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RE: Venus
 
 


The Mysterious Arc of Venus

When Venus transits the sun on June 5th and 6th, an armada of spacecraft and ground-based telescopes will be on the lookout for something elusive and, until recently, unexpected: The Arc of Venus.
For a brief instant, the planet had turned into a "ring of fire."

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Could Venus be shifting gear?

ESA's Venus Express spacecraft has discovered that our cloud-covered neighbour spins a little slower than previously measured. Peering through the dense atmosphere in the infrared, the orbiter found surface features were not quite where they should be.
Using the VIRTIS instrument at infrared wavelengths to penetrate the thick cloud cover, scientists studied surface features and discovered that some were displaced by up to 20 km from where they should be given the accepted rotation rate as measured by NASA's Magellan orbiter in the early 1990s.

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Venus Exploration



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ESA finds that Venus has an ozone layer too

ESA's Venus Express spacecraft has discovered an ozone layer high in the atmosphere of Venus. Comparing its properties with those of the equivalent layers on Earth and Mars will help astronomers refine their searches for life on other planets. The results are being presented today at the Joint Meeting of the European Planetary Science Congress and the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences.
Venus Express made the discovery while watching stars seen right at the edge of the planet set through its atmosphere. Its SPICAV instrument analysed the starlight, looking for the characteristic fingerprints of gases in the atmosphere as they absorbed light at specific wavelengths.

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Venus Weather Not Boring After All

At first glance, a weather forecaster for Venus would have either a really easy or a really boring job, depending on your point of view. The climate on Venus is widely known to be unpleasant -- at the surface, the planet roasts at more than 800 degrees Fahrenheit under a suffocating blanket of sulphuric acid clouds and a crushing atmosphere more than 90 times the pressure of Earth's. Intrepid future explorers should abandon any hope for better days, however, because it won't change much.
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Venus Atmosphere
 
 


Title: The Distribution of Carbon Monoxide in the Lower Atmosphere of Venus
Authors: Daniel V. Cotton, Jeremy Bailey, D. Crisp, V. S. Meadows

We have obtained spatially resolved near-infrared spectroscopy of the Venus nightside on 15 nights over three observing seasons. We use the depth of the CO absorption band at 2.3 microns to map the two-dimensional distribution of CO across both hemispheres. Radiative transfer models are used to relate the measured CO band depth to the volume mixing ratio of CO. The results confirm previous investigations in showing a general trend of increased CO abundances at around 60 degrees latitude north and south as compared with the equatorial regions. Observations taken over a few nights generally show very similar CO distributions, but significant changes are apparent over longer periods. In past studies it has been assumed that the CO latitudinal variation occurs near 35 km altitude, at which K-band sensitivity to CO is greatest. By modelling the detailed spectrum of the excess CO at high latitudes we show that it occurs at altitudes around 45 km, much higher than has previously been assumed, and that there cannot be significant contribution from levels of 36 km or lower. We suggest that this is most likely due to downwelling of CO-rich gas from the upper atmosphere at these latitudes, with the CO being removed by around 40 km through chemical processes such as the reaction with sulphur trioxide.

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Posts: 109810
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RE: Venus
 
 


Venus Surface



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Title: About the various contributions in Venus rotation rate and LOD
Authors: L.Cottereau, N.Rambaux, S.Lebonnois, J.Souchay

Thanks to the Venus Express Mission, new data on the properties of Venus could be obtained in particular concerning its rotation.
Aims: In view of these upcoming results, the purpose of this paper is to determine and compare the major physical processes influencing the rotation of Venus, and more particularly the angular rotation rate.
Methods: Applying models already used for the Earth, the effect of the triaxiality of a rigid Venus on its period of rotation are computed. Then the variations of Venus rotation caused by the elasticity, the atmosphere and the core of the planet are evaluated.
Results: Although the largest irregularities of the rotation rate of the Earth at short time scales are caused by its atmosphere and elastic deformations, we show that the Venus ones are dominated by the tidal torque exerted by the Sun on its solid body. Indeed, as Venus has a slow rotation, these effects have a large amplitude of 2 minutes of time (mn). These variations of the rotation rate are larger than the one induced by atmospheric wind variations that can reach 25-50 seconds of time (s), depending on the simulation used. The variations due to the core effects which vary with its size between 3 and 20s are smaller. Compared to these effects, the influence of the elastic deformation cause by the zonal tidal potential is negligible.
Conclusions: As the variations of the rotation of Venus reported here are of the order 3mn peak to peak, they should influence past, present and future observations providing further constraints on the planet internal structure and atmosphere.

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The shape-shifting southern vortex of Venus

VI0398_CTRD3930_KOF_019_200_200.gif
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Credit: ESA/VIRTIS-VenusX/INAF-IASF/LESIA-Obs. Paris/Univ. Lisbon/Univ. Evora (D. Luz, Univ. Lisbon & D. Berry, Univ. Evora)

New analysis of images taken by ESA's Venus Express orbiter has revealed surprising details about the remarkable, shape-shifting collar of clouds that swirls around the planet's South Pole. This fast-moving feature is all the more surprising since its centre of rotation is typically offset from the geographical pole.

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The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has approved names for two coronae features on Venus.

Elihino Corona for a 175-km-wide feature located at 49.8E, 48.1W.
The feature was named in honour of Cherokee Earth Mother goddess.

Pakoti Corona for a 75-km-wide feature located at 43E, 48.1W.
The feature was named in honour of a Maori mother goddess of the harakeke flax plant.

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