# Astronomers debate whether or not lightning strikes even once on Venus

Contrary to a decades-old hypothesis, there may be very little lightning in the atmosphere of Venus – or even none at all – according to researchers analysis of data collected by NASA's Parker Solar Probe. In 1978, the Pioneer Venus spacecraft orbited the planet and detected what appeared to be electromagnetic "Whistler" Waves …

1. #### 690,000km/h

Mach 890. Around the earth in 33 seconds.

(sea level, atmosphere, humidity etc etc).

1. #### Re: 690,000km/h

Units error.

690,000km/h or 430,000mph is about mach 560

If we stopped using daft terrestrial units for this sort of thing, this sort of error would not happen. The speed should be expressed as (about) 192,000 m/s

1. #### Re: 690,000km/h

Since Mach is the ratio of speed relative to the speed of sound, every craft not within a planet's atmosphere is traveling at Mach v/0 which is mathematically undefined since sound doesn't travel in a vacuum.

Also to be completely pedantic, Mach 1.0 is not a constant. It varies with air density (atmospheric pressure and altitude) and humidity. (I.e., Mach 1 at 60,000 feet ASL is not the same speed as Mach 1 at sea level; and Mach 1 on Earth is not the same speed as Mach 1 on Mars).

1. #### Re: 690,000km/h

Yes, and? I'm not the one who considered mach to be a relevant unit. I was just pointing out the apparent confusion on the OP between mph & km/h.

2. One hundred and twenty miles per second.

3. But still a lot less than one thousandth of the speed of light.

1. 0.06412% to be precise.

4. #### So you've dodged the lightning!

Well done puny mortal! You have survived the first challenge! Now the 400°C surface temperature will melt you! Not to mention the 90 bar pressure. And despite the lack of thunder, we still have the sulphuric acid rain to dissolve your lifeless corpse!

it's one less way to die I suppose...

Bloody good show with the science! To use a probe that just happens to be wandering past to do some science on the way. Should I replace wandering with zooming perhaps?

5. #### Whistlers on Venus?

But the Clangers live on a moon!

## POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.