Posts Tagged ‘venus’

The satellites won’t land as the surface pressure – 92 times that of Earth – and heat of Venus would destroy them. Instead they will look for a ‘mysterious substance’ thought to be lurking in its atmosphere.

NASA has spent $3.6 million to build 12 small satellites to explore the planet Venus in search of a mysterious substance that absorbs half the planet’s light, reports The Daily Caller.

The CubeSat UV Experiment (CUVE) mission will launch the satellites to investigate atmospheric processes on Venus. The 12 satellites vary in size. One is less than four inches across and weighs a few ounces. Another weighs 400 pounds.

A wave from pole to pole in the cloud tops that doesn’t move – but then disappears? Another Venus conundrum emerges.

A massive, un-moving structure has been discovered in the upper atmosphere of Venus, reports the IB Times.

Scientists detected the feature with the Jaxa’s Akatsuki spacecraft and they believe it is some sort of gravity wave – although they do not understand how it ended up at the altitude of cloud tops.

The bow-shaped structure was first spotted in December 2015 and a team led by scientists from Rikkyo University in Japan were able to observe it over several days.

It measured 10,000km in length and was brighter and hotter than the surrounding atmosphere. When scientists attempted to observe it again a month later, it had disappeared. The team published their findings in the journal Nature Geoscience.

2012 Venus transit [credit:  JAXA/NASA/Lockheed Martin

2012 Venus transit [credit: JAXA/NASA/Lockheed Martin]

Venus is certainly an oddball in various ways. Is that the ghost of Velikovsky lurking in the background to this story?

Venus and Mercury have been observed transiting the Sun many times over the past few centuries. When these planets are seen passing between the Sun and the Earth, opportunities exist for some great viewing, not to mention serious research.

And whereas Mercury makes transits with greater frequency (three times since 2000), a transit of Venus is something of a rare treat. In June of 2012, Venus made its most recent transit – an event which will not happen again until 2117.

Luckily, during this latest event, scientists made some very interesting observations which revealed X-ray and ultraviolet emissions coming from the dark side of Venus.


Ultraviolet image of Venus' clouds [credit: NASA]

Ultraviolet image of Venus’ clouds [credit: NASA]

Is it the cloud cover or the enormous atmospheric pressure at the surface that makes Venus hot? Whatever, it seems the poles are colder than Earth, and by a wide margin, as reports. Models based on a ‘greenhouse effect’ weren’t expecting this.

Thanks to a thick layer of cloud cover trapping in heat, Venus is the hottest planet in our solar system, with temperatures boiling over at 850 degrees Fahrenheit (454 C). But in a study published last week in Nature Physics, the European Space Agency found something surprising at the planet’s poles: temperatures more frigid than anywhere on Earth.


Just about now…


The Venus Climate Orbiter AKATSUKI will try to enter the orbit of Venus on Dec. 7 (Mon.) after five years of operation. We are welcoming support messages.


A commenter on another site with the handle ‘Agent009’ has come up with an interesting formula for calculating the environmental lapse rate on three solar system bodies with atmospheres. Talkshoppers might offer some ideas as to why it works. H/T to Stuart ‘Oldbrew’ for flagging this one up.

I’ve been trying to solve a puzzle… dry adiabatic lapse rate is normally calculated as following:
Γ = g·M/cp
where Γ is lapse rate, g is surface gravity acceleration, M is mole mass and cp is molar heat capacity.
However, if you calculate this for Earth, you arrive at 9.77 K/km, but actual environmental lapse rate, as defined in the ISA, is 6.49 K/km, which is about 9.77 * 0.665. So, I decided to take a look at how this works on Venus and Titan – the only two other worlds in the Sol System that actually have tropospheres.
On Venus (assuming tropopause at 55 km), the average lapse rate is about 7.9 K/km, but the above formula gives you 10.46 K/km, which means that you must multiply the result by 0.756 to get the actual value. On Titan (assuming tropopause at 42 km), actual average lapse rate appears to be around 0.5 K/km, but predicted lapse rate is 1.26 K/km – which gives you the coefficient 0.427. So I’ve been trying to figure what this mysterious coefficient depends upon – and, I think, I’ve found it. The following expression gives you almost exactly those numbers (using SI units, that is):

³√(12·g·M·(1/R – 1/cp))
where R is the ideal gas constant.

venus-transit-2012Congratulations to Astrophysicist Ian Wilson who has had a new paper published at Pattern Recognition in Physics:
Discussion of this paper is going to be in the form of a workshop with specific objectives, and comments will be strictly moderated for relevance. The objectives will be announced by the main participants, Ian Wilson and Paul Vaughan, in their opening comments. Basically, unless you have something to contribute to the mathematical exposition, please sit this one out and watch.

This new peer-reviewed paper is available for (free) download at: . This post reproduces the one at Ian’s blog.


I came across this paper today while searching for the heat capacity of Venus near surface atmosphere, which is actually an ocean-like (in thermodynamic terms) supercritical fluid. It presages Harry Dale Huffman’s ‘rediscovery’ of the lapse rate calculation by four decades. Another paper, much more recent, (Bolmatov et al 2013) contains some theory which raises yet more questions about the reasons for Venus’ high surface temperature. So, greenhouse due to radiative proerties of co2 as Sagan claimed, lapse rate due to gravity and pressure as Nikolov and Zeller maintain, or the thermal properties of supercritical fluids and geothermal energy having a hard time escaping the lower atmosphere? Let the debate recommence!



This is an essay written some years ago by the late Tom Van Flandern  which was included in his book ‘Dark Matter, Missing Planets & New Comets’. Tom, who worked for many years at the U.S. Naval Observatory, was an out of the box thinker who covered a wide range of astronomical topics, many of them well outside the mainstream. His methodology was a bit similar to my old dad’s approach to cryptic crosswords. “The clue doesn’t give you the answer, but it helps confirm you got the right answer once you’ve got it”. Leif Svalgaard says he was a crank, which in my view means he’s well worth a read. I think this article, tied in with his other solar system formation concepts, deserves to be republished for the assessment and re-appraisal of the talkshop cognoscenti and the interested visitors here.

mercury-300x300Let us examine in detail what the consequences would be of assuming that Mercury originated as a satellite of Venus. If that were so, we might presume that Mercury formed in close orbit about Venus, perhaps by fissiona. But Mercury is four and a half times more massive than the Moon. So the interchange of energy through tidal friction between Venus and Mercury would have been enormous. Mercury’s original spin would have been halted fairly rapidly by Venus, leaving Mercury spinning once per revolution around Venus, always keeping the same face toward Venus, as for our Moon.


Friends in the parts of the world where the transit of Venus was visible have been snapping away. Here are the first few pics: