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Rotation of Venus's polar dipole


The venusian polar dipoles are long-lived, elongated, warm features seen in images of thermal emission from the polar cloud tops of the planet. They are almost 4,000 km across, are centred close to the pole, and appear to rotate with a period of 3 days retrograde. The northern hemisphere dipole was first identified as such by the Orbiter Infrared Radiometer (OIR) on the Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO)1,2, and in this study we use OIR images at 11.5 µm to investigate its detailed rotation. Its rotation rate is observed to change steadily over the 72-day data set, and there is some evidence for oscillatory variations superimposed on this trend.

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Schofield, J., Diner, D. Rotation of Venus's polar dipole. Nature 305, 116–119 (1983).

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