Japanese Astronomers Discover Bow-like Feature in the Atmosphere of Venus

Akatsuki, the Japanese probe just detected a odd gravity wave in the atmosphere for Venus. Of particular interest is a high area known as Aphrodite Terra, which is up to more than 3 miles high and the size of Africa near the equator. The team of Akatsuki says all the evidence is pointing towards the bulge being a massive gravity wave, something that occurs when a fluid material, such as liquid, gas or plasma is made out of a position of equilibrium. It rotation speed is slow, and the planet is characterized by hurricane force winds near the poles. For example, in the hunt for potentially habitable exoplanets, researchers can use the data they gather from Venus's atmosphere about conditions on the surface, and compare that to what they see in the atmospheres of other planets.

Japanese scientists have discovered a huge wave like feature in the Venus' cloud region, and according to these scientists, this feature appears to be fixed to the slowly rotating planet, while clouds around it whiz by at about 100 meters per second.

The super-rotation of Venus' atmosphere makes it very different from Earth.

You could outrun sunrise and sunset on Venus if, of course, you could find a way to avoid getting simultaneously fried by the 864° Fahrenheit (462° Celsius) surface temperatures and crushed under an atmospheric pressure more than 90 times that of Earth's at sea level. Before Venus flashed its giant sideways smile, scientists didn't think gravity waves could reach so high up in the atmosphere.

"[The Venus Express team] only saw that in one location on Venus". To validate their observation, the team conducted a number of computer simulations that showed stationary gravity waves are indeed possible.

"We suggest that winds in the deep atmosphere may be spatially or temporally more variable than previously thought", the paper said.

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On Earth, a similar windy effect creates ocean waves at the beach and occurs with clouds on mountain ranges as well - though not to the big extent as seen on Venus.

The researchers suggest that a stationary "gravity wave" (which is different from a gravitational wave) in the atmosphere might cause the effect.

The satellite captured this vision shortly after entering the planet's orbit, and the wave appeared to stand still for several days.

An enormous and ominous stationary object has been identified in Venus' atmosphere.

Astronomers first found the unusual feature in late 2015 when JAXA's Akatsuki orbiter - a spacecraft created to analyze both the atmospheric dynamics and cloud physics of Venus - detected a odd structure in the upper Venusian atmosphere. Essentially, airflow passing over Venus's mountains was sculpted into waveforms that propagated upward, eventually taking the bow-shape observed by Akatsuki.

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