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Characterizing Venus's clouds and hazes using CO2 absorption bands in flux and polarization 1. Numerical simulations
  • Gourav Mahapatra,
  • Loïc Rossi,
  • Daphne Stam
Gourav Mahapatra
Delft University of Technology

Corresponding Author:g.mahapatra@tudelft.nl

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Loïc Rossi
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Daphne Stam
TU Delft
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Retrievals of Venus cloud top altitudes have primarily been performed using measurements of the total flux of sunlight that is reflected by the planet across CO2 absorption bands. Linearly polarized fluxes are known to be more sensitive to the properties of clouds and overlying hazes than the total flux. Here, we present results of computations of total and polarized fluxes of reflected sunlight in the wavelength region between 1.4 and 1.5 μm, which covers a strong absorption band of CO2. We perform an analysis of the sensitivity of the strength and shape of the absorption band in polarization to the vertical distribution of the cloud and hazes particles, i.e. cloud top altitude, and cloud and haze scale heights, and illumination geometries. We show that the reflected polarization signal at different locations and thus strengths of the absorption band, can help to retrieve more information about the scattering particles in the planetary atmosphere than the total flux alone can. Spectropolarimetry from a Venus orbiter should provide invaluable and independent information into the properties of Venus’s clouds and hazes.