Ultraviolet Spectroscopy of Venus: Initial Results from the Pioneer Venus Orbiter

Science  23 Feb 1979:
Vol. 203, Issue 4382, pp. 777-779
DOI: 10.1126/science.203.4382.777


Ultraviolet spectroscopy of the Venus cloud tops reveals absorption features attributed to sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere above the cloud tops. Measurements of scattered sunlight at 2663 angstroms show evidence for horizontal and vertical inhomogeneities in cloud structure. Images of the planet at SO2 absorption wavelengths show albedo features similar to those seen at 3650 angstroms from Mariner 10. Airglowv emissions are consistent with an exospheric temperatuire of275 K, and a night airglows emission has been detected, indicating the precipitation of energy into the dark thermosphere.