These images of the Venus clouds were taken by Galileo's Solid State Imaging System February 13,1990, at a range of about 1 million miles. The smallest detail visible is about 20 miles. The two right images show Venus in violet light, the top one at a time six hours later than the bottom one. They show the state of the clouds near the top of Venus's cloud deck. A right to left motion of the cloud features is evident and is consistent with westward winds of about 230 mph. The two left images show Venus in near infrared light, at the same times as the two right images. Sunlight penetrates through the clouds more deeply at the near infrared wavelengths, allowing a view near the bottom of the cloud deck. The westward motion of the clouds is slower (about 150 mph) at the lower altitude. The clouds are composed of sulfuric acid droplets and occupy a range of altitudes from 30 to 45 miles. The images have been spatially filtered to bring out small scale details and de-emphasize global shading. The filtering has introduced artifacts (wiggly lines running north/south) that are faintly visible in the infrared image.
The Galileo Project is managed for NASA's Office of Space Science and Applications by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory; its mission is to study Jupiter and its satellites and magnetosphere after multiple gravity assist flybys at Venus and Earth.
|Target||Venus||Earth, Jupiter, Sun|
|Target Type||Earth||Planet, Sun|
|Instrument Host||Galileo Orbiter|
|Instrument||Solid-State Imaging (SSI)|
|Extra Keywords||Grayscale, Infrared, Magnetosphere|
|Date in Caption||1990-02-13|