Japan is sending a space telescope into orbit around the Earth to observe Venus, Mars, and Jupiter, officials said on Friday, as they look to unlock the secrets of our own planet’s atmosphere.
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) plans to launch a satellite later this year equipped with an ultraviolet telescope that will probe the gases surrounding three of our nearest neighbours in the solar system.
Scientists hope this will help them understand the conditions that created the dense, life-supporting atmosphere of Earth, JAXA said in a statement.
They also want to understand if solar winds have any effect on Jupiter’s magnetosphere, the area of space around the planet where the particles fall under the sway of its magnetic field.
The satellite, weighing 320 kilogrammes (700 pounds), will go around the Earth in an elliptical orbit between 950 and 1,150 kilometres (between 600 and 700 miles) high, officials said.
Read the rest of the story: Japan readies space telescope to study atmosphere.