It is not the one Venus flyby that occurred this week.
Venus Up Shut
The European House Company’s Photo voltaic Orbiter simply passed close by Venus.
Throughout its daring flyby — the probe got here inside simply 4,967 miles of the floor — the small spacecraft’s telescope captured a surprising sequence of photos exhibiting the planet brightly illuminated by the Solar.
Glare within the Darkish
The quick clip exhibits Venus’ darkish facet, which faces away from the Solar, within the form of a round and darkish area. The Solar is someplace off digicam to the precise, harshly illuminating the scene.
“Ideally, we might have been capable of resolve some options on the nightside of the planet, however there was simply an excessive amount of sign from the dayside,” stated Phillip Hess, astrophysicist on the Naval Analysis Laboratory in Washington, D.C., in a NASA statement.
“Solely a sliver of the dayside seems within the photos, nevertheless it displays sufficient daylight to trigger the intense crescent and the diffracted rays that appear to come back from the floor,” he added.
The passage was the Photo voltaic Orbiter’s second Venus flyby. If all goes in keeping with plan, it’ll make yet one more flyby of Earth and 6 extra Venus flybys between 2022 and 2030.
The explanation why it retains coming so near the planet is as a result of it’s utilizing the planet’s gravity to catapult itself nearer to the Solar. Ultimately, the spacecraft’s orbit will permit it to get the first-ever glimpses of the Solar’s north and south poles.
Coincidentally, the ESA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Company’s (JAXA) BepiColombo probe additionally made a flyby of Venus earlier this week. Beautiful footage shared by the ESA exhibits the small spacecraft spinning previous Venus on its lengthy journey to Mercury.
And that’s cool — as a result of it’s not each week that we get two completely different glimpses of a distant world.
READ MORE: During Close Pass, Solar Orbiter Captures Venus’ Glare [NASA]
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