Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 627A, 82-82 (2019/7-1)
Atmospheric circulation of Venus measured with visible imaging spectroscopy at the THEMIS observatory.
GAULME P., SCHMIDER F.-X., WIDEMANN T., GONCALVES I., LOPEZ ARISTE A. and GELLY B.
Abstract (from CDS):
Measuring the atmospheric circulation of Venus at different altitudes is important for understanding its complex dynamics, in particular the mechanisms driving super-rotation. Observationally, Doppler imaging spectroscopy is in principle the most reliable way to measure wind speeds of planetary atmospheres because it directly provides the projected speed of atmospheric particles. However, high-resolution imaging spectroscopy is challenging, especially in the visible domain, and most knowledge about atmospheric dynamics has been obtained with the cloud tracking technique. The objective of the present work is to measure the global properties of the atmospheric dynamics of Venus at the altitude of the uppermost clouds, which is probed by reflected solar lines in the visible domain. Our results are based on high-resolution spectroscopic observations with the long-slit spectrometer of the solar telescope THEMIS. We present the first instantaneous "radial-velocity snapshot" of any planet of the solar system in the visible domain, i.e., a complete radial-velocity map of the planet obtained by stacking data on less than 10% of its rotation period. From this, we measured the properties of the zonal and meridional winds, which we unambiguously detect. We identify a wind circulation pattern that significantly differs from previous knowledge about Venus. The zonal wind reveals a "hot spot" structure, featuring about 200m/s at sunrise and 70m/s at noon in the equatorial region. Regarding meridional winds, we detect an equator-to-pole meridional flow peaking at 45m/s at mid-latitudes, i.e., about twice as large as what has been reported so far.