Why winds on Venus blow faster than the planet’s rotation

May 28th, 2010 - 12:25 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, May 28 (ANI): Scientists may have found the answer to the long time puzzle - why do winds on the planet Venus blow faster than the planet’s rotation.

Venus rotates once every 243 Earth days, but it takes just 4 Earth days for clouds in the Venusian atmosphere to go all the way round the planet at speeds of 200 metres per second, reports ABC Science.

This phenomenon known as super-rotation is observed only on Venus and the Saturnian moon Titan.

For a long time, astrophysicists have believed that temperature differences between the day and night time sides of Venus is what drives these winds.

A team of scientists led by Hector Javier Durand-Manterola from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico says the winds are being driven by winds in the ionosphere between 150 and 800 kilometres above the surface.

Discovered by the American Pioneer Venus Orbiter, and known as the transterminator flow - these winds travel at supersonic speeds of several kilometres per second, and are thought to be driven by the planet’s interaction with solar winds from the Sun.

They generate sound waves through turbulence, which inject additional energy into the atmosphere - with an intensity of 84 dB.

The scientists report their studies in the physics blog ArXiv.com. (ANI)

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