ESA: Unveiling Venus

May 25, 2012 by Jason Major, Universe Today
The featureless face of Venus, as seen by MESSENGER. Credit: NASA/Gordan Ugarkovic

With Venus about to get its day in the Sun — very much literally — the European Space Agency has assembled an excellent video about our planetary neighbor.

Watch the video below: 

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.
Credit: ESA

Once thought to be similar to Earth, possibly even having liquid water and plant life on its surface, has since been discovered to be anything but hospitable to life. Beneath its cream-colored clouds lies a hellish hothouse of searing temperatures and crushing pressure, making attempts at exploration difficult at best. But ESA’s Venus Express, currently in orbit around the planet, has helped scientists learn more about Venus than ever before, opening our eyes to what really lies beneath — and within — its opaque atmosphere.

Venus is still a planet shrouded in mystery (and sulfuric acid clouds!) but we are gradually pulling away the veil.

Explore further: Mysteries of space dust revealed

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Venus Express spacecraft fires main engine

Feb 20, 2006

One hundred days after its launch to Venus, the European Space Agency's Venus Express has successfully tested its main engine for the first time in space.

Venus: Earth’s twin planet?

Nov 29, 2007

ESA’s Venus Express has revealed Venus as never before. For the first time, scientists are able to investigate from the top of its atmosphere, down nearly to the surface. They have shown it to be a planet ...

Spacecraft Tandem Provide New Views of Venus

Jul 19, 2007

NASA's Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry, and Ranging spacecraft, known as Messenger, and the European Space Agency's Venus Express recently provided the most detailed multi-point images of ...

Was Venus once a habitable planet?

Jun 24, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- ESA's Venus Express is helping planetary scientists investigate whether Venus once had oceans. If it did, it may even have begun its existence as a habitable planet similar to Earth.

Could Venus be shifting gear?

Feb 10, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- ESA’s Venus Express spacecraft has discovered that our cloud-covered neighbour spins a little slower than previously measured. Peering through the dense atmosphere in the infrared, the ...

Recommended for you

Mysteries of space dust revealed

22 hours ago

The first analysis of space dust collected by a special collector onboard NASA's Stardust mission and sent back to Earth for study in 2006 suggests the tiny specks open a door to studying the origins of the ...

A guide to the 2014 Neptune opposition season

Aug 29, 2014

Never seen Neptune? Now is a good time to try, as the outermost ice giant world reaches opposition this weekend at 14:00 Universal Time (UT) or 10:00 AM EDT on Friday, August 29th. This means that the distant ...

Informing NASA's Asteroid Initiative: A citizen forum

Aug 28, 2014

In its history, the Earth has been repeatedly struck by asteroids, large chunks of rock from space that can cause considerable damage in a collision. Can we—or should we—try to protect Earth from potentially ...

Image: Rosetta's comet looms

Aug 28, 2014

Wow! Rosetta is getting ever-closer to its target comet by the day. This navigation camera shot from Aug. 23 shows that the spacecraft is so close to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko that it's difficult to ...

User comments : 0