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

Pinto, Joseph P. and Li, Jiazheng and Mills, Franklin P. and Marcq, Emmanuel and Evdokimova, Daria and Belyaev, Denis and Yung, Yuk L. (2021) Sulfur monoxide dimer chemistry as a possible source of polysulfur in the upper atmosphere of Venus. Nature Communications, 12 . Art. No. 175. ISSN 2041-1723. doi:10.1038/s41467-020-20451-2.

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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 S_nO species and polysulfur, S_n. 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.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Li, Jiazheng0000-0002-2563-6289
Mills, Franklin P.0000-0002-4270-7333
Marcq, Emmanuel0000-0002-1924-641X
Evdokimova, Daria0000-0002-8722-0000
Belyaev, Denis0000-0003-1123-5983
Yung, Yuk L.0000-0002-4263-2562
Additional Information:© The Author(s) 2021. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit Received 11 May 2020; Accepted 27 November 2020; Published 08 January 2021. This research was supported by NASA Grant P1969079 under subcontract to the Space Science Institute (SSI) and NASA grant NNX16AN03G to SSI. D.E. and D.B. (IKI) acknowledge funding from the Russian government (topic VENERA). D.E. acknowledges the support by the French Government Scholarship Vernadski for PhD students. Data availability: The model data and observational data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request. Code availability: The code for the photochemical model written in Fortran and the post processing of the data written in Matlab is available from the corresponding author on reasonable request. Author Contributions: J.P.P., J.L., F.P.M., and Y.L.Y. contributed to the paper writing. J.P.P., J.L., and F.P.M. carried out the modelling work. E.M., D.E., and D.B. provided the data from Venus Express. Y.L.Y. supervised the research. The authors declare no competing interests. Peer review information: Nature Communications thanks Vladimir Krasnopolsky and the other, anonymous, reviewer for their contribution to the peer review of this work. Peer reviewer reports are available.
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Russian Foundation for Basic ResearchUNSPECIFIED
French Government ScholarshipUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210108-110214435
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Official Citation:Pinto, J.P., Li, J., Mills, F.P. et al. Sulfur monoxide dimer chemistry as a possible source of polysulfur in the upper atmosphere of Venus. Nat Commun 12, 175 (2021).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:107380
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:08 Jan 2021 19:13
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 19:02

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