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Sulfur monoxide dimer chemistry as a possible source of polysulfur in the upper atmosphere of Venus

Abstract : The abundance of SO dimers (SO)2 in the upper atmosphere of Venus and their implications for the enigmatic ultraviolet absorption has been investigated in several studies over the past few years. However, the photochemistry of sulfur species in the upper atmosphere of Venus is still not well understood and the identity of the missing ultraviolet absorber(s) remains unknown. Here we update an existing photochemical model of Venus’ upper atmosphere by including the photochemistry of SO dimers. Although the spectral absorption profile of SO dimers fits the unknown absorber, their abundance is found to be too low for them to contribute significantly to the absorption. It is more likely that their photolysis and/or reaction products could contribute more substantively. Reactions of SO dimers are found to be important sources of S2O, and possibly higher order SnO species and polysulfur, Sn. All of these species absorb in the critical ultraviolet region and are expected to be found in both the aerosol and gas phase. indicating that in-situ high resolution aerosol mass spectrometry might be a useful technique for identifying the ultraviolet absorber on Venus.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, January 13, 2021 - 2:23:30 PM
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Joseph P. Pinto, Jiazheng Li, Franklin P. Mills, Emmanuel Marcq, Daria Evdokimova, et al.. Sulfur monoxide dimer chemistry as a possible source of polysulfur in the upper atmosphere of Venus. Nature Communications, Nature Publishing Group, 2021, 12 (1), pp.175. ⟨10.1038/s41467-020-20451-2⟩. ⟨insu-03108861⟩

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