“It’s fair to say something unusual happened on Venus.”

Venus' new lookIt’s not just Jupiter that’s sporting a new look, Venus has a new feature too. A bright spot this time. First observed by another amateur, US astronomer Frank Melillo, on the 19th July, and then confirmed by ESA’s Venus Express in orbit around the planet, the spot appeared at least 4 days earlier. You can see it to the lower right of the image from ESA. It’s not thought to be evidence of an impact but, as the New Scientist article points out, “astronomers are not sure what caused it.”

This is not the first time astronomers have spotted bright features in Venus’s atmosphere. Bright spots have been seen from Earth for decades, although they have not been clearly explained, Limaye says.

The most recent dramatic brightening occurred in January 2007, when areas in both the northern and southern hemispheres of the planet brightened. Because it is localised in a spot, this new feature looks different, but it is equally mysterious.

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  • Do you think maybe the planets are being picked off one by one. How much time have we left?

  • On such occasions I refer to my old (but still blooming) acquaintance, Milady Aramintha, la Châtelaine du Knocknamuckly. Her comment on such marvels invariably is:

    ‘Tis wonderful the working of a wheelbarrow”.

    Perhaps as amazing and problematic as the prime property advertised by Country Life:

    A classic Georgian country house in the Cotswolds in pretty secluded grounds

    but with a well-recognised NornIrn problem:

    The kitchen/breakfast room has an AGA and a lovely Belfast stink.

  • John45

    Do ye think it’s global warming?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Baker’s latest blogs to become summer blockbuster shocker:

    http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/2012/

  • Pete Baker

    Possibly, malachi.

    Although the Venus feature isn’t believed to be the result of an impact.

    It’s a thought though.

    Gonzo

    No. I’ll not say it.

  • BTW, though I throw in the odd jibe I do appreciate these pieces on space. It might be a survival of a boyhood fascination but we should think about the larger context – the final frontier – the sheer bloody amazing fact of our being here, so unlike anything around us.