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VMC: The Venus Monitoring Camera

VMC: The Venus Monitoring Camera

Publication date: 02 November 2007

Authors: Markiewicz, W.J., et al.

Journal: ESA Special Publication
Volume: SP 1295
Page: 1-8
Year: 2007

Copyright: ESA

Studying the dynamics of the Venus atmosphere, one of the main goals of the Venus Express mission, requires global imaging of the planet. The Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC) meets this goal by having the relatively wide field-of-view of 17.5º. VMC is recording images using four narrowband filters, from UV to near-IR, all sharing one CCD. The spatial resolution is 0.2-45 km per pixel, depending on the distance from the planet. The planet's full disc is captured near the apocentre of the orbit. VMC is complementing the mission's other instruments by tracking cloud motions at ~70 km (cloud tops) and at ~50 km (main cloud layer) altitudes, mapping oxygen night-glow and its variability, mapping the nightside thermal emission from the surface, and studying the lapse rate and water content in the lower 6-10 km. In addition, VMC is providing imaging context for the whole mission, and its movies of the atmosphere are of significant interest for science and the public outreach programme.

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