Volume 649, May 2021
|Number of page(s)
|Planets and planetary systems
|06 May 2021
Characterising atmospheric gravity waves on the nightside lower clouds of Venus: a systematic analysis
Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences, Observatório Astronómico de Lisboa, Ed. Leste,
Tapada da Ajuda,
2 Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency - 3-1-1, Yoshinodai, Chuo-ku, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-5210, Japan
3 Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD/IPSL), Sorbonne Université, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, École Polytechnique Normale Supérieure, Paris, France
4 Department of Physics (Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics), University of Oxford, Parks Rd, Oxford, OX1 3PU, UK
Accepted: 11 March 2021
We present the detection and characterisation of mesoscale waves on the lower clouds of Venus using images from the Visible Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer onboard the European Venus Express space mission and from the 2 μm camera (IR2) instrument onboard the Japanese space mission Akatsuki. We used image navigation and processing techniques based on contrast enhancement and geometrical projections to characterise morphological properties of the detected waves, such as horizontal wavelength and the relative optical thickness drop between crests and troughs. Additionally, we performed phase velocity and trajectory tracking of wave packets. We combined these observations to derive other properties of the waves such as the vertical wavelength of detected packets. Our observations include 13 months of data from August 2007 to October 2008, and the entire available data set of IR2 from January to November 2016. We characterised almost 300 wave packets across more than 5500 images over a broad region of the globe of Venus. Our results show a wide range of properties and are not only consistent with previous observations but also expand upon them, taking advantage of two instruments that target the same cloud layer of Venus across multiple periods. In general, waves observed on the nightside lower cloud are of a larger scale than the gravity waves reported in the upper cloud. This paper is intended to provide a more in-depth view of atmospheric gravity waves on the lower cloud and enable follow-up works on their influence in the general circulation of Venus.
Key words: waves / planets and satellites: atmospheres / planets and satellites: terrestrial planets / methods: observational / planets and satellites: individual: atmosphere dynamics: cloud tracking / planets and satellites: individual: Venus
© ESO 2021
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