This false-colour ultraviolet image of the south pole of Venus was obtained by the Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC) on board ESA’s Venus Express on 25 February 2008 from a distance of about 20 000 km, at a wavelength of 365 nanometres. The octagonal shape of the image is due to the VMC field of view.
It is a zoom-in on the south polar ‘cap’, located inside a 60-degree-latitude circle. It shows a very bright and uniform appearance and lacks small-scale markings. However several dark streaks usually encircle the polar regions and seem to indicate strong jet-stream-like winds in the atmosphere around the pole.