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Conference Papers Year : 2017

First Retrieval of Thermospheric Carbon Monoxide From Mars Dayglow Observations

Franck Lefèvre
Franck Montmessin
Paul R. Mahaffy
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  • PersonId : 924866
Mehdi Benna


As a minor species in the Martian thermosphere, Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a tracer that can be used to constrain changing circulation patterns between the lower thermosphere and upper mesosphere of Mars. By linking CO density distributions to dynamical wind patterns, the structure and variability of the atmosphere will be better understood. Direct measurements of CO can therefore provide insight into the magnitude and pattern of winds and provide a metric for studying the response of the atmosphere to solar forcing. In addition, CO measurements can help solve outstanding photochemical modeling problems in explaining the abundance of CO at Mars. CO is directly observable by electron impact excitation and solar resonance fluorescence emissions in the far-ultraviolet (FUV). The retrieval of CO from solar fluorescence was first proposed over 40 years ago, but has been elusive at Mars due to significant spectral blending. However, by simulating the spectral shape of each contributing emission feature, electron impact excitation and solar fluorescence brightnesses can be extracted from the composite spectrum using a multiple linear regression approach. We use CO Fourth Positive Group (4PG) molecular band emission observed on the limb (130 - 200 km) by the Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) on NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft over both northern and southern hemispheres from October 2014 to December 2016. We present the first direct retrieval of CO densities by FUV remote sensing in the upper atmosphere of Mars. Atmospheric composition is inferred using the terrestrial Atmospheric Ultraviolet Radiance Integrated Code adapted to the Martian atmosphere. We investigate the sensitivity of CO density retrievals to variability in solar irradiance, solar longitude, and local time. We compare our results to predictions from the Mars Global Ionosphere-Thermosphere Model as well as in situ measurements by the Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer on MAVEN and quantify any differences.
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Dates and versions

insu-01668702 , version 1 (20-12-2017)



J. Scott Evans, Michael H. Stevens, Sonal Jain, Justin Deighan, Jerry Lumpe, et al.. First Retrieval of Thermospheric Carbon Monoxide From Mars Dayglow Observations. 49th Annual Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting, Oct 2017, Provo, United States. ⟨insu-01668702⟩
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