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Atmospheric thermal structure and cloud features in the southern hemisphere of Venus as retrieved from VIRTIS/VEX radiation measurements

Haus, Rainer and Kappel, David and Arnold, Gabriele (2014) Atmospheric thermal structure and cloud features in the southern hemisphere of Venus as retrieved from VIRTIS/VEX radiation measurements. Icarus, 232, pp. 232-248. Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/j.icarus.2014.01.020. ISSN 0019-1035.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2014.01.020


Thermal structure and cloud features in the atmosphere of Venus are investigated using spectroscopic nightside measurements recorded by the Visible and InfraRed Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) aboard ESA’s Venus Express mission in the moderate resolution infrared mapping channel (M-IR, 1–5 μm). New methodical approaches and retrieval results for the northern hemisphere have been recently described by Haus et al. (Haus, R., Kappel, D., Arnold, G. [2013]. Planet. Space Sci. 89, 77–101. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pss.2013.09.020). Now, southern hemisphere maps of mesospheric temperature and cloud parameter fields are presented that cover variations with altitude, latitude, local time, and mission time. Measurements from the entire usable data archive are utilized comprising radiation spectra recorded during eight Venus solar days between April 2006 and October 2008. Zonal averages of retrieved temperature altitude profiles in both hemispheres are very similar and give evidence of global N–S axial symmetry of atmospheric temperature structure. Cold collar and warmer polar vortex regions exhibit the strongest temperature variability with standard deviations up to 8.5 K at 75°S and 63 km altitude compared with about 1.0 K at low and mid latitudes above 75 km. The mesospheric temperature field strongly depends on local time. At altitudes above about 75 km, the atmosphere is warmer in the second half of night, while the dawn side at lower altitudes is usually colder than the dusk side by about 8 K. Local minimum temperature of 220 K occurs at 03:00 h local time at 65 km and 60°S. Temperature standard deviation at polar latitudes is particularly large near midnight. Temperature variability with solar longitude is forced by solar thermal tides with a dominating diurnal component. The influence of observed cloud parameter changes on retrieved mesospheric zonal average temperature structure is moderate and does not exceed 2–3 K at altitudes between 60 and 75 km. The mesospheric thermal structure was essentially stable with Julian date between 2006 and 2008. Global N–S axial symmetry is also observed in cloud structures. Cloud top altitude at 1 μm slowly decreases from 71 km at the equator to 70 km at 45–50° and rapidly drops poleward of 50°. It reaches 61 km over both poles. Average particle size in the vertical cloud column increases from mid latitudes toward the poles and also toward the equator resulting in minimum and maximum zonal average cloud opacities of about 32 and 42 and a planetary average of 36.5 at 1 μm. Zonal averages of cloud features are similar at different solar days, but variations with local time are very complex and inseparably associated with the superrotation of the clouds.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/92049/
Document Type:Article
Title:Atmospheric thermal structure and cloud features in the southern hemisphere of Venus as retrieved from VIRTIS/VEX radiation measurements
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Haus, RainerWestfaelische Wilhelms Univ. MünsterUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date:April 2014
Journal or Publication Title:Icarus
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 232-248
Keywords:Venus; Atmospheres, structure; Radiative transfer; Spectroscopy; Infrared observations
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Space Exploration
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Exploration of the Solar System
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research
Deposited By: Kappel, David
Deposited On:24 Nov 2014 08:08
Last Modified:06 Sep 2019 15:26

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