Abstract The spectrum of Venus was measured between approximately 500 and 800 cm −1 (12 to 20 μm) at a resolution of 3.12 cm −1 from the NASA C141 G.P. Kuiper Airborne Observatory on 22 and 24 February 1977. The spectrum clearly shows the detailed structure of CO 2 absorption in the vicinity of the ν 2 fundamental band at 667 cm −1. In addition, details of model fitting demonstrate the possibility for a cold and thin haze of sulfuric acid droplets along with an optically opaque cloud top near 250°K. Such clouds represent major differences from other H 2SO 4 main cloud deck models in the recent literature and may be indicative of changes in the vertical distribution of aerosols on a global scale. A retrieval of the temperature structure was obtained for a limited vertical region (0.63 to 1.6 mbar). The temperatures retrieved for pressures at or below 10 mbar are largely independent of the cloud model assumed and they are some 16 to 20°K warmer than the 1972 NASA model. All retrieved temperatures lie within the range of Mariner 5 and Mariner 10 radio occultation inversion results.