First observation of the oxygen 630 nm emission in the Martian dayglow

Gérard, J.‐C.; Aoki, S.; Gkouvelis, L.; Soret, L.; Willame, Y.; Thomas, I.R.; Depiesse, C.; Ristic, B.; Vandaele, A. C.; Hubert, B.; Daerden, F.; Patel, M. R.; López‐Moreno, J.‐J.; Bellucci, G.; Mason, J. P. and López‐Valverde, M. A. (2021). First observation of the oxygen 630 nm emission in the Martian dayglow. Geophysical Research Letters (Early Access).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2020GL092334

Abstract

Following the recent detection of the oxygen green line airglow on Mars, we have improved the statistical analysis of the data recorded by the NOMAD/UVIS instrument on board the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter mission by summing up hundreds of spectra to increase the signal to noise ratio. This led to the observation of the OI 630 nm emission, a first detection in a planetary atmosphere outside the Earth. The average limb profile shows a broad peak intensity of 4.8 kR near 150 km. Comparison with a photochemical model indicates that it is well predicted by current photochemistry, considering the sources of uncertainty. The red/green line intensity ratio decreases dramatically with altitude as a consequence of the efficient quenching of O(1D) by CO2. Simultaneous observations of the green and red dayglow will provide information on variations in the thermosphere in response to seasonal changes and the effects of solar events.

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