Solar Tour Pit Stop #8: Venus

A Swing by Venus

Greetings from the solar tour! We have arrived at Venus.

Venus and Earth are twins, both rocky and similar size and structure.  Studying Venus helps scientists understand what makes Venus inhospitable and Earth habitable.

But Venus is closer to the Sun, and spacecraft that have flown there in the past have only survived a few hours. 

The sounds of Venus

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is traveling to study the Sun, and flies by Venus to help slingshot it closer to our star.

During a recent flyby of Venus, Parker found that the planet’s upper atmosphere goes through surprising changes over the Sun’s 11-year activity cycle. 

More on what Parker “heard” from Venus

Venus’ nightside

Flying by Venus can give unique and expected views of the inner solar system. 

While flying by Venus, Parker Solar Probe captured this view of Venus’ nightside.

The WISPR instrument captured the image in July 2020 from 7,693 miles away from the planet. More on Parker’s stunning view.

Falling towards the Sun

Thanks to Venus’ gravity, we’ve slowed our orbit to fall even closer to the Sun. Onwards!

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