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Cloud Motions on Venus: Global Structure and Organization

Sanjay Shridhar LimayeInstitute for Space Studies, Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA, New York, NY 10025

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Verner E. SuomiUniversity of Wisconsin, Space Science & Engineering Center, Madison, WI 53706

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Abstract

We present results on cloud motions on Venus obtained over a period of 3.5 days from Mariner 10 television images. The implied atmosphere flow is almost zonal everywhere on the visible disk, and is in the same retrograde sense as the solid planet. Objective analysis of motions suggests presence of jet cores (−130 m s−1) and organized atmospheric waves. The longitudinal mean meridional profile of the zonal component of motion of the ultraviolet features shows presence of a midlatitude jet stream (−110 m s−1). The mean zonal component is −97 m s−1 at the equator. The mean meridional motion at most latitudes is directed toward the pole in either hemisphere and is at least an order of magnitude smaller so that the flow is nearly zonal. A tentative conclusion from the limited coverage available from Mariner 10 is that at the level of ultraviolet features mean meridional circulation is the dominant mode of poleward angular momentum transfer as opposed to the eddy circulation.

Abstract

We present results on cloud motions on Venus obtained over a period of 3.5 days from Mariner 10 television images. The implied atmosphere flow is almost zonal everywhere on the visible disk, and is in the same retrograde sense as the solid planet. Objective analysis of motions suggests presence of jet cores (−130 m s−1) and organized atmospheric waves. The longitudinal mean meridional profile of the zonal component of motion of the ultraviolet features shows presence of a midlatitude jet stream (−110 m s−1). The mean zonal component is −97 m s−1 at the equator. The mean meridional motion at most latitudes is directed toward the pole in either hemisphere and is at least an order of magnitude smaller so that the flow is nearly zonal. A tentative conclusion from the limited coverage available from Mariner 10 is that at the level of ultraviolet features mean meridional circulation is the dominant mode of poleward angular momentum transfer as opposed to the eddy circulation.

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