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Last Post 3/13/2009 1:15 PM by  Kris Sigsbee
aurora on venus
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3/13/2009 11:51 AM
    Teri S (Fox) Have auroras ever been observed on the planet Venus, if so, how?
    Tags: aurora, auroras, Venus, nightglow

    Paulett Liewer

    Basic Member

    Basic Member

    3/13/2009 1:09 PM


    Yes,Venus has auroras. It surprised scientist because Venus has a very weak magnetic field..and other planets with auroras have strong magnetic fields (Earth, Jupiter, Saturn). Auroras are seen on other planets by spacecraft which carry telescopes that detect ultraviolet light...light "more violet" than visible light.


    Kris Sigsbee

    Basic Member

    Basic Member

    3/13/2009 1:15 PM

    Hi Teri,

    Scientists have observed phenomena similar to Earth's aurora on Jupiter and Saturn using telescopes and imagers on board spacecraft. No one has seen aurora on Venus because the planet Venus does not have an intrinsic, global magnetic field like Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn do. However, scientists have observed other strange phenomena on the planet Venus. Astronomers using the Keck Telescope in Hawaii have observed something they have termed "nightglow" on Venus. Scientists think the cause of nightglow may be the excitation of atoms and molecules in the Venusian atmosphere by solar radiation during the day. At night, the excited atoms and molecules return to lower energy states, emitting the light seen by the astronomers as nightglow. The Venus nightglow is very different from the aurora because nightglow does not involve particles accelerated within a planetary magnetic field.


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