Advanced Search



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), 543–549.

2020, 4(6): 543-549. 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: 2020-08-07

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

Barth, C. A., Fastie, W. G., Hord, C. W., Pearce, J. B., Kelly, K. K., Stewart, A. I., Thomas, G. E., Anderson, G. P., and Raper, O. F. (1969). Mariner 6: Ultraviolet spectrum of Mars upper atmosphere. Science, 165(3897), 1004–1005.

Barth, C. A., Hord, C. W., Pearce, J. B., Kelly, K. K., Anderson, G. P., and Stewart, A. I. (1971). Mariner 6 and 7 ultraviolet spectrometer experiment: Upper atmosphere data. J. Geophys. Res., 76(10), 2213–2227.

Bougher, S. W., Bell, J. M., Murphy, J. R., Lopez-Valverde, M. A., and Withers, P. G. (2006). Polar warming in the Mars thermosphere: Seasonal variations owing to changing insolation and dust distributions. Geophys. Res. Lett., 33(2), L02203.

Bougher, S. W., McDunn, T. M., Zoldak, K. A., and Forbes, J. M. (2009). Solar cycle variability of Mars dayside exospheric temperatures: Model evaluation of underlying thermal balances. Geophys. Res. Lett., 36(5), L05201.

Bougher, S. W., Roeten, K. J., Olsen, K., Mahaffy, P. R., Benna, M., Elrod, M., Jain, S. K., Schneider, N. M., Deighan, J., … Jakosky, B. M. (2017). The structure and variability of Mars dayside thermosphere from MAVEN NGIMS and IUVS measurements: Seasonal and solar activity trends in scale heights and temperatures. J. Geophys. Res.:Space Phys., 122(1), 1296–1313.

Cox, C., Gérard, J. C., Hubert, B., Bertaux, J. L., and Bougher, S. W. (2010). Mars ultraviolet dayglow variability: SPICAM observations and comparison with airglow model. J. Geophys. Res.:Planets, 115(E4), E04010.

England, S. L., Liu, G., Yiğit, E., Mahaffy, P. R., Elrod, M., Benna, M., Nakagawa, H., Terada, N., and Jakosky, B. (2017). MAVEN NGIMS observations of atmospheric gravity waves in the Martian thermosphere. J. Geophys. Res.:Space Phys., 122(2), 2310–2335.

Eparvier, F. G., Chamberlin, P. C., Woods, T. N., and Thiemann, E. B. M. (2015). The solar extreme ultraviolet monitor for MAVEN. Space Sci. Rev., 195(1-4), 293–301.

Fox, J. L., and Dalgarno, A. (1979). Ionization, luminosity, and heating of the upper atmosphere of Mars. J. Geophys. Res.:Space Phys., 84(A12), 7315–7333.

Fox, J. L. (1992). Airglow and aurora in the atmospheres of Venus and Mars. In J. G. Luhmann, et al. (Eds.), Venus and Mars: Atmospheres, Ionospheres, and Solar Wind Interactions (pp. 191-222). Washington: AGU.

Fox, J. L., and Yeager, K. E. (2009). MGS electron density profiles: Analysis of the peak magnitudes. Icarus, 200(2), 468–479.

Fox, J. L., and Weber, A. J. (2012). MGS electron density profiles: analysis and modeling of peak altitudes. Icarus, 221(2), 1002–1019.

Fu, M. H., Cui, J., Wu, X. S., Wu, Z. P., and Li, J. (2020). The variations of the Martian exobase altitude. Earth Planet. Phys., 4(1), 4–10.

Gérard, J. C., Gkouvelis, L., Ritter, B., Hubert, B., Jain, S. K., and Schneider, N. M. (2019). MAVEN-IUVS observations of the CO2+ UV doublet and CO Cameron bands in the Martian thermosphere: Aeronomy, seasonal, and latitudinal distribution. J. Geophys. Res.:Space Phys., 124(7), 5816–5827.

Gkouvelis, L., Gérard, J. C., Ritter, B., Hubert, B., Schneider, N. M., and Jain, S. K. (2018). The O(1S) 297.2-nm dayglow emission: A tracer of CO2 density variations in the Martian lower thermosphere. J. Geophys. Res.:Planets, 123(12), 3119–3132.

González-Galindo, Chaufray, F., Forget, J.-Y., García-Comas, F., Montmessin, M., F., Jain, S. K., & Stiepen, A. (2018). UV dayglow variability on Mars: Simulation with a global climate model and comparison with SPICAM/ MEx data. Journal of Geophysical Research:Planets, 123, 1934–1952.

Jain, S. K., Stewart, A. I. F., Schneider, N. M., Deighan, J., Stiepen, A., Evans, J. S., Stevens, M. H., Chaffin, M. S., Crismani, M., … Jakosky, B. M. (2015). The structure and variability of Mars upper atmosphere as seen in MAVEN/IUVS dayglow observations. Geophys. Res. Lett., 42(21), 9023–9030.

Jain, S. K., Deighan, J., Schneider, N. M., Stewart, A. I. F., Evans, J. S., Thiemann, E. M. B., Chaffin, M. S., Crismani, M., Stevens, M. H., … Jakosky, B. M. (2018). Martian thermospheric response to an X8.2 solar flare on 10 September 2017 as seen by MAVEN/IUVS. Geophys. Res. Lett., 45(15), 7312–7319.

Jakosky, B. M., Lin, R. P., Grebowsky, J. M., Luhmann, J. G., Mitchell, D. F., Beutelschies, G., Priser, T., Acuna, M., Andersson, L., … Zurek, R. (2015). The Mars atmosphere and volatile evolution (MAVEN) mission. Space Sci. Rev., 195(1–4), 3–48.

Kass, D. M., Kleinböhl, A., McCleese, D. J., Schofield, J. T., and Smith, M. D. (2016). Interannual similarity in the Martian atmosphere during the dust storm season. Geophys. Res. Lett., 43(12), 6111–6118.

Leblanc, F., Chaufray, J. Y., Lilensten, J., Witasse, O., and Bertaux, J. L. (2006). Martian dayglow as seen by the SPICAM UV spectrograph on Mars Express. J. Geophys. Res.:Planets, 111(E9), E09S11.

Lo, D. Y., Yelle, R. V., Schneider, N. M., Jain, S. K., Stewart, A. I. F., England, S. L., Deighan, J. I., Stiepen, A., Evans, J. S., … Jakosky, B. M. (2015). Nonmigrating tides in the Martian atmosphere as observed by maven IUVS. Geophys. Res. Lett., 42(21), 9057–9063.

McClintock, W. E., Schneider, N. M., Holsclaw, G. M., Clarke, J. T., Hoskins, A. C., Stewart, I., Montmessin, F., Yelle, R. V., and Deighan, J. (2015). The Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) for the MAVEN mission. Space Sci. Rev., 195(1-4), 75–124.

Morgan, D. D., Gurnett, D. A., Kirchner, D. L., Fox, J. L., Nielsen, E., and Plaut, J. J. (2008). Variation of the Martian ionospheric electron density from Mars Express radar soundings. J. Geophys. Res.:Space Phys., 113(A9), A09303.

Siddle, A. G., Mueller-Wodarg, I. C. F., Stone, S. W., and Yelle, R. V. (2019). Global characteristics of gravity waves in the upper atmosphere of Mars as measured by MAVEN/NGIMS. Icarus, 333, 12–21.

Slanger, T. G., Cravens, T. E., Crovisier, J., Miller, S., and Strobel, D. F. (2008). Photoemission phenomena in the solar system. Space Sci. Rev., 139(1-4), 267–310.

Stevens, M. H., Evans, J. S., Schneider, N. M., Stewart, A. I. F., Deighan, J., Jain, S. K., Crismani, M., Stiepen, A., Chaffin, M. S., … Jakosky, B. M. (2015). New observations of molecular nitrogen in the Martian upper atmosphere by IUVS on MAVEN. Geophys. Res. Lett., 42(21), 9050–9056.

Stevens, M. H., Siskind, D. E., Evans, J. S., Fox, J. L., Deighan, J., Jain, S. K., and Schneider, N. M. (2019). Detection of the nitric oxide dayglow on Mars by MAVEN/IUVS. J. Geophys. Res.:Planets, 124(5), 1226–1237.

Stewart, A. I. (1972). Mariner 6 and 7 ultraviolet spectrometer experiment: Implications of CO2+, CO and O airglow. J. Geophys. Res., 77(1), 54–68.

Stewart, A. I., Barth, C. A., Hord, C. W., and Lane, A. L. (1972). Mariner 9 ultraviolet spectrometer experiment: Structure of Mars’ upper atmosphere. Icarus, 17(2), 469–474.

Strausberg, M. J., Wang, H. Q., Richardson, M. I., Ewald, S. P., and Toigo, A. D. (2005). Observations of the initiation and evolution of the 2001 Mars global dust storm. J. Geophys. Res.:Planets, 110(E2), E02006.

Thiemann, E. M. B., Chamberlin, P. C., Eparvier, F. G., Templeman, B., Woods, T. N., Bougher, S. W., and Jakosky, B. M. (2017). The MAVEN EUVM model of solar spectral irradiance variability at Mars: Algorithms and results. J. Geophys. Res.:Space Phys., 122(3), 2748–2767.

Wu, Z. P., Li, T., Zhang, X., Li, J., and Cui, J. (2020). Dust tides and rapid meridional motions in the Martian atmosphere during major dust storms. Nat. Commun., 11, 614.

Yao, M. J., Cui, J., Wu, X. S., Huang, Y. Y., and Wang, W. R. (2019). Variability of the Martian ionosphere from the MAVEN radio occultation science experiment. Earth Planet. Phys., 3(4), 283–289.


Hao Gu, Jun Cui, ZhaoGuo He, JiaHao Zhong, 2020: A MAVEN investigation of O++ in the dayside Martian ionosphere, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 11-16. doi: 10.26464/epp2020009


YuTian Cao, Jun Cui, XiaoShu Wu, JiaHao Zhong, 2020: Photoelectron pitch angle distribution near Mars and implications on cross terminator magnetic field connectivity, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 17-22. doi: 10.26464/epp2020008


XiaoShu Wu, Jun Cui, YuTian Cao, WeiQin Sun, Qiong Luo, BinBin Ni, 2020: Response of photoelectron peaks in the Martian ionosphere to solar EUV/X-ray irradiance, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 390-395. doi: 10.26464/epp2020035


LongKang Dai, Jun Cui, DanDan Niu, Hao Gu, YuTian Cao, XiaoShu Wu, HaiRong Lai, 2021: Is Solar Wind electron precipitation a source of neutral heating in the nightside Martian upper atmosphere?, Earth and Planetary Physics, 5, 1-10. doi: 10.26464/epp2021012


XiaoShu Wu, Jun Cui, Jiang Yu, LiJuan Liu, ZhenJun Zhou, 2019: Photoelectron balance in the dayside Martian upper atmosphere, Earth and Planetary Physics, 3, 373-379. doi: 10.26464/epp2019038


MengHao Fu, Jun Cui, XiaoShu Wu, ZhaoPeng Wu, Jing Li, 2020: The variations of the Martian exobase altitude, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 4-10. doi: 10.26464/epp2020010


Hao Gu, Jun Cui, DanDan Niu, LongKang Dai, JianPing Huang, XiaoShu Wu, YongQiang Hao, Yong Wei, 2020: Observation of CO2++ dication in the dayside Martian upper atmosphere, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 396-402. doi: 10.26464/epp2020036


MeiJuan Yao, Jun Cui, XiaoShu Wu, YingYing Huang, WenRui Wang, 2019: Variability of the Martian ionosphere from the MAVEN Radio Occultation Science Experiment, Earth and Planetary Physics, 3, 283-289. doi: 10.26464/epp2019029


JunYi Wang, XinAn Yue, Yong Wei, WeiXing Wan, 2018: Optimization of the Mars ionospheric radio occultation retrieval, Earth and Planetary Physics, 2, 292-302. doi: 10.26464/epp2018027


ShuWen Tang, Yi Wang, HongYun Zhao, Fang Fang, Yi Qian, YongJie Zhang, HaiBo Yang, CunHui Li, Qiang Fu, Jie Kong, XiangYu Hu, Hong Su, ZhiYu Sun, YuHong Yu, BaoMing Zhang, Yu Sun, ZhiPeng Sun, 2020: Calibration of Mars Energetic Particle Analyzer (MEPA), Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 355-363. doi: 10.26464/epp2020055


D. Singh, S. Uttam, 2022: Thermal inertia at the MSL and InSight mission sites on Mars, Earth and Planetary Physics, 6, 18-27. doi: 10.26464/epp2022004


LingGao Kong, AiBing Zhang, Zhen Tian, XiangZhi Zheng, WenJing Wang, Bin Liu, Peter Wurz, Daniele Piazza, Adrian Etter, Bin Su, YaYa An, JianJing Ding, WenYa Li, Yong Liu, Lei Li, YiRen Li, Xu Tan, YueQiang Sun, 2020: Mars Ion and Neutral Particle Analyzer (MINPA) for Chinese Mars Exploration Mission (Tianwen-1): Design and ground calibration, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 333-344. doi: 10.26464/epp2020053


Kai Liu, XinJun Hao, YiRen Li, TieLong Zhang, ZongHao Pan, ManMing Chen, XiaoWen Hu, Xin Li, ChengLong Shen, YuMing Wang, 2020: Mars Orbiter magnetometer of China’s First Mars Mission Tianwen-1, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 384-389. doi: 10.26464/epp2020058


Bin Zhou, ShaoXiang Shen, Wei Lu, YuXi Li, Qing Liu, ChuanJun Tang, ShiDong Li, GuangYou Fang, 2020: The Mars rover subsurface penetrating radar onboard China's Mars 2020 mission, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 345-354. doi: 10.26464/epp2020054


YaoKun Li, JiPing Chao, 2022: A two-dimensional energy balance climate model on Mars, Earth and Planetary Physics, 6, 284-293. doi: 10.26464/epp2022026


Jun Cui, ZhaoJin Rong, Yong Wei, YuMing Wang, 2020: Recent investigations of the near-Mars space environment by the planetary aeronomy and space physics community in China, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 1-3. doi: 10.26464/epp2020001


XinZhou Li, ZhaoJin Rong, JiaWei Gao, Yong Wei, Zhen Shi, Tao Yu, WeiXing Wan, 2020: A local Martian crustal field model: Targeting the candidate landing site of the 2020 Chinese Mars Rover, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 420-428. doi: 10.26464/epp2020045


Chi-Fong Wong, Kim-Chiu Chow, Kwing L. Chan, Jing Xiao, Yemeng Wang, 2021: Some features of effective radius and variance of dust particles in numerical simulations of the dust climate on Mars, Earth and Planetary Physics, 5, 11-18. doi: 10.26464/epp2021005


WeiXing Wan, Chi Wang, ChunLai Li, Yong Wei, JianJun Liu, 2020: The payloads of planetary physics research onboard China’s First Mars Mission (Tianwen-1), Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 331-332. doi: 10.26464/epp2020052


Deepak Singh, 2020: Impact of surface Albedo on Martian photochemistry, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 206-211. doi: 10.26464/epp2020025

Article Metrics
  • PDF Downloads()
  • Abstract views()
  • HTML views()
  • Cited by(0)

Figures And Tables

Solar control of CO2 + ultraviolet doublet emission on Mars

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