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Direct detection of atomic oxygen on the dayside and nightside of Venus

Hübers, Heinz-Wilhelm and Richter, Heiko and Graf, Urs U. and Güsten, Rolf and Klein, Bernd and Stutzki, Jürgen and Wiesenmeyer, Helmut (2023) Direct detection of atomic oxygen on the dayside and nightside of Venus. Nature Communications, 14 (6812). Nature Publishing Group. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-42389-x. ISSN 2041-1723.

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Official URL: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-023-42389-x#:~:text=The%20observations%20were%20made%20in,been%20detected%20at%20all%20positions.


Atomic oxygen is a key species in the mesosphere and thermosphere of Venus. It peaks in the transition region between the two dominant atmospheric circulation patterns, the retrograde super-rotating zonal flow below 70 km and the subsolar to antisolar flow above 120 km altitude. However, past and current detection methods are indirect and based on measurements of other molecules in combination with photochemical models. Here, we show direct detection of atomic oxygen on the dayside as well as on the nightside of Venus by measuring its ground-state transition at 4.74 THz (63.2 µm). The atomic oxygen is concentrated at altitudes around 100 km with a maximum column density on the dayside where it is generated by photolysis of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. This method enables detailed investigations of the Venusian atmosphere in the region between the two atmospheric circulation patterns in support of future space missions to Venus.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/202277/
Document Type:Article
Title:Direct detection of atomic oxygen on the dayside and nightside of Venus
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Graf, Urs U.I. Physikalisches Institut, Universität zu KölnUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Güsten, RolfMax-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Bonn, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Klein, BerndMax-Planck-Institut für Radiostromatic, BonnUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Stutzki, JürgenKOSMA, I.Physikalisches Institut der Universität Köln, Köln, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Wiesenmeyer, HelmutMax-Planck-Institut für RadioastronomieUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date:7 November 2023
Journal or Publication Title:Nature Communications
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
Keywords:Venus, atmosphere, oxygen, terahertz, SOFIA
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Earth Observation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Terahertz spectrometer for atomic oxygen in the mesosphere/thermosphere
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Optical Sensor Systems
Institute of Optical Sensor Systems > Terahertz and Laser Spectroscopy
Deposited By: Elger, Verena
Deposited On:25 Jan 2024 14:08
Last Modified:25 Jan 2024 14:08

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