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Venus Mountains Create Atmospheric Waves – Space News – redOrbit January 14, 2014

Posted by sandyclaus in Drake Revisited.
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In November 2012, scientists published a study on a wave formation process in the atmosphere of Venus that was caused by the rise of lighter, warmer air from below or the layer’s horizontal flow carrying it over an obstacle, such as a tall peak. Using the Radio Science Experiment onboard the ESA’s Venus Express craft (VeRa), a team of scientists captured over 500 atmospheric profiles between the probe’s arrival at the planet in 2006 and July 2011.

The profile views of the upper atmosphere allowed scientists to examine occasional disturbances within the atmospheric temperature profiles, which took the form of ripples often hundreds of miles across called gravity waves.

“We believe that these waves are at least partly associated with atmospheric flow over Ishtar Terra, an upland region which includes the highest mountains on Venus,” said Silvia Tellmann, of the University of Cologne in Germany. “We don’t yet fully understand how such topographic forcing can extend to high levels, but it seems likely to be one of the key processes for the generation of gravity waves at high northern latitudes on Venus. The waves may form when a stable air flow passes over the mountains.”

via Venus Mountains Create Atmospheric Waves – Space News – redOrbit.

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