Feeds

Studying Venus from the ground up

A helping hand for Venus Express

High performance access to file storage

The European Space Agency (ESA) has enlisted the help of several ground-based telescopes for a project to complement Venus Express' study of our twin planet.

As of yesterday, scientists working at observatories around the world have been aiming their 'scopes at our sister planet to perform measurements that are not feasible from Venus Express.

Venus Express was launched in November 2005 and is largely based on the successful ESA Mars Express mission. One of the main mission goals is to discover why our twin planet is so strikingly different to Earth.

It carries an array of useful instruments (read more about them here), but can't do everything. ESA says ground based observations in radio, submillimetre, infrared, and visible wavelengths will help interpret data sent back from orbit.

The main focus of the observations is the cloud tops in Venus's atmosphere. Doing spectroscopic analysis at visible, infrared, and submillimetre wavelengths (from the ground) will give ESA direct measurements of the wind, allowing researchers to discover more about the mesosphere and the thermosphere, two atmospheric layers situated above Venus's cloud deck.

Meanwhile, Venus Express itself will be scanning the planet from orbit, determining wind characteristics by tracking the motion of the clouds. It also studies the distribution of gaseous species and temperatures in the planet's upper atmosphere.

The next study ESA wants Earthly help with is tracking Venus's oxygen airglow emission. This is a phenomenon detectable on the night-side, that makes the planet glow. The teams will also be pitching in on a study of the composition of the mesosphere and the deep atmosphere. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.