This campaign will contribute to the growing body of information on the nature of Venus’s atmosphere and will help put the spacecraft’s observations into a broader context.
Between 23 May and 9 June, scientists working at a dozen telescopes and observatories spread all over the world will examine Venus from the ground and perform measurements, some of which are not feasible for Venus Express.
By applying different techniques and performing measurements at wavelengths that are not within the capabilities of the spacecraft, scientists intend to complement the existing dataset and obtain simultaneous measurements and cross-validation of the spacecraft’s observations.
Thus the ground-based observations - radio, submillimetre, infrared and visible - are very useful for interpretation of Venus Express results.
The main focus of the ground-based observations is on measurements of the atmosphere above Venus’ cloud tops. This will complement Venus Express’ capability to study the cloud layer in high detail and the lower atmospheric altitudes, down to the surface.
Spectroscopy at visible, infrared and submillimetre wavelengths from ground-based observatories will enable direct measurements of the wind and unearth fresh data about the mesosphere and the thermosphere, two atmospheric layers situated above Venus’ cloud deck.
This directly complements Venus Express, which determines wind characteristics by tracking motions of the clouds and studies the distribution of gaseous species and temperatures in Venus’ upper atmosphere.
Following on Venus Express’ investigations, the ground-based observations will perform studies of Venus’ oxygen airglow emission – a phenomenon detectable on the night-side that makes the planet glow – and study the composition of the mesosphere and the deep atmosphere.
The timeframe of the ground-based campaign, which extends from 23 May to 9 June, was chosen for different reasons. The most important reason is the fact that Venus is close to its maximum elongation, that is its maximum angular distance from the Sun as seen from Earth, during this period. This is a favourable position for observations of both its day and night sides from Earth.
The time window also encompasses the Venus flyby of NASA’s Messenger on 6 June at 1:10 CEST, en route to its final destination, Mercury. For one day, Messenger’s observations of Venus will also complement those from Venus Express and ground.
Who is involved?
The telescopes involved in the Venus ground-based observation campaign are:CFHT: Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, Hawaii
Keck telescope (Hawaii)
Ground - based campaigns for previous missions“Previous examples demonstrate the importance of connecting space-borne observations with the synoptic coverage provided by continued ground-based programmes,” said Emmanuel Lellouch, Venus Express Supporting Investigator and coordinator of the ground-based observation campaign.
One of the recent ground-based observation campaigns in support of a scientific mission was conducted during the Huygens probe’s descent and landing on Titan on 14 January 2005. As Huygens parachuted to the surface of Titan, a battery of radio and optical telescopes around the world were watching and listening.
The observations brought in new information on the atmosphere and surface properties of Saturn’s largest moon. They also provided information about the probe’s drift in the winds and thus helped to reconstruct the descent trajectory and the coordinates of the landing site.
Other supporting ground-based observations were successfully performed for other scientific missions such as ESA’s SMART-1 which flew to the Moon and NASA’s Deep Impact which flew to comet 9P/Tempel 1.
There are also a large number of amateur astronomers watching Venus regularly, obtaining excellent images to complement data from observatories. During the current campaign, Venus is particularly bright and thus easily observable, even with small telescopes – for amateurs’ viewing pleasure.
Olivier Witasse | alfa
Early opaque universe linked to galaxy scarcity
15.08.2018 | University of California - Riverside
MSU astronomers discovered supermassive black hole in an ultracompact dwarf galaxy
14.08.2018 | Lomonosov Moscow State University
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur
What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...
The quality of materials often depends on the manufacturing process. In casting and welding, for example, the rate at which melts solidify and the resulting microstructure of the alloy is important. With metallic foams as well, it depends on exactly how the foaming process takes place. To understand these processes fully requires fast sensing capability. The fastest 3D tomographic images to date have now been achieved at the BESSY II X-ray source operated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.
Dr. Francisco Garcia-Moreno and his team have designed a turntable that rotates ultra-stably about its axis at a constant rotational speed. This really depends...
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
25.07.2018 | Event News
15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
15.08.2018 | Materials Sciences
15.08.2018 | Life Sciences