The mean rotation rate of Venus from 29 years of Earth-based radar observations

Bruce A. Campbell, Donald B. Campbell, Lynn M. Carter, John F. Chandler, J. D. Giorgini, Jean Luc Margot, Gareth A. Morgan, Michael C. Nolan, Phillip J. Perillat, Jennifer L. Whitten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

We measured the length of the Venus sidereal day (LOD) from Earth-based radar observations collected from 1988 to 2017, using offsets in surface feature longitudes from a prediction based on a 243.0185d period derived from analysis of Magellan mission images over a 487-day interval. We derive a mean LOD over 29 years of 243.0212 ± 0.0006d. Our result is consistent with earlier estimates (but with smaller uncertainties), including those based on offsets between Venus Express infrared mapping data and Magellan topography that suggest a mean LOD of 243.0228 ± 0.002d over a 16-year interval. We cannot detect subtle, short-term oscillations in rate, but the derived value provides an excellent fit to observational data over a 29-year period that can be used for future landing-site planning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-23
Number of pages5
JournalIcarus
Volume332
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019

Keywords

  • Radar observations
  • Rotational dynamics
  • Venus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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