Solar System's Biggest Gravity Wave Spotted On Venus

Posted: Jan 17 2017, 5:55am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

Solar System's Biggest Gravity Wave Spotted on Venus
The equator and evening terminator are shown by solid and dashed lines, respectively. Credit: Nature Geoscience

A stationary gravity wave that may be the largest seen in the Solar System Venus, was spotted by a Japanese Akatsuki spacecraft in the atmosphere of Venus.

The upper surface of Venus is rotating faster than the planet, creating thick sulfuric acid clouds. The top of clouds with a altitude of 65 km contain small features carried by winds at 100 ms−1.

On the other hand the atmospheric features are ether moving slowly, and are faster than the winds. This phenomenon indicates the process of planetary-scale waves.

Scientists detected a bow shaped object in the hemisphere that lies 10000 km on the top of clouds over Venus. This object is visible in the images as infrared and ultraviolet, taken from Japanese orbiter Akatsuki.

The study was led by Makoto Taguchi of Tokyo's Rikkyo University and published in the journal Nature Geoscience by title "Large stationary gravity wave in the atmosphere of Venus".

The scientists observed the objects for many days and found that they remained there over the slow moving surface, though the background was rotating fast.

According to scientists, the bow shaped objects developed due to gravity in the atmosphere of Venus. This gravity developed in the lower area by mountains and then moved upwards.

Objects numerical data supported this prediction, but the scientists could not understand much the formation gravity wave created by mountains. It’s not yet proved that Venus surface conditions caused the phenomenon. Perhaps the winds of deep atmosphere were the reason behind this phenomenon.

In the past years, such gravity waves occurred due to collision of black holes, but current waves are different as they affect oceans and clouds.

NASA scientists think that Venus has different atmosphere than other planets, but is similar to earth. Venus has rocks and mountains like earth that’s why it’s also called earth’s twin.

Venus surface has 96 percent carbon dioxide that creates greenhouse effect. The surface temperature is 735 kelvin and satellites can only stay for an hour in extreme heat of Venus, according to CNet.

The detected waves were developed in the region called Aphrodite Terra. The research team will continue its study for few years, because the mission by Akatsuki will continue on Venus

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