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Light and dark cloud bands in the southern hemisphere of Venus



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Light and dark cloud bands in the southern hemisphere of Venus
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This composite picture of Venus was taken by the Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC) during a series of Venus Express orbits in July 2007.

These Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC) images show the dynamic changes in Venus’s light and dark clouds. These clouds are visible only at ultraviolet wavelengths and are remarkably changeable, altering the reflectivity of the planet by a third over periods of just a few days. While researchers believe that the bright haze is produced by sulphuric acid particles, the chemistry behind the dark regions is unknown.

Credit: ESA/MPS/DLR/IDA.