Two spacecraft made historical flybys of Venus recently, and both returned sci-fi-type views of the mystical, cloud-shrouded world.
The Solar Orbiter and BepiColombo spacecraft both utilized Venus for gravity helps within 33 hours of each other, recording distinct images and data during their encounters.
Solar Orbiter, a joint objective between ESA and NASA to study the Sun, cruised past Venus on August 9 at a range of 7995 km (4967 miles). Then BepiColombo, a collaborative venture between ESA and JAXA to Mercury, skimmed past at simply 552 km (343 miles) from the planets surface on August 10.
The image above was taken when BepiColumbo was 1,573 km from Venus.
Heres a video of Solar Orbiters view, from the SoloHI imager:
This video of BepiColombos Venus flyby includes sonification of data taped by the Italian Spring Accelerometer (ISA) aboard the Mercury Planetary Orbiter spacecraft. The accelerometer information was transformed to frequency to be made audible to the human ear. The resulting sound is rather interesting, with the sound reflecting variations in spacecraft velocities due to the worlds gravity acting on the spacecraft structure, as well as impacts due to quick temperature changes, and the modification in response wheel velocity as they strive to make up for these results. The audio has been matched to the timing that the images seen in this motion picture were captured, in the minutes after closest approach.
A screenshot of the Solar Orbiter flyby video. Credit: ESA.
Solar Orbiter will make a last close Earth flyby on November 27 of this year, coming within 460 km (285 miles) prior to more Venus slingshots will tilt its inclination, assisting the spacecraft get in the best position to get the first-ever views of the Suns poles, an essential part of the objective to help us understand the Suns 11 year activity cycle. The start of the main mission likewise begins in November. It will take the closest ever images of the Sun as it comes within 42 million km, and measure the composition of the solar wind.
You can learn more details on the two flybys at the ESA website.BepiColombos objective website.Solar Orbiter objective website.
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In the days leading up to the Venus flyby, the telescope captured views of the brilliant glare of the planets dayside. The footage shows Venus moving across the field of view from the left, while the Sun is off electronic camera to the upper.
Animated gif of BepiColombos flyby, with a sequence of 89 images taken by the tracking video cameras. Credit: ESA
Both flybys assisted the 2 spacecraft reach their next destinations. BepiColombo is scheduled to reach the inner planet of the Solar System in October 2025. The spacecraft requires flybys of Earth, Venus and then several flybys of Mercury itself, together with the spacecrafts solar electric propulsion system, to assist guide into Mercury orbit versus the enormous gravitational pull of the Sun.
BepiColombo is really made of two attached orbiters: the Mercury Planetary Orbiter and the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter. The Planetary Orbiter will map the planet in fantastic detail, and the Magnetospheric Orbiter will study, clearly, its magnetosphere.
In the days leading up to the Venus flyby, the telescope captured views of the bright glare of the worlds dayside. The video shows Venus moving across the field of view from the left, while the Sun is off camera to the upper. The spacecraft needs flybys of Earth, Venus and then several flybys of Mercury itself, together with the spacecrafts solar electric propulsion system, to help steer into Mercury orbit versus the immense gravitational pull of the Sun.
This video of BepiColombos Venus flyby consists of sonification of information tape-recorded by the Italian Spring Accelerometer (ISA) aboard the Mercury Planetary Orbiter spacecraft. Solar Orbiter will make a final close Earth flyby on November 27 of this year, coming within 460 km (285 miles) before additional Venus slingshots will tilt its disposition, helping the spacecraft get in the best position to get the first-ever views of the Suns poles, a vital part of the mission to help us comprehend the Suns 11 year activity cycle.