The mystery of the sulfur clouds of Venus finally solved?

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The mystery of the sulfur clouds of Venus finally solved?

According to an article published in Nature Communication, American and Spanish scientists have managed to understand how Venus’s atmosphere works.

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This was the objective of the various studies carried out by the latter with a view to unraveling the mystery of the sulfur clouds of Venus. Discover here the essential information to remember at the end of these experiences.

Clouds mainly composed of sulfuric acid

The planet venus is enveloped by clouds composed mainly of sulfuric acid. You should know that one of the main properties of these clouds is that they reflect most of the sunlight that shines on venus. This also makes it the brightest planet in the solar system after the Sun and the Moon.

In addition to these clouds of sulfuric acid, the various space and terrestrial observations carried out made it possible to detect an unknown absorber of ultraviolet rays. This leads scientists to make new assumptions about the formation of sulfur in the atmosphere of the neighboring planet, Venus.

To achieve the different results obtained, the researchers used several computer modeling tools. This made it possible to understand that apart from the combination of sulfur atoms, other chemical processes make it possible to create disulfide in the atmosphere.

According to their results, sulfur dioxide (SO2) is first broken down by sunlight into two new chemical compounds. These are sulfur monoxide (SO) and sulfur suboxide (S2O). The sulfur dioxide thus decomposed favors the formation of disulphide in the atmosphere much more.

The use of computer modeling during experiments

According to the information provided by the researchers, the use of computer modeling during the various experiments was of paramount importance. In fact, during this work, the researchers had to simulate with compounds such as sulphur, chlorine and oxygen.

It seems obvious that these experiments would have been more tedious and dangerous if they had been carried out in the Venusian atmosphere. This is reflected in the remarks entrusted to the Planetary Science Institute by lead scientist James Lyons through a press release. In particular, he claims that this is the very first time that computational chemistry has been used to assess the significance of chemical reactions.

These computer models exempted its teams from carrying out laboratory measurements or using inaccurate estimates. Finally, the researchers said that the computer models used would be very useful in learning more about the complex composition of Venus.


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