Ultraviolet Observations of Venus from Mariner 10: Preliminary Results

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Science  29 Mar 1974:
Vol. 183, Issue 4131, pp. 1315-1318
DOI: 10.1126/science.183.4131.1315


An objective grating spectrometer on Mariner 10 has measured air-glow in the wavelength range 200 to 1700 angstroms. The data reveal the presence of significant concentrations of hydrogen, helium, carbon, and oxygen atoms in the upper atmosphere of Venus. A preliminary analysis of the hydrogen data indicates an exospheric temperature of 400° K. There is evidence for intense air-glow emission at wavelengths longward of 1350 angstroms; the nature of this emission is unclear, but the radiation is spatially extensive and detectable on both day and night sides of the planet.