Thermospheric/mesospheric temperatures on Venus: Results from ground-based high-resolution spectroscopy of CO 2 in 1990/1991 and comparison to results from 2009 and between other techniques
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We report temperatures in Venus' upper mesosphere/lower thermosphere, deduced from reanalyzing very high resolution infrared spectroscopy of CO 2 emission lines acquired in 1990 and 1991. Kinetic temperatures at ~110km altitude (0.15Pa) are derived from the Doppler width of fully-resolved single line profiles measured near 10.4 μm wavelength using the NASA GSFC Infrared Heterodyne Spectrometer (IRHS) at the NASA IRTF on Mauna Kea, HI, close to Venus inferior conjunction and two Venus solstices. Measured temperatures range from ~200 to 240K with uncertainty typically less than 10K. Temperatures retrieved from similar measurement in 2009 using the Cologne Tuneable Heterodyne Infrared Spectrometer (THIS) at the NOAO McMath Telescope at Kitt Peak, AZ are 10-20K lower. Temperatures retrieved more recently from the SOIR instrument on Venus EXpress are consistent with these results when the geometry of observation is accounted for. It is difficult to compare ground-based sub-mm retrievals extrapolated to 110km due to their much larger field of view, which includes the night side regions not accessible to infrared heterodyne observations. Temperature variability appears to be high on day-to-day as well as longer timescales. Observed short term and long term variability may be attributed to atmospheric dynamics, diurnal variability and changes over solar activity and seasons. The Venus International Reference Atmosphere (VIRA) model predicts cooler temperatures at the sampled altitudes in the lower thermosphere/upper mesosphere and is not consistent with these measurements.
CitationSonnabend, G.; Krotz, P.; Schmulling, F.; Kostiuk, T.; Goldstein, J.; Sornig, M.; Stupar, D.; Livengood, T.; Hewagama, T.; Fast, K.; Mahieux, A. (2012). Thermospheric/mesospheric temperatures on Venus: Results from ground-based high-resolution spectroscopy of CO 2 in 1990/1991 and comparison to results from 2009 and between other techniques. , Icarus, Vol. 217, Issue 2, 856-862, DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2011.07.015.