A sequence of photographs taken by one of many monitoring cameras on board the European-Japanese BepiColombo mission to Mercury, because the spacecraft made an in depth method of Venus on 15 October 2020.
This sequence of 64 photographs was captured by Monitoring Digicam 2 onboard the Mercury Switch Module from 40 minutes earlier than till 15 minutes after closest method of 10 720 km from Venus. The pictures have been taken each 52 seconds. The digital camera offers black-and-white snapshots in 1024 x 1024 pixel decision.
In these photographs, Venus seems within the high proper behind the Mercury Planetary Orbiter’s magnetometer increase and strikes throughout the sector of view in direction of the spacecraft’s medium acquire antenna. The form of the terminator – the boundary between the absolutely illuminated planet (day) and the absolutely shadowed space (evening) – clearly adjustments, exhibiting that the spacecraft’s path curves round from the dayside to the nightside.
The pictures have been flippantly processed to boost the brightness and distinction. The illuminated disk of Venus is so vibrant that it’s saturated in these photographs, even utilizing the shortest attainable digital camera publicity time. On the planet’s terminator, some very faint buildings are seen, however these look like as a result of ghosting within the digital camera optics relatively than options within the environment of Venus. There may be additionally some horizontal striping within the photographs as a result of results within the electronics.
The gravity help manoeuvre was the primary at Venus and the second of 9 flybys total, which assist steer the spacecraft on track for Mercury. Throughout its seven-year cruise to the smallest and innermost planet of the Photo voltaic System, BepiColombo makes one flyby at Earth, two at Venus and 6 at Mercury to brake in opposition to the gravitational pull of the Solar so as to enter orbit round Mercury. BepiColombo, which contains ESA’s Mercury Planetary Orbiter and the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Company (JAXA), is scheduled to succeed in its goal orbit across the smallest and innermost planet of the Photo voltaic System in 2025.