Wind measurements in Mars' middle atmosphere at equinox and solstice: IRAM Plateau de Bure interferometric CO observations
Characterizing the Martian atmosphere is an essential objective to understand its meteorology and its climate. The lower atmosphere (< 40 km) and middle atmosphere (40-80 km) of Mars appear dynamically coupled at much higher levels than in the case of the Earth. The vertical extension of the weather phenomena is considerable with for example Hadley's cells reaching the top of the neutral atmosphere (120 km). The circulation in the middle atmosphere modifies the meteorology of the lower atmosphere, affecting the transport and climatic processes Observations of the CO rotational lines at millimeter (mm) wavelengths (Clancy et al 1990) have strongly contributed in the study of the vertical distribution of this compound and the thermal profile in the atmosphere of Mars over 0-70 km. Singledish observations of the CO Doppler lineshift have allowed direct wind measurements in the martian middle atmosphere near 50 km altitude (Lellouch et al 1991), but at a low spatial resolution (12'') enabling only an essentially hemispheric resolution of the martian disk. The use of mm interferometry has allowed us to better spatially resolve the Martian disk, in order to obtain wind maps of the middle atmosphere (Moreno et al 2001).
Mars Atmosphere Modelling and Observations
- Pub Date:
- February 2006
- Second workshop on Mars atmosphere modelling and observations, held February 2 7 - March 3, 2006 Granada, Spain. Edited by F. Forget, M.A. Lopez-Valverde, M.C. Desjean, J.P. Huot, F. Lefevre, S. Lebonnois, S.R. Lewis, E. Millour, P.L. Read and R.J. Wilson. Publisher : LMD, IAA, AOPP, CNES, ESA, 2006., p.134, Espagne (2006)