Determination of Venus’ Interior Structure with EnVision

Research areas:
Year:
2021
Authors:
Journal:
Remote Sensing
Volume:
13
Number:
9
ISSN:
2072-4292
BibTex:
Abstract:
The Venusian geological features are poorly gravity-resolved, and the state of the core is not well constrained, preventing an understanding of Venus’ cooling history. The EnVision candidate mission to the ESA’s Cosmic Vision Programme consists of a low-altitude orbiter to investigate geological and atmospheric processes. The gravity experiment aboard this mission aims to determine Venus’ geophysical parameters to fully characterize its internal structure. By analyzing the radio-tracking data that will be acquired through daily operations over six Venusian days (four Earth’s years), we will derive a highly accurate gravity field (spatial resolution better than ~170 km), allowing detection of lateral variations of the lithosphere and crust properties beneath most of the geological features. The expected 0.3% error on the Love number k2, 0.1° error on the tidal phase lag and 1.4% error on the moment of inertia are fundamental to constrain the core size and state as well as the mantle viscosity.