Raging winds

Raging winds

. A high-velocity wind whips the upper layer of Venus's cloud deck around the planet's equator once every four Earth days, moving at speeds of up to 100 meters per second. This is illustrated by these photographs taken at ultraviolet wavelengths on consecutive days by the Pioneer Venus spacecraft in 1979. The Y-shaped clouds move towards the west (left). The winds of Venus are dominated by a zonal (east-to-west) circulation. The low atmosphere and the planet's surface also rotate westward, but with the much slower period of 243 days. (Courtesy of Larry Travis and NASA.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University