Tag Archives: Venus

The atmosphere of Venus is 60% less dense at its poles

By diving into the upper atmosphere of Venus above its north pole, Venus Express has found that the atmosphere there is 60% less dense than predicted. This from a press conference going on right now at the 42nd meeting of the AAS Division for Planetary Sciences. They plan an additional dive campaign during the next month. And they plan more dives, going deeper each time, as they judge the consequences to the spacecraft each time.

To read the abstracts of the Venus Express papers, go here.

Updated: The full press release, with images, can be seen here.

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The double vortex at Venus’s south pole is gone

Using data accumulated over the past four years by Venus Express, scientists have shown that the giant double vortex storm at Venus’s south pole was only a temporary phenomenon. You can download the actual paper here [pdf]. Key quote from the paper:

The polar region of Venus shows a dynamics regime quite different than the rest of the planet, with a separation region delimited by the cold collar zone. Average wind speeds presents an almost solid body rotation, while instantaneous view highlights the complex dynamic structure with air flowing almost toward all directions. The so called dipole shape is not a stable feature and the morphology of the vortex is significantly variable on both short and long timescales.

The “cold collar” is an atmospheric ring of colder temperatures that encircles the planet’s poles.

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