NASA released this spectacular picture of Venus on February 24, 2021, taken by the Parker Solar Probe throughout its Venus flyby in July 2020. The photo voltaic spacecraft – which launched August 12, 2018 – is passing near Venus a complete of seven occasions throughout its seven-year mission in an effort to get the gravity assists it wants to assist propel the craft towards nearer and nearer sweeps close to the solar’s floor.
Parker Photo voltaic Probe made its fourth of seven scheduled Venus gravity assists on February 20, 2021.
The Vast-field Imager for Parker Photo voltaic Probe (WISPR) captured the picture of Venus through the Parker Photo voltaic Probe’s third cross of the planet on July 11, 2020. The nightside of Venus is captured, and the intense edge might be nightglow, or mild emitted by oxygen atoms excessive within the ambiance that recombine into molecules within the nightside. The big darkish expanse close to the middle of Venus is Aphrodite Terra, a broad highland area on the floor. The spacecraft was 7,693 miles (12,380 km) away when it captured this picture.
The streaks seen within the picture are sometimes brought on by a wide range of objects, together with charged particles, daylight mirrored by grains of area mud, and particles of fabric expelled from the spacecraft after influence with the mud grains. The odd black spot close to the underside is an artifact of the WISPR instrument.
These gravity assists utilizing Venus, by the best way, will set the Parker Photo voltaic Probe up for its eighth and ninth shut sweeps previous the solar, slated for April 29 and August 9, 2021. In all, the probe has 24 scheduled orbits across the solar throughout its seven-year mission. Throughout this time, NASA likes to say, the probe will “contact” the solar, that’s, fly throughout the solar’s ambiance. Throughout every of its sweeps previous the solar, NASA said, the Parker Photo voltaic Probe will break its personal nearness data to the solar.
In the end, the Parker Photo voltaic Probe will come inside four million miles (6 million km) of the solar’s floor.
Backside line: Whereas utilizing Venus for a gravity help, the Parker Photo voltaic Probe turned its digital camera on the planet and made this exceptional picture.