Glenn Research Center. For an exploratory aircraft to remain continually illuminated by sunlight, it would have to be capable of sustained flight at or above the wind speed, about 95 m/sec at the cloud-top level. The analysis concluded that, at typical flight altitudes above the cloud layer (65 to 75 km above the surface), a small aircraft powered by solar energy could fly continuously in the atmosphere of Venus. At this altitude, the atmospheric pressure is similar to pressure at terrestrial flight altitudes.

  7. Different types of small volcanos on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slyuta, E. N.; Shalimov, I. V.; Nikishin, A. M.

    1992-01-01

    One of the studies of volcanic activity on Venus is the comparison of that with the analogous volcanic activity on Earth. The preliminary report of such a comparison and description of a small cluster of small venusian volcanos is represented in detail in this paper.

  8. Impact disturbance of the Venus atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Provalov, A. A.; Ivanov, B. A.

    1993-01-01

    Experimental simulations of the atmosphere-surface interaction during high-velocity impact are presented. At Venus an atmospheric vortex, generated with impact, may interact with a local wind. Some surface features, observed on Magellan images may be related with the simulated effect.

  9. Lessons From the Pioneer Venus Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dorfman, Steven D.

    2005-01-01

    We began the Pioneer Venus contract in late 1974 with a planned launch of the Orbiter in May 1978 and the Multiprobe in August 1978. Because we had four years, we thought there was plenty of time. As it turned out, we barely made the launch dates. The Orbiter was relatively straightforward, compared to the Multiprobe Bus and Probes that had to survive descent through the harsh Venusian atmosphere. To help overcome our many Multiprobe problems we formed a strong global team. The GE reentry team in Philadelphia, experienced in designing vehicles to enter the earth s atmosphere, was assigned the responsibility for the Probe entry system, including protective heat shielding and parachute design to extract the scienceladen Large Probe pressure vessel and control its descent through the Venusian clouds. Since the Probes had to remain stable as they descended through the Venus atmosphere, we used the aerodynamic expertise at the Hughes Missile Division, NASA s Ames Research Center and the Langley Research Center. Since the pressure at the surface of Venus was equivalent to an ocean depth of 3300 feet, we went to the Navy s David Taylor Research Center for their deepsea expertise. To test the pressure vessel at the high pressure and temperatures anticipated at Venus we went to the only facility capable of simulating the Venus surface environment, the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. We had dozens of subcontractors all over the world. As we developed our design, we began an extensive program to validate the ability of our Probe hardware to withstand the Venus environment. During this testing, we encountered numerous problems, mostly associated with adapting earth-based hardware to operate in the anticipated Venus environment. For example, the Large Probe pressure vessel imploded with a very loud bang the first time we tested its ability to withstand the high pressure and temperature on the Venusian surface. We had to go back and redesign, increasing the

  10. Venus Atmospheric Maneuverable Platform Science Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polidan, Ronald S.; Lee, Gregory; Ross, Floyd; Sokol, Daniel; Bolisay, Linden

    2015-11-01

    Over the past several years, we have explored a possible new approach to Venus upper atmosphere exploration by applying recent Northrop (non-NASA) development programs and have come up with a new class of exploration vehicle: an atmospheric rover. We will discuss a possible suite of instruments and measurements to study the current climate through detailed characterization of cloud level atmosphere and to understand the processes that control climate on Earth-like planets.Our Venus atmospheric rover concept, the Venus Atmospheric Maneuverable Platform (VAMP), is a hypersonic entry vehicle with an ultra-low ballistic coefficient that transitions to a semi-buoyant air vehicle (AV) after entering the Venus atmosphere. Prior to entry, the AV fully deploys to enable lifting entry and eliminates the need for an aeroshell. The mass savings realized by eliminating the aeroshell allows VAMP to accommodate significantly more instruments compared to previous Venus in situ exploration missions. VAMP targets the global Venus atmosphere between 50-65 km altitudes and would be an ideal, stable platform for atmospheric and surface interaction measurements. We will present a straw man concept of VAMP, including its science instrument accommodation capability and platform’s physical characteristics (mass, power, wingspan, etc). We will discuss the various instrument options.VAMP’s subsonic flight regime starts at ~94 km and after <1 hour, the AV will reach its cruise altitude of ~65 km. During this phase of flight, the VAMP sensor suite will acquire a pre-defined set of upper atmosphere measurements. The nominal VAMP lifetime at cruise altitude is several months to a year, providing numerous circumnavigation cycles of Venus at mid-latitude. The stability of the AV and its extended residence time provide the very long integration times required for isotopic mass analysis. VAMP communicates with the orbiter, which provides data relay and possibly additional science measurements

  11. A modified density model of the Venus atmosphere at 130-200 km altitude

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Svedhem, Håkan; Mueller-Wodarg, Ingo; Rosenblatt, Pascal; Grotheer, Emmanuel

    2014-05-01

    Until recently the only information on the structure of the polar upper atmosphere of Venus available has been based on the reference atmosphere models such as the VTS3 or VIRA models. These models extrapolate the values from low latitudes to high latitudes by using equivalent solar zenith angles. New measurements by Venus Express show that such extrapolations not always give correct results and that there is a permanent overestimate of the density at high latitudes. These new results have been reached by using two different but related techniques, both using an atmospheric drag effect on the spacecraft. By reducing the pericentre altitude the total mass density in the altitude range 150-200km can be measured in situ by monitoring the orbital decay caused by the drag on the spacecraft by the atmosphere via direct tracking of the Doppler signal on the telecommunication link. Such measurements have been performed with Venus Express several times during the last years as part of the Venus Express Atmospheric Drag Experiment (VExADE). The results indicate a large variability within only a few days and have led to questions if these variations are real or within the uncertainty of the measurements. A completely different and independent measurement is given by monitoring the torque asserted by the atmosphere on the spacecraft. This is done by monitoring the momentum accumulated in the reaction wheels during the pericenter pass and at the same time considering all other perturbing forces. This requires the spacecraft to fly in an asymmetric configuration with respect to the center of gravity, center of drag and the velocity vector. This technique has proven very sensitive, in particular if the geometric asymmetry is large, and offers an additional method of measuring atmospheric densities in-situ that previously had not been explored with the Venus Express spacecraft. Similar measurements have been done in the past by Magellan at Venus and by Cassini at Titan. Between

  12. 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.

  13. Protecting Venus from Asteroids, Comets, and Meteors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McKinnon, William B.; Zahnle, K. J.; Cuzzi, Jeffrey (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    It is well accepted that the dense, thick atmosphere of Venus prevents most small cosmic bodies from reaching the surface and forming craters. We have examined this atmospheric intervention in detail, incorporating the lessons learned from the extensive modeling of impactor deceleration and flattening motivated by the SL-9 impacts with Jupiter. We employ a "pancake" model, which best matches detailed code simulations of atmospheric energy deposition, and Schmidt-Holsapple crater scaling modified for complex (flattened) craters. We adopt the distributions of Venus-crossing asteroids and comets determined by E.M. Shoemaker and co-workers, as well as generalizations of these distributions. Our nominal simulation of the venusian crater record is shown below, calibrated to the total number of venusian craters (940). As nearly all craters on Venus are well-preserved and relatively uniformly distributed, such simulations constrain the age of the surface. The fit is reasonable, with a nominal crater retention age of approx. 700 Ma. The fit at the large-crater end is improved if the number of large asteroids is increased, which Shoemaker argues is in fact more representative of the long-term (over several 100 Ma) average, and if Halley-family comets are included. The ages we obtain under a variety of modeling choices that produce good fits (including using Shoemaker's preferred crater scaling) are approx. 700-900 Ma, substantially greater than the most widely cited age estimate in the literature (-300 Ma). The key difference is that we find very large depletions in the production of 20-30-km craters (see figure) compared with previous estimates, the size range at which atmospheric effects are often calibrated or assumed nearly negligible. As venusian global resurfacing recedes deeper into history, the likelihood that Venus is resting between bouts of activity diminishes. Venus, like Mars, may instead be dying or dead.

  14. Venus - False Color of Eistla Regio

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    This false color Magellan image shows a portion of Eistla Regio (region) in the northern hemisphere of Venus, centered at 1 degrees south latitude, 37 degrees east longitude. The area is 440 kilometers (270 miles) wide and 350 kilometers (220 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 terrain appears as bright, highly fractured or chaotic highlands rising out of the plains. This is seen in the right half 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 fractured terrain in this region has a distinctly linear structure with a shear-like pattern. 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 left quadrant of the image. The flows are similar, in their volcanic origin 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Aeolian Processes and Features on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, Ronald; Bender, Kelly C.; Saunders, Stephen; Schubert, Gerald; Weitz, Catherine M.

    1997-01-01

    Aeolian features on Venus include dune fields, eroded hills (yardangs), wind streaks, (miniature dunes of 10 to 30 cm wavelength). Although and possibly microdunes (in repetitive imaging by Magellan did show changes in the appearance of the surface, these changes are attributed to radar artifacts as a consequence of look direction rather than to physical changes of the surface. Nonetheless, measurements of wind speeds near the surface of Venus and wind tunnel simulations suggest that aeolian processes could be currently active on Venus. Study of radar images of terrestrial analogs shows that radar wavelength, polarization, and viewing geometry, including look direction and incidence angle, all influence the detection of dunes, yardangs, and wind streaks. For best detection, dune crests and yardangs should be oriented perpendicular to look direction. Longer wavelength systems can penetrate sand sheets a meter or more thick, rendering them invisible, especially in arid regions. For wind streaks to be visible, there must be a contrast in surface properties between the streak and the background on which it occurs. Nonetheless, more than 6000 aeolian features have been found on Magellan images of Venus, the most common of which are various wind streaks. Mapping wind streak orientations enables near-surface wind patterns to be inferred for the time of their formation. Type P streaks are associated with parabolic ejecta crater deposits and are considered to have formed in association with the impact event. Most Type P streaks are oriented westward, indicative of the upper altitude superrotation winds of Venus. Non Type P streaks have occurrences and orientations consistent with Hadley circulation. Some streaks in the southern hemisphere are oriented to the northeast, suggesting a Coriolis effect.

  17. A tectonic resurfacing model for Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Solomon, Sean C.

    1993-01-01

    Two remarkable aspects of the population of impact craters on Venus are that craters at all sizes are indistinguishable from a random population and that the vast majority of craters have not been significantly modified by tectonic strain or by volcanic flows external to the crater rim, despite evidence from Magellan images that volcanic and tectonic features are widespread on Venus. One interpretation of these observations is that most of the surface dates from the end of a catastrophic global resurfacing event that ceased about 500 My ago, and that the small fraction of craters volcanically embayed or modified by deformation indicates that volcanic and tectonic activity subsequent to that time has been at much lower levels. An alternative model, in which resurfacing occurs episodically in patches a few hundred kilometers in extent and there is a wider spectrum of surface ages, also appears to be consistent with the characteristics of impact craters on Venus. A number of potential mechanisms for catastrophic resurfacing of Venus have been proposed, ranging from geologically sudden convective destabilization of the global lithosphere to strongly time-dependent heat flux and melt generation in the underlying mantle. In most of these geophysical models, resurfacing occurs implicitly or explicitly by volcanism. We explore the hypothesis that, at least in the geologically recent history of Venus, the primary resurfacing mechanism has been tectonic deformation rather than volcanism. We show how such a hypothesis provides at least