Akatsuki finds super-rotating equatorial jet on Venus


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Japan’s Venus orbiter Akatsuki has discovered a previously unseen equatorial jet with wind speeds that often exceed 200 miles per hour.

The winds, named “equatorial jet” by the research team, were found from July to August 2016 when an infrared camera captured images of areas about 45 to 60 kilometers above the planet’s surface. The areas are invisible at optical wavelengths due to extremely dense clouds of sulfuric acid. The camera spotted thick clouds traveling at a speed of 288 kph to 324 kph near the planet’s equator.

Based on the news reports, it appears the significance of this discovery is that they identified a particular jet stream at a specific latitude. Previous observations did not have that resolution.

This would have been posted in the morning, but the internet access here in this Torrey hotel is almost as slow as what I experienced in Glacier. I had it written, but I sinply couldn’t get it to post this morning.

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One comment

  • Max

    I was curious, because of prior talks of terraforming Venus, how this jetstream would affect the colony. (178 to 200mph)
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmosphere_of_Venus
    It just so happens that one Bar pressure is also about 70° in temperature, perfect earth like conditions. (A universal constant it seems) This occurs at 50 km. Right in the middle of this jet stream.
    Apparently the only place on Venus that doesn’t have Highwinds is near the twin polar vortex at the poles. The eye of the super hurricane would allow airship to float on the heavy carbon dioxide atmosphere with very little energy consumption.
    I had hoped that the winds will be calmer at 1 atm where the colony could survive below the equators “super rotation” at the cloud tops which curns the atmosphere at 220 mph. Not possible with our present technology.

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