Nature of the ultraviolet absorber in the Venus clouds: Inferences based on Pioneer Venus data

James B. Pollack, Boris Ragent, Robert Boese, Martin G. Tomasko, Jacques Blamont, Robert G. Knollenberg, Larry W. Esposito, A. Ian Stewart, Lawrence Travis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Several photometric measurements of Venus made from the Pioneer Venus orbiter and probes indicate that solar near-ultraviolet radiation is being absorbed throughout much of the main cloud region, but little above the clouds or within the first one or two optical depths. Radiative transfer calculations were carried out to simulate both Pioneer Venus and ground-based data for a number of proposed cloud compositions. This comparison rules out models invoking nitrogen dioxide, meteoritic material, and volatile metals as the source of the ultraviolet absorption. Models involving either small (∼ I micrometer) or large (∼ 10 micrometers) sulfur particles have some serious difficulties, while ones invoking sulfur dioxide gas appear to be promising.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-79
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume205
Issue number4401
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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    Pollack, J. B., Ragent, B., Boese, R., Tomasko, M. G., Blamont, J., Knollenberg, R. G., Esposito, L. W., Ian Stewart, A., & Travis, L. (1979). Nature of the ultraviolet absorber in the Venus clouds: Inferences based on Pioneer Venus data. Science, 205(4401), 76-79. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.205.4401.76