Rotation of Venus: Continuing Contradictions

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  06 Oct 1967:
Vol. 158, Issue 3797, pp. 114-116
DOI: 10.1126/science.158.3797.114


Optical observations of Venus have yielded various values of the rotation period extending from less than one to several hundred days. Radar observations give a retrograde rotation of the solid globe in 244 ± 2 days. Recent ultraviolet photographs, however, show relatively rapid displacements of clouds in the high atmosphere of Venus which suggest a retrogrode rotation in only 5 days. The two rates seem to be physically incompatible.