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
The upcoming rare transit of Venus is one step in a long dance among Earth, Venus and the Sun. Transits of Venus follow a peculiar pattern—two transits 8 years apart, then 105.5 years with no transits, then two transits 8 years apart, then 121.5 years with no transits, for a total cycle of 243 years—and thereby hangs a tale.
The two spacecraft currently orbiting the two innermost planets are both flying low in their orbits in the final phases of their missions. MESSENGER just performed a rocket burn to raise its orbit slightly, while Venus Express did the opposite.
What Venus Express' Visual Monitoring Camera images of Venus have taught us about the motions of Venus' atmosphere.
A baby Moon and aging Venus crescents are positioned close in the sky today, and lots of people are taking beautiful photos.
Earth's polar vortex has been in the American news all week. But we're not the only planet that has one; basically every world that has an atmosphere has a polar vortex. Here are lots of pretty pictures and animations of polar vortices.
Unless you are lucky and healthy enough to live for another 105 years, tomorrow will be your last chance to see a Venus transit from the surface of the Earth. But this need not be the last transit of Venus that you will ever see.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2006/05/01 06:54 CDT
I just wanted to point out a couple of new items on the website.
Our Curiosity Knows No Bounds!
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