The absorption of solar energy and the heating rate in the atmosphere of Venus

M. G. Tomasko, L. R. Doose, P. H. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The Solar Flux Radiometer (LSFR) experiment on the large probe of the Pioneer Venus (PV) mission made detailed measurements of the vertical profile of the upward and downward broadband flux of sunlight at a solar zenith angle of 65.7°. These data have been combined with cloud particle size distribution measurements on the PV mission to produce a forward-scattering model of the Venus clouds. The distribution of clouds at high altitudes is constrained by measurements from the PV orbiter. Below the clouds the visible spectrum and flux levels are consistent with Venera measurements at other solar zenith angles. The variations in the optical parameters with height and with wavelength are summarized in several figures. The model is used to evaluate the solar heating rate at cloud levels as a function of altitude, solar longitude, and latitude for use in dynamical studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-79
Number of pages9
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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