this week, Like sondas Solar Orbiter e BepiColombo, both from the European Space Agency (ESA) in partnership with space agencies in other countries, made a historic tour of Venus only 33 hours apart. The first flew over the planet at 7,995 km on August 9, while the other flew only 552 km above the surface the next day – visits, although brief, resulted in amazing sights and sounds of our neighboring planet.
The two flyovers require high-precision astronautical work to ensure that the craft will follow the correct approach paths. All went well, and the Italian spring accelerometer (ISA) aboard the BepiColombo, with high sensitivity, recorded the acceleration measured by the ship. The team then translated the data into frequencies so that it could be heard by human ears.
The result is the audio below – note some strange effects caused by the planet’s gravity interacting with the ship’s hull and its response to rapid changes in temperature as it approaches Venus.
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BepiColombo was already expected to show a rapid rise in temperature as it moved from the night side of Venus to the day side, and these differences appeared in the probe’s instrument measurements. Mercury magnetosphere probe (MMO), positioned in the protective structure, recorded an increase of 110 °C in the solar panels; On the other hand, the interior of the ship showed an increase of no more than 3 ° C, which in practice indicates the effectiveness of the thermal insulation components.
Since there are no high-resolution scientific cameras on board any of the missions, there are no high-resolution images of the planet. However, the good news is that it was possible to record with other important instruments: the Solar Orbiter’s SoloHI spotted the night side of Venus a few days before the closest approach. When it was closer to the upper bridge, the machine took pictures of the day side of the planet, triggering the video below.
Check how Venus moves in the field of view, from left to right, while the Sun is outside the frame because it was more in the upper corner:
Solar Orbiter is a mission of the European Space Agency in cooperation with NASAand BepiColombo is a partner with the Japanese space agency JAXA. They both have different goals, but both require airlifts to reach their destination. BepiColombo will enter Mercury’s orbit in 2025, and the solar orbiter will still have to fly over Earth to tilt its orbit and be able to observe the sun’s poles. From the first to the second of October, Bepicolombo will make its first flight over Mercury, passing only 200 kilometers of the planet. The Solar Orbiter will make its last flyby of Earth on November 27, passing our planet 460 km away, thus beginning its main mission.
Source: who – which
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