The Wide-field Imager for Parker Solar Probe also known as WISPR thermal imaging system recorded the largest mountainous region of Venus, comparable in size to Africa, which is called the Land of Aphrodite.
The night glow in the atmosphere of Venus was recorded for the first time in a photograph. The photo captured by the Parker solar probe is published on the official NASA website.
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NASA’s Parker solar probe was launched in 2018 to study the sun’s outer corona. According to the plan, within seven years of its operation, the spacecraft will fly seven times near Venus, using its gravity to adjust its orbit. At the same time, The Parker mission uses these approximations to perform additional observations of Venus..
So, during the third gravitational maneuver on July 11, 2020, the WISPR onboard wide-angle thermal imager captured images of the night side of the planet from a distance of 12,380 kilometers, unique in quality and scientific value.
During the flight over Venus, the instrument detected a bright rim on the edge of the planet, created by a night glow – light emitted high in the atmosphere by oxygen atoms that recombine into molecules on the night side.
Also, the WISPR thermal imager recorded the largest mountain region of Venus, comparable in size to Africa, called the Land of Aphrodite. The element appears dark in the image due to the fact that its temperature is about 30 degrees Celsius lower than the environment.