Friday, February 9, 2018

                     THE  HOTHOUSE  EFFECT  ON  STEROIDS

Discover  notes that When Japan’s Akatsuki spacecraft closed in on Venus seven years ago, its main engine failed, and  the spacecraft overshot the planet and barreled into a solar orbit.  

But failed engine aside, the spacecraft was fine. So five years later, when it came back from behind the sun,  the mission's engineers used a separate set of thrusters to slow Akatsuki into an elliptical orbit around the planet. 

It is now snapping photos in ultraviolet and infrared light, revealing unprecedented details of the dynamic weather patterns in the dense -  96% CO2 at 1200 psi surface pressure  - atmosphere of  Venus. Denilaist given to claiming that optical saturation by extra CO2 will limit earthy warming should note that  Venus sports surface temperatures high enough to melt lead and boil mercury.

The Japanese space agency  images have been processed by  French illustrator Damia Bouic into the dramatic photographs posted on her blog.