A screenshot from a new animation of an orbit of Venus, taken from data collected by ESA's Venus Express spacecraft.
The movie begins from a staggering 66 000 km above the south pole, staring down into the swirling south polar vortex. From this bird’s-eye view, half of the planet is in darkness, the ‘terminator’ marking the dividing line between the day and night sides of the planet.
The movie is based on images snapped by the Venus Monitoring Camera over a period of 18 hours during one of the spacecraft’s 24-hour orbits around the planet on 7–8 January last year. It was compiled using public data from the Venus Express data archive.