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Norman Sperling
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Venus’s Tail

© Norman Sperling, February 5, 2015

Shortly after inferior conjunction, can Venus’s tail of ionized atmospheric particles be detected by space probes at L1, or orbiting Earth outside the magnetic field? At this distance, it ought to flap around a lot so it might take several days to traverse, and be discontinuous. Several decades of detector records already exist, so this shouldn’t require new observations, just mining old ones.

Mercury might act the same, though negligible atmosphere and greater distance would make it harder to detect and identify.

How about the Moon’s wake, either in sodium ions or in decrease of solar wind, just around New Moon? The sodium atmosphere is mighty thin, but detectors are now mighty sensitive.

Can we learn anything about those atmospheres?
About billows?
About flapping?

The Journal of Irreproducible Results
This Book Warps Space and Time
What Your Astronomy Textbook Won't Tell You

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