The European Space Agency's Venus Express has sent back new images of atmospheric turbulence and cloud features that may help explain what causes the planet's violent winds. Using infrared wavelengths, the spacecraft's Ultraviolet, Visible, and Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer can see through the thick layer of clouds covering the planet's atmosphere and take images at various depths. The new images show that clouds are irregular and bubble-shaped at the equator, become more regular and streaky at mid-latitudes, and enter a vortex shape at the poles. In addition, images over clouds over a region called Alpha Regio—characterized by troughs and ridges that can b e up to 4 kilometers high—indicate that surface topography may influence local atmospheric turbulence. The images are available at