Publications by Colin Wilson

A balloon-borne mission to observe Venus during the January 2014 inferior conjunction

European Space Agency, (Special Publication) ESA SP 700 SP (2011) 379-386

E Young, M Bullock, C Tsang, J Fox, R Mellon, T Widemann, C Wilson

We describe a stratospheric balloon mission that will make continuous observations of Venus over a period of several weeks during the January 2014 inferior conjunction. NASA's balloon program has historically supported Antarctic flights like this one in the eliophysics and Astrophysics Divisions. The proposed experiment consists of a one meter telescope, two imaging detectors operating from 0.35 to 2.55 ! m at the diffraction limit and 33 filters. This mission will address a number of questions regarding (a) Venus' super-rotation and general circulation, (b) the properties of Venus' clouds, (c) the distribution of trace species and the coupling between certain dynamical and chemical processes, (d) the existence and prevalence of lightning on Venus, and (e) the distribution of thermal emissivity anomalies on Venus' surface. We call this mission VSS (Venus StratoScope) to keep in mind the legacy of the Stratoscope and Stratoscope II balloon missions.

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