The Bruce Murray Space Image Library
The many faces of Venus' south polar vortex
Filed under pretty pictures, Venus Express, Venus
Venus' south polar vortex changes over time in complicated patterns. These are just four snapshots from Venus Express' observations of the strange feature. They were taken by the VIRTIS camera at a near-infrared wavelength of at 3.8 microns. The images show the temperature of the cloud top at an altitude of about 65 kilometers. Darker regions correspond to higher temperatures and thus lower altitudes. The center of the vortex, at a temperature of about 250 Kelvins (-25 C / 20 F), is the deepest zone, exhibiting the highest temperatures.
ESA / VIRTIS / INAF-IASF / Obs. de Paris-LESIA
Original image data dated on or about September 23, 2010.
Most ESA images can be reused for noncommercial purposes as long as they are properly credited. For more information and other uses, read ESA's copyright notice.
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