Japan's probe sends back first pictures of Earth's twin 'Venus'

JAXA released the triumphant images of Venus taken by its planetary probe Akatsuki.

Last Updated: Dec 10, 2015, 11:26 AM IST
Japan's probe sends back first pictures of Earth's twin 'Venus'

Tokyo: After reaching the Venusian orbit, Japanese space probe Akatsuki has sent back first pictures of what is sometimes called Earth's twin on Wednesday.

Also Read: Japanese space probe Akatsuki enters Venus orbit on second attempt

 

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) released the triumphant images of Venus taken by its planetary probe Akatsuki, which entered the Venusian orbit Wednesday after its first failed attempt in 2010.

Venus is sometimes referred to Earth's twin because Venus and Earth are almost the same size, have about the same mass, and have a very similar composition. While Venus and Earth are very different, they are also neighboring planets.

According to Japanese space agency, the orbiter is now flying on the elliptical orbit at the apoapsis altitude of about 400km and periapsis altitude of about 440,000km from Venus.

“The orbit period is 13 days and 14 hours. We also found that the orbiter is flying in the same direction as that of Venus's rotation,” JAXA added in a statement.

Akatsuki carries six instruments - five cameras and a radio probe - designed to scan the highly unusual Venusian atmosphere.