Amateur-Professional Observing Campaign:

The Venus Express Mission

Amateur astronomers and ground based observations have contributed very useful information for studies of Venus' atmosphere. Lomonosov first suggested the existence of atmosphere on Venus (1761), Boyer and Guerin first determined the rapid, "4-day" circulation of the Venus atmosphere, and most recently, Christophe Pellier succeeded in imaging the night side of Venus (emission from the hot surface) using a 1 micron infrared filter with a 30 cm telescope. Now amateurs equipped with CCD cameras and filters can still contribute to the study of Venus. Continued UV and polarized light images of Venus are still likely to prove useful for monitoring the Venus atmosphere and its circulation.

Venus Express will begin systematically monitoring Venus at ultraviolet, visible and infrared wavelengths starting late May 2006. Initially approved for a nominal duration of one Venus day, it is likely that the mission may get extended longer. We invite high quality digital images of Venus from amateur astronomers taken at ultraviolet wavelengths and at other wavelengths through polarizing filter. The observations should ideally be submitted in FITS format, but should also be contributed in JPEG format as well, to the ALPO Venus Coordinator.

Submitted images will be archived for analysis and comparison with the results on the atmospheric circulation of from the Venus Express mission. Please visit for updates on the Venus Express as the mission progresses.

An excellent source for information about imaging Venus has been provided by Richard McKim of the BAA and can be accessed through the following URL:

Questions regarding the effort may be addressed to> and the ALPO Venus Section.

We look forward to a successful Pro-Am cooperation in this mission, and we welcome observers throughout the world to participate.

Coordinator Julius L. Benton, Jr.
Associates in Astronomy
P.O. Box 30545
Wilmington Island
Savannah, GA 31410


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