Scientists at the University of Tokyo were able to observe clouds in the night sky of Venus for the first time.
Venus is known to be completely shrouded in dense clouds. To understand what was happening beneath them, representatives of the University of Tokyo tracked the movement of clouds day and night at wavelengths of infrared light.
In the new work, the authors have created a technique for observing the circulation of clouds over the night side of Venus: they have developed a technology to compensate for noise in images of Venus’s clouds.
Preliminary data showed that at night the circulation of air masses in the planet’s atmosphere changes direction by 180 ° C: from equatorial-polar during the day to polar-equatorial at night. Scientists believe this phenomenon may enhance super-rotation.
We can finally observe nighttime winds from north to south, known as meridional circulation. Surprisingly, they go in the opposite direction from their daytime winds. Such a dramatic change cannot happen without significant consequences. This observation could help us build more accurate models of the Venusian weather system, which will hopefully resolve some of the long-standing questions about Venus’s weather and possibly the weather on Earth.
Takeshi Imamura, professor at the University of Tokyo.
This weather data on Venus can help scientists understand the geological history of the planet, as well as learn about how weather is formed on other planets.