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Astronomers in Japan have spotted a massive bulge in Venus' atmosphere

The researchers propose that the huge wave started in the lower atmosphere and propagated to the upper clouds, where Akatsuki recorded it.

It is believed that the giant wave was caused by the gravity of the mountains present on the surface of Venus, as scientists think these towering mountains are the key reason to creating these bows.

The team hopes to address that question with further observations of the planet, and with that insight, we might finally be able to answer an even bigger question - how did Venus' insane super-rotation occur? It is a lifeless planet, with hottest planetary surface (447°C) in our solar system, and a thick atmosphere which harbors clouds of sulfuric acid.

The team behind the Akatsuki probe says all the evidence is pointing towards the bulge being a massive gravity wave - something that occurs when a fluid material, such as a liquid, gas, or plasma, is jostled out of a position of equilibrium.

Don't confuse this with the gravitational waves caused by colliding black holes that made history past year.

Researchers from the Rikkyo University in Tokyo have been studying the bow shaped patch that appeared in 2015.

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Venus is wrapped in thick clouds of sulfuric acid that swirl around the planet at 225 miles per hour, but not everything in the atmosphere is moving.

Taguchi and his colleagues concluded that the weird, bright area must be hotter than the surrounding atmosphere, and was therefore likely a result of a gravity wave created lower down in the atmosphere rising and passing over a mountain range. At the surface of the stream, you will see it as changes in height. "We examined every possibility, such as a thermal tide or an instrumental error, but all of them except for a gravity wave were excluded". It remained in-situ, captured by JAXA's Akatsuki spacecraft over a series of days in 2015, remaining in nearly exactly the same location.

"They used an atmosphere model (a bit like a weather model but for Venus), imposed a wave at 10 km in a region of mountains of Venus ... and see what happens".

As the spacecraft waits patiently for the wave to reappear - Europe's Venus Express spacecraft spotted a number of similar structures during its 10-year mission - scientists are now tasked with explaining the peculiar phenomenon. "But the air particles are moving up and down, very much as the water particles are moving up and down".

A monster wave roils in the atmosphere of Venus. Although the feature appears stationary, it just appears for a few days, he points out in an email to the Monitor. Having initially failed to enter the orbit of Venus, it spent five years going round the Sun before being pushed back on track in 2015.

"Although it is unclear whether gravity waves induced by mountains can readily propagate upwards to the cloud tops of Venus, the observations suggest that the atmospheric dynamics of Venus are more complex at depth than previously appreciated", the journal Nature's statement on the finding said.

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