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Wave trains on Venus

Wave trains on Venus

Date: 12 January 2014
Satellite: Venus Express
Depicts: VMC images of wave trains on Venus
Copyright: ESA/Venus Express/VMC/A. Piccialli et al., 2014

A study of gravity waves in the atmosphere of Venus has found four types of waves: long, medium, short and irregular. Identified in images obtained with the Venus Monitoring Camera they were mostly found at high latitudes (60-80 degrees N) in a region of high cloud known as 'the cold collar', and they were concentrated above the continent-sized highland of Ishtar Terra.

Long waves (top left) appeared as narrow straight features extending more than a few hundreds of kilometres and with wavelengths (separation of crests) between 7 and 17 km. Medium type waves (top centre) exhibited irregular wave fronts extending for more than 100 km and with wavelengths of 8 - 21 km. Short waves (top right) had a width of several tens of kilometres and extended to a few hundreds of kilometres, with wavelengths of 3 - 16 km. Irregular wave fields (bottom row) appeared to be the result of wave interference.

The waves were often identified in images taken at several different wavelengths (ultraviolet – 365 nm; visible – 513 nm; and near-infrared – 965 nm and 1000 nm).

The detection of these waves and their association with a geological feature strengthens the case that topography is likely to be a significant influence on the atmospheric circulation of Venus.

The octagonal shape of the images is due to the VMC field of view.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
25-Jun-2024 16:24 UT

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