Minor species in Venus' night side troposphere as observed by VIRTIS-H/Venus Express

Publication date: 
Main author: 
Marcq, E.
IAA authors: 
Stolzenbach, A.
Marcq, E.;Bézard, B.;Reess, J. -M.;Henry, F.;Érard, S.;Robert, S.;Montmessin, F.;Lefèvre, F.;Lefèvre, M.;Stolzenbach, A.;Bertaux, J. -L.;Piccioni, G.;Drossart, P.
Publication type: 
The 2 . 3 μm spectral window has been used to constrain the composition of the lower atmosphere (in the 30-40 km altitude range) on the night side of Venus for more than thirty years. Here, we present a follow-up study of Marcq et al. (2008), but using the full VIRTIS-H/Venus Express data archive as well as an updated radiative transfer forward model. We are able to confirm a latitudinal increase of CO of about 30% between 0° and 60°N, as well as an anti-correlated vertical shift of OCS profile by about - 1 km in the same latitude range. Both variations are about twice smaller in the southern hemisphere. Correlations of low latitude CO and OCS variations with zonally shifted surface elevation is tentatively found. These results are consistent with CO and OCS variations resulting from the competition between local thermochemistry and a Hadley-cell-like general circulation, albeit influenced by the orography. Finally, no evidence for spatial variations of water vapor (combined H<SUB>2</SUB>O and HDO) or sulfur dioxide could be evidenced in this data set; better constraining possible variations of these species would require future missions to include infrared spectrometers operating at a spectral resolving power higher than ∼ 10<SUP>4</SUP> , such as VenSpec-H onboard EnVision. <P />*. Plain Language Summary Remotely measuring the composition of the Venusian atmosphere below the clouds is challenging, yet yields invaluable insights about the atmospheric chemistry, circulation and interaction with the surface and interior of the planet. The VIRTIS-H instrument on board ESA's Venus Express orbiter (2006-2014) provides a rich data set in this regard, thanks to its ability to observe and analyze, on the night side of the planet, the infrared radiation emitted by the deep atmospheric layers. The results of our analyses confirm the previously observed trends for the variations of two trace gases (carbon monoxide and carbonyl sulfide) with latitude, explained by the combined effects of chemical reactions and transport by the atmospheric circulation. Variations of carbon monoxide may also be linked to the variations of ground elevation, confirming the link between surface topography and atmospheric circulation. However, we were unable to separate the signature of heavy water vapor from ordinary water vapor or to detect any variations in sulfur dioxide, both of which require more powerful infrared instruments such as those planned on future Venus orbiters such as ESA's EnVision.
ADS Bibcode: 
Venus;atmosphere;Infrared;remote sensing;Atmospheres;composition