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Altimetry of the Venus cloud tops from the Venus Express observations

Ignatiev, Nikolay and Titov, Dmitri and Piccioni, Giuseppe and Drossart, Pierre and Markiewicz, Wojtek and Cottini, Valeria and Roatsch, Thomas and Almeida, Miguel and Manoel, Nuno da Câmara (2009) Altimetry of the Venus cloud tops from the Venus Express observations. Journal of Geophysical Research, 114 (E00B43). Wiley. doi: 10.1029/2008JE003320.

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Simultaneous observations of Venus by Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer and Venus Monitoring Camera onboard the Venus Express spacecraft are used to map the cloud top altitude and to relate it to the ultraviolet (UV) markings. The cloud top altitude is retrieved from the depth of CO2 absorption band at 1.6 μm. In low and middle latitudes the cloud top is located at 74 ± 1 km. It decreases poleward of ±50° and reaches 63–69 km in the polar regions. This depression coincides with the eye of the planetary vortex. At the same latitude and hour angle, cloud top can experience fast variations of about 1 km in tens of hours, while larger long-term variations of several kilometers have been observed only at high latitudes. UV markings correlate with the cloud altimetry, however, the difference between adjacent UV dark and bright regions does not exceed several hundred meters. Surprisingly, CO2 absorption bands are often weaker in the dark UV features, indicating that these clouds may be a few hundred meters higher or have a larger scale height than neighboring clouds. Ultraviolet dark spiral arms, which are often seen at about −70°, correspond to higher altitudes or to the regions with strong latitudinal gradient of the cloud top altitude. Cloud altimetry in the polar region reveals the structure that correlates with the thermal emission maps but is invisible in UV images. This implies that the UV optically thick polar hood is transparent in the near IR.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/59835/
Document Type:Article
Title:Altimetry of the Venus cloud tops from the Venus Express observations
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Ignatiev, Nikolayignatiev (at) irn.iki.rssi.ruUNSPECIFIED
Titov, Dmitrititov (at) mps.mpg.deUNSPECIFIED
Piccioni, Giuseppegiuseppe.piccioni (at) iasf-roma.inaf.itUNSPECIFIED
Drossart, PierrePierre.Drossart (at) obspm.frUNSPECIFIED
Markiewicz, Wojtekmarkiewicz (at) mps.mpg.deUNSPECIFIED
Cottini, Valeriavaleria.cottini (at) iasf-roma.inaf.itUNSPECIFIED
Roatsch, Thomasthomas.roatsch (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Almeida, MiguelMiguel.Almeida (at) sciops.esa.intUNSPECIFIED
Manoel, Nuno da Câmaramanoix (at) galaxy.lca.uevora.ptUNSPECIFIED
Date:August 2009
Journal or Publication Title:Journal of Geophysical Research
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1029/2008JE003320
Keywords:venus, atmospheres, altimetry
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Vorhaben Venus Express Kamera (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Geology
Deposited By: Roatsch, Dr.rer.nat. Thomas
Deposited On:02 Sep 2009 13:14
Last Modified:08 Mar 2018 18:43

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