Is there wind on other planets?
9 April 2022
Despite its “wild weather,” Earth is beginning to look like an ideal vacation destination while compare to space orbits. Being prepared is the most critical aspect of dealing with Earth’s extremes. Knowing when bad weather is approaching is an essential part of being prepared. One of the key tasks of the GOES and the next generation of such satellites, the GOES-R series, is to do just that. Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) is an acronym for Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite. In a geostationary orbit, two GOES satellites watch North America. Their geostationary orbits are extremely high—22,300 miles above the equator—and are directly above the equator. The satellites appear to linger above the same point on Earth at all times as the Earth rotates on its axis. The satellites are only completing one Earth orbit every day.
Wind on Venus and Mars
You’d wake up on Venus to a temperature of 890oF, hot enough to melt lead. On Mars, massive, planet-wide dust storms might cause havoc with your plans. The 900-mile-per-hour (mph) winds on Neptune would make even the most powerful hurricanes on Earth appear like mild breezes.
- Weather and wind can only occur on planets or other objects surrounded by atmospheres, which are layers of gases.
- According to planetary scientist Timothy Dowling of the University of Louisville in Kentucky, at least 12 objects in our solar system suit that description. Scientists have identified atmospheres on the sun, most planets, and three moons.
- Winds, which propel weather systems, require a source of energy to get started. The sun’s radiation heats some air pockets on Earth, while other pockets remain cold. The wind is created as hot air flows toward cold air.
Winds of mystery
Winds become quicker when you go higher in the atmosphere on Earth. As a result, airplanes, for example, experience more wind than automobiles. On top of that, we get more wind on mountaintops than we do on prairies. On Venus and Mars, the same is true.
During its 2005 descent to Saturn’s moon Titan, the Huygens probe discovered a new pattern. The winds were highest near the outer margins of the atmosphere, as expected. As the probe approached Titan’s surface, they dwindled to nearly nothing. However, around halfway down, the wind picked up. They diminished again when they got closer to the moon’s surface.
- Atkinson claims that winds are increasing deep within Jupiter’s atmosphere, despite computer models predicting the opposite.
- “What that tells us is that there is most certainly energy pouring outward from down below,” he explains.
- Another problem is the relationship between an object’s spin and wind strength. Winds blow in the direction that the object spins on most planets and moons with atmospheres. This suggests that spinning aids in the creation of wind whipping.
- A single rotation of Venus, on the other hand, takes 243 Earth days. Dowling claims that wind speeds surrounding Venus are 60 times faster than the planet’s rotation. Titan’s wind also causes it to lose its spin.
- The planetary weather continues to change as scientists try to decipher these unexpected findings.