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Poster - The dynamic atmosphere
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- Title Poster - The dynamic atmosphere
- Released 03/01/2008 10:26 am
- Copyright ESA
Since July 2006, Venus Express has been making the most detailed study to date of the planet’s dense and complex atmosphere.
Data gathered by Venus Express has confirmed for the first time the presence of a huge 'double-eye' atmospheric vortex at the planet's South Pole. The process that forms Venus' polar vortices is similar to the process forming those on Earth, in which the warm equator drives high equatorial winds up towards the cooler poles, and the winds become unstable. On Venus, such vortices are similar to hurricanes on Earth however they have a much larger scale, spanning thousands of kilometres rather than hundreds.
Scientists are also analysing data from Venus Express to understand if there is still any volcanic activity on the planet, which would explain how atmospheric gases, lost through thermal dissociation, are replenished.