Scientists have been trying to figure out the reason why planet Venus spins in such a bizarre manner and how much does a day last there. Thankfully, a recent study, which the journal Nature Geoscience recently published, might shed some light on that years-old mystery. The thing that baffles experts is that Venus spins very slowly. A single revolution takes the equivalent of about 243 days here on Earth. Moreover, this rotation is not always like this and the planet’s atmosphere moves a lot faster. A rotation lasts only about four Earth days.
Now, the Akatsuki spacecraft of JAXA, which is the Japanese space agency, offered some incredible images thanks to which experts may now know the cause of this phenomenon. It seems that the interaction between Venus’ atmosphere, which moves fast, and its surface, which has volcanoes and mountains, affects the speed of its spin. The idea is that Akatsuki recently spotted a bow-like shape atmospheric structure on Venus. However, even it kept disappearing and reappearing, it stayed in one place above the planet’s surface. It was always over some mountains. According to Thomas Navarro, the lead author of this study, Venus’ surface is bizarre because it’s difficult to see. At all times, a thick cloud covers it.
The reason behind the weird rotation of Venus
For this new study, the team of researchers managed to get a clear view of this strange shape. They analyzed pictures from Akatsuki at various wavelengths. It seems that mountain waves are actually the cause of the planet’s bizarre spin because of the wind’s different directions. Now, after finally learning the cause behind this unusual spin, researchers can understand how this angular momentum gets transferred between the planet and its atmosphere. At last, they can grasp a better understanding of the reason why Venus is the way it is.
Image source: pixabay