Thursday, June 12, 2014

Tonight's Sky for June 12: Vega 1 Flys By Venus (1985)\


On this date in 1985, a Soviet probe directed at incoming Halley's Comet flew by the planet Venus and dropped a probe designed to study both the atmosphere and surface of Venus. While the lander portion of the mission failed, the atmospheric probe returned data to Earth chronicling wind speeds of around 120mph, pressure of around 535 Mbar (1 megabar equals the approximate atmospheric pressure on Earth), and temperatures of around 300K. All of these measurements were made at a height of about 25 miles. In all, the balloon traveled an estimated 4,000 miles around the planet. 

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