This paper deals with the composition and chemical processes occurring in the neutral atmosphere of Venus. Since the last synthesis, observers as well as modellers have emphasised the spatial and temporal variability of minor species, going beyond a static and uniform picture that may have prevailed in the past. The outline of this paper acknowledges this situation and follows closely the different dimensions along which variability in composition can be observed: vertical, latitudinal, longitudinal, temporal. The strong differences between the atmosphere below and above the cloud layers also dictate the structure of this paper. Observational constraints, obtained from both Earth and Venus Express, as well as 1D, 2D and 3D models results obtained since 1997 are also extensively referred and commented by the authors. An non-exhaustive list of topics included follows: modelled and observed latitudinal and vertical profiles of CO and OCS below the clouds of Venus; vertical profiles of CO and SO2 above the clouds as observed by solar occultation and modelled; temporal and spatial variability of sulphur oxides above the clouds. As a conclusion, open questions and topics of interest for further studies are discussed.
Space Science Reviews – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 30, 2017
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