October 14, 2014

Observation of O2 1.27 µm dayglow by SPICAM IR: Seasonal distribution for the first Martian year of Mars Express

Fedorova A., Korablev O., Perrier S., Bertaux J.-L., Lefevre F., Rodin A.
Journal of Geophysical Research A: Space Physics

Summary: The O2(a1g) molecule is a result of the photodissociation of ozone in the Martian atmosphere and may be used as a tracer for atmospheric ozone mostly above 20 km since the singlet delta state is quenched by carbon dioxide at lower altitudes. The SPICAM IR acousto-optic tunable filter (AOTF) spectrometer is a part of the SPICAM experiment onboard Mars Express. It is able to measure the O2 singlet delta emission band at 1.27 µm with a resolving power of 2200. We present the first seasonal map of the O2 emission covering the entire Martian year. Maximal values of O2 emission are observed during late winter to early spring at high latitudes in both hemispheres. We report the highest dayglow intensity of 30 MR in the southern hemisphere (70°-80°S latitudes) at Ls = 185°-195° and of 26 MR in the north polar regions (latitudes 70°-80°N) at Ls = 10°-20°. The lowest emissions are measured during the southern hemisphere summer near perihelion (Ls = 270°-330°), with an upper limit of 1-2 MR. At low latitudes (30°S-30°N) the seasonal evolution of the O2 emission shows a distinct maximum (5-7 MR) near aphelion. This is consistent with the maximum in O3 occurring at this time of the year, which has been reported from Earth, from satellite, or by modeling studies. The comparison of our results with previous measurements carried out from Earth shows quantitative differences that can be attributed to differences in local time of the observation or interannual variability of the Martian ozone layer. © 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.