NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Photo of Venus, taken by the Pioneer-Venus Orbiter, showing its turbulent, cloudy atmosphere. The clouds move rapidly around the planet from east to west (right to left) at a speed of approximately 100 metres per second (220 miles per hour). Bright cloud areas wrap around both poles. The small mottled features at the equator (upper centre) appear to be convective cells caused by the Sun's heating of the atmosphere. The Pioneer- Venus Orbiter was used to study Venus, from its orbit around the planet, for over two years from December 4th, 1978.
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