Clouds of Venus: Particle Size Distribution Measurements

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Science  23 Feb 1979:
Vol. 203, Issue 4382, pp. 792-795
DOI: 10.1126/science.203.4382.792


Data from the Pioneer Venus cloud particle size spectrometer experiment has revealed the Venus cloud system to be a complicated mixture of particles of various chemical composition distinguishable by their multimodal size distributions. The appearance, disappearance, growth, and decay of certain size modes has aided the preliminary identification of both sulfuric acid and free sulfur cloud regions. The discovery of large particles > 30 micrometers, significant particle mass loading, and size spectral features suggest that precipitation is likely produced; a peculiar aerosol structure beneath the lowest cloud layer could be residue from a recent shower.