[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission, during the second of its Deep Dip campaigns, made comprehensive measurements of martian thermosphere and ionosphere composition, structure, and variability at altitudes down to ~130 kilometers in the subsolar region. This altitude range contains the diffusively separated upper atmosphere just above the well-mixed atmosphere, the layer of peak extreme ultraviolet heating and primary reservoir for atmospheric escape. In situ measurements of the upper atmosphere reveal previously unmeasured populations of neutral and charged particles, the homopause altitude at approximately 130 kilometers, and an unexpected level of variability both on an orbit-to-orbit basis and within individual orbits. These observations help constrain volatile escape processes controlled by thermosphere and ionosphere structure and variability.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Coupling between the lower and upper atmosphere, combined with loss of gas from the upper atmosphere to space, likely contributed to the thin, cold, dry atmosphere of modern Mars. To help understand ongoing ion loss to space, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft made comprehensive measurements of the Mars upper atmosphere, ionosphere, and interactions with the Sun and solar wind during an interplanetary coronal mass ejection impact in March 2015. Responses include changes in the bow shock and magnetosheath, formation of widespread diffuse aurora, and enhancement of pickup ions. Observations and models both show an enhancement in escape rate of ions to space during the event. Ion loss during solar events early in Mars history may have been a major contributor to the long-term evolution of the Mars atmosphere.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A detailed analysis of the polar ozone loss processes during 10 recent Antarctic winters is presented with high-resolution MIMOSA–CHIM (Modèle Isentrope du transport Méso-échelle de l'Ozone Stratosphérique par Advection avec CHIMie) model simulations and high-frequency polar vortex observations from the Aura microwave limb sounder (MLS) instrument. The high-frequency measurements and simulations help to characterize the winters and assist the interpretation of interannual variability better than either data or simulations alone. Our model results for the Antarctic winters of 2004–2013 show that chemical ozone loss starts in the edge region of the vortex at equivalent latitudes (EqLs) of 65–67° S in mid-June–July. The loss progresses with time at higher EqLs and intensifies during August–September over the range 400–600 K. The loss peaks in late September–early October, when all EqLs (65–83° S) show a similar loss and the maximum loss (> 2 ppmv – parts per million by volume) is found over a broad vertical range of 475–550 K. In the lower stratosphere, most winters show similar ozone loss and production rates. In general, at 500 K, the loss rates are about 2–3 ppbv sh−1 (parts per billion by volume per sunlit hour) in July and 4–5 ppbv sh−1 in August–mid-September, while they drop rapidly to 0 by mid-October. In the middle stratosphere, the loss rates are about 3–5 ppbv sh−1 in July–August and October at 675 K. On average, the MIMOSA–CHIM simulations show that the very cold winters of 2005 and 2006 exhibit a maximum loss of ~ 3.5 ppmv around 550 K or about 149–173 DU over 350–850 K, and the warmer winters of 2004, 2010, and 2012 show a loss of ~ 2.6 ppmv around 475–500 K or 131–154 DU over 350–850 K. The winters of 2007, 2008, and 2011 were moderately cold, and thus both ozone loss and peak loss altitudes are between these two ranges (3 ppmv around 500 K or 150 ± 10 DU). The modeled ozone loss values are in reasonably good agreement with those estimated from Aura MLS measurements, but the model underestimates the observed ClO, largely due to the slower vertical descent in the model during spring.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have completed our seasonal monitoring of hydrogen peroxide and water vapor on Mars using ground-based thermal imaging spectroscopy, by observing the planet in March 2014, when water vapor is maximum, and July 2014, when, according to photochemical models, hydrogen peroxide is expected to be maximum. Data have been obtained with the Texas Echelon Cross Echelle Spectrograph (TEXES) mounted at the 3 m-Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) at Maunakea Observatory. Maps of HDO and H2O2 have been obtained using line depth ratios of weak transitions of HDO and H2O2 divided by CO2. The retrieved maps of H2O2 are in good agreement with predictions including a chemical transport model, for both the March data (maximum water vapor) and the July data (maximum hydrogen peroxide). The retrieved maps of HDO are compared with simulations by Montmessin et al. (2005, J. Geophys. Res., 110, 03006) and H2O maps are inferred assuming a mean martian D/H ratio of 5 times the terrestrial value. For regions of maximum values of H2O and H2O2, we derive, for March 1 2014 (Ls = 96°), H2O2 = 20+/-7 ppbv, HDO = 450? +/-75 ppbv (45? +/-8 pr-nm), and for July 3, 2014 (Ls = 156°), H2O2 = 30+/-7 ppbv, HDO = 375+/-70 ppbv (22+/-3 pr-nm). In addition, the new observations are compared with LMD global climate model results and we favor simulations of H2O2 including heterogeneous reactions on water-ice clouds.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The first campaign of stellar occultations with the Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) instrument on board of Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission was executed between 24 and 26 March 2015. From this campaign 13 occultations are used to retrieve CO2 and O2 number densities in the altitude range between 100 and 150~km. Observations probe primarily the low-latitude regions on the nightside of the planet, just past the dawn and dusk terminator. Calculation of temperature from the CO2 density profiles reveals that the lower thermosphere is significantly cooler than predicted by the models in the Mars Climate Database. A systematically cold layer with temperatures of 105–120 K is seen in the occultations at a pressure level around 7 texttimes 10−6 Pa.
Geophysical Research Letters 01/2015; DOI:10.1002/2015gl065294 · 4.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We identify molecular nitrogen (N2) emissions in the Martian upper atmosphere using the Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) on NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission. We report the first observations of the N2 Lyman-Birge-Hopfield (LBH) bands at Mars and confirm the tentative identification of the N2 Vegard-Kaplan (VK) bands. We retrieve N2 density profiles from the VK limb emissions and compare calculated limb radiances between 90 and 210 km against both observations and predictions from a Mars general circulation model (GCM). Contrary to earlier analyses using other satellite data, we find that N2 abundances exceed GCM results by about a factor of 2 at 130 km but are in agreement at 150 km. The analysis and interpretation are enabled by a linear regression method used to extract components of UV spectra from IUVS limb observations.
Geophysical Research Letters 01/2015; DOI:10.1002/2015gl065319 · 4.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present direct number density retrievals of carbon dioxide (CO2) and molecular nitrogen (N2) for the upper atmosphere of Mars using limb scan observations during October and November 2014 by the Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph on board NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft. We use retrieved CO2 densities to derive temperature variability between 170 and 220 km. Analysis of the data shows (1) low-mid latitude northern hemisphere CO2 densities at 170 km vary by a factor of about 2.5, (2) on average, the N2/CO2 increases from 0.042 textpm 0.017 at 130 km to 0.12 textpm 0.06 at 200 km, and (3) the mean upper atmospheric temperature is 324 textpm 22 K for local times near 14:00.
Geophysical Research Letters 01/2015; DOI:10.1002/2015gl065489 · 4.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using the Mars Atmospheric and Volatile EvolutioN Mission (MAVEN) Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS), we found periodic longitudinal variations in CO2 density in the Martian atmosphere. These density variations are derived from observations of the emission from limb scans in the 100 − 190 km altitude range. The variations exhibit significant structure with longitudinal wavenumbers 1, 2 and 3 in an effectively constant local solar time frame, and we attribute this structure to non-migrating tides. The wave-2 component is dominated by the diurnal eastward-moving DE1 tide at the equator and the semidiurnal stationary S0 tide at the midlatitudes. Wave-3 is dominated by the diurnal eastward-moving DE2 tide, with possibly the semidiurnal eastward-moving SE1 tide causing an amplitude increase at the midlatitudes. Structure in the wave-1 component can be explained by the semidiurnal westward-moving SW1 tide.
Geophysical Research Letters 01/2015; DOI:10.1002/2015gl066268 · 4.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report a comprehensive study of Mars dayglow observations focusing on upper atmospheric structure and seasonal variability. We analyzed 744 vertical brightness profiles comprised of ∼109,300 spectra obtained with the Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) aboard the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) satellite. The dayglow emission spectra show features similar to previous UV measurements at Mars. We find a significant drop in thermospheric scale height and temperature between LS~=~218textdegree and LS~=~337–352textdegree, attributed primarily to the decrease in solar activity and increase in heliocentric distance. We report the detection of a second, low-altitude peak in the emission profile of OI 297.2~nm, confirmation of the prediction that the absorption of solar Lyman alpha emission is an important energy source there. The UV doublet peak intensity is well correlated with simultaneous observations of solar 17–22~nm irradiance at Mars.
Geophysical Research Letters 01/2015; DOI:10.1002/2015gl065419 · 4.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The 1.27-μm O2(a1Δg) dayglow on Mars is a product of the ozone photolysis by solar UV radiation. The intensity of the O2(a1Δg) emission rate depends on ozone concentration, atmospheric density and kinetic parameters of involved photochemical reactions. In turn, the distribution of ozone is sensitive to the vertical and spatial distribution of water vapor, which is an effective destructor of O3. SPICAM IR on the Mars-Express mission measures the O2(1Δg) dayglow with spectral resolving power of 2200. The results of 147 limb observations from 2004 to 2013 are reported. Limb resolution of the instrument is variable and exceeds the scale height of the atmosphere. The slant emission rate reaches a maximum at the high Northern latitudes at northern and southern springs Ls = 0–50° and 160–190°, respectively and a minimum in middle and low latitudes at southern summer Ls = 200–300°. We have compared the SPIVAM O2(a1Δg) limb profiles with the General Circulation Model simulation by the Laboratoire de Meteorologie Dynamique (LMD GCM, Lefèvre, F., Lebonnois, S., Montmessin, F., Forget, F. . J. Geophys. Res. 109, E07004. http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2004JE002268; Lefèvre, F., et al. . Nature 454(7207), 971–975) reduced to the vertical resolution of the instrument. The GCM includes the radiative effect of the water clouds and an interactive dust scheme, and well reproduces Martian Climate Sounder (MCS) temperature profiles (Clancy, R. Todd et al. . J. Geophys. Res. 117, 10. http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2011JE004018). The model underestimates the emission for Ls = 0–50°, Ls = 160–180° and overestimates it from Ls = 60° to Ls = 150° at high Northern latitudes. In the Southern hemisphere the model underestimates the emission for Ls = 170–200° and overestimates it for Ls = 200–230° at high Southern latitudes. The disagreement could be related to the water vapor distribution as the model reproduces it. The most recent version of the LMD GCM including microphysical representation of cloud formation taking into account the effect of dust scavenging by water ice clouds (Navarro, T., Madeleine, J.-B., Montmessin, F., Forget, F., Spiga, A., Millour, E. . Modeling of the martian water cycle with an improved representation of water ice clouds. European Planetary Science Congress 2013, EPSC Abstracts, vol. 8, EPSC2013-203) gives much better agreement with SPICAM O2(a1Δg) dayglow limb observations. Characterization of the Mars water cycle by GCMs continues to improve, and the observations of the O2(a1Δg) dayglow offer a powerful tool for its validation.