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1st complete view of Venus’ orbital dust ring

24 Apr 2021, 11:00 UTC
1st complete view of Venus’ orbital dust ring
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This isn’t some sort of flare – or glare – or any kind of jet or ray. It’s the first complete view of a ring of dust moving around the sun in the orbit of the planet Venus. The 4 frames of the image were first captured on August 25, 2019. Image via NASA/ Johns Hopkins APL/ Naval Research Laboratory/ Guillermo Stenborg and Brendan Gallagher.
Did you know that Venus has a ring? Well, sort of. Not a ring of icy or dusty “moonlets” or grains like those surrounding the gas and ice giants in our solar system, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Instead, it’s a circumsolar ring of dust, that is, a ring of dust moving around the sun along Venus’ orbit. Now, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has sent back the first complete view of this ring, the space agency reported on April 16, 2021.
Previous spacecraft had provided partial views of the ring, but this is the first time it has been imaged for nearly the full 360 degrees around the sun.
Researchers published the peer-reviewed results in The Astrophysical Journal on April 7, 2021.
Lead author Guillermo Stenborg from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory said that:
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