Orbit of the day:
The scientific objectives of the Venus Express Mission is to carry out a comprehensive study of the atmosphere of Venus and to study in detail the plasma environment of the planet and its interaction with the solar wind. Dedicated studies of the surface shall be performed as well. The scientific investigations are focussed on seven scientific \"Themes\" namely:\r\n
- atmospheric dynamics;
- atmospheric structure;
- atmospheric composition and chemistry;
- cloud layer and hazes;
- radiative balance;
- surface properties and geology;
- plasma environment and escape processes.
A number of major scientific questions exist concerning Venus. Many of these questions are of a multi-disciplinary nature and by combining the results from studies of several of the Themes above we hope to get answers to questions like the following:
- what is the mechanism and what is the driving force of the super-rotation of the atmosphere?
- which are the basic processes in the general circulation of the atmosphere?
- what is the past and present water balance in the atmosphere?
- what is the role of the green house effect in the past, present and future evolution of the planet?
- is there presently volcanic and/or tectonic activity on the planet?
- why is Venus so different from the Earth, in spite of the similarities in terms of size, basic composition and distance to the sun?
An improved general understanding and answers to these questions may put us in a better position to answer the perhaps most fundamental question of all:
why Venus evolved so differently than Earth, in spite of the similarities at the beginning of the formation ?
- Could Venus be shifting gear? (2012-02-10)
- The Vortex dance [ita] (2011-04-08)
- Venus's southern polar vortex reveals precessing circulation (2011-04-08)
- Was Venus once a habitable planet? (2010-06-24)
- Venus Express shows off new findings at major conference (2010-06-22)
- Venus' lava flow seen by Italian eyes [ita] (2010-04-13)
- Venus is alive - geologically speaking (2010-04-08)
- Lava flow on Venus [ita] (2010-04-08)
- Recent Hot-Spot Volcanism on Venus from VIRTIS Emissivity Data (2010-04-08)
- New evidence for recent volcanism on Venus (2010-04-08)