A Delicate Dance to Understand Our Hot and Cloudy Twin’s Atmosphere

A false-color image of the sulfurous Venusian cloud cover. Credit: Daimia Bouic/JAXA/ISAS/DARTS

SOFIA recently completed a new set of observations of Venus to study the chemical composition of the planet’s atmosphere. Observing Venus was particularly challenging. Venus was in a tricky part of the sky to observe, and the Sun was about to set. For safety reasons, SOFIA can only open the door to the telescope while the Sun is above the horizon under very specific circumstances. Great care must be taken to avoid the telescope accidentally observing the Sun and causing damage to the telescope or aircraft. Due to these specific requirements, the flight planning and coordination for these observations took extra care, discussion, and special preparations.

The planning and preparations for…

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News Source: https://scitechdaily.com/sofia-observes-venus-a-delicate-dance-to-understand-our-hot-and-cloudy-twins-atmosphere/