Publications by Colin Wilson

Spatial variability of carbon monoxide in venus' mesosphere from venus express/visible and infrared thermal imaging spectrometer measurements

Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets 114 (2009)

PGJ Irwin, R De Kok, A Negrão, CCC Tsang, CF Wilson, P Drossart, G Piccioni, D Grassi, FW Taylor

[1] Observations of Venus' mesosphere by the Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS)-M instrument of Venus Express have been used to investigate the spatial distribution of CO above Venus' nightside cloud tops by fitting the CO absorption in the (1-0) CO band around 4.7 μm. We find little spatial variation in the abundance of CO at midlatitudes, with a retrieved abundance of approximately 40 ± 10 ppm just above the cloud tops between 65 and 70 km altitude. Unfortunately, we find it very difficult to constrain the abundance of CO in the cold polar collar, centered at about 70°S, as the retrieved temperature structure in the CO line-forming region masks the absorption lines. However, there is a possibility that CO increases toward the poles, as we detect a significant signature of high levels of CO over Venus' south polar dipole feature in all the observations analyzed so far. To constrain the abundance of CO more closely will require the analysis of higher-resolution VIRTIS-H observations. In addition, limb observations would greatly help to resolve any possible temperature/cloud ambiguities and allow us to assess vertical variations in the abundance of CO. Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.

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