DH Latest NewsDH NEWSLatest NewsNEWSInternational

NASA shares picture of Venus’s surface glowing “like a piece of iron plucked from a forge”

The surface of Venus is blanketed in cloud layers, but during a recent visit, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe discovered the surface blazing through the clouds.

The Soviet Venera 9 and 10 spacecraft provided the first images of Venus’s surface in 1975. These were followed in 1982 by photos from the Venera 13 and 14 probes. We’ve only seen views of the cloud tops or very sophisticated radar or infrared photographs of the surface landscape in the decades since.

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has provided us with a new perspective, as its very sensitive WISPR cameras photographed the surface blazing through the layers of cloud.

This image was captured in July 2020, during Parker Solar Probe’s third flyby of Venus, and depicts the continent of Aphrodite Terra (dark in the centre of the image) bordered by dazzling lowlands. 60 degrees [Fahrenheit],” Naval Research Laboratory physicist Brian Wood said in a NASA press release. Wood is the lead author of a recent research that examined PSP’s flyby photographs of Venus, which was published this week. For comparison, 860°F is 475°C.

“It’s so hot that the rocky surface of Venus glows like a piece of iron plucked from a forge,” Wood explained.

Planetary imaging was not exactly on the team’s mind when the WISPR cameras on the spaceship were constructed. These cameras were designed specifically to catch images of the Sun’s corona and solar wind. As a result, the first glimpse of Venus’s surface provided by the cameras, shown above, was an unexpected treat. As the spacecraft flew by, the mission team hoped for a close-up view of the planet’s cloud tops. Instead, they received even more.


Post Your Comments

Back to top button