#astronomy Sights and Sounds from Venus, Jupiter, and Past

May 13, 2021 - Comment

Seven Minutes at Venus On its ever-tightening orbits across the Solar, NASA’s Parker Photo voltaic Probe swings by Venus for rerouting functions. However one doesn’t merely cross by our sister planet with out taking some knowledge. Parker’s third flyby on July 11, 2020, took it simply 833 kilometers (517 miles) above the planet’s floor. Whereas


Seven Minutes at Venus

On its ever-tightening orbits across the Solar, NASA’s Parker Photo voltaic Probe swings by Venus for rerouting functions. However one doesn’t merely cross by our sister planet with out taking some knowledge.

Parker’s third flyby on July 11, 2020, took it simply 833 kilometers (517 miles) above the planet’s floor. Whereas the spacecraft was properly above the thick environment, it went shut sufficient to cross via Venus’s ionosphere, the sparse layer of charged particles surrounding the planet.

Parker’s FIELDS instrument, which measures electrical and magnetic fields, detected a low, plasma-wave-induced hum from the ionosphere throughout closest strategy that lasted seven minutes:

The info verify that now that the Solar is on the minimal of its 11-year exercise cycle, Venus’s ionosphere is far thinner than it was when the Pioneer Venus Orbiter final measured it straight, in 1992, again when the Solar’s exercise was peaking. The change is predicted, since Venus doesn’t boast a planetary magnetic subject and responds on to photo voltaic exercise, however quantifying the change will assist astronomers acquire a greater understanding of Venus’s environment and its gradual escape to area.

Learn extra in NASA’s press launch and in Geophysical Analysis Letters.

See Jupiter in One other Gentle

The king of planets presents a examine in contrasts in a trio of photographs that spotlight excessive climate on Jupiter. Hotspots glow vivid at infrared wavelengths however seem brown in seen gentle, whereas the best storm that exhibits up pink at seen gentle turns into darkish at different wavelengths. Discover the photographs under with a watch for some key options.  

Labeled JupiterLabels added to this visible-light Hubble House Telescope picture of Jupiter level out a number of atmospheric options on the planet, together with a “brown barge,” 4 scorching spots (which seem vivid within the infrared picture from Gemini North), a superstorm, the Nice Pink Spot, and Pink Spot Jr. (also called Oval BA).
NASA/ESA/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/M.H. Wong and I. de Pater (UC Berkeley) et al.

Jupiter’s Nice Pink Spot stands out for its darkness at ultraviolet wavelengths. That’s as a result of the identical molecules that give the anticyclone its distinctive pink coloration take in blue and ultraviolet gentle. Within the infrared picture, although, the storm’s thick, swirling clouds block radiation from the planet in order that the Nice Pink Spot practically disappears from the picture altogether. Pink Spot Jr., also called Oval BA, follows the identical wavelength-dependent sample.

Before Image
After Image

The counterrotating layers of clouds, then again, stay distinguished in any respect wavelengths. Nevertheless, the stripes fade close to the darkened poles within the ultraviolet picture, as haze within the stratosphere absorbs rising quantities of ultraviolet photons.

Before Image
After Image

The seen and ultraviolet views have been captured by the Huge Area Digital camera three on the Hubble House Telescope, whereas the infrared picture comes from the Close to-Infrared Imager (NIRI) on the Gemini North telescope in Hawaiʻi. The pictures proven right here, taken on January 11, 2017, have been a part of an extended marketing campaign to trace climate patterns on the planet.

Learn extra in NASA’s press launch and within the Astrophysical Journal Complement Collection.

Voyager 1 Hears Interstellar “Hum”

Voyager 1 sailed out of the photo voltaic system in 2012 when it crossed the heliopause, the boundary that separates the magnetic bubble surrounding our Solar from interstellar area. Now within the area between stars, it’s nonetheless sending again indicators detected by its Plasma Wave Subsystem instrument. The indicators include occasional “whistles,” attributable to sudden will increase in density, lots of them attributable to eruptions from our personal Solar. However tucked amongst the louder indicators is a faint, low-frequency hum that’s coming from the sparse materials unfold out throughout the near-vacuum of area.

Stella Koch Ocker (Cornell College) and colleagues used the sign they discovered to check the density of interstellar materials. The sign has persevered from 2017 onwards, as Voyager 1 has crossed 10 instances the space between Earth and the Solar. The workforce finds the density is altering over time (and area) in a manner that traces turbulence touring via the plasma that’s unfold out between the celebrities.

Sadly, there’s no audio translation of this sign simply but, however you’ll be able to see the low-frequency hum within the determine under. If the skinny, persistent line extending from 2017 onward have been translated into sound, it might be practically a single tone as a result of its vary of frequency is so slender.

Weak however practically steady plasma waves – seen as a skinny pink line on this graphic – join stronger occasions in Voyager 1’s Plasma Wave Subsystem knowledge.
NASA / JPL-Caltech / Stella Ocker

Learn extra in NASA’s glorious press launch and in Nature Astronomy.

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