Venus: Further Evidence of Vortex Circulation

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  15 Sep 1978:
Vol. 201, Issue 4360, pp. 1009-1011
DOI: 10.1126/science.201.4360.1009


A space-time composite of polar stereographic ultraviolet images of Venus from Mariner 10 shows a remarkable circumpolar vortex. The vortex is characterized by a cloud which appears similar to dense terrestrial stratus having an albedo that is 50 percent higher. Spiral streaks converge into it from low latitudes, akin to the spiral bands of a hurricane. The bright visible polar cloud is not axisymmetric but has roughly an elliptical shape. The high brightness of the polar cloud suggests that it has a different origin from the rest of the Venus cloud cover.