After the discovery of phosphine gas in the clouds of Venus during the past month, which managed to raise the prospects for life, the spacecraft called BepiColombo flew by the second planet in the solar system the other day.
The spacecraft flew past Venus yesterday, and it reached the closest point at11:58 p.m. EST, according to the European Space Agency.
BepiColombo’s main target is to study Mercury
BepiColombo is known to have the main mission of studying Mercury, and it approached Venus from dayside and had a “minimum distance” of 10,420 miles (16,771.5 kilometers).
“The flyby #1 configuration is optimal for both atmospheric and ionospheric/magnetospheric investigations of the Venus close environment,” the ESA wrote in its post.
Fox News revealed that while speaking with Business Insider, planetary researcher Jörn Helbert said the timing of BepiColombo’s passage is remarkable. “It’s [the timing] fantastic. Being able to take [this] data makes me very happy.”
BepiColombo has an interesting tool on board
It’s also important to note the fact that Helbert is using the spacecraft, which launched in October 2018 as a joint mission between the ESA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, for his research.
Another interesting issue is the fact that BepiColombo has a tool on board that could potentially confirm the presence of phosphine has in the Venetian clouds, Helbert said.
According to the same website, ESA posted that “The goal of MERTIS is to provide detailed information about the mineralogical composition of Mercury’s surface layer.”
ESA also noted that it would study Mercury’s surface composition, discover the rock-forming minerals, map its surface, and also analyze the surface temperature of the planet.
Check out the complete ESA notes in order to learn all the available details.
ESA also pointed out to the fact that BepiColombo’s second flyby of Venus will take place during 2021 on August 10.