Stunning new image of Venus reveals nightglow on the planet’s edge

The Parker Solar Probe, designed for detailed study of the Sun, has another advantage — it is able to examine planets as it passes their orbits. As it refines its orbit around our Sun, Parker will pass Venus a total of seven times over its seven-year mission. The Parker probe uses the gravitational pull of planets to bend its path through the Solar System.

Recorded on July 11, 2020, a fascinating new image of Venus was taken during the third of Parker’s seven planned encounters with the Sun. This photo was recorded by the Wide-field Imager for Parker Solar Probe (WISPR) from a distance of 12,380 kilometers (7,693 miles) from the nightside of the planet.

Like a WISPR in the Wind

The WISPR camera was designed to image the inner heliosphere of the Sun (which stretches far into space) in visible light, as well as study the solar wind.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL Naval Research Laboratory/Guillermo Stenborg/Brendan Gallagher