Venus Polar Atmosphere
This composite video sequence was obtained by the Ultraviolet, Visible and Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIRTIS) on board ESA's Venus Express.
The single images were taken from 7 to 11 April 2007 over 5 different orbits. In each orbit the images were collected over a time span of 8 hours and were separated by about half an hour. The average distance from the planet was about 65 000 kilometres.
The latitude of the observed area spans 50 to 90 degrees South. The longitude spans about 20 to 150 degrees East.
The video shows details of the planet’s south pole in RGB colour. The data obtained at 1.7 microns is shown in blue, while those obtained at 3.8 microns is represented in red.
Using specific wavelengths (3.8 and 1.7 microns, respectively), the observations allowed the imaging of the day and night areas around the south pole simultaneously, at different depths (at about 65 kilometres and below the cloud deck, respectively) simultaneously. The intersection between the polar atmospheric structures seen at different wavelengths is visible well, due to the optical properties of the clouds.