NASA's Parker Solar Probe Captures its First Images of Venus' Surface in Visible Light, Confirmed links to the new Geophysical Research Letter Parker Solar Probe Imaging of the Night Side of Venus.
The image below shows an image of Venus taken by Parker Solar Probe during a gravitational assist flyby on the left, and a topographical representation of the same surface on the right, with high altitudes shown as dark and low altitudes as bright shades, the idea being that the lowlands are hotter and so glow more brightly due to thermal radiation.
The modeled surface temperature of the night side here is 735 Kelvin.
While much of the light captured by the camera through its circa ~800 nm long wavelength cutoff can be called "near infrared" the authors estimate about 1/3 of the signal detected is below 750 nm, thus the first in visible light headlines.
Question: How brightly does Venus's hot surface glow at night? Could you see it? Could you see well enough to walk around? (assuming that you had dark-adapted eyes and a really nice suit!
(a) Wide-Field Imager for Parker Solar Probe-I (WISPR-I) image of the nightside of Venus from Venus gravity assist (VGA) 3, showing thermal emission from the surface on the disk and O2 nightglow emission at the limb. Black to white represents 0 DN s−1 to 40 DN s−1 with the scale saturated at 40 DN s−1. The image is contaminated by numerous roughly horizontal dust streaks, from material ablating off the Parker Solar Probe heat shield. (b) Topographical map from Magellan, using an inverse black and white scale to match the WISPR image, with bright regions being low elevation and dark regions being high elevation. (c) WISPR-I and -O images of Venus from VGA4. The same part of the Venusian surface is observed as in (a). Red numbers in all panels mark common features for ease of reference. A movie of the VGA4 images is available in the online article.
source: Wood et al. 2022 Parker Solar Probe Imaging of the Night Side of Venus