NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive Header

Chemical Composition of Aerosols

NSSDCA ID: 1978-086C-06

Mission Name: Venera 12 Descent Craft
Principal Investigator:Dr. Yu. A. Surkov


This experiment was designed to determine the chemical composition of aerosols in the atmosphere of Venus via x-ray fluorescence. Aerosols were collected on fibrous cellulose acetate filters exposed to the atmosphere during descent. The filters collected particles with a radius greater than 0.4 micrometers with 98% efficiency. The instrumentation consisted of an x-ray detector and a multichannel amplitude analyzer. Fluorescence emission was excited by Fe-55 and Cd-109 sources. Xenon, Ti, and Mn were used for calibration. The experiment was conducted in a carbon dioxide atmosphere at 20 degrees centigrade under Venusian ambient pressures. Two spectra were obtained by the instrument, one in the energy range of 1-7.5 keV and a second from 1.5-15 keV. The experiment functioned from an altitude of 64 to 49 km above the surface, where the filter melted. Elements with Z less than 13 were not detected with this experiment. For a discussion of the x-ray fluorescence experiment, see Petryanov, I. V. et al., 1982, Cosmic Research, Consultants Bureau, New York, v. 20, n. 3, pp. 322-327 (Kosmicheskie Issledovanija, 1982, v. 20, n. 3, pp. 442-448).

Alternate Names

  • Venera12DescentCraft/ChemicalCompositionofAerosols

Funding Agency

  • Unknown (U.S.S.R)


  • Planetary Science: Atmospheres

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Yu. A. SurkovPrincipal InvestigatorSoviet Academy of Sciences
[] NASA Logo -