Venus Express coverage of Venus (11 November to 8 December 2012)
This figure shows coverage of Venus by orbital tracks during the reporting period from 11 November 2012 to 8 December 2012 (medium term plan (MTP) #86). The sequence of lines to the left shows the ascending branches of the orbits and the purple colour indicates that the spacecraft is in darkness. The sequence of lines to the right shows the descending branches, and the yellow colour indicates that the spacecraft is in sunlight. The position of the terminator - the dividing line between the day and night sides of the planet - corresponds to the last orbit of this MTP. Purple triangles along the top are the pericentre locations (on left, at the top of the ascending branches) and along the bottom are the apocentre locations (on right, at the bottom of the descending branches). Yellow triangles denote start and end of solar eclipses; blue triangles (if present) denote beginning and end of Earth occultations.
The local time at ascending node changed from 02:40 hrs to 05:40 hrs during this reporting period. This meant that the season was 'cold', so that pointing the +Z instrument face of the spacecraft at nadir did not expose any thermally sensitive faces of the spacecraft to the Sun.
The first third of this reporting period coincided with the twenty-second eclipse season. Thus priority was given to solar occultations in eclipse until the season ended on 19 November. SOIR ingress or egress observations were taken in almost every orbit that coincided with the eclipse season.