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November 2, 2020 - Venus Vortex

Venus Vortex  With only a brisk three years elapsing between approval and launch, the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Venus Express mission earned its name. Launched 15 years ago this week, the ESA’s first mission to Venus unlocked atmospheric secrets of this perpetually cloud-shrouded planet. In these composite images, blue represents ultraviolet images of the day-side cloud top layer at an altitude of about 63 km (39 mi), and red represents infrared images of the lower layers of the cloud deck at an altitude of about 43 km (27 mi). The central panel of the bottom image, centered on the southern hemisphere, shows the unique double vortex at the south pole of Venus, at an altitude of about 60 km (37 mi), surrounded by a collar of “cold” air. Venus Express operated until early 2015.

Image credit: Top: ESA / VIRTIS and VMC teams.  Bottom: ESA / VIRTIS-VenusX IASF-INAF, Observatoire de Paris (R.Hueso, Univ. Bilbao)

Weekly Calendar

November 2 - 8, 2020

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

 

Moon phase Monday 2

1885: Harlow Shapley born
1917: First light for Mount Wilson Observatory 100-inch Hooker telescope

Moon phase Tuesday 3

Election Day

Mercury stationary
Taurid meteor shower

1957: Sputnik 2 carries dog Laika, first living creature to orbit Earth
1966: Test flight of Manned Orbital Laboratory components
1973: Mariner 10 launched
1994: STS-66 Atlantis launched

Moon phase Wednesday 4

Taurid meteor shower

Moon phase Thursday 5

2013: Mars Orbiter Mission launched, India's first interplanetary mission
2018: Voyager 2 spacecraft enters interstellar space

Moon phase Friday 6

1572: Tycho Brahe records bright new star (supernova SN 1572) in Cassiopeia
1966
: Lunar Orbiter II launched

Moon phase Saturday 7

1963: First flight test of Apollo Launch Escape System
1967: Surveyor 6 launched
1996: Mars Global Surveyor launched
2013: Soyuz TMA-11M launched carrying ISS Expedition 38/39 crew

Moon phase Sunday 8

Juno in conjunction with Sun
Last Qtr Moon 8:46 AM ET

1656: Edmund Halley born
1984: STS-51A Discovery launched
1995: STS-74 Atlantis launched
2005: ESA’s Venus Express launched

Suggestions for new history dates or better links? Corrections for errors on this page? Please e-mail me.