Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Constantly changing vortex over the south pole of Venus

As a new study shows, a huge cyclone formed over the south pole of Venus, is divided into parts, and then going back into one.

Observation of the planet for the past six years has allowed concluding that the "long-lived" storm is constantly evolving. This fact led to a greater number of issues related to the unusual weather conditions on the planet.

In 2006, when the spacecraft ESA "Venus Express (Venus Express, VEX) came to Venus (this was in April), then over the South Pole was seen resembling a cyclone structure, 

and its size is four times higher than the largest terrestrial storms. In the past six years the spacecraft collected enough data on this "vortex" that reminded seen in 1979, NASA Pioneer Venus

Vortex over the south pole of Venus is constantly changing its shape

Using observations of the two spacecraft, Lopez Garate (Garate-Lopez), together with other scientists have concluded that a giant storm is in constant motion.

Garate Lopez: "Whirlwind never destroyed, but is constantly evolving"

The reason for the ongoing evolution of a mystery that the scientists hope to solved soon.

Using a spectrometer to observe the thermal radiation in the infrared and visible light (VIRTIS or Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer), the researchers examined the upper and lower layers of the atmosphere of the planet. They concluded that the storm is "a multi-layered structure” and each of the layers of an independent center of rotation and are located at different heights. Each of the layers is characterized by its level of activity, but in general, the storm is constantly evolving.

The results are published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

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