Feeds

Studying Venus from the ground up

A helping hand for Venus Express

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
Human spacecraft dodge COMET CHUNKS pelting off Mars
Odyssey orbiter yet to report, though - comet's trailing trash poses new threat
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.