Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Venus Express Provides First Detection Of Hydroxyl In Atmosphere Of Venus
by Staff Writers
Paris, France (ESA) May 20, 2008

Intensity distributions of the hydroxyl bands appear to be closely correlated with those of the oxygen bands. While the data are consistent with either of two mechanisms of production involving H, O3, O and HO2, the authors favour the Bates-Nicolet mechanism.

The VIRTIS instrument on Venus Express has made the first detection of hydroxyl in the atmosphere of Venus. This provides new insight into the dynamics of the upper atmosphere and the climate system of the planet. The results are published in the May 2008 issue of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Measurements of airglow emission from planets is an important tool in understanding the chemical and dynamical processes that control the composition and energy balance in the upper atmosphere of planets.

Observations of night-side airglow emission optimises the detection of the weak light that is otherwise swamped by scattered sunlight on the day side of the planet. Airglow from NO and O2(a-X)(0-0) has already been detected on Venus.

In the May issue of A and A Picconi et al. report the first detection of hydroxyl (OH) in the night-side airglow emission of Venus. This is the first detection of OH in the atmosphere of a planet other than Earth.

The data were recorded by the VIRTIS instrument, during one orbit of Venus, in March 2007. Observations were made in limb mode, which is favourable when searching for faint emission. The resulting long path length along the line of sight can produce an amplification of the signal of a factor of 50.

The OH is unambiguously identified in the 1.40-1.49 and 2.6-3.14 bands for the (2-0) and (1-0) transitions respectively. Identification was made by comparing the observed spectra with synthetic spectra for 200, 250 and 300 K.

In addition the spectra show O2 emission at 1.27 and 1.58. This is the first detection of the latter band in the spectrum of another planet, and the first simultaneous detection of both bands on any planet.

Intensity distributions of the hydroxyl bands appear to be closely correlated with those of the oxygen bands. While the data are consistent with either of two mechanisms of production involving H, O3, O and HO2, the authors favour the Bates-Nicolet mechanism.

These results provide the most direct observational constraints to date of these key species in the chemistry of the upper atmosphere of Venus.


Related Links
Venus Express News and Venusian Science

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Key Molecule Found In Venus Atmosphere
Paris, France (ESA) May 16, 2008
Venus Express has detected the molecule hydroxyl on another planet for the first time. This detection gives scientists an important new tool to unlock the workings of Venus's dense atmosphere. Hydroxyl, an important but difficult-to-detect molecule, is made up of a hydrogen and oxygen atom each. It has been found in the upper reaches of the Venusian atmosphere, some 100 km above the ... read more

Astronaut Health On Moon May Depend On Good Dusting

Inhaling For Exploration As Scientists Test Lunar Breathing System

Send Your Name To The Moon With New Lunar Mission

Shanghai's Own Moon Vehicle Passes Test

Rendezvous With Mars

Phoenix Probe Due To Touch Down On Martian Surface

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Finds Interior Of Mars Is Colder

Phoenix Ready For Northern Mars Polar Landing

NASA Seeks Industry Partners For Innovation Transfusion Program

ESA Astronaut Recruitment Now Open

On The Moon Inhaling Is A Silent Affair

NASA announces educational TV partnership

Suits For Shenzhou

China Launches New Space Tracking Ship To Serve Shenzhou VII

Three Rocketeers For Shenzhou

China's space development can pose military threat: Japan

NASA TV Airs High-Def Day In The Life Of An ISS Astronaut

Russian Cargo Spacecraft Docks With ISS

NASA Extends Space Station Contract With ARES

MDA Receives Information Solution Contract With Boeing

Spaceport Kourou Welcomes Fourth Ariane 5 Launch Campaign For 2008

Sweden Launches MASER 11 Sounding Rocket

Arianespace Takes Delivery Of Its Third Ariane 5 In 2008

Orbital Awarded Contract for Suborbital Launch Vehicle Research by US DoD

Planets By The Dozen

Record-Setting Laser May Aid Searches For Earthlike Planets

Exo-Planet Roadmap Advisory Team Appointed By ESA

Plan To Identify Watery Earth-Like Planets Develops

Northrop Grumman Resonating Gyro Achieves 10 Million Operating Hours In Space

US, China Space Debris Still Orbiting Earth

LIDAR Detector Will Build Three-Dimensional Super Roadmaps Of Planets And Moons

TerraSAR-X And NFIRE Fire Up The Pipe With Laser Data Transfer

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement