37th DPS Meeting, 4-9 September 2005
Session 54 Moon, Mercury and Venus
Oral, Thursday, September 8, 2005, 4:20-6:00pm, Law LG19

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[54.06] A microphysical model of the Venus condensational cloud with radiative-dynamic feedback.

K. McGouldrick, O.B. Toon (University of Colorado (LASP))

Near Infrared observations of the nightside of Venus reveal inhomogeneity of brightness temperature. This inhomogeneity is likely due to the localized evaporation of the middle and lower cloud deck (about 40-60 km above the surface of the planet). The middle and lower cloud decks on Venus are sustained by a radiative-dynamic feedback whereby heating of the cloud base by the lower atmosphere destabilizes the lapse rate within the cloud region. We are modelling the Venus condensational middle and lower cloud deck with the CU / NASA Ames Community Aerosol and Radiation Model for Atmospheres (CARMA). We have previously shown that we are able to generate a cloud that is consistent with the in situ observational data from Pioneer Venus LCPS. The present work demonstrates that we can reproduce the observed cloud structure by utilizing this feedback to determine the dynamics. The current work improves on our previous efforts by means of a more accurate calculation of the thermodynamics. We demonstrate the effects a gravity wave might have on the structure of the cloud, and investigate other potential effects of this feedback on the "holes" seen in the middle cloud deck at near-infrared wavelengths.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #3
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.