It's our nearest neighbor and a near twin to Earth in size and composition. But, compared to the rest of the terrestrial worlds, we know little about Venus. What makes the markings in its clouds? How did its history diverge from Earth's to lead to its hellish climate? Why does it have so many volcanoes? Are any of those volcanoes active today? What is its surface made of? Current missions like Venus Express and Akatsuki aim to understand its atmosphere, but no one is currently planning to venture beneath its clouds to explore its surface.
Recent Blog Articles About Venus
Videos of two recent talks I've given, one intended for a general audience and one aimed at professionals.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/09/23 12:12 CDT
Pioneer Venus discovered a stable "dipole" near Venus' north pole, and Venus Express found the same thing near Venus' south pole. Except now Venus Express has found it's not as stable as once thought.
Thirty-three years ago today, Venera 14 plunged through the thick Venusian atmosphere to the surface. Ted Styrk shares some of his processed images from the Venera lander missions to Venus—and makes a plea for us to return.
Venus Express, currently the only spacecraft orbiting our nearest planetary neighbor, will soon meet a fiery end in Venus' atmosphere. But its work isn't over yet. ESA will maneuver Venus Express to dip into the uppermost Venus atmosphere and study how the spacecraft responds to atmospheric pressure, giving ESA valuable experience in aerobraking.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/09 04:51 CDT
Venus? What? Somebody still studies that planet? Yes, and in fact there's an active spacecraft there: Venus Express, the poor little sister to Mars Express.
Van Kane introduces us to EnVision—a proposed European mission to help improve our understanding of Venus.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/05 12:02 CST
There are two intriguing possibilities being discussed in the Japanese media for what to do with Akatsuki, a space probe in orbit near Venus with a fully functional, highly capable suite of cameras but a damaged main engine.
A rare astronomical event occurs June 5/6. Find out why you should care and how to observe it.
In a paper released in Geophysical Research Letters today, Eugene Shalygin and coauthors have announced the best evidence yet for current, active volcanism on Venus. The evidence comes from the Venus Monitoring Camera, which saw transient hot spots in four locations along a system of rifts near Venus' equator. They saw the hot spots in two distinct episodes in 2008 and 2009.
An asteroid or comet headed for Earth is the only large-scale natural disaster we can prevent. Working together to fund our Shoemaker NEO Grants for astronomers, we can help save the world.