Venus: Atmospheric Motion and Structure from Mariner 10 Pictures

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  29 Mar 1974:
Vol. 183, Issue 4131, pp. 1307-1315
DOI: 10.1126/science.183.4131.1307


The Mariner 10 television camieras imaged the planet Venus in the visible and near ultraviolet for a period of 8 days at resolutions ranging from 100 meters to 130 kilometers. Tle general pattern of the atmospheric circulation in the upper tropospheric/lower stratospheric region is displayed in the pictures. Atmospheric flow is symmetrical between north and south hemispheres. The equatorial motions are zonal (east-west) at approxiimnately 100 meters per second, consistent with the previously inferred 4-day retrograde rotation. Angular velocity increases with latitude. The subsolar region, and the region downwind from it, show evidence of large-scale convection that persists in spite of the main zonal motion. Dynamical interaction between the zonal motion and the relatively stationary region of convection is evidenced by bowlike waves.