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Recent investigations of CO photoabsorption demonstrate that photodissociation longward of the ionization threshold at 88.5 nm occurs primarily through line absorptions rather than continuous processes. We have constructed high resolution photoabsorption cross sections for CO at rotational temperatures near 250 K from the improved data on dissociating transitions. We examine the effects of the new cross sections on the rate of solar photodissociation of CO in the thermosphere of Venus and compare the results to values obtained with the lower resolution cross sections available previously. We find that the photodissociation profile peaks slightly higher in the atmosphere and the peak value and integrated total rate both decrease by about a factor of two.


Copyright © 1989 by the American Geophysical Union.

The following article appeared in Geophysical Research Letters 16(4), and may be found at

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