Japan probe nears Venus orbit

A Japanese probe has made its final adjustments to enter orbit around Venus on a multiyear mission that could shed light on the climate of Earth’s mysterious neighbor.

The probe, called Akatsuki, which means “dawn,” would be the first Japan has ever placed in orbit around another planet and comes after the country recently brought a probe back from a sample-catching trip to an asteroid.

Scientists said they would know later Tuesday whether the probe had successfully entered its orbit.

Akatsuki, which was launched May 20, is designed to monitor volcanic activity on the planet and provide data on its climate and its thick cloud cover, including whether Venus has lightning.

Associated Press