Venus Could See Length Of Day Change Due To Weather Phenomenon
20 June, 2018, 23:12 | Author: Darnell Taylor
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has a spacecraft orbiting Venus called Akatsuki.
Also, the scientists revealed that these gravity waves, caused by the extreme weather on Venus, can alter the Venusian days' length, producing an oscillation of about two minutes, in Earth time. However, the planet rotates in the opposite direction as Earth, so if we consider a "day" as the planet making one full turn, then the Sun actually rises twice during a single day on Venus. In this new effort, the researchers suggest they might have found at least one of the characteristics causing the planet to spin at variable speeds, and it has to do with atmospheric circulation. When the atmosphere-traveling at 100 meters per second-hits mountains on Venus's surface, it seems to create enough push and pull to alter the planet's rotation, accelerating it by about 2 minutes per day, researchers report this week in Nature Geoscience. When taking into account the presence of the waves, researchers discovered that it forces the lengths of days to change on Venus.
This insane motion results in winds of up to 400 kilometres per hour (around 250 miles per hour). Toward evening, the stability of the atmosphere increases, and when the Sun goes down, the air flow from the foot of the mountains is blocked and the gravitational waves disappear.
"It's not something we can feel, but something we can measure", said study author Thomas Navarro, a planetary scientist at UCLA.
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Accordingly, the planet's fast-moving winds strike the mountains peaks producing an atmospheric formation that appears not to move.
Schematic showing the likely mechanism behind the wave. And the results of their simulation were in "a remarkable agreement with the observations over four Venus solar days from 2015 to 2017", they wrote in their paper. The Sun's gravity, on the other hand, may act like a finger on a spinning globe, limiting the planet's rotation speed. Further studying these waves and how they affect Venus could help scientists better understand its interior, as well as its odd atmosphere.
Scientists don't know why Venus rotates so slowly, or why it has a retrograde rotation. However, that doesn't change the length of our days that much, as this figure typically fluctuates by just a few milliseconds. But the atmosphere on Venus is notably thicker than on Earth, an observation that intrigued the researchers.
The researchers pulled data from a Japanese space probe named Akatsuki (which means "dawn") which is now in orbit around Venus.
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