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Yes, we have picked up radio signals on Venus, but they are normal

Yes, we have picked up radio signals on Venus, but they are normal

Art rendering of NASA’s Parker solar probe flying over Venus. (Photo credit: NASA / Johns Hopkins / APL / Steve Gribben).

Venus, the morning star, is the planet that is most similar in mass, size and composition. It is also the closest to Earth, and is located within the habitable zone of our sun. However, as we all know, life on Earth is bustling Venus is the wasteland of Hell Surrounded by a dense, opaque atmosphere we had to wait until a few weeks before concluding that the day of Venus lasts about 243,0226 Earth days (that is, nearly two-thirds of the Earth’s year).

Why are these clear differences between the two sister worlds? Some scholars believe that the big difference is made by Magnetism. Earth has a glowing and moving iron core that turns it into a huge magnet. The field it produces, in addition to directing our compasses, protects the planet from the damaging effects of solar radiation, which also causes a precious secondary effect in the process: the northern lights.

Venus, on the other hand, does not have a magnetosphere, and is much closer to the Sun. Although at first it could have properties that make it vulnerable to life, a significant increase in solar activity in the past could warm the planet by Global Warming Its devastating consequences are clear.

However, for some time now Venus He regained part of his leading role For scientific purposes. It happened a few months ago with the discovery of phosphine in the upper layers of its atmosphere (which some have interpreted as a sign of life) and it has happened again now with Some radio emissions detected by NASA’s Parker Solar probe (Of natural origin, do not overbreathe) from the inside.

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The first thing you can ask yourself is what a solar probe like Parker is doing to study Venus. Well, the answer is simple, the ship (launched in 2018) takes advantage of the gravitational force of the second planet in the solar system to gradually position itself in its final position, through which it will study the crown of the star king, as well as the solar wind.

Finally, because Parker periodically visits the vicinity of Venus, scientists are taking the opportunity to test their measuring instruments in an attempt to pass through the gas curtain that masks its surface. Thanks to the data obtained on those flights, the Parker probe tools allowed scientists First glimpse of the orbital dust ring Surrounding Venus, as well as – unexpectedly – penetrating cloud cover and visualizing the “tan” surface of our nearby neighbor.

Now, as I was saying, Parker has managed to capture the natural radio signals coming from within Venus’ atmosphere. The readings took place on July 11, 2020, during the third flight of Venus.

One aspect that baffles scientists relates to the previously mentioned deficiency in the magnetosphere on Venus, which must somehow cause the atmosphere to thin out during periods of intense solar activity. Actually, The solar wind should push Venus’ atmosphere into space, yet researchers have noted the exact opposite From their ground-based telescopes. How could Venus’ ionosphere become faded during periods of low solar activity?

During the last flight on Venus of the Parker probe, which placed the spacecraft just 833 kilometers from the planet’s surface, researchers had the opportunity to see if what Earth’s telescopes were picking up was real, or if it was a mistake. Distance: distance. Thus, over a period of 7 minutes, the probe’s FIELDS instrument took measurements of the atmosphere of Venus while simultaneously scanning all frequencies in the radio spectrum.

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Study the results, a flower expert Glenn Collinson, From NASA’s heliophysics department, realize that a FIELDS instrument was able to travel through Venus’ atmosphere. Facilitating the first measurement in nearly 30 years. This is how he discovered that the captured low-frequency radio signals came from the ionosphere, that is, from the region of the atmosphere in which the plasma is present (which is nothing more than an electrically charged gas).

In 1992, another NASA probe called the Pioneer Venus Orbiter observed the ionosphere during the zenith of the 11-year period periodically followed by the sun. The measurements that Parker took were now made, six months after solar activity had reached a minimum.

By comparing the two measurements, Collinson and his team were able to show that there are significant differences in the atmosphere between the two times. And yes, Venus’ atmosphere appears to be much thinner now than it was in 1992, which supports the theory that Venus’ ionosphere varies greatly during the 11-year solar cycle. Ground telescopes were correct.

Now it remains only to explain why this happened. In Collinson’s view, all of this shows how little we understand the physical workings of our sister planet. The idea now is to try to discover all we can about the differential reality of Venus. Why is our world habitable and Venus not?

Perhaps at some point in the future we will be able to reduce the fascination we all feel about Mars (although Elon Musk makes it difficult for us) and find time to look back at our next morning star. Perhaps understanding why it turned into a blazing wasteland might help prevent something like this from happening in our blue world.

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I discovered reading Gizmodo website

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