NASA's Parker Solar Probe took pictures of Venus surface

NASA's Parker Solar Probe took pictures of Venus surface


21 February 2022

NASA is accustomed to seizing the opportunities offered by spacecraft to gain further knowledge beyond their core missions. Something similar happened in the case of the Parker Solar Probe, which managed to reach the Sun's crown last April, but at the same time has taken photos in the spectrum of visible light from the surface of Venus.

The images from the planet's surface were taken during two flybys of the Parker Solar Probe, which were made in order to get a boost from the gravitational field of Venus in order to get even closer to the Sun. At that time, NASA decided to activate the WISPR (Wide-Field Imager) sensor to study the velocity of Venus' clouds, but it was even luckier. The passage of the spacecraft coincided with the "night" on the planet, resulting in the bright red color of the incandescent surface in visible light.

Thanks to these images, NASA will be able to perform a new mapping of Aphrodite's surface, following those done in the 1990s using radio waves from NASA's Magellan and using infrared from JAXA's Akatsuki. Also, the fact that the shots are in the visible light spectrum will help researchers understand the geological composition of the planet and possibly understand how it evolved to reach its current form.

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