We Finally Know How’s the Nighttime Weather on Venus: New Data Available

Source: Paul K. Byrne and Sean C. Solomon

Scientists finally know how’s the nighttime weather on Venus thanks to a new technique!

Our planetary neighbor is quite fascinating, but it can be a real challenge for scientists, especially when it comes to weather. We’ve known very little about what’s really the weather like at night on Venus, but this is about to change.

Here is what you need to know.

Venus’ Weather at Night: No Longer a Mystery

A team of bold researchers has developed a new way of probing Venus to determine the weather at night.

They used infrared sensors on Akatsuki, a Japanese Venus climate orbiter that rests in Venus’ orbit from 2015. The sensors discovered nighttime clouds and some odd wind circulation patterns that revealed much of the Venus’ nighttime weather.

The results are genuinely intriguing.

Study insights

To understand Venus’ weather better, the team examined cloud motion in infrared light and used a novel analytical technique to handle the data from Akatsuki.

“[…] Venus is a special case as the entire weather system rotates very quickly, so we had to compensate for this movement, known as super-rotation, in order to highlight interesting formations for study,” explained Takeshi Imamura, a professor at the University of Tokyo, and the co-author of the new study.

Using the new method, the scientists observed Venus’ north-south winds at night and came across quite the peculiar thing.

You can see a representation below of the new technique used and the way Venus’ weather unfolds at night:

Source: JAXA/Imamura et al.

According to new data, the team found that the winds run opposite to their daytime counterparts. Such a thing means that a major change occurs on Venus. Scientists think that it can’t happen without some consequences.

The team will continue to explore Venus’ weather at nighttime to figure out more things. Using the new technique, we’ll surely come across more data in the future and discover new things about the weather on other planets like Mars.

Georgia Nica
Writing was, and still is, my first passion. I love all that cool stuff about science and technology. I’ll try my best to bring you the latest news every day.