Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Venus weather’

The Glory Of Venus


The glory on Venus cloud tops in false colors. © ESA/MPS/DLR/IDA

The glory on Venus cloud tops in false colors. © ESA/MPS/DLR/IDA

When travelling above the clouds, airplane passengers sometimes witness a glory: a light phenomenon similar to a ring-shaped rainbow. Droplets in the clouds back-scattering the sunlight are responsible for this appearance. A team of scientists led by the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Göttingen have now fully imaged a glory on Venus – and thus for the first time on a planet other than Earth. The data was obtained by ESA’s space probe Venus Express. The data imply that the sulfuric acid in Venus’ cloud tops could additionally contain pure sulfur or iron chloride – and may help solve one of the oldest mysteries of Venus research.

The veil of clouds surrounding Venus is as beautiful as it is hostile to life. Sulfuric acid constitutes their main component. Together with the planet’s dense atmosphere composed mainly of carbon dioxide, this cloud cover causes Venus’ extreme greenhouse effect. Temperatures of more than 400 degrees Celsius are common on the planet’s surface. The exact composition of the creamy-yellow clouds is still unclear. Almost 90 years ago, ground-based observations had shown that these clouds “swallow” ultraviolet light of certain wavelengths. Sulfuric acid alone cannot be responsible for this effect.

Link To Full Story
Link To Another Story

Advertisements

Super-Hurricane-Force Winds On Venus Are Getting Stronger

June 18, 2013 1 comment

Venus cloud tops. Credit: ESA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Venus cloud tops. Credit: ESA/MPS/DLR/IDA

As the closest planet to Earth, Venus is a relatively easy object to observe. However, many mysteries remain, not least the super-rotation of Venus’ atmosphere, which enables high altitude winds to circle the planet in only four days. Now images of cloud features sent back by ESA’s Venus Express orbiter have revealed that these remarkably rapid winds are becoming even faster.

Similar in size to Earth, Venus has an extremely dense, carbon-dioxide-rich atmosphere and the planet’s surface is completely hidden by a blanket of bland, yellowish cloud. Only at ultraviolet wavelengths (and to a lesser extent in the infrared) do striking cloud streaks and individual cells emerge, due to the presence of some unknown UV absorber in the cloud deck.

By tracking the movements of these distinct cloud features, observers have been able to measure the super-hurricane-force winds that sweep around the planet at the cloud tops, some 70 km above the scorching volcanic plains.

Full Story: http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=51937
Also: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Venus_Express/The_fast_winds_of_Venus_are_getting_faster