September 16, 2021

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Two probes passed around Venus recently.  Now we have their tapes

Two probes passed around Venus recently. Now we have their tapes

Venus doesn’t have many visitors from Earth, but things changed last week with two different visits to them. The first, BepiColombo, stopped there on the way to Mercury, while the second, the Solar Orbiter, used Venus as a springboard toward the Sun.

Flights for both devices Chapter 33 hours onlyothers. The solar orbit, whose mission is operated by NASA and the European Space Agency, is about 8000 km from the surface of Venus. In turn, BepiColombo, the fruit of a collaboration between JAXA and ESA, passed the second planet from the Sun at a distance of just 552 kilometers.

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Both probes captured massive amounts of images on the occasion, which were eventually combined into time-lapse films. Thus, the solar probe revealed a portion of Venus immersed in sunlight. In turn, BepiColombo not only captured the planet itself, but also its instruments on board. Interestingly, the spacecraft will be able to continue photographing Venus until August 18. The video below was created on the basis of 89 images combined into one sequence.

The probes only had 33 hours to fly around Venus

Solar Orbiter was launched in February 2020. Plans assume it will reach rock bottom in mid-2023, in the meantime making measurements that will provide answers to some fundamental questions. The probe explains, among other things, how the solar wind forms, how our star’s dynamo works and the factors that influence the diversity of the Sun’s atmosphere.

Read also: This is the first time that the probe has passed so close to Venus

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In the case of BepiColombo, the primary goal is to explore Mercury, the planet closest to the sun. The mission was launched in October 2018, and entry into Mercury’s orbit should take place in December 2025. Specific tasks of the probe include, for example, studying the geology and topography of the planet, checking general relativity and providing information on the origin of planets orbiting relatively close to their stars.

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