Implications of the VEGA Balloon Results for Venus Atmospheric Dynamics

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Science  21 Mar 1986:
Vol. 231, Issue 4744, pp. 1422-1425
DOI: 10.1126/science.231.4744.1422


Both VEGA balloons encountered vertical winds with typical velocities of 1 to 2 meters per second. These values are consistent with those estimated from mixing length theory of thermal convection. However, small-scale temperature fluctuations for each balloon were sometimes larger than predicted. The approximate 6.5-kelvin difference in temperature consistently seen between VEGA-1 and VEGA-2 is probably due to synoptic or planetary-scale nonaxisymmetric disturbances that propagate westward with respect to the planet. There is also evidence from Doppler data for the existence of solar-fixed nonaxisymmetric motions that may be thermal tides. Surface topography may influence atmospheric motions experienced by the VEGA-2 balloon.

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