Venus 05.30.08 The European Space Agency’s probe orbiting Venus, appropriately named Venus Express, took this picture of Venus at left on July 27, 2007.It is a false-color image in ultraviolet of the Southern hemisphere of the planet; the south pole is shown at the bottom.   

Cloud shape changes dramatically from the equator to the pole while the lower latitude cloud shape is fragmented due to vigorous convective movement. This movement is powered by the sun’s radiation heating the atmosphere. The bright white visible above the darker cloud deck is made of freshly formed droplets of sulphuric acid. Toward mid latitude, the convective clouds become streaky shapes. In higher latitudes, clouds appear dense and featureless, a type of haze. The dark, circular feature visible at the right edge of the image is a dark streak usually present in the polar region, indicating atmospheric spiralling towards the pole.

The image at right, taken July 22, 2007 shows the cloud cover over Venus’s equator; the bright white indicative of the sulphuric acid mentioned above.

All these images are credited to: ESA/ MPS/ DLR/ IDA.  


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Venus3  05.30.08 The image at left is of the equatorial area of Venus taken August 22, 2007.Again, sulphuric acid can be spotted in the cloud cover.

Just think of the acid rain this could create on Earth!  


The image at right was taken July 27, 2007, by the Venus Monitoring Camera on Venus Express, as were the other images in this post.It shows the transition between the equatorial area and the mid-latitude area; or, the convection clouds vs. the streaky clouds.   

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Venus5  05.30.08 The image at left is more recent, taken February 25, 2008. All these images are false-color UV.It is the south polar area showing dark streaks indicative of strong jet-winds around the pole.