Venus is the second farthest from the Sunplanet. By its size and mass, it is very similar to the Earth, but it rotates very slowly on its axis and a year on it lasts 224 Earth days. The planet has a hard surface and many traces of volcanism, but there are almost no craters left by asteroids on it, because it is well protected by a dense atmosphere. At the moment, the Parker spacecraft is engaged in the study of Venus. In July 2020, he flew past the planet at closest range for the third time and took a beautiful and detailed photograph of its night side. In the picture, you can see at least three interesting details, which we will now talk about. Let's also remember why the Parker spacecraft is needed at all.
Real photo of Venus
A new photo of Venus has been posted onthe official NASA website. The picture was taken on July 11, 2020, when the Parker spacecraft made its third flight around the planet. When he approached at a distance of about 12 thousand kilometers, his WISPR telescope took one of the most beautiful pictures of Venus. It shows her night side, which is not illuminated by sunlight. The right side of the image is full of stars, while the left side is the planet itself. At the same time, light stripes are visible in the photograph, and black and white areas on Venus. NASA employees told what it is.
The dark area in the middle of the planet is the areareferred to as the Land of Aphrodite. It consists almost entirely of mountains and is comparable in size to Africa. The surface is full of folds and cracks, which is why scientists believe that some compressive forces act on it. The name of this area is dedicated to the ancient Greek goddess of love and beauty Aphrodite. In 1985, the landing modules of the Vega-1 and Vega-2 vehicles landed in this area.
Interesting fact: most places on the surface of Venus have female names. The only exception is the James Maxwell Mountain Range, which is the highest on the planet.
Light stripes are also visible in the photo.According to NASA, they are cosmic dust particles that are illuminated by sunlight. A bright glow passes along the edges of the planet, which occurs in the upper atmosphere during chemical processes with the participation of oxygen atoms. A black dot is visible on the bottom of Venus. Do not rush and consider this a trail of aliens - this is just a mistake that for unknown reasons appeared in the photo. It is important to note that the photo has certainly been modified by scientists in graphic editors. That is why the picture has not been published for so long and looks as beautiful as possible.
See also: There is growing evidence that Venus was once inhabited
What is the Parker Probe for?
At the moment, the Parker apparatus has already completedfourth maneuver around Venus. He approached a distance of 2 thousand kilometers and took new pictures of the night side of the planet. Researchers are expected to receive the photographs, edit them, and publish them around the end of April. If anything interesting is noticed on them, we will write an article about it. And if not, at least we will show the picture on our Telegram channel.
It should be noted that the main task of spaceThe Parker apparatus is far from the study of Venus. As part of his 7-year mission, he needs to make 24 revolutions around the Sun and collect as much information as possible about its properties. For example, scientists want to study the parameters of the solar wind, which is a stream of particles that expire into space at a speed of 1200 kilometers per second. At the end of 2020, the device set two records. First, he approached the Sun at the maximum distance at the moment. Second, it became the first human-made device that could accelerate to a speed of 466,592 kilometers per hour.
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Venus is one of the most interestingstudy of planets in the solar system. The fact is that it is very similar to the Earth and some scientists even believe that once upon a time life could exist on it. In the 1960s, researchers studied it as actively as Mars. But, ultimately, Mars received much more attention and a manned flight to its surface is expected to take place as early as 2024. You can read more about what Venus is interesting for in this article.