Excitation of the Venus Night Airglow

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Science  11 Feb 1977:
Vol. 195, Issue 4278, pp. 573-574
DOI: 10.1126/science.195.4278.573


The strongest spectral features in the Venus night airglow between 3000 and 8000 angstroms are identified as the Herzberg. II (c1Σ-u - X3Σ-a) bands of molecular oxygen. These bands have been produced in a laboratory afterglow by the recombination of oxygen atoms in the presence of carbon dioxide molecules. It is hypothesized that the same mechanism produces this emission in the upper atmosphere of Venus.