Combined Analysis of Hydrogen and Oxygen 102.6 nm Emission at Mars


Water is lost from the Mars upper atmosphere to space as hydrogen and oxygen, both of which can be observed in scattered ultraviolet sunlight at 102.6 nm. We present Emirates Mars Mission Emirates Mars Ultraviolet Spectrometer (EMM/EMUS) insertion orbit observations of this airglow, resolving the independent altitude contributions of H and O for the first time. We present the first airglow modeling of the complete H and O 102.6 nm system and the first 3D azimuthally symmetric modeling of the O emission, retrieving temperatures and densities typical of northern spring. Our model reproduces the emission well above 200 km, but does not incorporate partial frequency redistribution needed to reproduce the observed O brightness at lower altitudes and on the disk. These results support future EMM/EMUS science orbit retrievals of H loss and the use of 102.6 nm observations to constrain planetary atmospheres across the solar system.

Mars, aeronomy, ultraviolet