Venus in the Ultraviolet and the Infrared

Venus in the Ultraviolet and the Infrared

Using Venus Express, it is possible to compare what the planet looks like at different wavelengths, giving scientists a powerful tool with which to study this planet's turbulent atmosphere.

The lower left shows a differential temperature map (not absolute values) of the venusian cloud tops, derived from the Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer, VIRTIS, on the planet's night-side. The darker the region, the colder the cloud tops. To the upper right is an ultraviolet image of the venusian day side, captured by the Venus Monitoring Camera, VMC, simultaneously with the night-side infrared image.

The ultraviolet reveals the structure of the clouds and the dynamical conditions in the atmosphere, whereas the infrared provides information on the temperature and altitude of the cloud tops.


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