October 14, 2014

UV spectroscopy detects martian nightglow

Hogan H.
Photonics Spectra

Summary: An international team of astronomers has spotted martian nightglow using the Spicam UV/IR dual spectrometer aboard the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter. The team found the ultraviolet spectrum of the nightglow dominated by NO and hydrogen. The astronomers attribute the NO signals to photodissociated nitrogen and oxygen atoms recombining on the nightside. The emission was brightest in the winter night near the south pole.