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Close up view of the double-eyed vortex at Venus's south pole, as seen by the Ultraviolet/Visible/Near-Infrared spectrometer (VIRTIS) on Venus Express. The brighter the colour in the image, the more radiation is coming from the hot layers below. The brightest spot corresponds to the centre of the vortex, where radiation from the deeper layers becomes clearly visible. The dark circular structures surrounding the brighter area belong to the big vortex structure - 2500 kilometres across - and are part of the planet's atmospheric super-rotation. Image: ESA/VIRTIS/INAF-IASF/Obs. de Paris-LESIA.

This ultraviolet image of the Venus southern hemisphere was taken by the Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC) on 15 May 2006, when Venus Express was flying at about 66,500 kilometres from the planet. In this image, the south pole is near the terminator, just above the centre of the image. The complex atmosphere that surrounds the planet is clearly visible. Near the pole, spiralling clouds are observed surrounding the polar vortex. Image: ESA/MPS, Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany.


This sequence of images was taken by the Ultraviolet/Visible/Near-Infrared spectrometer (VIRTIS) between 12 and 19 April 2006. Each image is the composite of the day side of Venus (left, in blue, taken in ultraviolet light) and the night side (right, in red, taken in infrared). The ultraviolet part shows solar radiation reflected by the atmosphere. The infrared part shows complex cloud structures, revealed by the thermal radiation coming up from different atmospheric depths, whereby the brighter the colour, the more radiation is coming up from lower layers. Image: ESA/VIRTIS/INAF-IASF/Obs. de Paris-LESIA.



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