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Space & Astronomy

Visible light from surface of Venus captured from space for first time

By T.K. Randall
February 10, 2022 · Comment icon 3 comments

NASA's Parker Solar Probe recently captured images of Venus unlike any seen before.
With surface temperatures exceeding 860 degrees and crushing atmospheric pressures that are more than 100 times those found on our own planet, the conditions on Venus are undeniably hellish.

Most of what we know about our nearest planetary neighbor, therefore, has come from remote observation rather than from direct exploration of its surface.

Now, for the first time, NASA's Parker Solar Probe - which is on a mission to explore the Sun - has captured images of Venus which show the red-hot glow of its surface radiating through its atmosphere.

Taken with the probe's Wide-field Imager, the images provide a unique glimpse at what lies beneath the planet's thick clouds and will help scientists learn more about its surface geological features.
"Venus is the third brightest thing in the sky, but until recently we have not had much information on what the surface looked like because our view of it is blocked by a thick atmosphere," said astrophysicist Brian Wood of the US Naval Research Laboratory.

"Now, we finally are seeing the surface in visible wavelengths for the first time from space."

"It's so hot that the rocky surface of Venus is visibly glowing, like a piece of iron pulled from a forge."

A NASA video detailing the new images can be viewed above.

Source: Science Alert | Comments (3)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by taniwha 2 years ago
Truly amazing
Comment icon #2 Posted by Twin 2 years ago
Maybe they should turn the J. Webb on Venus for a few peeks.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Manwon Lender 2 years ago
Stunning images snapped by NASA's Parker Solar Probe have given the very first visible light glimpse of Venus' red-hot surface, revealing continents, plains and plateaus on the inhospitable volcanic world. Peering beneath the thick and toxic Venusian clouds with the Wide-field Imager for Parker Solar Probe (WISPR) instrument, NASA scientists spotted a bevy of geological features lit up in the faint glow of Venus' nightside surface, alongside a luminescent halo of oxygen in the planet's atmosphere. The groundbreaking images, taken during the Parker Solar Probe's fourth flyby of Venus on the ... [More]

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