The intensity and polarization of scattered sunlight in a simple model of the atmosphere of Venus

  • Stammes P
  • Wauben W
  • Hovenier J
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Abstract

In order to interpret measurements of scattered sunlight inside the Venus atmosphere and to predict its main polarization features, we use a modified adding method suited to compute the polarized radiation field in a multilayered planetary atmosphere. Results are given for the intensity, the degree of linear polarization and its direction in a simple Venus model atmosphere, consisting of a sulfuric acid cloud layer above a CO2gas layer. The model is constrained by several spacecraft observations of intensity and flux. We find that the linear polarization inside the atmosphere contains information on the location of the cloud-gas interface and the existence of a surface below the atmosphere. Especially, a zenith-angle-scan of intensity and polarization, performed near the top of the atmosphere in the principal plane, can reveal important single scattering characteristics of the ambient aerosol. © 1992.

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Authors

  • P. Stammes

  • W. M F Wauben

  • J. W. Hovenier

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