Night on Venus in Infrared

A unique night view of Venus in Infrared, taken from orbiting Akatsuki spacecraft, entered orbit around the planet late last year.

Image credit ISAS, JAXA

The night side image shows the whole of Venus, and the image captured the most detailed Venus state. We will closely and precisely study the 3D structure and movement of the Venus atmosphere by combining data of different wavelengths from other cameras.

Even though Akatsuki has passed its original planned lifetime, the spacecraft and its instruments are operating so well that much of its original mission has been reinstated.

In the featured image taken by Akatsuki late last month, Venus was captured in infrared light showing a surprising amount of atmospheric structure on its night side. The vertical orange terminator stripe between night and day is so wide because of light is so diffused by Venus’ thick atmosphere.

source APOD