Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Winds of Venus Speed Up, No One Knows Why

Before the Soviets landed probes on Venus we long thought of the planet as a twin.  Nearly the same size as the Earth and much closer than Mars, many had hopes that Venus would be the first planet colonized by humans.  Then we discovered it basically matches our definition of Hell.

Now scientists have published results of a study which state the winds of Venus, clouds made out of battery acid moving at super hurricane speed, are speeding up.  Already the there are belts which can circle the planet in four days.  However, no one knows why certain wind belts are speeding up.  It seems either there is something going on with the planet itself or this climate change is being driven by the sun (or a combination of both).

Extraterrestrial geography is fascinating.  It is tragic though that we geographers have surrendered the science to geologists and physicists.  This study was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research - Planets.  None of the researchers consider themselves "geographers" (they probably could not get tenure in a geography department anyways due to the strong bias against non-Earth bound spatial research in most geography departments).

1 comment:

Yosef said...

I feel exactly the same way as you do - there's plenty of "geography" to study on those planets, moons, etc. You might as well even name the discipline for studying the geography of Mars, "areography" - which does exist to an extent. The study of Mercury could be "hermeography"; Jupiter, "zeusography"; Europa, "europography"; Titan, "titanography" - and on and on.