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    Ionization of the Venusian atmosphere from solar and galactic cosmic rays

    Nordheim, Tom and Dartnell, L.R. and Desorgher, L. and Coates, Andrew J. and Jones, Geraint H. (2015) Ionization of the Venusian atmosphere from solar and galactic cosmic rays. Icarus 245 , pp. 80-86. ISSN 0019-1035.

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    Abstract

    The atmospheres of the terrestrial planets are exposed to solar and galactic cosmic rays, the most energetic of which are capable of affecting deep atmospheric layers through extensive nuclear and electromagnetic particle cascades. In the Venusian atmosphere, cosmic rays are expected to be the dominant ionization source below ∼100 km altitude. While previous studies have considered the effect of cosmic ray ionization using approximate transport methods, we have for the first time performed full 3D Monte Carlo modelling of cosmic ray interaction with the Venusian atmosphere, including the contribution of high-Z cosmic ray ions (Z=1-28). Our predictions are similar to those of previous studies at the ionization peak near 63 km altitude, but are significantly different to these both above and below this altitude. The rate of atmospheric ionization is a fundamental atmospheric property and the results of this study have wide-reaching applications in topics including atmospheric electrical processes, cloud microphysics and atmospheric chemistry.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Venus, Venus, atmosphere, Ionospheres, Aeronomy
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Earth and Planetary Sciences > UCL/Birkbeck Centre for Planetary Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2014 13:36
    Last Modified: 13 Oct 2014 11:16
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/10591

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