Venus giant superstorm puzzles astronomers

The south pole vortex is being closely monitored by European scientists


Alexander Besant
March 27, 2013 12:55AM (UTC)

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

Global Post A huge super cyclone on Venus have astronomers captivated.

The south pole vortex is being closely monitored by European scientists who wrote about their findings in a recent issue of Nature Geoscience.

The European Space Agency has been tracking the Europe-sized storm for six years using the Venus Express satellite.

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The satellite arrived at the burning planet in 2006.

Scientists believe the storm is constantly evolving.

“We knew it was a long-term vortex; we also knew that it changes shape every day," said lead author Itziar Garate-Lopez.

"But we thought that the centers of the vortex at different altitudes formed only a single tube, but that is not so. Each center goes its own way, yet the global structure of the atmospheric vortex does not disintegrate.”

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Venus' surface temperatures are hot enough to melt lead, said Wired, and the surface pressure is 90 times that on Earth.

One day in Venus is 243 days on Earth - while its atmosphere travels at a whopping 223 miles per hour.


Alexander Besant

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Europe European Space Agency Globalpost Solar System Venus

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