What the weather is like at night Venus? Scientists are finally finding out.
Only one planet Venus is relatively close to Earth, and we have been studying it for a long time, when the first Venus probe reached the planet in 1978. However, scientists know very little about the weather at night on Venus. That is still.
In a new study, researchers have developed a new way to use infrared sensors in the Japanese climate orbit of Venus Akatsuki, a probe that arrived in orbit around Venus in 2015 to finally show what the weather is like on the planet at night. These sensors detected night clouds and some strange wind circulation patterns.
Related: Photos of Venus, a mysterious planet in the neighborhood
Like Earth, Venus lies in the “habitat” of our sun, has a hard surface and an atmosphere that has weather. To understand the weather on the planet, researchers are studying the movement of clouds in infrared light. However, for now Venus atmosphere rotates fast, the planet itself has the slowest rotation among all the major planets of our solar system, ie day and night last quite a long time – about 120 earth days each.
Until now, it was easy to observe only the weather on the “side of daylight” of Venus, because even in the infrared range it is difficult to clearly see the night of Venus. There were infrared observations of the “night side of Venus”, but these studies could not clearly show the night weather of the planet.
To explore this mysterious aspect of the neighboring planet, researchers turned to Akatsuki, the first Japanese probe to ever orbit another planet. The probe is designed to observe Venus and its weather and has an infrared image that does not need sunlight to “see”. Despite this design, the viewer was unable to capture detailed observations of the night side of Venus. However, using a new analytical method to process the data obtained by the image, the researchers could indirectly “see” the elusive night weather of Venus.
“Small-scale patterns of clouds in direct images are faint and often indistinguishable from background noise,” co-authored by Takeshi Imamura, a professor at the University of Tokyo’s School of Frontier Sciences. the statement said.
“To see the details, we had to suppress the noise,” he said. “In astronomy and planetary science, it’s common to combine images because the real features of a stack of such images quickly hide the noise. However, Venus is a special case because the entire weather system rotates very fast, so we had to compensate for this movement, known as super-rotation. to highlight interesting formations to study “.
Using this new analytical method, the team observed the north-south winds of the planet at night and found something rather strange.
“What’s strange is that they’re moving in the opposite direction to their daytime counterparts,” Imamura said. “Such a drastic change cannot happen without significant consequences. This observation can help us build more accurate models of Venus’ meteorological system, which we hope will solve some long-standing unanswered questions about Venus’s weather and possibly Earth’s weather.”
Using this new method, researchers believe that future research could reveal new details about the weather on other planets, such as Mars or even on our own planet Earth, the statement said.
While this work uses existing technology in orbit around Venus, three new missions will soon arrive on the planet to further expand our understanding of Venus and its climate. NASA recently announced two new Venus-related missions called DAVINCI + and VERITAS, and the European Space Agency has announced that it will launch EnVision mission to the planet. Three spacecraft will be launched in the late decade and early 2030s.
This work was described in a study published July 21 in the journal Nature.
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