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ESA Bulletin 135: Exploring Venus - Answering the Big Questions with Venus Express

ESA Bulletin 135: Exploring Venus - Answering the Big Questions with Venus Express

19 August 2008

The August 2008 issue of ESA's flagship magazine, the ESA Bulletin, features an article presenting some of the most important science results from Venus Express - results which could answer some of the greatest mysteries about our nearest planetary neighbour.

In the article, "Exploring Venus - Answering the Big Questions with Venus Express", Håkan Svedhem, Olivier Witasse and Dmitry Titov present some scientific highlights of the mission based on the first two years of scientific operations.

When Venus Express arrived at Venus in April 2006 it was following in the footsteps of more than 25 spacecraft. In spite of all of this attention many questions about the nature of the planet remained unanswered. One of the most important questions is "why has Venus, which is so similar in some aspects to Earth, evolved in such a dramatically different way?" The authors describe how the past two years of observations with Venus Express address this question by providing important measurements and insight into a number of aspects of this planet, including:

  • a better understanding of the super-rotation of the atmosphere
  • long term monitoring of the polar vortices
  • detection of major and minor gases in the atmosphere
  • detailed studies of the upper layers of clouds
  • strong indications of lightning in the atmosphere
  • investigation of the surface properties of the planet
  • determination of the impact of the solar wind on the upper atmosphere,
  • investigation of the climate on Venus

Further details of these results from Venus Express are available in the ESA Bulletin 135.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
22-Jan-2022 11:52 UT

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