Venus should be the most Earth-like
planet we know : they have almost the same size, they were formed at
the same time, with the same ingredients, at almost the same location
in the solar system. Yet Venus has ended up with an extreme climate.
Failing to understand why two almost twin planets had such different
destiny means we will neither fully understand the conditions in
which life appeared on Earth, nor apprehend the long-term evolution
of our own climate.
science community needs to understand how atmospheres function and
how they change over time. The project will focus on winds,
chemistry, clouds/hazes and temperature structure of Venus. Like
climate studies or ocean current on Earth, we rely on long series of
inter-calibrated measurements. We achieve our goals by analyzing
observations from European Space Agency's Venus Express mission in
combination with observations from large telescopes on Earth.
Six European research laboratories and
their teams of planetary scientists are involved : in Brussels
(Belgium Institute for Space Aeronomy), Cologne (Rhenish Institute
for Environmental Research, University of Cologne, Germany), Lisbon
(Faculty of Sciences and Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics of the
University of Lisbon, Portugal), University of Oxford (England,
United Kingdom), Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur with CNRS in Nice
(France), and Observatoire de Paris-Meudon (France).
EuroVenus project is funded by the European Commission’s Seventh
Framework Program (FP7/2007-2013).