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ISSN  2096-3955

CN  10-1502/P

Citation: Li, Z. C., Cui, J., Li, J., Wu, X. S., Zhong, J. H. and Jiang, F. Y. (2020). Solar control of CO2 + ultraviolet doublet emission on Mars. Earth Planet. Phys., 4(6), 1–7doi: 10.26464/epp2020064

doi: 10.26464/epp2020064


Solar control of CO2 + ultraviolet doublet emission on Mars


National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100012, China


School of Astronomy and Space Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China


Planetary Environmental and Astrobiological Research Laboratory (PEARL), School of Atmospheric Sciences, Sun Yat-Sen University, Zhuhai Guangdong 519082, China


Center for Excellence in Comparative Planetology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei 230026, China


Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA

Corresponding author: Jun Cui,

Received Date: 2020-06-10
Web Publishing Date: 2020-08-01

The $ {\rm{CO}}_2^+$ ultraviolet doublet (UVD) emission near 289 nm is an important feature of dayside airglow emission from planetary upper atmospheres. In this study, we analyzed the brightness profiles of $ {\rm{CO}}_2^+$ UVD emission on Mars by using the extensive observations made by the Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph on board the recent Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution spacecraft. Strong solar cycle and solar zenith angle variations in peak emission intensity and altitude were revealed by the data: (1) Both the peak intensity and altitude increase with increasing solar activity, and (2) the peak intensity decreases, whereas the peak altitude increases, with increasing solar zenith angle. These observations can be favorably interpreted by the solar-driven scenario combined with the fact that photoionization and photoelectron impact ionization are the two most important processes responsible for the production of excited-state $ {\rm{CO}}_2^+$ and consequently the intensity of $ {\rm{CO}}_2^+$ UVD emission. Despite this, we propose that an extra driver, presumably related to the complicated variation in the background atmosphere, such as the occurrence of global dust storms, is required to fully interpret the observations. In general, our analysis suggests that the $ {\rm{CO}}_2^+$ UVD emission is a useful diagnostic of the variability of the dayside Martian atmosphere under the influences of both internal and external drivers.

Key words: Mars; dayglow; CO2 +; MAVEN

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Solar control of CO2 + ultraviolet doublet emission on Mars

ZiChuan Li, Jun Cui, Jing Li, XiaoShu Wu, JiaHao Zhong, FaYu Jiang