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A dynamic upper atmosphere of Venus as revealed by VIRTIS on Venus Express

Drossart, P. and Piccioni, G. and Gerard, M. and Sanchez-Lavega, A. and Lopez-Valverde, M. A. and Hueso, R. and Taylor, F.W. and Zasova, L. and Adriani, A. and Lebonnois, S. and Coradini, A. and Bezard, B. and Angrilli, F. and Arnold, G. and Baines, K.H. and Bellucci, G. and Benkhoff, J. and Bibring, J.P. and Blanco, A. and Blecka, M. I. and Carlson, R. W. and Di Lellis, A. and Encrenaz, T. and Erard, S. and Fonti, S. and Formisano, V. and Fouchet, T. and Garcia, R. and Haus, R. and Helbert, J. and Ignatiev, N. I. and Irwin, P.G.J. and Langevin, Y. and Luz, D. and Marinangeli, L. and Orofino, V. and Rodin, A.V. and Roos-Serote, M.C. and Saggin, B. and Stam, D.M. and Titov, D. and Visconti, G. and Zambelli, M. and Tsang, C. and et.al., (2007) A dynamic upper atmosphere of Venus as revealed by VIRTIS on Venus Express. Nature (450), pp. 641-645. DOI: 10.1038/nature06140.

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The upper atmosphere of a planet is a transition region in which energy is transferred between the deeper atmosphere and outer space. Molecular emissions from the upper atmosphere (90–120 km altitude) of Venus can be used to investigate the energetics and to trace the circulation of this hitherto little-studied region. Previous spacecraft1 and ground-based2, 3, 4 observations of infrared emission from CO2, O2 and NO have established that photochemical and dynamic activity controls the structure of the upper atmosphere of Venus. These data, however, have left unresolved the precise altitude of the emission1 owing to a lack of data and of an adequate observing geometry5, 6. Here we report measurements of day-side CO2 non-local thermodynamic equilibrium emission at 4.3 microm, extending from 90 to 120 km altitude, and of night-side O2 emission extending from 95 to 100 km. The CO2 emission peak occurs at approx115 km and varies with solar zenith angle over a range of approx10 km. This confirms previous modelling7, and permits the beginning of a systematic study of the variability of the emission. The O2 peak emission happens at 96 km plusminus 1 km, which is consistent with three-body recombination of oxygen atoms transported from the day side by a global thermospheric sub-solar to anti-solar circulation, as previously predicted

Document Type:Article
Title:A dynamic upper atmosphere of Venus as revealed by VIRTIS on Venus Express
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Drossart, P.LESIA
Piccioni, G.INAF-IASF
Gerard, M.LPAP-Université de Liège
Sanchez-Lavega, A.Universidad del Pais Vasco Alda
Lopez-Valverde, M. A.CSIC
Hueso, R.Universidad del Pais Vasco Alda
Taylor, F.W.University of Oxford
Zasova, L.IKI
Adriani, A.INAF-IFSI
Lebonnois, S.Laboratoire de Meteorologie Dynamique
Coradini, A.INAF-IFSI
Bezard, B.LESIA
Angrilli, F.CISAS
Baines, K.H.Jet Propulsion Lboratory
Bellucci, G.INAF-IFSI
Bibring, J.P.Universite Paris-Sud
Blanco, A.Universita degli Studi di Lecce
Blecka, M. I.Space Research Centre of Polish Academy of Science
Carlson, R. W.Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Di Lellis, A.AMDLSPACE s.r.l.
Encrenaz, T.LESIA
Erard, S.LESIA
Fonti, S.Universita degli Studi di Lecce
Formisano, V.INAF-IFSI
Fouchet, T.LESIA
Garcia, R.Institute de Physique du Globe de Paris
Ignatiev, N. I.IKI
Irwin, P.G.J.University of Oxford
Langevin, Y.Institut d`Astrophysique Spatiale
Luz, D.Observatorio Astronomico de Lisboa
Marinangeli, L.Universita d`Annunzio
Orofino, V.Universita degli Studi di Lecce
Rodin, A.V.IKI
Roos-Serote, M.C.Observatorio Astronomico de Lisboa
Saggin, B.Politecnico di Milano
Stam, D.M.University of Amsterdam
Titov, D.Max-Planck-Inst. for Aeronomy
Visconti, G.Universita de L'Aquila
Zambelli, M.INAF-IASF
Tsang, C.Clarendon Laboratory Oxford
Journal or Publication Title:Nature
Refereed publication:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 641-645
Macmilan Publisher Ltd, UNSPECIFIED
Series Name:Letter of Nature
Keywords:Venus, Venus Express, VIRTIS
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Vorhaben Entwicklung und Erprobung von Verfahren zur Gewässerfernerkundung (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Remote Sensing Technology Institute > Marine Remote Sensing
Deposited By: Bärbel Bolowski
Deposited On:13 Dec 2007
Last Modified:15 Jan 2010 02:01

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