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Density of Venus' atmosphere - historical

  1. Apr 28, 2012 #1

    I'd like to know when the high density of the atmosphere of Venus was first determined or suspected. Was it with the Russian probes that the first evidence came that the atmosphere was much more dense than the Earth's? Or had there been other indications earlier in time that such was the case?
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 28, 2012 #2
  4. Apr 29, 2012 #3
    I've been unable to find any published reference that anyone had suspected that the atmosphere of Venus differed substantially from the Earth's in density prior to 1967.

    The Russian Venera 4 probe was the first to survive (partially) the entry into the atmosphere and take density measurements. It measured a density of about 22 Earth atmospheres but had a hull strength of only 25 atmospheres and was later found to be faulty. All of the early Venera probes that entered the atmosphere were eventually crushed by the atmospheric pressure.


    Shortly afterward in 1967, data from the American Mariner 5 gave a calculation of 75 to 100 Earth atmospheres, far higher than had been expected.

    However, here is a very interesting and relevant site:


    That's a bit perplexing as the author earlier states that the barometer aboard Venera 4 had a range of 0.13-6.9 ± 0.2 atmospheres.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
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