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Parker Solar Probe, Take the Solar Plunge
Explorer1
post Jun 1 2017, 09:50 PM
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Perhaps the heat makes ion engines prohibitive?

Regarding a closer approach at the end, I know they were asked at the press conference why they can't dropped the perihelion even closer, and the reply was that once they're inside the orbit of Venus, they can't make any more rendezvous with Venus.
Presumably Mercury is nowhere near a useful trajectory (being more inclined in its orbit, and much less massive.)
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Decepticon
post Jun 5 2017, 07:38 AM
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Curious will Parker Solar Probe also do Venus Science?

I have found no Information about this google wise.
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nprev
post Jun 5 2017, 05:46 PM
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Here's a link to the instrumentation description. Obviously the mission is real heavy on particle & field observations, and I don't know whether the coronal imager (WISPR) is capable of resolving Venus in any useful way. Still, I'm sure they'll record data of some sort during the gravity assists.

Also, since the spacecraft has officially now been named, this topic has been re-titled. smile.gif


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JRehling
post Jun 6 2017, 09:36 PM
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It took me a while to track down the specs of WISPR… many webpages with vague descriptions of it with links to other webpages with other vague descriptions of it. Finally, I got here:

http://www.affects-fp7.eu/helcats-meeting/...PR_vbothmer.pdf

If I read it correctly, WISPR would not be capable of providing much useful Venus information. It is a "white light" telescope with one wide bandpass of 475-755 nm (blue to near-IR). That is going to show a very blank Venus with none of the interesting wavelengths (UV or thermal IR). The peak resolution is 4.3 arcmin per pixel which is extremely low resolution by the standards of most of the spacecraft imaging missions we think of. Basically, it's a whole sky camera, like what might be used to take a picture of the Milky Way in the Earth's night sky. For Venus to look interesting to this camera, it would have to be zooming right over Venus's day side at close range, and even then it would be pretty much guaranteed to show a colorless blank image.

I don't think in the best of circumstances WISPR could do any original Venus science.
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scalbers
post Jun 6 2017, 11:59 PM
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I wonder if some high-phase angle images with such a camera at fairly close range could show some interesting atmospheric effects. Even the ashen-light if it were to exist. Possibly in the daytime I wonder if there are some subtle colors, either brownish if sulfuric acid absorbs or bluish as Rayleigh scattering contributes along with the clouds.


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JRehling
post Jun 8 2017, 12:41 AM
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WISPR wouldn't see color – by "white light" the specs mean a single plane responsive to one wide range of wavelengths, in layman's terms, a black-and-white camera.

The only conceivable advantage over existing datasets would be if it captured Venus' phase angle function from a unique perspective, but Earth-based observations provide basically all angles except the perfectly "full" and perfectly "new" Venus, and we know that Venus Express has covered the "full" phase and multiple orbiters have had the opportunity to image Venus' night side. So I can't see any science coming from this if we're talking about persistent appearance of the planet. Of course, we can never rule out something sporadic light imaging a lightning flash on the night side, although WISPR's quick passes will provide far less chance of that than the long missions of, e.g., Venus Express and Akatsuki.
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