Waves on Venus

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 7,060
    New images from ESA’S Venus Express Visible Monitoring Camera confirms the theory that topographic features influence gravity waves in the atmosphere of the planet Venus.

    Venus' atmosphere acts more like a river or ocean than Earth’s atmosphere and a new study from ESA focused on the planet’s lower atmosphere, which behaves like the surface of a body of water with waves and all.  The waves are called gravity waves and can be hundreds of miles across.  New images from Venus Express’ Visible Monitoring Camera suggest that previous theories that topographic features influence these waves are most likely correct.  For example, whenever stable air flows over Venus’ largest mountain, Ishtar Terra, it generates the waves in the atmosphere.  Researchers say this new information is exciting “because it strengthens that case that topography is likely to be a significant influence of the atmospheric circulation of Venus.”