Monday, September 18, 2017


Article Written By: Kyle Tam


 European Space Agency scientists using data from the Venus Express spacecraft (2006-2014) have characterized the wind and upper cloud patterns on the night side of Venus for the first time ever. Venus has the slowest rotation of any planet in our solar system. Spinning only once every 243 Earth days, this makes Venus the only planet to have a day and night longer than its year.
 The study showed that the planet's atmosphere on its night side has unexpected and previously unseen cloud types, structures and dynamics.
Venus' atmosphere is dominated by strong winds known as Venusian wings which rotate up to 670 times faster than the planet below. Models of the Venusian winds have always predicted the winds to be much the same on Venus' night side as on its dayside.
 Instead, the super-rotation was found to be far more irregular and chaotic on the night side. Large, wavy, patchy, irregular and filament-like patterns were found on the night side, many of which are unseen in dayside images.
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