First Look: Venus Date: 22 Oct 1975
The Soviet Union’s Venera 9 lander snapped this photo of Venus during its 53-minute mission on the planet’s hellish surface. It is one of the first photos sent back from the surface of another planet.The image is of the surface of Venus at about 32 S, 291 E. The lander touched down at 5:13 UT( with the sun near zenith) on 22 October 1975 and operated for 53 minutes, allowing return of this single image.The white object at the bottom of the image is part of the lander. The distortion is caused by the Venera imaging system. Angular and partly weathered rocks, about 30 to 40 cm across, dominate the landscape, many partly buried in soil. The horizon is visible in the upper left and right corners.

Source: Solar System NASA.

First Look: Venus 
Date: 22 Oct 1975

The Soviet Union’s Venera 9 lander snapped this photo of Venus during its 53-minute mission on the planet’s hellish surface. It is one of the first photos sent back from the surface of another planet.


The image is of the surface of Venus at about 32 S, 291 E. The lander touched down at 5:13 UT( with the sun near zenith) on 22 October 1975 and operated for 53 minutes, allowing return of this single image.


The white object at the bottom of the image is part of the lander. The distortion is caused by the Venera imaging system. Angular and partly weathered rocks, about 30 to 40 cm across, dominate the landscape, many partly buried in soil. The horizon is visible in the upper left and right corners.

Source: Solar System NASA.

This diagram shows the approximate relative sizes of the terrestrial planets, from left to right: Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. Distances are not to scale. A terrestrial planet is a planet that is primarily composed of silicate rocks. The term is derived from the Latin word for Earth, “Terra”, so an alternate definition would be that these are planets which are, in some notable fashion, “Earth-like”. Terrestrial planets are substantially different from gas giants, which might not have solid surfaces and are composed mostly of some combination of hydrogen, helium, and water existing in various physical states. Terrestrial planets all have roughly the same structure: a central metallic core, mostly iron, with a surrounding silicate mantle. Terrestrial planets have canyons, craters, mountains, volcanoes and secondary atmospheres.
Source.

This diagram shows the approximate relative sizes of the terrestrial planets, from left to right: Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. Distances are not to scale. A terrestrial planet is a planet that is primarily composed of silicate rocks. The term is derived from the Latin word for Earth, “Terra”, so an alternate definition would be that these are planets which are, in some notable fashion, “Earth-like”. Terrestrial planets are substantially different from gas giants, which might not have solid surfaces and are composed mostly of some combination of hydrogen, helium, and water existing in various physical states. Terrestrial planets all have roughly the same structure: a central metallic core, mostly iron, with a surrounding silicate mantle. Terrestrial planets have canyons, craters, mountains, volcanoes and secondary atmospheres.

Source.

APOD: Moon and Venus Over Switzerland
Credit & Copyright: David Kaplan
Explanation: Sometimes a morning sky can be a combination of serene and surreal. Such a sky perhaps existed before sunrise this past Sunday as viewed from a snowy slope in eastern Switzerland. Quiet clouds blanket the above scene, lit from beneath by lights from the village of Trübbach. A snow covered mountain, Mittlerspitz, poses dramatically on the upper left, hovering over the small town of Balzers, Liechtenstein far below. Peaks from the Alps can be seen across the far right, just below the freshly rising Sun. Visible on the upper right are the crescent Moon and the bright planet Venus. Venus will remain in the morning sky all month, although it will likely not be found in such a photogenic setting.

APOD: Moon and Venus Over Switzerland

Credit & Copyright: David Kaplan

Explanation: Sometimes a morning sky can be a combination of serene and surreal. Such a sky perhaps existed before sunrise this past Sunday as viewed from a snowy slope in eastern Switzerland. Quiet clouds blanket the above scene, lit from beneath by lights from the village of Trübbach. A snow covered mountain, Mittlerspitz, poses dramatically on the upper left, hovering over the small town of Balzers, Liechtenstein far below. Peaks from the Alps can be seen across the far right, just below the freshly rising Sun. Visible on the upper right are the crescent Moon and the bright planet Venus. Venus will remain in the morning sky all month, although it will likely not be found in such a photogenic setting.

Japan’s Akatsuki probe fails to enter Venus orbit
Japan’s first space probe bound for Venus has failed to enter the planet’s orbit, the country’s space agency says.
The space craft, Akatsuki, is believed to have passed Venus after it failed to slow down sufficiently.
Akatsuki, launched about 200 days ago, fired its main engine just before 0000 GMT on Monday to allow the planet’s gravity to capture the probe.
A previous interplanetary space probe launched by Japan in 1998 to orbit Mars was also a failure.
Akatsuki briefly lost contact but was now back in communication and functioning normally as it headed off around the sun, officials said.
"Unfortunately, it did not attain an orbit," said Hitoshi Soeno of the space agency, Jaxa.
"But it appears to be functioning and we may be able to try again when it passes by Venus six years from now."
Read more.

Japan’s Akatsuki probe fails to enter Venus orbit

Japan’s first space probe bound for Venus has failed to enter the planet’s orbit, the country’s space agency says.

The space craft, Akatsuki, is believed to have passed Venus after it failed to slow down sufficiently.

Akatsuki, launched about 200 days ago, fired its main engine just before 0000 GMT on Monday to allow the planet’s gravity to capture the probe.

A previous interplanetary space probe launched by Japan in 1998 to orbit Mars was also a failure.

Akatsuki briefly lost contact but was now back in communication and functioning normally as it headed off around the sun, officials said.

"Unfortunately, it did not attain an orbit," said Hitoshi Soeno of the space agency, Jaxa.

"But it appears to be functioning and we may be able to try again when it passes by Venus six years from now."

Read more.

Venus’ South Polar VortexCredit: ESA, Venus Express, VIRTIS, INAF-IASF, Obs. de Paris-LESIA
Explanation: What’s happening over the South Pole of Venus? To find out, scientists have been studying images taken by the robotic Venus Express spacecraft when it passes over the lower spin axis of Earth’s overheated twin. Surprisingly, recent images from Venus Express do not confirm previous sightings of a double storm system there, but rather found a single unusual swirling cloud vortex. In the above recently released image sequence taken in infrared light and digitally compressed, darker areas correspond to higher temperatures and hence lower regions of Venus’ atmosphere. Also illuminating are recently released movies, which show similarities between Venus’ southern vortex and the vortex that swirls over the South Pole of Saturn. Understanding the peculiar dynamics of why, at times, two eddies appear, while at other times a single peculiar eddy appears, may give insight into how hurricanes evolve on Earth, and remain a topic of research for some time. In three months, the European Venus Express spacecraft will be joined around Venus by the Japanese Akatsukisatellite.

Venus’ South Polar Vortex
Credit: ESAVenus ExpressVIRTISINAF-IASFObs. de Paris-LESIA

Explanation: What’s happening over the South Pole of Venus? To find out, scientists have been studying images taken by the robotic Venus Express spacecraft when it passes over the lower spin axis of Earth’s overheated twin. Surprisingly, recent images from Venus Express do not confirm previous sightings of a double storm system there, but rather found a single unusual swirling cloud vortex. In the above recently released image sequence taken in infrared light and digitally compressed, darker areas correspond to higher temperatures and hence lower regions of Venus’ atmosphere. Also illuminating are recently released movies, which show similarities between Venus’ southern vortex and the vortex that swirls over the South Pole of Saturn. Understanding the peculiar dynamics of why, at times, two eddies appear, while at other times a single peculiar eddy appears, may give insight into how hurricanes evolve on Earth, and remain a topic of research for some time. In three months, the European Venus Express spacecraft will be joined around Venus by the Japanese Akatsukisatellite.

Clouds, Birds, Moon, VenusCredit & Copyright: Isaac Gutiérrez Pascual (Spain)
Explanation: Sometimes the sky above can become quite a show. Last week, for example, the Moon and Venus converged, creating quite a sight by itself for sky enthusiasts around the globe. From some locations, though, the sky was even more picturesque. In the above image taken last week from Spain, a crescent Moon and the planet Venus, on the far right, were captured during sunset posing against a deep blue sky. In the foreground, dark storm clouds loom across the image bottom, while a white anvil cloud shape appears above. Black specks dot the frame, caused by a flock of birds taking flight. Very soon after this picture was taken, however, the birds passed by, the storm ended, and Venus and the Moon set. The Moon and Venus have now separated, although Venus will remain visible at sunset for the rest of this month.

Clouds, Birds, Moon, Venus
Credit & Copyright: Isaac Gutiérrez Pascual (Spain)

Explanation: Sometimes the sky above can become quite a show. Last week, for example, the Moon and Venus converged, creating quite a sight by itself for sky enthusiasts around the globe. From some locations, though, the sky was even more picturesque. In the above image taken last week from Spain, a crescent Moon and the planet Venus, on the far right, were captured during sunset posing against a deep blue sky. In the foreground, dark storm clouds loom across the image bottom, while a white anvil cloud shape appears above. Black specks dot the frame, caused by a flock of birds taking flight. Very soon after this picture was taken, however, the birds passed by, the storm ended, and Venus and the Moon set. The Moon and Venus have now separated, although Venus will remain visible at sunset for the rest of this month.

Venus, Mercury, and MoonCredit & Copyright: Pete Lawrence (Digital-Astronomy)

Explanation: Earlier this month, Venus and Mercury climbed into the western twilight, entertaining skygazers around planet Earth in a lovely conjunction of evening stars. Combining 8 images spanning April 4 through April 15, this composite tracks their progress through skies above Portsmouth, UK. Each individual image was captured at 19:50 UT. The sequential path for both bright planets begins low and to the left. But while Venus continues to swing away from the setting Sun, moving higher above the western horizon, Mercury first rises then falls. Its highest point is from the image taken on April 11. Of course on April 15, Venus and Mercury were joined by a young crescent Moon.
(via APOD)

Venus, Mercury, and Moon
Credit & Copyright: Pete Lawrence (Digital-Astronomy)

Explanation: Earlier this month, Venus and Mercury climbed into the western twilight, entertaining skygazers around planet Earth in a lovely conjunction of evening stars. Combining 8 images spanning April 4 through April 15, this composite tracks their progress through skies above Portsmouth, UK. Each individual image was captured at 19:50 UT. The sequential path for both bright planets begins low and to the left. But while Venus continues to swing away from the setting Sun, moving higher above the western horizon, Mercury first rises then falls. Its highest point is from the image taken on April 11. Of course on April 15, Venus and Mercury were joined by a young crescent Moon.

(via APOD)