The Mars Oxygen Visible Dayglow: A Martian Year of NOMAD/UVIS Observations

Soret, L.; Gérard, J.‐C.; Aoki, S.; Gkouvelis, L.; Thomas, I. R.; Ristic, B.; Hubert, B.; Willame, Y.; Depiesse, C.; Vandaele, A.C.; Patel, M. R.; Mason, J. P.; Daerden, F.; López‐Moreno, J.‐J. and Bellucci, G. (2022). The Mars Oxygen Visible Dayglow: A Martian Year of NOMAD/UVIS Observations. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 127(6), article no. e2022JE007220.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2022je007220

Abstract

The Ultraviolet and Visible Spectrometer Ultraviolet (UVIS UV) and Visible Spectrometer channel of the Nadir and Occultation for MArs Discovery spectrometer aboard the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter has made limb observations of the Martian dayglow during more than a Martian year. Two pointing modes have been applied: (a) In the inertial mode, the spectrometer scans the atmosphere twice down to near the surface and provides altitude profiles of the dayglow; (b) in the tracking mode, the atmosphere is scanned at varying latitudes at a nearly constant altitude through the entire observation. We present a statistical study of the vertical and seasonal distribution of the recently discovered oxygen green and red lines at 557.7 nm and 630 nm. It indicates that the brightness of the green line emission responds to changes in the Lyman-α flux. The peak altitude of the green line emission increases seasonally when the Sun-Mars distance decreases. The lower peak of the green line statistically drops by 15–20 km between perihelion and aphelion at mid-to high altitude. The main lower peak intensity shows an asymmetry between the two hemispheres. It is significantly brighter and more pronounced in the southern hemisphere than in the north. This is a consequence of the stronger Lyman-α solar flux near perihelion. The second component of the oxygen red line at 636.4 nm is also detected for the first time in the Martian atmosphere. A photochemical model is used to simulate the variations of the green dayglow observed along limb tracking orbits.

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