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Gravity Wave Spotted on Venus: Japanese Orbiter Detects Anomaly

Image: Gravity Wave Spotted on Venus: Japanese Orbiter Detects Anomaly

(JAXA)

By    |   Wednesday, 18 Jan 2017 06:10 AM

Japanese scientists have spotted a gravity wave on Venus, and it could be the largest stationary one ever recorded in the solar system.

Researchers from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Institute of Space and Astronautical Science detected the large gravity wave using the Akatsuki spacecraft, according to Gizmodo.

The wave is said to be 6,200 miles long and is surrounded by strong winds traveling 225 miles per hour.

The wave was first observed by JAXA’s Akatsuki orbiter in 2015.

According to a new study published in the journal Nature Geoscience, the orbiter discovered “a stationary, bow-shaped structure in the upper Venusian atmosphere.”

“Here we report the detection of an interhemispheric bow-shaped structure stretching 10,000 km across at the cloud-top level of Venus in middle infrared and ultraviolet images from the Japanese orbiter Akatsuki,” the study, led by Makoto Taguchi of Tokyo’s Rikkyo University, says, according to CNet.

“Over several days of observation, the bow-shaped structure remained relatively fixed in position above the highland on the slowly rotating surface, despite the background atmospheric super rotation. We suggest that the bow-shaped structure is the result of an atmospheric gravity wave generated in the lower atmosphere by mountain topography that then propagated upwards,” it continues.

As Akatsuki continues to orbit around Venus, scientists are hoping to discover more ground-breaking information.

“Numerical simulations provide preliminary support for this interpretation, but the formation and propagation of a mountain gravity wave remain difficult to reconcile with assumed near-surface conditions on Venus. We suggest that winds in the deep atmosphere may be spatially or temporally more valuable than previously thought,” the study says, CNet noted.

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Japanese scientists have spotted a gravity wave on Venus, and it could be the largest stationary one ever recorded in the solar system.
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2017-10-18
Wednesday, 18 Jan 2017 06:10 AM
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