Planetary Science

Vortex Complexity

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  05 Apr 2013:
Vol. 340, Issue 6128, pp. 10
DOI: 10.1126/science.340.6128.10-c
CREDIT: ESA/VIRTIS/INAF-IASF/OBS. DE PARIS-LESIA/UNIVERSIDAD DEL PAÍS VASCO/I. GARATE-LOPEZ

The European Space Agency Venus Express spacecraft has been orbiting the second planet from the Sun since April 2006. Understanding its atmosphere has been one of the main goals of the mission. Using data from the Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer onboard the spacecraft, Garate-Lopez et al. examined the planet's south polar vortex by measuring cloud motions at two different altitudes. The data show that the vortex is long-lived, but its dynamical behavior and thermal structure are more complex than previously thought.

Nat. Geosci. 10.1038/ngeo1764 (2013).

Navigate This Article