Atmosphere of Venus: Implications of Venera 8 Sunlight Measurements

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Science  31 May 1974:
Vol. 184, Issue 4140, pp. 979-982
DOI: 10.1126/science.184.4140.979


Venera 8 measurements of solar illumination within the atmnosphere of Venus are quantitatively analyzed by using a multilayer model atmosphere. The analysis shows that there are at least three different scattering layers it the atmosphere of Venus and the total cloud optical thickness is [unknown] 10. However, because of the nature of the observations it is not possible to determine the vertical distributiont of absorbed solar energy, which would reveal the drive for the atmospheric dynamics and the strength of the greenhouse effect. Future spacecraft observations should be designed to (i) measure both upward and downward solar fluxes, (ii) include measurements of the highest clold lavers. and (iii) employ narrow-band and broad-banzd sensors.

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