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Radio Science

Interferometric Investigations of The Atmosphere of Venus


  • Duane O. Muhleman


The determination of the opacity law as a function of wavelength for the Venus atmosphere is discussed. Interferometric and integrated brightness temperature observations are compared to model calculations for atmospheres of CO2, N2, and H2O which are consistent with the radar opacity law. If the atmosphere of Venus is essentially pure CO2, a surface pressure of 78 atm with a surface temperature of 725°K is obtained. The total CO2 in the atmosphere of Venus is estimated to be 4×1023 grams, which is in fair agreement with the amount of CO2 that has escaped from the interior of the earth since its formation.

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