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VLA Views of Venus’ Deep Atmosphere

Presentation #406.05 in the session Venus (Poster + Lightning Talk)

Published onOct 23, 2023
VLA Views of Venus’ Deep Atmosphere

We present spatially resolved observations of Venus between 1-4 cm obtained with the Very Large Array (VLA). Observations at these wavelengths are sensitive to thermal emission from Venus’ deep atmosphere from the surface to the cloud base independent of time-of-day and can resolve order 0.1-1K variability in emission temperature. Such variations result from local changes in the temperature of Venus’ dense lower atmosphere and/or the abundances of absorptive sulfur species. Multi-wavelength observations of this type can be used to retrieve atmospheric composition and temperature profiles (and wind shears through the assumption of cyclostrophic balance). In tandem with CO2-window infrared imaging, microwave observations can provide much needed insight into the range of multi-scale atmospheric variability occurring below Venus’ clouds and can provide benchmarks for atmospheric circulation and climate modeling. Analyses of this dataset is ongoing, and we will present current progress in observation imaging, trends in brightness temperature morphology, and implications for studies of Venus’ lower atmosphere in connection with global circulation patterns. These observations and their analysis are one component of an ongoing meter-millimeter wavelength observing campaign using several interferometer observatories (VLA, ALMA, and GMRT) aiming to provide resolved observations of Venus’ surface and lower atmosphere in advance of spacecraft exploration with upcoming missions.

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