Scientists have finally discovered the cause of a massive bulge in Venus’ atmosphere.
It is being caused by what is almost certainly the largest gravity wave we’ve ever seen in the Solar System.
Stretching a staggering 10,000 miles in length, this phenomenon can be compared to the way rocks on a river bed cause ripples on the water’s surface.
Except of course in this instance we’re not talking about a riverbed, but an entire planet.
Captured by the Japanese spacecraft Akatsuki in 2015, the giant gravity way is caused as Venus’ lower atmosphere strikes a vast mountain range on the surface of the planet.
As the fast moving atmosphere hits the surface it creates a planet-wide ripple that shoots upwards into Venus’ upper atmosphere.
Scientists from Rikkyo University in Japan first became curious after they noticed that the bow was stationary. This didn’t make sense for the simple reason that Venus’ upper atmosphere moves at a staggering 100 metres per second.
For the bow to remain in the same place then it was only natural that something was causing it further down in the atmosphere.
Venus is often referred to as Earth’s ‘Evil Twin’ thanks to the fact that scientists believe that at some point in Venus’ past it wasn’t that different from Earth.
Unfortunately that time has passed and what remains is a hellish landscape of thick foggy atmosphere and a mountainous surface that can reach temperatures of over 400 degrees.
The Soviet Union was actually able to send several probes to the surface of the planet and were even able to send over a couple of pictures.
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