NASA’s Parker Solar Probe Discovers Radio Signal in Venus’ Atmosphere

Radio Signal Venus

During a brief swing by Venus, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe detected a natural radio signal that revealed the spacecraft had flown through the planet’s upper atmosphere. This was the first direct measurement of the Venusian atmosphere in nearly 30 years — and it looks quite different from Venus past. A study published today confirms that Venus’ upper atmosphere undergoes puzzling changes over a solar cycle, the Sun’s 11-year activity cycle. This marks the latest clue to untangling how and why Venus and Earth are so different.

Born of similar processes, Earth and Venus are twins: both rocky, and of similar size and structure. But their paths diverged from birth. Venus lacks a magnetic field, and its surface broils at temperatures hot enough to melt lead. At most, spacecraft have only ever survived a couple hours there. Studying Venus, inhospitable as it is, helps scientists understand how these twins have evolved, and what makes Earth-like planets habitable or not.

On July 11, 2020, Parker Solar Probe swung by Venus in its third flyby. Each flyby is designed to leverage the planet’s gravity to fly the spacecraft closer and closer to the Sun. The mission — managed by Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland — made its closest flyby of Venus yet, passing just 517 miles (833 km) above the surface.

The data sonification in the video translates data from Parker Solar Probe’s FIELDS instrument into sound. FIELDS detected a natural, low-frequency radio emission as it moved through Venus’ atmosphere that helped scientists calculate the density of the planet’s electrically charged upper atmosphere, called the ionosphere. Credit: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio/Mark SubbaRao/Glyn Collinson

“I was just so excited to have new data from Venus,” said Glyn Collison of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, the lead scientist on the study, published today (May 3, 2021) in Geophysical Research Letters. A Venus expert, Collinson has pored over all the Venus data available — from past missions like NASA’s Pioneer Venus Orbiter and ESA’s (the European Space Agency) Venus Express — several times.

One of Parker Solar Probe’s instruments is FIELDS, named for the electric and magnetic fields it measures in the Sun’s atmosphere. For just seven minutes — when Parker Solar Probe was closest to Venus — FIELDS detected a natural, low-frequency radio signal. The thin frown in the data caught Collinson’s attention. The shape and strength of the signal seemed familiar, but he could not place it. “Then the next day, I woke up,” he said. “And I thought, ‘Oh my god, I know what this is!’”

Collinson recognized the signal from his previous work with NASA’s Galileo orbiter, which explored Jupiter and its moons before the mission ended in 2003. A similar frown appeared whenever the spacecraft passed through the ionospheres of Jupiter’s moons.

Like Earth, Venus sports an electrically charged layer of gas at the upper edge of its atmosphere, called the ionosphere. This sea of charged gases, or plasma, naturally emits radio waves that can be detected by instruments like FIELDS. When Collinson and his team identified that signal, they realized Parker Solar Probe had skimmed Venus’ upper atmosphere — a pleasant surprise, though one they might have expected based on previous data, he said.

The researchers used this radio emission to calculate the density of the ionosphere that Parker Solar Probe flew through. Researchers last obtained direct measurements of Venus’ ionosphere from Pioneer Venus Orbiter in 1992. Then, the Sun was near solar maximum, the stormy peak of the solar cycle.

In the years that followed, data from ground-based telescopes suggested big changes were taking place as the Sun settled into its calm phase, solar minimum. While the bulk of the atmosphere remained the same, the ionosphere — which is at the top, where gases can escape to space — was much thinner during solar minimum.

Without direct measurements, it was impossible to confirm.

Venus Parker Solar Probe

During its third Venus flyby on July 11, 2020, Parker Solar Probe’s WISPR imager captured this view of Venus’ nightside from 7,693 miles away. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Naval Research Laboratory/Guillermo Stenborg and Brendan Gallagher

The observations from Parker Solar Probe’s recent flyby, which occurred six months after the latest solar minimum, verify the puzzle in Venus’ ionosphere. Indeed, Venus’ ionosphere is much thinner compared to previous measurements taken during solar maximum.

“When multiple missions are confirming the same result, one after the other, that gives you a lot of confidence that the thinning is real,” said Robin Ramstad, a study co-author and post-doctoral researcher at the Laboratory of Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Understanding why Venus’ ionosphere thins near solar minimum is one part of unraveling how Venus responds to the Sun — which will help researchers determine how Venus, once so similar to Earth, became the world of scorching, toxic air it is today. For example, Venus’ ionosphere is prone to leaking, meaning the escape of energized gases into space. Gathering data on this and other changes in the ionosphere is key to understanding how Venus’ atmosphere has evolved over time.

This study was some 30 years in the making. It took a mission to Venus, and decades later, a state-of-the-art mission to the Sun. “The goal of flying by Venus is to slow down the spacecraft so that Parker Solar Probe can dive closer to the Sun,” said Nour E. Raouafi, Parker Solar Probe project scientist at the Applied Physics Laboratory. “But we would not miss the opportunity to gather science data and provide unique insights into a mysterious planet such as Venus.”

Collinson likened the research to hitchhiking. Venus scientists were eager to piggyback off Parker Solar Probe’s flyby for new data and views of Earth’s twin planet. “To see Venus now, it’s all about these little glimpses,” he said.

Reference: “Depleted Plasma Densities in the Ionosphere of Venus Near Solar Minimum From Parker Solar Probe Observations of Upper Hybrid Resonance Emission” by Glyn A. Collinson, Robin Ramstad, Alex Glocer, Lynn Wilson III and Alexandra Brosius, 3 May 2021, Geophysical Research Letters.
DOI: 10.1029/2020GL092243

24 Comments on "NASA’s Parker Solar Probe Discovers Radio Signal in Venus’ Atmosphere"

  1. Is Venus screaming?

  2. It is speaking

  3. No, its the Parker solar probe, when it enters into the ionosphere. Its when they cought the signal sound on their radio.

  4. Singing. Dancing. Roaring. Wailing.

  5. No that sound was coming Nancy Pelosi

    • “We actually believe that there is a colony on Mars that is populated by children who were kidnapped by Hillary Clinton and sent into space on a 20-year ride, so that once they get to Mars they have no alternative but to be slaves on the Mars colony.” Alex Jones at Infowars June 30, 2016. Donald Trump praise Alex Jones on his visit to the radio station back in 2016.
      Then, you taking about Pelosi.

  6. Great! Another Spanish radio station.

  7. said elkhamrihi | May 4, 2021 at 5:55 am | Reply


  8. “At most, spacecraft have only ever survived a couple hours there.”
    What’s grammatically wrong with this sentence from paragraph 2 of this article? More and more people are making the above grammatical mistake with ever increasing frequency. However, there is NO excuse or justification for journalists to indulge in this faux-pas. Still stumped? It should read: “…a couple OF hours…”.

  9. language, like the exploration of space, is ever evolving and changing. not using the preposition ‘of’ is one example of language becoming more efficient.

  10. I want this as an NFT.

  11. Thats a scary sound .. Sound like the predator

  12. Lisa, it is a funny thing, I noticed it as well. While not being a native speaker, I ended up paying attention to these details, and it bugs me to see it incorrectly structured.
    Oh well…

    • Actually the problem is not the sentence structure. The story is fake to begin with. The dumbed down masses believe anything. Including fake Space.

  13. Speed Readers

  14. Call me Joe | May 5, 2021 at 12:46 am | Reply

    My girlfriend emits the same sounds when I penetrate her ionosphere


  16. Latasha Brown | May 5, 2021 at 7:18 am | Reply

    In this new generation 2000 there has been a lot of strange things happening latey yes other planets are communicating with each other the question is why now

  17. Christian da'Vis | May 5, 2021 at 7:55 am | Reply

    Anne, I love you. The Fellow Grammer Enthusiasts Club welcomes you with open arms and smiling Emojis.

  18. BidenWon450MvotesOfApopulationOf340M | May 5, 2021 at 9:20 am | Reply

    Wait. Someone makes a joke about Pelosi and a reply commented as if this poster was Pro trump. You are actually helping biden voters realize they shouldn’t have voted for him.

  19. How can we sure is from Venus, or invisible space craft is beside him

  20. Yeah why can’t we hear it then I think it’s fake until I can hear it and even then I’m still questioning it especially when you write a article like this and you don’t let us hear it you have a picture with the sound playing that’s BS mostly because it wasted my time

  21. There is a second picture with the sound in a video a little further down the page

    – first image through me as well

  22. Victor BanksI | May 7, 2021 at 10:58 pm | Reply

    I am thankful for these scientists telling the truth in regards to Venus and its reactions to the Sun. However, N.A.S.A. and other agencies have not been as truthful to the taxpayers in America. And the world at large. For one,the air force and Navy collectively have an active alien craft. That can travel to Mars and back in 11 hours. And have a unified force station on Mars. And they have made ALIEN contact with two different species of intelligent beings. The aliens in the northern hemisphere where it’s the warmest are Reptilians that walk on two LEGS. Some have tails and some don’t. The ones without tails are in higher hierarchy. As the CV ones with tails are soldiers or workers. The beings in the southern hemisphere lives underground and look like giant ants mixed with a preying mantis. Are intelligent and don’t believe in socialization with other species. And warned humans don’t come into their territory. They worship GOD with altar burnings. And living as He designed them to do. All sorts of mayhem and violence is being done. To keep people off balance. So that people throughout the world can continue to be kidnapped. Without notice. If the American people were told that more people are missing than killed in the pandemic. It would cause shock !!!! But the Real danger. Is the secret the world governments are keeping from society. The Milky Way Galaxy is Spiral and moving towards the center of its solar system. Where a super black hole is at. In 1980 measuring the distance where our galaxy was at. To the distance of closeness to the black hole. Will be 39 or 40 years due to the speed of our galaxy. When we come almost to the edge or within 10 million miles or 12 million miles. Due to our spiral shape. The gravitational pull of the black hole will shake our solar system so hard. That all the planets,moons,and our Sun will be knocked from their orbits. And be rearranged. Because some planets will loose their moons. And some will be gone forever. Due in part to the positioning of the black hole when we approach it. The Sun will be sent careening towards Earth. And will be stopped at about 96,000 miles from Earth. And because it will have cooled down. The planet will be safe from burning up. But our moon will be moved and in up orbiting Mars. Venus will be gone ! It will make the ultimate sacrifice by destroying the affectation of the gravity coming from the black hole. Because the photons of venus will combine with protons from Jupiter. Creating a shield. The proof of this can be investigated now. Because the person who knows this was teleported into the future to the year 2094. And saw the earth and sky. Which were exactly the same color a blueish purple coloring. Giving a extremely beautiful appearance that can only be achieved in a oil painting. And the sun was in the position of the moon. He was able to look directly at the sun and see its surface. Without sun glasses or the burning of his eyes. The sun was extra dark and the deepest yellow you can create. The water were shining like glass.And he thought he was walking on glass. Until he was one foot away. And he was able to look down to the middle of the earth. It alarmed him that he could see at that great distance. And there were no fish to be seen. No.wind. No clouds. The earth orbit had changed. One side of the planet was lighted and never saw darkness. As where one side of the planet saw darkness forever. But a portion had middle neither lighted or darkness. But a sort of grayish look and slight visibility. And all together on Earth there were exactly under one billion people spreaded throughout the planet. Meaning that almost 7 billion people were dead. He told me that you cannot be teleported into the future. Because once you are dead. Your soul goes to its appointed place. Therefore if you teleport to the year 2060. And you died in the year 2040 ! Your soul cannot go to the year 2060. Because you cannot be in the physical environment and the spiritual environment at the same time. If you attempted to teleport to a year after your death. You would be voided.And in up down below.then you cannot be brought back. The only men that would and can be teleported are the 144,000 they are the only ones who were taken into the future and saw the new Heaven and Earth. And that is the Seal on their forehead their souls were carried into the future and enter their bodies where they were at ! As young men they were taken into the future back into their bodies when they were old ! Showing what they would be doing and where they will be at. Then they were returned and reentered their bodies. And stood up and said WOW !!!! This info provided is the proof that the poor and uneducated people have today.Because men were teleported and know what is going to happen. And giving the warning about what’s going to happen. Thus Great Britain and other countries will sink below. And the continents below will rise to the top. SO THE GREAT EARTHQUAKE THAT WILL OCCUR WILL BE SO TERRIBLE THAT THIS PLANET NEVER EXPERIENCED SUCH EARTHQUAKES. EVERYTHING BELOW WILL RISE. AND EVERYTHING ABOVE WILL SINK DOWN.A LOT OF PEOPLE WILL DIE INSTANTLY BECAUSE OF THIS GREAT SHAKING. BECAUSE OF THE ELECT THOSE DAYS WILL BE SHORTENED. *

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