Prominent planetary researcher Lee Yeon Joo has been chosen to lead the first research on Venus in South Korea

[Courtesy of the Institute for Basic Science]

Seoul – Lee Yeon-ju, a well-known researcher involved in planetary research projects in Europe and Japan, has been chosen to lead South Korea’s first project to study the atmospheres of planets in the solar system. Her research will focus on Venus, which is surrounded by an opaque layer of highly reflective clouds of sulfuric acid.

The Institute of Basic Sciences (IBS), a government research body in South Korea, has appointed the 39-year-old as Principal Investigator to head the Planetary Atmosphere Group within the Pioneering Research Center, an IBS program that supports independent research by young, experienced researchers. Ability. “This is the first time that the first planetary researcher in her 30s with experience on a planet other than Earth has been appointed,” IBS spokesperson Park Jong-hoon told Aju Business Daily on June 3.

This is the first research team in South Korea to study the atmosphere of planets in the solar system. The institute aims to promote new discoveries and take the lead in Venus research. Lee’s team will track Venus’ long-term fluctuations and study the properties of the planets’ atmospheres and changes in the planets’ atmospheres over time.

“A new study will be conducted to systematically track changes in the planet’s atmosphere,” Li was quoted as saying. She said her mission in South Korea is to lay the foundation for ongoing planetary atmospheric research.

Venus, the second planet from the sun, has the highest temperature of any planet in the solar system, with an average temperature of 464 °C (867 °F). The planet has a dense atmosphere made up of more than 96 percent carbon dioxide and 3.5 percent nitrogen, both of which are supercritical fluids. Plans for rover or more complex missions have been proposed, but are hampered by the hostile surface conditions of Venus.

Citing her work with the Technical University of Berlin and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), IBS said Li has enough potential to be reborn as a researcher at a higher level. She investigated the radiative and dynamic processes in the atmospheres of planets, by analyzing space and terrestrial observational data and calculating the numerical model. In 2020, Lee’s paper “Brightness Adjustments for Nearest Earth Planet Venus Reveal Superior Atmospheric Rotation Instead of Surface Features” published in Nature Communications, received praise from peers.

The institute said Lee’s team will explore the temporal variations of the atmosphere on Venus, using data obtained from ground-based telescopes and spacecraft and creating a long-term observation program using a series of identical CubeSats in Earth orbit to complement ground-based observations. CubeSat, built in the shape of a cube, is a common type of nanosatellites that refers to satellites with a wet mass of between 1 and 10 kg. Multiple nanosatellites operate together or in a configuration state.

IBS described me as an internationally recognized brilliant young scientist, such as participating in a European-Japanese assignment called BepiColombo as a guest researcher. BepiColombo studies Mercury’s formation, geophysics, atmosphere, magnetosphere, and history. Both the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have an orbiter on the same spacecraft.

In 2021, an international team coordinated by Lee successfully carried out an ambitious observation campaign of Venus, the sunlit hemisphere, taking advantage of a unique opportunity to coordinate observations from the BepiColombo and Akatsuki missions.

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