Thermal Structure of the Venus Atmosphere in the Middle Cloud Layer

Science  21 Mar 1986:
Vol. 231, Issue 4744, pp. 1420-1422
DOI: 10.1126/science.231.4744.1420


Thermal structure measurements obtained by the two VEGA balloons show the Venus middle cloud layer to be generally adiabatic. Temperatures measured by the two balloons at locations roughly symmetric about the equator differed by about 6.5 kelvins at a given pressure. The VEGA-2 temperatures were about 2.5 kelvins cooler and those of VEGA-1 about 4 kelvins warmer than temperatures measured by the Pioneer Venus Large Probe at these levels. Data taken by the VEGA-2 lander as it passed through the middle cloud agreed with those of the VEGA-2 balloon. Study of individual frames of the balloon data suggests the presence of multiple discrete air masses that are internally adiabatic but lie on slightly different adiabats. These adiabats, for a given balloon, can differ in temperature by as much as 1 kelvin at a given pressure.