Wednesday, February 09, 2022

New Views of Venus’ Surface | NASA’s Parker Solar Probe

New Views of Venus’ Surface | NASA’s Parker Solar Probe

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has taken its first visible light images of the surface of Venus from space. Smothered in thick clouds, Venus’ surface is usually shrouded from sight. However, in two recent flybys of the planet, Parker used its Wide-Field Imager (WISPR) to image the entire nightside in wavelengths of the visible spectrum—the type of light that the human eye can seeand extending into the near-infrared.

The images, combined into a video, reveal a faint glow from the surface that shows distinctive features like continental regions, plains, and plateaus. A luminescent halo of oxygen in the atmosphere can also be seen surrounding the planet.

More information:

Link to paper:

Mission Information:

Parker Solar Probe is humanity’s first mission to the sun. After launch, it will orbit directly through the solar atmosphere–the corona–closer to the surface than any human-made object has ever gone. While facing brutal heat and radiation, the mission will reveal fundamental science behind what drives the solar wind, the constant outpouring of material from the sun that shapes planetary atmospheres and affects space weather near Earth.

Parker Solar Probe is part of NASA’s Living With a Star Program to explore aspects of the connected sun-Earth system that directly affect life and society.

Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)


Brian Wood (U.S. Naval Research Laboratory)

Giada Arney (NASA/GSFC)

Brendan Gallagher (U.S. Naval Research Laboratory)

Phillip Hess (U.S. Naval Research Laboratory)

Angelos Vourlidas (Johns Hopkins University/APL)

Producer: Joy Ng (KBRwyle)

Writer: Mara Johnson-Groh (Wyle Information Systems)

Animator: Steve Gribben (Johns Hopkins APL)

Music credits: “Tides” and “Subsurface” by Ben Niblett [PRS] and Jon Cotton [PRS] from Universal Production Music

Duration: 3 minutes, 24 seconds

Release Date: February 9, 2022

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