Science & Tech

Chandra captures Venus in a whole new light

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X-ray view of Venus provides new information about its atmosphere

Researchers using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory have made the first X-ray images of Venus, Earth’s sister planet. Though people have been gazing at Venus from the dawn of recorded time, there are many details that have remained unclear. Now, some scientific mysteries could be resolved because of the new observational method. “This opens up the exciting possibility of using X-ray observations to study regions of the atmosphere of Venus that are difficult to investigate by other means,” said Konrad Dennerl of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany, leader of an international team of scientists that conducted the research. The other researchers on the team were Vadim Burwitz and Jakob Engelhauser of the Max Planck Institute; Carey Lisse, University of Maryland; and Scott Wolk, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.