The Atmosphere of Venus, Published on: Jun 21, 2013


Figure 1.Annotated Pioneer Venus Depiction of Venus’ Atmosphere

Venus is a new terrestrial planet, the more volatile elements of which have still not been able to settle on its surface because of its great internal heat. Venus today comprises the most dense elements in molten form covered with a thin basalt crust which will become the mantle of the planet. This is the reason it has no magnetic field. The surface temperature  is 444 degrees C  – hot enough to melt lead and zinc, due to its fiery ejection from an impact on Jupiter only 6,000  years ago.  Evidence of the internal source of this heat lies in the fact that the temperature is exactly the same over the entire planet, both the day and night sides, in spite of the fact that the length of a Venus- day is 243 Earth-days. Planetary Scientists claim this is due to its very dense atmosphere in spite of surface winds of  a few meters per second.

The major atmospheric feature is the ‘Lower Cloud Layer’ (LCL) which, consistent with the constant temperature profile, extends completely around the entire planet. Global warming alarmists make the ridiculous claim that the great heat of Venus is the result of too much CO2 on an ancient planet, indeed that the planet, after the evaporation of its oceans, overturned  its entire surface from pole to pole. This fiction is the result of the scientific establishment’s last gasp attempt to justify its uniformitarian paradigm, for which the data from Pioneer Venus, properly interpreted, provides the death-knell.

NASA Pioneer Venus Data

In Dec. 1978 the main NASA Pioneer Venus probe descended slowly through the planet’s atmosphere, its mass spectrometer measuring all of the compounds up to 208 amu (atomic mass units). Unfortunately, the most significant atmospheric data was thrown out, because it did not show what the project scientists ‘expected’ to see.  When the data showed that the favored CO2 was virtually absent as the probe descended from 50 km (157,000 ft) down to 31 km, it was promptly declared that both inlet ‘leaks’ of the mass spectrometer had been occluded by droplets of sulfuric acid which subsequently evaporated at 31 km altitude, at which altitude, what was believed to be CO2 reappeared. Although other compounds were measured in that elevation range, they were attributed to ‘contamination’ of a cleaning solution that had been used on the probe prior to launch.

Sulfur Gas (S8) Dominates Lower Atmosphere 

In the Cyclic Catastrophism scenario, Venus is a hot, super heated, roiling, molten sphere covered with a thin basalt crust floating on its surface and raw lava exposed in many surface cracks on its surface. This could have easily been proven by ordinary photography, but no cameras were carried by the Pioneer probes and the Soviet landers only took photographs of their immediate surroundings once on the ground. The planet is cooling by a combination of radiating heat (250 times as much as the Earth), but more importantly, by a mechanism completely unknown on the ancient planets, Mars and Earth. This is the continuous high

One of many small-dome fields in the lowlands of Venus

One of many over six-hundred small-dome fields in the lowlands of Venus

velocity jetting of sulfur 8 (S8) gas through over 1,000,000 ‘small domes’ imaged by Soviet and NASA Magellan radar. S8 gas, the normal form of sulfur at the temperature in the lower atmosphere, jets at high speed until it reaches the altitude (temperature) at which it crystallizes to form a monoclinic crystal and due to the heat released rises a few km to the temperature level where it changes to a rhombic crystal. The denser rhombic crystals fall downward and revert to the monoclinic form, the change of which is completely reversible. This produces the thin roiling lower cloud layer, which is the source of the lightning detected by Soviet and Pioneer Venus.

The Lower Cloud Layer forms the boundary between the two modes of Venus’ bi-modal atmosphere, where different molecular species and pressure altitude relationships attain.
Changes in molecular species with elevation can only occur in such a ‘mass flow’ environment. Evidence of this was supplied in a figure in the Pioneer Venus final report, which is reproduced in Figure 1, above. The original Pioneer Venus figure showed the physical layers and temperatures of each as a function of altitude, but the chemical composition above and below the LCL were not be determined.

A three order-of-magnitude drop in the Pioneer Venus CO2 mass spec channel at the LCL altitude was interpreted as a clogging of the inlet leaks (there were two at the time).  The mass 44 counts remained low until PV descended to 31 km, the bottom of the red-haze layer, where the channel 44 counts recovered. This was attributed to the evaporation of the occluding droplets and the counts below 31-km were assumed to be CO2. I have added the crystallization temperatures of Sat the right of the NASA figure. As can be seen, the crystals form at exactly the altitudes which delineate the Lower Cloud Layer. Why did the mass spectrometer not detect the S8 ? The simple answer is that the mass of the S8 molecule, 256.47 amu is beyond the range of the mass spectrometer instrument, 208 amu.

Carbon Sulfide, CS

As a result of this finding, it becomes clear that the entire lower atmosphere of Venus is almost completely dominated by S8. Moreover, Figure 1 also suggests that what the project scientists ‘expected’ to be CO2 below 31 km is actually another  high-temperature sulfur compound, CS (carbon sulfide), ‘masquerading’ as CO2. CS and CO2 have very similar masses – 44.0686 and 44.0096 amu, respectively. The evidence indicating CS in the lower atmosphere is present in the form of the red haze observed from 31 km up to the LCL. Again, a simple look-up of the temperature at which rising hot CS gas would form small red crystals (200 C) coincides exactly with the lower level of the red haze as annotated in Figure 1.

More Pioneer Data Thrown Out

There are many anomalies in the interpretation of the Pioneer data, which were discussed in my paper, “An Alternate View of Venus” (P21A-10), presented (but ignored) at the 2002 Spring AGU meeting in Washington DC.  The most recent paper on Venus is much improved. As the main probe descended through the Lower Cloud Layer, enabling it to view the surface, the intense radiation from the ‘unexpected’ raw lava on the surface was detected by the sensitive radiometer, designed precisely to detect short wavelength infrared and red radiation. In keeping with the notion that Venus is an ancient planet, project scientists threw out the radiometer data because, as stated in the Pioneer Venus Final Report “signals in all channels increased unreasonably”.  The ‘lava light’scattered in the lower atmosphere was noted by the Soviet landers, which found that the lights they carried in order to photograph the surface around the vehicles were not necessary.

Why is Venus’ Rotation Slowing?
The Cyclic Catastrophism view of Venus, exemplified by the data in Figure 1, suggests that the lower atmosphere of Venus is dominated by S8 gas jetting to 50 km. This high speed ejection from > 1,000,000 ‘small domes’ is carrying off so much angular momentum that the ESA Venus Express probe has recently determined that Venus’ yearly rotation period has increased by 6.5 minutes ín just the last sixteen years. Only Cyclic Catastrophism can explain this slowing.

The High Surface Pressure on Venus
The surface pressure on Venus is 91 times greater than on Earth. This enormous pressure is not due to 30,000 times as much CO2 as in the Earth’s atmosphere, as currently believed. It is due to the weight of the heavy allotropes and compounds of sulfur gases (CS) in the LCL and lower 50 km of the atmosphere. This ‘Hadesphere’ will gradually settle as the planet cools, resulting in a lowering of the LCL. Once it reaches the surface, the planet will enter the next stage of its formation, in which the volatile elements blasted from Jupiter 6,000 years ago (oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, sodium, chlorine, which will comprise its atmosphere, crust and salty ocean), will begin to settle on its surface. Note that, even now, the temperature and pressure just above the LCL are quite earth-like. The great mystery is –  How will the planet ever increase its  rotation to make its days comparable to those of the Earth and Mars?

Proposed Mission

The data from Pioneer Venus is all good and is well preserved.  It is time to revisit this treasure trove of data which reveals how terrestrial planets form and give us some ‘baby pictures’ of the infant Earth. The recent paper suggests a quick and inexpensive mission to accomplish this by photographing the bright volcanic features on the surface and the three crystal forms of sulfur that make up the Lower Cloud Layer from safe altitudes and relaying them to Earth. mIn addition, a simple probe that would measure the current altitude of the Lower Cloud Layer, descend below it to detect S8 and take photographs of the surface would prove that Venus is really proto-Venus.

“Nescire autem quid antequam natus sis acciderit, id est semper esse puerum. (To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child.)”
Marcus Tullius Cicero

~ by Angiras on June 21, 2013.

5 Responses to “The Atmosphere of Venus, Published on: Jun 21, 2013”

  1. […] is exactly what occurred with the Pioneer Venus (PV) mission, in which radiometer data from all four probes and the orbiter showed that Venus […]

  2. […] of times the size of Jupiter(~ 10 ^33 w), the rebounded portion of which became the planet Venus. The material which failed to escape the gravity of Jupiter formed the proto-Galilean moons in […]

  3. Ronnie,
    It will have to be either something like that or something that is based on some small influences over a long period of time. The present effect of dumping angular momentum, carried to its extreme will stop all rotation, retrograde or prograde. But if all the volatiles ejected into the inner solar system at the creation of proto-Venus are moving in the direction of the planets, the total effect of their impacts will result in a prograde rotation. That assumption was the one by which Fred Hoyle calculated (from first principles).the original rotation that would have been imparted to Jupiter (1 revolution per hour) as it accreted. Interestingly, the fact that he had to assume the incoming ‘çhunks’ had mass, bothered him, because he was suckered-into the belief that Jupiter is gaseous (only human I guess). I think he was not far off, because, after the angular momentum lost by the creation of p-Mars, Earth, and proto-Venus, the giant Jupiter still rotates in about 10 hours.

  4. John,

    You ask how will Venus ever have a rotation period comparable to Earth’s.

    Maybe it will take another planetary dance encounter.

  5. Not being able to find an e-mail-address: NASA managed to find evidence for water on Mars. See – for instance – here:

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