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Proceedings Paper

Spatial variations of Venus' cloud properties derived from polarimetry
Author(s): Willem Jan Knibbe; Johan F. de Haan; Joop W. Hovenier; Larry D. Travis
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Paper Abstract

We study satellite polarization data of the clouds of Venus obtained by the Pioneer Venus Orbiter from 1978 through 1990. We present a new method for comparing these data to results of exact multiple scattering computations. This method has been applied to the analysis of a single disk distribution of the polarization at wavelengths 550 and 935 nm, using a simple model for the atmosphere of Venus. We find little variation in the cloud particle size distribution for the equatorial part of the disk. For this region, the effective particle radius is about 1.0 micrometers and the width of the size distribution decreases when approaching the terminator. However, our analysis of observations at higher latitudes suggests that for these regions a different explanation is needed. Here, an upper haze layer with smaller particles than those of the underlying cloud but having the same composition explains the observations well. The optical thickness of this haze is between 0.1 and 0.5 for an effective haze particle radius of 0.40 micrometers .

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 January 1995
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 2311, Atmospheric Sensing and Modelling, (4 January 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.198584
Show Author Affiliations
Willem Jan Knibbe, Free Univ. Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Johan F. de Haan, Free Univ. Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Joop W. Hovenier, Free Univ. Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Larry D. Travis, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2311:
Atmospheric Sensing and Modelling
Richard P. Santer, Editor(s)

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