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Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Scientists Release New Venus Images

Photo Courtesy of ESA
Dark Vortex over South Pole of Venus
Photo Courtesy of ESA
False-colour ultraviolet image of day and night side at South pole of Venus
Photo Courtesy of ESA
Ultraviolet image of day and night side at South pole of Venus
Associated Press Writer

The $260 million mission, the first to Venus since NASA sent up the Magellan mission in 1989, aims to study the greenhouse effect on the planet, where the atmosphere is intensely hot and crushingly dense.

It also hopes to learn what caused volcanic activity some 500 million years ago and whether there is any taking place today.

Venus Express was launched Nov. 9 atop a Russian booster rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Under current plans, the mission is to last 500 days, with the possibility of extending it for another 500.


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