Wind speeds and cloud layers of Venus

Wind speeds and cloud layers of Venus

Fig. 7.4 . At all altitudes in the thick atmosphere of Venus, the dominant winds blow westward with a speed that increases with height. From a gentle breeze near the ground, the wind speed increases to 100 meters per second at great heights. Space probes that penetrated the planet's clouds have been able to detect three distinct layers in the opaque sulfurous clouds. The top layer contains small droplets of sulfuric acid; the middle layer contains larger but fewer particles. The bottom layer is the densest and contains the largest particles; it is comparable to bad city smog in visibility. Beneath the lowest layer, the atmosphere is hot enough to vaporize all particles, so it is relatively clear down there.

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University