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The densities of atomic carbon in the Venusian thermosphere are computed for a model which includes both chemistry and transport. The maximum density of C is 2.8×107 cm−3 near 150 km for an assumed O2 mixing ratio of 1×10−4. Photoionization of atomic carbon is found to be the major source of C+ above 200 km, and resonance scattering of sunlight by atomic carbon may be the major source of the C I emissions at 1561 Å, 1657 Å, and 1931 Å. The computed C+ densities are found to be in substantial agreement with those measured by Pioneer Venus.


Copyright © 1982 by the American Geophysical Union.

The following article appeared in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics 87(A11), and may be found at

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