We Just Learned Something Crazy About the Atmosphere of Venus

over_venusback in July 2014, Venus Express performed an important technology demonstration. As it descended around Venus’ polar regions, the probe allowed itself to be slowed by atmospheric drag—a process known as “aerobraking.” Onboard accelerometers acquired precise measurements of the drag, which scientists on Earth used to calculate atmospheric properties like density and temperature.

“None of Venus Express’ instruments were actually designed to make such in-situ atmosphere observations,” Ingo Müller-Wodarg, lead author on a recent Nature Physics paper describing the space probe’s findings, said in a statement. “We only realized in 2006–after launch!–that we could use the Venus Express spacecraft as a whole to do more science.”

via We Just Learned Something Crazy About the Atmosphere of Venus

Advertisements

Author: marypmadigan

Writer/photographer (profession), foreign policy wonk (hobby).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s