Bright patch seen on Venus

by Anonymous on Aug. 03rd, 2009

Planetary aberation: The goddess Venus helps point out the strange spot discovered on her namesake planet.
Planetary aberation: The goddess Venus helps point out the strange spot discovered on her namesake planet.Courtesy ESA/MPS and edwin.11 via Flickr
An American amateur stargazer discovered an unusual bright spot in the atmosphere of the planet Venus recently. Frank Melillo of Holtsville, New York made his discovery last month on the same day another amateur astronomer in Australia reported finding a dark spot on the planet Jupiter.

While Jupiter’s bruise is attributed to a collision with an asteroid or comet, scientists aren’t yet sure what caused the atmospheric aberration on Venus. A similar collision with a meteor or comet isn’t completely out of the question, but a volcanic eruption on the planet’s surface or a solar discharge interacting with Venus’s upper atmosphere are more likely suspects.

Astronomers are waiting to study more images taken by the European Space Agency’s Venus Express which is currently in orbit around the planet.

LINKS
NewScientist story
BBC story

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