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What’s the weather like at night? Venus? Scientists are finally finding out.
On only one planet, Venus is relatively close to Earth, and we’ve been studying it for a long time, with the first Venus probe arriving on the planet in 1978. However, scientists know very little about nighttime weather. . This is what it says so far.
In a new study, researchers have developed a new way to use infrared sensors on the tropical planet Venus for Japan’s climate Akatsuki, a probe that orbited Venus in 2015 and finally revealed the weather on the planet at night. These sensors found nighttime clouds and strange patterns of wind flow.
Belong to: Photos of Venus, the mysterious planet nearby
Like Earth, Venus is in the “habitable zone” of our sun, and has a solid surface and an atmosphere that has time. To understand the weather on the planet, researchers study the movement of clouds in infrared light. However, while Atmosphere of Venus The planet spins fast and has the slowest rotation of all the major planets in our solar system, which means that day and night are long enough – About 120 ground days each.
Until now, only the weather on the “daylight side” of Venus has been well discernible because, even in infrared, it is difficult to see the night side of Venus clearly. There have been infrared observations of the “night side” of Venus, but these studies have not been able to clearly demonstrate the planet’s nighttime weather.
To explore this mysterious side of our neighboring planet, researchers turned to Akatsuki, the first Japanese probe to orbit another planet. The probe is designed to observe Venus and its weather, and has an infrared image sensor that doesn’t need sunlight to “see” it. Despite this determination, the photographer was unable to capture detailed observations of the night of Venus. However, by using a new analytical method to process the data captured by the photographer, researchers can indirectly “see” Venus’ elusive nighttime weather.
“Cloud patterns are small in size in live images and are often blurred and indistinguishable from background noise,” said study co-author Takeshi Imamura, a professor at the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Frontier Sciences. He said in a press release:.
“To see the details, we had to remove the sound,” he said. “In astronomy and planetary sciences, it is common to combine images to do this because the actual properties of a group of similar images quickly mask the noise. However, Venus is a special case because the entire weather system rotates so quickly that we compensate for this movement, known as superrotation, to highlight formations of interest to study.”
Using this new method of analysis, the team observed the planet’s north and south winds at night and discovered something very strange.
“What’s surprising is that these go in the opposite direction to their counterparts during the day,” Imamura said. “Such a dramatic change cannot happen without major consequences. This observation could help us build more accurate models of the Venusian weather system that will hopefully solve some long-unanswered questions about Venus’s weather and perhaps. on earth.”
Using this new method, the researchers believe future studies could reveal new details about the weather on other planets like Mars or even Earth, according to the release.
As this work uses existing technology orbiting Venus, the planet will soon see the arrival of three new missions that will continue to expand our understanding of Venus and its climate. NASA recently announced Two new missions to Venus, called DAVINCI+ and VERITAS, and the European Space Agency announced that they imagine mission to the planet. All three spacecraft will be launched by the end of this decade and early 2030.
This job was Described in a study published July 21 in the journal Nature.
Email Chelsea Judd at: [email protected] Or follow her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.
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