Thursday, November 09, 2006

DUELING VORTICES?

Planetary scientists are still scratching their heads over why Venus is so radically different from our own planet. An obvious explanation lies in its enigmatic atmosphere. But posing the questions isn't the same as pondering the answers. The planet's South Pole has a mysterious double-eyed vortex fueled by super-hurricane force winds.


Above: A night-side false color image of Venus' South Pole and its tumultuous and thick climatic system as taken by a visible and infrared spectrometer aboard the European Space Agency's Venus Express spacecraft. Venus Express is celebrating the first anniversary of its launch.

Image: ESA

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