AAS 206th Meeting, 29 May - 2 June 2005
Session 34 Sun and Solar System
Poster, Wednesday, 10:00am-7:00pm, Thursday, 9:20am-2:00pm, June 1, 2005, Ballroom A

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[34.02] The Phase Curve of Venus

A. Mallama (Raytheon ITSS)

Photometry of Venus spanning phase angles from 2 to 170 degrees has been acquired in four wavelength bands. The B and V bands reveal an unexpected brightness surge as the illuminated fraction of the planetary disk declines below 2 percent. This phenomenon is being modeled as scattering from droplets of sulfuric acid in the high atmosphere. These CCD observations are also being compared with photoelectric data obtained over the past 50 years. The magnitudes derived in this study are brighter than the older ones, and the difference is probably due to a deficiency in the photoelectric method as applied to planets. Thus, the albedo of Venus appears to be greater than the previously accepted value.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #2
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.