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Venus-the Forgotten, Mysterious Planet: August 15 Lecture with NASA’s Dr. Lori Glaze

This post was authored by Stephanie Marcus, Science Reference Librarian in the Science, Technology, and Business Division.

We’ve heard a great deal recently about Jupiter (Juno Mission) and Pluto (New Horizons), and soon the Science, Technology & Business Division will present a program on Saturn (Cassini), but what about Venus?  Except for programs on the Transit of Venus, our sister planet has been feeling a little left out.  To remedy this, we’ve invited Dr. Lori Glaze, the principal investigator for a proposed mission to Venus called DAVINCI (the Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry and Imaging), to shed some light on this forgotten, mysterious planet.  Dr. Glaze will take attendees on a tour of what we know about Venus, what mysteries we need to solve, and what future spacecraft and instrument technologies could help us answer our questions.

Date: Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Time: 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Place: Pickford Theater, 3rd floor, Madison Building

Compared to Earth and Mars, we know very little about the early history and evolution of Venus. Despite the likelihood that Venus was very similar to Earth after formation, the two planets followed vastly different evolutionary pathways. Venus is a planet of extremes. It now hosts a runaway greenhouse atmosphere composed almost entirely of carbon dioxide, sulfuric acid clouds, and surface temperatures that could melt lead (864 degrees Fahrenheit).

As the closest planet to Earth, Venus was the first planet visited by a spacecraft (Mariner 2, 1962, US) and the first with a successful spacecraft landing (Venera 7, 1970, USSR). The first detailed surface maps came from the NASA/JPL Magellan spacecraft which reached and began orbiting Venus in 1990. Magellan used Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) to penetrate the thick atmosphere and revealed volcanoes and deformed mountains.

When, how, and why Venus’ evolution diverged from Earth’s is unknown, yet better understanding of why Venus is the way it is today is critical to interpreting new observations of exoplanets that have been found around other stars in our galaxy. The DAVINCI mission would send a probe on a journey down through Venus’ atmosphere, winding up in the planet’s roughest and most geologically complex terrain, and in the process, examine the planet’s atmosphere from top to bottom for the first time in nearly four decades.

For inquiries about this program, contact Stephanie Marcus in the Science, Technology & Business Division at [email protected] or the division office at: (202) 707-1212. Individuals requiring accommodations for this event are requested to submit a request at least five business days in advance by contacting (202) 707-6362 or [email protected].

The lecture will be later broadcast on the library’s webcast page and YouTube channel “Topics in Science” playlist.

 

The 2017 Total Solar Eclipse: Through the Eyes of NASA, June 15 Lecture with Dr. C. Alex Young

This post was authored by Stephanie Marcus, Science Reference Librarian in the Science, Technology, and Business Division. The total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 will be the first total solar eclipse visible in the contiguous United States since 1979 — and the first that has traversed the entire continent coast-to-coast since June 8, 1918. […]

Space Ethics: Ethical Implications of Commercial Space Projects: May 10th Lecture by Christopher Ketcham, Ph.D.

This post was authored by Tomoko Y. Steen, Ph.D., Science Reference & Research Specialist in the Science, Technology and Business Division of the Library of Congress. On Wednesday, May 10, 2017, Dr. Christopher Ketcham will discuss the need to balance the economic value of commercial ventures with safety and ethical concerns for life on Earth […]

Finding NEEMO at LC: Dr. Kelsey Young to Speak May 4 about NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations

This post was authored by Stephanie Marcus, Science Reference Librarian in the Science, Technology, and Business Division. The Science, Technology and Business Division is presenting “NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO): Preparing Astronauts for Space Exploration” with Dr. Kelsey Young in the Pickford Theater, third floor, Madison Building, Library of Congress, on Thursday, May 4, […]

The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope: April 18 Lecture with NASA’s Dr. Julie McEnery

Blazars, pulsars, gamma-ray bursts, dark matter, behind-the-limb solar flares, black holes, micro black holes, Fermi bubbles, and antimatter!  The Science, Technology and Business Division’s NASA/Goddard lecture series begins its eleventh season with “The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope:  Opening a Window on the Extreme Universe.”  Julie McEnery, Fermi Project Scientist and an astrophysicist in the Astroparticle […]

Jonathan White Speaks on His Book “Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean” April 20th

In August of 1990 surfer, sailor and marine conservationist, Jonathan White, led a seminar aboard his small schooner, Crusader, sailing among the islands and natural wonders of the Alaskan Panhandle. Anchoring for the evening in Kalinin Bay, White, his crew and passengers went to bed, awakening to find that a nighttime gale had left them […]

What’s for Lunch: 2017 Earth and Space Science Talks at the Library of Congress, Sponsored by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the ST&B Division

Lecture series coordinators Sean Bryant and Stephanie Marcus, Science, Technology and Business Division, contributed to this blog post. Spring has arrived, and with that, we are getting ready to kick off our annual Earth and Space Science lecture series, now in its eleventh year.  The series is a partnership between the NASA Goddard Space Flight […]

Book Talk: Making Faces: The Evolutionary Origins of the Human Face by Adam Wilkins, Ph.D., on March 29th

This post was authored Tomoko Steen, Ph.D., Science Reference & Research Specialist in the Science, Technology, and Business Division of the Library of Congress, with contributions by Adam Wilkins, Ph.D. On Wednesday, March 29th, Dr. Adam Wilkins will discuss his new book, Making Faces: The Evolutionary Origins of the Human Face (2017, Harvard University Press). […]

Launching a Data Revolution: Ilya Zaslavsky, Ph.D., Speaking on February 23

This post was authored by Tomoko Steen, Ph.D., Science Research Specialist in the Science, Technology, and Business Division of the Library of Congress. On Thursday, February 23, 2017, Dr. Ilya Zaslavsky will be speaking at the Library of Congress about online systems for visual analysis, sharing of surveys and image collections, and applications for analyzing […]

The Patient’s Role in Advancing Cancer Research and Participation in Clinical Trials: Panel Discussion on Cancer Moonshot, December 15th, 2016

This post was authored by Tomoko Steen, PhD, Science Research Specialist, in the Science, Technology, and Business Division of the Library of Congress The public is invited to a free panel discussion with representatives of the White House Moonshot Cancer Task Force and other organizations interested in cancer research on Thursday, December 15th regarding the […]