Viscous Flow Circulation of the Solar Wind Behind Venus

Science  29 Feb 1980:
Vol. 207, Issue 4434, pp. 981-983
DOI: 10.1126/science.207.4434.981


A latitudinal circulation model of solar wind flow in the near wake of Venus is presented. It is shown that solar wind fluxes entering through the polar terminator can be viscously forced to lower latitudes. The resulting motion produces a downstream elongation of the nightside polar ionosphere out to the downstream extension of the middle- and low-latitude ionopause. The geometry suggested by this flow circulation model provides a simple explanation of the ionospheric bulge inferred from the Pioneer Venus observations.