Venus coordinated campaign

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This wiki is provided as a tool for sharing information and schedules for coordinated Venus observations in support of ESA/Venus Express, JAXA/Akatsuki and comparative climatology of the Earth and Venus. Last update Feb. 3, 2013 - TW

What's New ?

Feb. 3, 2013 - Added link to first announcement, 4th International Venus Workshop, June 10-14 2013, Museo Diocesano, Catania, Sicily - T.W.

Feb. 2, 2013 - Added link to 10th Meeting of the Venus Exploration Analysis Group, NASA Headquarters/James Webb Auditorium presentations - T.W.

Sep. 25, 2012 - Added Venus Express Science Activity Plan ('SAP') and Science Planning poster - Description of 2013 planned specific campaigns. - C.W.

Sep. 19, 2012 - Scheme for coordinated observations Oct. 26, 2013 until March 23, 2014 between ground-based observations and VEx/VeRa - In possible relation with dedicated Venus Express/VeRa polar dynamics campaign, on the dayside South polar region (85° S to 50° S), Nov. 25, 2013 until Dec. 31, 2013 ; and solar occultations SOIR observations in every VEx orbit from Dec. 11, 2013 until Feb. 9, 2014. A subsequent campaign of daily VeRa soundings is also planned June 30, 2014 to Sep. 14, 2014 - M.S., C.W., T.W.

Circumstances of Venus coordinated campaigns

Scheduled ground-based observations


Sep. 20, 2013 to Oct. 1, 2013 - Deadline for CFHT/IRTF proposals for observing period around 2014 inferior conjunction.
Coordination with SOIR and VeRa sounding campaigns.

  • Ground-based campaign in support of Venus-Express, 2012-2014
Venus coordinated campaign, Jul. 2012 - Jan. 2013

File:2012 Campaign.pdf

Prospective coordinated observations scheme,

File:Obs geo venus 2013-2016.pdf

  • Circumstances of Venus observation from Earth, 2010-2014
File:Venus obs 2011-2014.pdf
  • Ground-based campaign, Jul. 2010 - Jan. 2012
File:2010 Campaign 5.pdf
  • Editable Google spreadsheet for detailed observing circumstances
2010 | Detailed observing circumstances (Editable Google spreadsheet)

VEx - ground-based coordination files


Instead of broadly pursuing all science objectives every month as we have been doing in the past, we plan to focus on particular science objectives in campaigns lasting up to 4 months each. These campaigns are not exclusive, it just means that they will get top priority; other observations are still possible during these campaigns.

The specific campaigns planned are: - Focus on surface observation in at least 1 of 2 orbits during eclipse season #23 (Jan-Feb 2013) - SPICAV NO observation campaign in 1 of 2 orbits in Eclipse season #24 (May-June 2012) - SO2 observation campaign (SPICAV nadir, SOIR, and ground-based) in every orbit of eclipse season #25 (Sep-Oct 2013). - South Polar dynamics campaign: VMC & VIRTIS cloud tracking, and VeRa HGA2 *egress* soundings in every orbit from orbit 2680-2760 (Nov - Dec 2013, note date change for this campaign). - SOIR mesospheric sounding campaign in every orbit of eclipse season #26 (Dec 2013 - Feb 2014). This spans inferior conjunction.

In particular, the SO2 observation campaign is a great opportunity for ground-based observation. VEx will obtain vertical profiles of mesospheric SO2 using SOIR as well as dayside nadir observations using SPICAV-UV to map the spatial and temporal distribution of SO2 and UV absorber. This will happen near maximum elongation of Venus from the Sun, permitting ground-based observations including IRTF/TEXES, JCMT, or even HST observations to elucidate the sulphur cycle.

See above documents for dates of specific campaigns.

  • VEx science operations, Jan. 2012 - April 2013, VSOC team :

File:VEX-SCIOPS-PO-016 1 F VEX 3rd P3 Extended Overview 2011Nov03.pdf

  • SOIR Files:

In order to make it easier for all observers to have access to the observations date & time performed by SOIR on VEX, the SOIR team has built a web tool which allows the user to find past and near-future observations of SOIR corresponding to several search criteria. This tool can be accessed freely with no password needed through our web site at the following address : [1]

SOIR solar occultation opportunities in the period 1/1/2012-31/12/2012 are described in the following file: File:SOIR MTP76-MTP86.xls

For further details, contact the SOIR Principal Investigator: Ann-Carine Vandaele <>

VEx science operations, Jul. 2010 - Jan. 2012
  • VEx science operations, Jul. 2010 - Jan. 2012, VSOC team :
File:VEX-SCIOPS-PO-014 1 F VEX 3.pdf
  • VeRa Files:
File:VeRa OCC Seasons 1-9.xls

This file describes all VeRa radio occultations carried out in the period 1/7/2006 - 2/6/2010.

For further information contact the VeRa team: Martin Paetzold <>, Bernd Hauesler <>, and Silvia Tellmann <>

File:VeRa Occultations seasons 10-13.txt

This file describes all opportunities for Radio occultations in occultation seasons in January 2011 - November 2012. File kindly provided by Stefan Remus, ESAC. Note that not all radio occultation opportunities are exploited.

For further information contact the VeRa team: Martin Paetzold <>, Bernd Hauesler <>, and Silvia Tellmann <>.

Coordination meetings / meeting sessions

Past and future workshops / Meeting sessions

Meeting agenda: File:3rdmeeting.pdf
Meeting minutes/report: File:3rdSakuraReport.pdf

EPSC Madrid Sep 2012 - Venus atmosphere virtual poster/oral session

Atmospheres of Terrestrial Planets - Oral Program (Friday, 28 Sep. 2012)
Marcq et al.
  • J. Oschlisniok, B. Häusler, M. Pätzold, S. Tellmann, M. K. Bird, G. L. Tyler, T . Andert, S. Remus, 3.6 cm radio signal attenuation in Venus' lower and middle atmosphere observed by the Radio Science experiment VeRa onboard Venus Express. File:Oschlisniok et al EPSC 2012 478.pdf
  • E. Marcq, J.-L. Bertaux, F. Montmessin, D. Belyaev, Evidence for SO2 long-term variability at Venus' cloud top File:Talk.pdf

Atmospheres of Terrestrial Planets - Poster Program (Thursday, 27 Sep. 2012)
  • J. Peralta, D. Luz, D.L. Berry, C.C.C. Tsang, A. Migliorini, G. Piccioni, P. Drossart, Characterization of Atmospheric Waves at the upper clouds in the Polar Region of Venus. File:Poster EPSC 2012 JPeralta A4.pdf
  • T. Stangier, M. Sornig, G. Sonnabend, M. Herrmann, S. Tellmann, T. Kostiuk, T. Livengood, Observations of Venus Night-Side by CO_2 Absorption Features.File:EPSC 2012 Stangier poster.pdf
  • A. Longobardo, E. Palomba, D. Grassi, A. Migliorini, G. Piccioni, P. Drossart, Nocturnal variations of the Venus upper cloud scale height. File:Poster epsc2012 Longobardo.pdf
García Muñoz et al.
  • C.F. Wilson, M. Perez-Ayucar, A.C. Vandaele, V. Wilquet, A. Mahieux, W.J. Markiewicz, J.-L. Bertaux, G. Piccioni, Venus Express observations during the 2012 Venus transit. File:WILSON EPSC2012 POSTER v1.pdf.
  • M. Sornig, G. Sonnabend, B.Sandor, T. Kostiuk, T. Livengood, S. Blank, M. Herrmann, T. Stangier, D. Stupar and P. Krause, Temperature and Wind in the Venusian Upper Atmosphere Measured by Ground Based Infrared Spectroscopy. File:2012 09 epsc madrid venus-wind-temp mso lowres.pdf.
  • M. Herrmann, M. Sornig, G. Sonnabend and T. Stangier, Monitoring of Short Term Wind and Temperature Variations in Venus Upper Atmosphere Derived from Ground Based Infrared Spectroscopy. File:2012 09 epsc herrmann.pdf.
  • A. García Muñoz, P. Wolkenberg, A. Sánchez-Lavega, R. Hueso, I. Garate-López, Effect of clouds and temperatures on model radiances in the night time Venusian atmosphere near 4.3μm.File:EPSC2012poster.pdf

EPSC/DPS Nantes Oct. 2011 - Venus atmosphere virtual poster session

  • Machado et al. 2011, Characterization of Venus' cloud top dynamics using ground-based Doppler spectroscopy. File:Machado-Nantes.pdf
  • Peralta et al. 2011, Solar Tides in the Winds of the Southern Polar Region of Venus using VIRTIS-M/VEx Image. File:Peralta-Nantes.pdf
  • Sonnabend et al. 2011, Thermospheric/Mesospheric Temperatures on Venus : Comparison between Ground-based High-Resolution Spectroscopy of CO2 and other Techniques. File:Sonnabend-Nantes.pdf
  • Stangier et al. 2011, Investigation of CO2 Absorption Features on Venus. File:Stangier-Nantes.pdf

Detailed instrumental characteristics

Ground-based facilities

Clickable map of observatory sites and telescope facilities, with a link to their instruments.

<googlemap version="0.9" lat="5.266008" lon="81.5625" type="terrain" zoom="2" controls="large"> </googlemap>

  • Sunspot Astronomy & Visitor Center
APO 3.5-m
  • Observatorio SOAR
Soar Telescope
  • Observatoire du Pic du Midi de Bigorre
Bernard-Lyot 2-m
  • Osservatorio Astronomico della Regione Autonoma Valle d'Aosta
  • South African Astronomical Observatory
Southern African Large Telescope (SALT)
  • Hanle Observatory
LOT Cassegrain
4 TAOS robotic
  • Naroyo Observatory
Naroyo 1.6-m telescope
NICE IR camera
  • Siding Spring Observatory
Anglo-Australian 3.9-m
1 m McLellan
MOA 1.8-m
0.6-m Optical Craftsmen
0.6-m Boller & Chivens
  • Mauna Kea Observatory
Keck 10-m
CFHT 3.6-m
  • Haleakala Observatory
  • THIS Tuneable Heterodyne Infrared Spectrometer

used at the:

- McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope on Kitt Peak in Arizona
- IRTF on Mauna Kea Hawaii
  • HIPWAC Heterodyne Instrument for Planetary Wind And Composition at IRTF
- HIPWAC team at IRTF

Venus Express instruments

Instrumentation of Venus Express, Credit: ESA
  • SPICAV/SOIR : Ultraviolet and Infrared Atmospheric Spectrometer

Atmospheric spectrometry by star or Sun occultation

UV 0.11 - 0.3 µm R ~ 300

IR 0.7 - 1.7 µm R ~ 1300

SOIR 2.3 - 4.2 µm R ~ 15000

  • VeRa : Venus Radio Science Experiment

Radio sounding of atmosphere

  • VIRTIS : Ultraviolet/Visible/Near-Infrared mapping spectrometer

Spectrographic mapping of atmosphere and surface

- VIRTIS-M mapping spectrometer

Vis 0.25 - 1.0 µm R ~ 100 - 200 ( IR 1 - 5 µm R ~ 100 - 200 )

- VIRTIS-H High-res

2 - 5 µm R ~ 1000 - 2000

  • VMC : Venus Monitoring Camera

Ultraviolet and visible imaging

Filters :

UV 0.365 µm

Vis 0.513 µm

Near - IR1 0.965 µm

Near - IR2 1.010 µm

More about the Venus Express Instruments

Akatsuki instruments

Instrumentation of Akatsuki, Credit: JAXA

Visit the Akatsuki Website

Akatsuki successfully launched at 6:58:22 a.m. on May 21 (Japan Standard Time) !

More about VCO/Akatsuki mission

  • IR1 : 1-micron Camera

Low stratus, vapor, active volcanism

1.01 µm cloud (day-night), surface (nightside)

  • IR2 : 2-micron Camera

Low stratus, trace gasses, zodiacal light

1.73, 2.26, 2.32 (near-IR) 2.02 (CO2), 1.65 µm

  • UVI : Ultraviolet Imager

Cloud-top ultraviolet absorber, SO2

283, 365 nm SO2 - UV absorber (dayside)

  • LIR : Longwave Infrared Camera

Cloud-top temperature distribution

10 µm cloud top (day/nightside)

  • LAC : Lightning and Airglow Camera

Lightening flash, high-stratus airglow emission

Filters 777, 557, 553, 558, 630 nm O2/O airglow (night) lightning (night)

More about the Akatsuki Instruments

Transit of Venus coordinated campaign, June 5-6, 2012


Venus Twilight / coronagraph experiment : Science background - collaborations - Tutorials for registered users

Contact times for the transit can be found at:

Annual mean cloud cover for June :

Science references

Ehrenreich, D., Vidal-Madjar, A., Widemann, T., Gronoff, G., Tanga, P., Barthélemy, M., Lilensten, J., Lecavelier des Etangs, A. and Arnold, L. 2011, Transmission spectrum of Venus as a transiting exoplanet, accepted in Astronomy & Astrophysics.

Tanga, P., Widemann, T., Sicardy, B., Pasachoff, J., Arnaud, J., Comolli, L., Rondi, A., Rondi, S., Suetterlin, P. 2011, Solar light refraction by the Venus mesosphere during the 2004 transit, accepted in Icarus.

Pasachoff, J.M., G. Schneider, and T. Widemann 2011, High-Resolution Satellite Imaging of the 2004 Transit of Venus and Asymmetries In the Cytherean Atmosphere, Astronomical Journal, 141, 112.

Hedelt, P., R. Alonso, T. Brown, M. Collados Vera, H. Rauer, H. Schleicher, W. Schmidt, F. Schreier, and R. Titz 2011, Venus transit 2004 : Illustrating the capability of exoplanet transmission spectroscopy, A&A 533, A136.

Ambastha, A., Ravindra, B. and Gosain, S. 2006, H-alpha observations of 8 june, 2004 Venus transit, Solar Phys. 233:171-184.

De, S.S., De, B.K., Adhikari, S.K., Sarkar, B.K., Sarkar, S.K., Guha, A., Mandal, P.K., Mandal, S.K., Sardar, H.P. and Ray, M. 2006, The effect of recent Venus transit on Earth's atmosphere, Ann. Geophys. Vol. 49, N.6, Dec. 2006.

C.F. Wilson, M. Perez-Ayucar, A.C. Vandaele, V. Wilquet, A. Mahieux, W.J. Markiewicz, J.-L. Bertaux and G. Piccioni, "Venus Express observations during the 2012 Venus transit". Presented at EPSC, Madrid, 27 Sep 2012. :File:WILSON EPSC2012 POSTER v1.pdf

Other links

Venus Coordinated Campaign logo, Credit: Camille Liegeois

The Venus Exploration Analysis Group, established in 2005, is NASA's community-based forum designed to provide scientific input and technology development plans for planning and prioritizing the exploration of Venus over the next several decades

(Between 23 May and 9 June 2007 - ESA web site)

The Venus ground-based image Active Archive (VAA) allows you to upload and retrieve ground-based Venus observations obtained in infrared, visual or ultraviolet light. The aim of this archive is to complement the Venus Express (VEX) spacecraft observations of Venus with worldwide ground-based images to allow for continuous monitoring of the planet.