Opacity Maps of Venus Night Side Using High Spectral Resolution Imaging

J. J. Hillman, D. A. Glenar (NASA, GSFC), N. J. Chanover (NRC/NASA, GSFC), G. Bjoraker (NASA, GSFC), W. E. Blass (U. Tennessee)

Near-infrared imaging observations of Venus night side were made on 16- 20 May 1996 using an acousto-optic tunable filter camera (AOTF) at the Apache Point Observatory 3.5 meter telescope in Sunspot, NM. Spectro- photometric images were obtained within and outside absorption bands of several molecular species, including carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and water, in an attempt to separate the longitudinal variation of sulfuric acid cloud opacity from continuum gas absorption throughout the atmosphere.

Optical depth maps of the night side of Venus are analyzed in the framework of a two-layer cloud model of Venus atmosphere. Using a discrete ordinate multiple scattering code (DISORT), limits on the opacities of the two clouds are determined.

This work was supported in part by the NASA Planetary Instrument Definition and Development Program.