PerspectivePlanetary Science

Super-rotating the venusian atmosphere

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Science  24 Apr 2020:
Vol. 368, Issue 6489, pp. 363-364
DOI: 10.1126/science.abb2424

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Summary

Among the intriguing mysteries that remain for planetary atmospheres, the phenomenon of super-rotation is still a teasing problem. An atmosphere in super-rotation rotates globally faster than the solid body of the planet. In our solar system, super-rotation is observed on Venus and the largest moon of Saturn, Titan (1). The challenge is to explain how angular momentum can accumulate in the atmosphere and what controls the atmospheric angular momentum budget. On page 405 of this issue, Horinouchi et al. (2) address this by analyzing observation data from the onboard cameras of the Venus-orbiting Akatsuki spacecraft.

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