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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

The Solar System’s Most Spectacular Polar Superstorms

 This is the finding of a new study that looked at the planet's polar atmosphere in greater detail than ever before, which was published Mar. 24 in Nature Geoscience.

Venus has a dense carbon-dioxide atmosphere that creates a surface pressure more than 90 times stronger than Earth’s at sea level and temperatures greater than 450 degrees Celsius, hot enough to melt lead. Though the planet rotates very slowly — a day on Venus lasts 243 Earth-days — its atmosphere travels at speeds of 360 km/hr, whipping around the planet in just four Earth-days. Satellites have spotted an S-shaped vortex with two eyes near each of its poles.

A polar vortex is a gigantic persistent cyclone-like storm hovering high in the atmosphere over a planet’s antipodes. Almost every planet or moon with a substantial atmosphere has been shown capable of possessing one, including Earth.

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