Venus: Implications from Microwave Spectroscopy of the Atmospheric Content of Water Vapor

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Science  13 Sep 1968:
Vol. 161, Issue 3846, pp. 1125-1127
DOI: 10.1126/science.161.3846.1125


From comparison of theoretical and observed microwave brightness temperatures of Venus at 1.35 centimeters, the center of a water-vapor line, we obtain an upper limit of 0.8 percent for the water-vapor mixing ratio in the lower atmosphere. This limit is consistent with the amount of water vapor detected by Venera 4, the existence of aqueous ice clouds, and a greenhouse effect caused by water vapor and carbon dioxide. The computed spectra suggest that a sensitive procedure for detection of water vapor is examination of the wavelength region between I and 1.4 centimeters.

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