Russian Federal Space Program (2006-2015)

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RSS Природа парникового эффектаThe nature of the greenhouse effect

Venera-D » Science » The nature of the greenhouse effect

For understanding of the greenhouse effect mechanism it is necessary to study thermal balance of the atmosphere, structure and composition of the cloud layer, dynamics and thermal structure of the atmosphere.

Composition and structure of the cloud layer. Investigation of the cloud layer and its bearing chemical cycles is also very important for understanding the nature of the greenhouse effect. Sulfuric acid of high concentration is the main component of the cloud layer at altitudes 48-68 km for all latitudes of the planet. What components are included in to composition of the clouds as well? Are there crystals? What is composition and nature of the overcloud haze and aerosol layers below the clouds? These questions are still open.

Unknown UV-absorber. The first UV images of Venus were captured by Mariner 10 in 1975. UV contrast reached 30%, while in the visible range it didn’t exceed 3%. It is known that 50% of solar energy, absorbed by Venus, is located in spectral interval of 0.32-0.5 µm. Release of such energy amount in thin atmospheric layer (60-70 km) leads to generation of thermal flows that, by up-to-date notion, provides superrotation. The absorber should exist only in the upper cloud layer and disappear below 58-60 km. Nature of the UV-absorber remains unknown in spite of its crucial role in the thermal balance.

Zonal superrotation. On the level of the cloud top (about 70 km) the atmosphere rotates 60 times faster than the planet itself. For interpretation this phenomena it is necessary to resolve how a momentum is transmitted from the surface to the atmosphere, and to clarify an energy source, which supports the superrotation. It is very important to monitor thermal structure of the atmosphere, including the lower atmosphere, to investigate thermal flows, to study dynamics of the atmosphere by analysis of observed motion of the cloud structures on several levels at different spectral intervals.