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Conference Papers Year : 2016

Variability of D and H in the Martian Exosphere


The IUVS instrument on MAVEN contains an echelle spectrograph with a novel optical design to enable long-aperture measurements of emission lines in the absence of continuum, intended primarily to measure the H and D Ly α emission lines from the martian upper atmosphere. The main scientific goal of the echelle channel is to measure the H and D Ly α emissions that result from resonant scattering of solar emission and to discover how the H and D densities, temperatures, and escape fluxes vary with location, season, topography, etc. The global D/H ratio of the martian atmosphere is roughly 5 times higher than in the terrestrial atmosphere due to the escape of a large volume of water into space, likely early in the history of Mars. Since H atoms escape faster than D atoms, the D/H ratio increases with time as more water is lost. Earth-based IR observations have indicated large variations in the HDO/H2O ratio in the lower atmosphere from location to location, and possible changes with the atmospheric seasonal cycles [Villanueva et al. 2015]. HST and MEX measurements of the H corona of Mars have shown large (order of magnitude) changes in the H exosphere and escape flux with changing seasons and/or heliospheric distance [Clarke et al. 2014; Chaffin et al. 2014]. A series of observations of D and H with the IUVS echelle channel now show a strong trend in the variation of both emissions, with order of magnitude changes in both species in the upper atmosphere. With the added data expected in Fall 2016, we will be able to determine this trend over a full range of martian solar longitude. These results and a comparison with proposed processes that might lead to the observed changes will be presented.
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insu-01414838 , version 1 (12-12-2016)


  • HAL Id : insu-01414838 , version 1


John T. Clarke, Majd Mayyasi, Dolon Bhattacharyya, Nicholas Mccord Schneider, Bill Mcclintock, et al.. Variability of D and H in the Martian Exosphere. AGU Fall Meeting 2016, Dec 2016, San Francisco, United States. pp.P12A-01. ⟨insu-01414838⟩
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