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Nitric oxide nightglow and Martian mesospheric circulation from MAVEN/IUVS observations and LMD-MGCM predictions

AuthorsStiepen, A.; González-Galindo, F. ; Jakosky, B. M.
Mars atmosphere
NItric oxide
Issue Date31-May-2017
PublisherAmerican Astronomical Society
CitationJournal of Geophysical Research - Part A - Space Physics 122(5): 5782-5797 (2017)
AbstractWe report results from a study of nitric oxide nightglow over the northern hemisphere of Mars during winter, the southern hemisphere during fall equinox, and equatorial latitudes during summer in the northern hemisphere based on observations of the δ and γ bands between 190 and 270 nm by the Imaging UltraViolet Spectrograph (IUVS) on the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN mission (MAVEN) spacecraft. The emission reveals recombination of N and O atoms dissociated on the dayside of Mars and transported to the nightside. We characterize the brightness (from 0.2 to 30 kR) and altitude (from 40 to 115 km) of the NO nightglow layer, as well as its topside scale height (mean of 11 km). We show the possible impact of atmospheric waves forcing longitudinal variability, associated with an increased brightness by a factor of 3 in the 140–200° longitude region in the northern hemisphere winter and in the −102° to −48° longitude region at summer. Such impact to the NO nightglow at Mars was not seen before. Quantitative comparison with calculations of the LMD-MGCM (Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique-Mars Global Climate Model) suggests that the model globally reproduces the trends of the NO nightglow emission and its seasonal variation and also indicates large discrepancies (up to a factor 50 fainter in the model) in northern winter at low to middle latitudes. This suggests that the predicted transport is too efficient toward the night winter pole in the thermosphere by ∼20° latitude north. ©2017. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
DescriptionStiepen, A. et al.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2016JA023523
Appears in Collections:(IAA) Artículos
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