The Venus Express space mission was launched in November 2005 and entered in planetary orbit in April 2006. Since then it has been regularly sending data and images from Venus. Thanks to this space mission, researchers are beginning to reveal some of the secrets of this mysterious planet, so similar in size to the Earth while, at the same time, being an inhospitable world with its high temperatures caused by a runaway greenhouse effect and the poisonous composition of its atmosphere and clouds.
Researchers Agustín Sánchez Lavega and Ricardo Hueso took part in the observations and analyses carried out by VIRTIS, a spectrum camera that takes pictures simultaneously in visible and infrared light and obtains high-resolution spectra. Nature magazine has published seven research articles, two of which have been co-written by the abovementioned researchers. The aim of the investigation is the detailed study of the planet’s atmosphere, its meteorology, its strange, sulphuric acid cloud formations and the evolution of its climate.
In one of the articles Sánchez-Lavega and Hueso present a detailed study of the chemical processes and the movements which affect two gases that are of great interest for our planet Earth (carbon dioxide and oxygen) and which are present at a distance from the planet surface – at a height of between 95 and 115 km. The upper atmosphere of Venus is very tenuous and its behaviour helps to understand the energy mechanisms occurring between outer space and the deepest and densest atmosphere of the planet. The intense ultraviolet light from the Sun decomposes carbon dioxide molecules into carbon monoxide and oxygen and which then move to the nocturnal side of the planet. Here they recombine to form molecules of oxygen and emit infrared light. The researchers have presented in detail the movements of the masses of excited oxygen which move from the diurnal side (illuminated by the Sun) to the nocturnal side, with speeds of up to 250 km/h, as well as the mechanisms operating in the intense infrared emission of the oxygen.
In the other article the discovery of the South Pole double vortex (the dipole) is presented. This is a whirlwind in rapid rotation around the planet’s Pole (it’s takes 2.5 days) and which extends throughout the cloud layers at an altitude of between 50 and 65 kms. The study of this meteorological structure is of great interest in order to understand the mechanisms involved in the formation of similar vortexes, especially that of the Earth’s Antarctic continent, where this is one of the agents responsible for the appearance of the ozone layer gap. We have discovered that the polar vortex on Venus is a double one, in the shape of an eight and which, at times, forms at a height of 65 km where it is detected at high temperatures. At the deepest cloud layers the whirlwind is unique and its clouds are very opaque (at an altitude of 45-50 km).
With these kinds of comparative studies between the atmospheres of Venus and the Earth, researchers hope to obtain a better understanding of the greenhouse effect, the formation and chemistry of the sulphuric acid clouds, the nature of the vortexes (whirlwinds) in the polar atmospheres of the planets as well as the meteorology of the planets that rotate slowly. The research will enable obtaining knowledge of climate change on our planet. In short, the aim is to understand why a planet which has such a similar mass, size and chemical composition to those of the Earth can have such a different climate evolution.
Garazi Andonegi | alfa
When fluid flows almost as fast as light -- with quantum rotation
22.06.2018 | The Henryk Niewodniczanski Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences
Thermal Radiation from Tiny Particles
22.06.2018 | Universität Greifswald
In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.
Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...
Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...
Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...
The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.
Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.
An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.
Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...
13.06.2018 | Event News
08.06.2018 | Event News
05.06.2018 | Event News
22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences
22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.06.2018 | Life Sciences