Education & Public Outreach Overview
Our closest solar system neighbor presents a unique opportunity for educational exploration and experiential learning. The primary goal of our education, outreach and communications activities are to share the excitement of discovery revealed from the most recent spacecraft imagery and data.
In addition to conventional activities including public presentations and workshops supporting student research and/or teacher development, we are developing an educational applet to include the general public in unveiling the mysteries that remain hidden within the Venus clouds. Using actual data from the European Space Agency’s Venus Express mission to the most recent data from JAXA’s Akatsuki mission, our team strives to include “citizen scientists” of all ages to participate in the exploration and understanding of our sister planet.
Questions for Investigation:
Recently, some members of the scientific community have redirected their attention to the clouds of Venus in the search for possible extraterrestrial lifeforms. Although the most basic characteristics of the clouds of Venus are known, many of the most crucial properties remain a mystery. There is a strong suggestion that Venus may have been the first habitable planet in our solar system due to the lengthy existence of surface water. It has recently been recognized that some microorganisms on earth have spectral properties similar to some Venus cloud features. Is it possible that life could have evolved on Venus and then migrated to a habitable zone in the clouds as the surface of the planet warmed?
Education & Public Outreach
Opportunities for Amateur Astronomers
We invite amateurs to contact the Venus coordinator of the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers (ALPO)and submit their digital images in FITS format to us. The header must include the date and time when the image was taken, the filter used, location and the name of the observer. We plan to create a web-based form shortly to submit the data via the web. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
The Venus Amateur Observing Project (VAOP) enables amateur astronomers to contribute scientifically useful images and data to complement Venus Express spacecraft observations. Participants include the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers (ALPO) and the British Astronomical Association (BAA).