NASA's, a diminutive spacecraft nabbed wild new images of Venus in a recent flyby, surprising scientists and offering new opportunities for science.
While flying past NASA said Wednesday. Researchers said this rim is night glow, or, "light emitted by oxygen atoms high in the atmosphere that recombine into molecules in the nightside.", the probe captured photos of a bright rim of light around the planet,
The image, captured by the Wide-field Imager for(WISPR), also show's ' biggest highland region, a spot called Aphrodite Terra. In the image above, it's the dark section in the middle.
"WISPR is tailored and tested for visible light observations. We expected to see clouds, but the camera peered right through to the surface," said Angelos Vourlidas, WISPR project scientist from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. This could mean thatis capable of capturing near infrared light. The team is wondering if it can be used to study dust not only around the sun, but within the inner solar system
Theto study solar wind, but uses Venus' gravity to get closer to the sun. The probe is and it uses the Venus flybys to increase its speed and tighten its orbit.
The last flyby occurred on Feb. 20, 2021, which will help the probe's speed increase to 147 kilometers per second. That means it could get from Yankee Stadium in New York to Philadelphia in the blink of an eye.
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