WorldWideScience

Sample records for current martian atmosphere

  1. Aeronomy of the current Martian atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barth, C. A.; Stewart, A. I. F.; Bougher, S. W.; Hunten, D. M.; Bauer, S. J.; Nagy, A. F.

    1992-01-01

    The thermal structure of the Martian atmosphere, which varies diurnally, seasonally and episodically, is discussed. The atomic oxygen airglow at 1304 A is used to determine the density of atomic oxygen, and the 1216-A Lyman-alpha line is used to calculate the density of atomic hydrogen and, when coupled with the temperature measurement, the escape flux of atomic hydrogen. The most intense airglow is the IR atmospheric band of O2 at 1.27 micron that results from the photodissociation of ozone. The escape mechanism for atomic hydrogen is thermal, or Jeans, escape, while the atomic oxygen escape is caused by a nonthermal process, namely, the dissociative recombination of O2(+). The ratio of deuterium to hydrogen is enriched by a factor of 6. Three-dimensional models of the Mars thermospheric circulation show that planetary rotation has a significant effect on the wind, composition, and temperature structure.

  2. Strong Water Isotopic Anomalies in the Martian Atmosphere: Probing Current and Ancient Reservoirs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villanueva, G. L.; Mumma, M. J.; Novak, R. E.; Käufl, H. U.; Hartogh, P.; Encrenaz, T.; Tokunaga, A.; Khayat, A.; Smith, M. D.

    2015-01-01

    We measured maps of atmospheric water (H2O) and its deuterated form (HDO) across the martian globe, showing strong isotopic anomalies and a significant high deuterium/hydrogen (D/H) enrichment indicative of great water loss. The maps sample the evolution of sublimation from the north polar cap, revealing that the released water has a representative D/H value enriched by a factor of about 7 relative to Earth's ocean [Vienna standard mean ocean water (VSMOW)]. Certain basins and orographic depressions show even higher enrichment, whereas high-altitude regions show much lower values (1 to 3 VSMOW). Our atmospheric maps indicate that water ice in the polar reservoirs is enriched in deuterium to at least 8 VSMOW, which would mean that early Mars (4.5 billion years ago) had a global equivalent water layer at least 137 meters deep.

  3. CO2 Impacts on the Martian Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelley, Michael; Bauer, James; Bodewits, Dennis; Farnham, Tony; Stevenson, Rachel; Yelle, Roger

    2014-09-01

    The dynamically new comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) will pass Mars at the extremely close distance of 140,000 km on 2014 Oct 19. This encounter is unique---a record close approach to a planet with spacecraft that can observe its passage---and currently, all 5 Mars orbiters have plans to observe the comet and/or its effects on the planet. Gas from the comet's coma is expected to collide with the Martian atmosphere, altering the abundances of some species and producing significant heating, inflating the upper atmosphere. We propose DDT observations with Spitzer/IRAC to measure the comet's CO2+CO coma (observing window Oct 30 - Nov 20), to use these measurements to derive the coma's CO2 density at Mars during the closest approach, and to aid the interpretation of any observed effects or changes in the Martian atmosphere.

  4. Martian Atmospheric Pressure Static Charge Elimination Tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansen, Michael R.

    2014-01-01

    A Martian pressure static charge elimination tool is currently in development in the Electrostatics and Surface Physics Laboratory (ESPL) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. In standard Earth atmosphere conditions, static charge can be neutralized from an insulating surface using air ionizers. These air ionizers generate ions through corona breakdown. The Martian atmosphere is 7 Torr of mostly carbon dioxide, which makes it inherently difficult to use similar methods as those used for standard atmosphere static elimination tools. An initial prototype has been developed to show feasibility of static charge elimination at low pressure, using corona discharge. A needle point and thin wire loop are used as the corona generating electrodes. A photo of the test apparatus is shown below. Positive and negative high voltage pulses are sent to the needle point. This creates positive and negative ions that can be used for static charge neutralization. In a preliminary test, a floating metal plate was charged to approximately 600 volts under Martian atmospheric conditions. The static elimination tool was enabled and the voltage on the metal plate dropped rapidly to -100 volts. This test data is displayed below. Optimization is necessary to improve the electrostatic balance of the static elimination tool.

  5. Computing Electric Currents in the Martian Ionosphere Using Magnetometer Data from the Mars Atmospheric Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) Spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogle, A. L.

    2015-12-01

    Mars does not have a global magnetic field like Earth does. However, due to solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) interactions, electric currents are induced which create an induced magnetosphere. As MAVEN passes through the ionosphere of Mars, the magnetometer on board continuously measures the induced magnetic field in the ionosphere. Using Ampere's Law (∇ × B = µ0j) along with these measurements of the induced magnetic field, we can quantify the electric currents in the ionosphere. We are particularly interested in magnetic field profiles that have a radial component that is less than or equal to 5 nanoteslas in magnitude. By only using measurements where the radial component of the magnetic field satisfies the aforementioned condition and assuming that there are no horizontal gradients in the magnetic field, we will calculate horizontal currents in the ionosphere. Using these calculated currents, we will analyze altitudinal variations in magnitude and direction of the currents. Measuring these horizontal currents can give us insights into how the solar wind and IMF can affect the upper atmosphere of Mars. For example, induced electric currents can cause Joule heating in the atmosphere, which can potentially modify its neutral dynamics.

  6. Simulating Meteor Shower Observations In The Martian Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAuliffe, J. P.; Christou, A. A.

    2005-08-01

    It is known that fast meteoroids entering the martian atmosphere give rise to bright, detectable meteors (Adolfsson et al, Icarus 119, 144, 1996). Although single meteors have already been detected at Mars (Selsis et al., Nature 435, 581, 2005), the characterisation of the martian meteor year will require a large number of detections. Experience at the Earth suggests that data storage and bandwidth resources to conduct such surveys will be substantial, and may be prohibitive. In an attempt to quantify the problem in detail, we have simulated meteor shower detection in the martian and terrestrial atmospheres. For a given shower, we assume a meteoroid stream flux, size distribution and velocity based on current knowledge of Earth streams as well as the proximity of certain comets' orbits to that of Mars. A numerical code is used to simulate meteoroid ablation in a model martian and terrestrial atmosphere. Finally, using the same baseline detector characteristics (limiting magnitude, sky coverage) we generate detection statistics for the two planets. We will present results for different types of showers, including strong annual activity and episodic outbursts from Halley-type and Jupiter family comets. We will show how detection efficiency at Mars compares to the Earth for these showers and discuss optimum strategies for monitoring the martian atmosphere for meteor activity. Astronomy research at Armagh Observatory is funded by the Northern Ireland Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL).

  7. the Martian atmospheric boundary layer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petrosyan, A.; Galperin, B.; Larsen, Søren Ejling

    2011-01-01

    The planetary boundary layer (PBL) represents the part of the atmosphere that is strongly influenced by the presence of the underlying surface and mediates the key interactions between the atmosphere and the surface. On Mars, this represents the lowest 10 km of the atmosphere during the daytime...

  8. The Martian paleoclimate and enhanced atmospheric carbon dioxide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cess, R. D.; Owen, T.; Ramanathan, V.

    1980-01-01

    Current evidence indicates that the Martian surface is abundant with water presently in the form of ice, while the atmosphere was at one time more massive with a past surface pressure of as much as 1 atm of CO2. In an attempt to understand the Martian paleoclimate, a past CO2-H2O greenhouse was modeled and global temperatures which are consistent with an earlier presence of liquid surface water are found in agreement with the extensive evidence for past fluvial erosion. An important aspect of the CO2-H2O greenhouse model is the detailed inclusion of CO2 hot bands. For a surface pressure of 1 atm of CO2, the present greenhouse model predicts a global mean surface temperature of 294 K, but if the hot bands are excluded, a surface temperature of only 250 K is achieved.

  9. Ne-20/Ne-22 in the Martian Atmosphere: New Evidence from Martian Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, J.; Nyquist, L. E.; Herzog, G. F.; Nagao, K.; Mikouchi, T.; Kusakabe, M.

    2017-01-01

    Analyses of Ne trapped in "pods" of impact melt in the Elephant Moraine 79001 (EET 79001) Martian meteorite led to suggest (Ne-20/Ne-22) approx.10 in the Martian atmosphere (MA). In contrast, obtained trapped (Ne-20/Ne-22)Tr approx.7 from an impact melt vein in Yamato 793605 (Y-793605) and concluded that the isotopic composition of Martian Ne remained poorly defined. A "pyroxene-rich" separate from Dhofar 378 (Dho 378) analyzed gave a comparatively high trapped Ne concentration and (Ne-20/Ne-22) = 7.3+/-0.2 in agreement with the Y-793605 value. We explore the hypothesis that Martian Ne was trapped in the Dho 378 meteorite in a manner similar to entrapment of terrestrial Ne in tektites strengthening the "Martian atmosphere" interpretation. We also report new data for Northwest Africa 7034 (NWA 7034) that are consistent with the Ne data for Dho 378.

  10. Martian Atmospheric and Ionospheric plasma Escape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundin, Rickard

    2016-04-01

    Solar forcing is responsible for the heating, ionization, photochemistry, and erosion processes in the upper atmosphere throughout the lifetime of the terrestrial planets. Of the four terrestrial planets, the Earth is the only one with a fully developed biosphere, while our kin Venus and Mars have evolved into arid inhabitable planets. As for Mars, there are ample evidences for an early Noachian, water rich period on Mars. The question is, what made Mars evolve so differently compared to the Earth? Various hydrosphere and atmospheric evolution scenarios for Mars have been forwarded based on surface morphology, chemical composition, simulations, semi-empiric (in-situ data) models, and the long-term evolution of the Sun. Progress has been made, but the case is still open regarding the changes that led to the present arid surface and tenuous atmosphere at Mars. This presentation addresses the long-term variability of the Sun, the solar forcing impact on the Martian atmosphere, and its interaction with the space environment - an electromagnetic wave and particle interaction with the upper atmosphere that has implications for its photochemistry, composition, and energization that governs thermal and non-thermal escape. Non-thermal escape implies an electromagnetic upward energization of planetary ions and molecules to velocities above escape velocity, a process governed by a combination of solar EUV radiation (ionization), and energy and momentum transfer by the solar wind. The ion escape issue dates back to the early Soviet and US-missions to Mars, but the first more accurate estimates of escape rates came with the Phobos-2 mission in 1989. Better-quality ion composition measurement results of atmospheric/ionospheric ion escape from Mars, obtained from ESA Mars Express (MEX) instruments, have improved our understanding of the ion escape mechanism. With the NASA MAVEN spacecraft orbiting Mars since Sept. 2014, dual in-situ measurement with plasma instruments are now

  11. Martian zeolites as a source of atmospheric methane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mousis, Olivier; Simon, Jean-Marc; Bellat, Jean-Pierre; Schmidt, Frédéric; Bouley, Sylvain; Chassefière, Eric; Sautter, Violaine; Quesnel, Yoann; Picaud, Sylvain; Lectez, Sébastien

    2016-11-01

    The origin of the martian methane is still poorly understood. A plausible explanation is that methane could have been produced either by hydrothermal alteration of basaltic crust or by serpentinization of ultramafic rocks producing hydrogen and reducing crustal carbon into methane. Once formed, methane storage on Mars is commonly associated with the presence of hidden clathrate reservoirs. Here, we alternatively suggest that chabazite and clinoptilolite, which belong to the family of zeolites, may form a plausible storage reservoir of methane in the martian subsurface. Because of the existence of many volcanic terrains, zeolites are expected to be widespread on Mars and their Global Equivalent Layer may range up to more than ∼1 km, according to the most optimistic estimates. If the martian methane present in chabazite and clinoptilolite is directly sourced from an abiotic source in the subsurface, the destabilization of a localized layer of a few millimeters per year may be sufficient to explain the current observations. The sporadic release of methane from these zeolites requires that they also remained isolated from the atmosphere during its evolution. The methane release over the ages could be due to several mechanisms such as impacts, seismic activity or erosion. If the methane outgassing from excavated chabazite and/or clinoptilolite prevails on Mars, then the presence of these zeolites around Gale Crater could explain the variation of methane level observed by Mars Science Laboratory.

  12. Plasma Extraction of Oxygen from Martian Atmosphere Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Plasma techniques are proposed for the extraction of oxygen from the abundant carbon dioxide contained in the Martian atmosphere (96 % CO2). In this process, CO2 is...

  13. Plasma Catalytic Extraction of Oxygen from the Martian Atmosphere Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Plasma catalytic techniques are proposed for the extraction of oxygen from the abundant carbon dioxide contained in the Martian atmosphere (95% CO2).. The Phase I...

  14. Continuing developments in the search for Martian atmospheric methane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonti, S.; Roush, T. L.; Chizek, M. R.; Liuzzi, G.; Mancarella, F.; Murphy, J. R.; Blanco, A.

    2012-12-01

    In recent years, the possible presence of a tiny, but meaningful, quantity of methane in the Martian atmosphere has been suggested [1-6] and widely debated [7] within the community, due to the important consequences it may have on our understanding of the planet's evolution. In this framework, and looking forward to the results of the planned search by the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument on-board the recently landed Mars Science Laboratory, the work of Fonti and Marzo [5] is particularly interesting. Using a statistical clustering technique, they analysed ~3x106 Thermal Emission Spectrometer spectra, spanning three Martian years. The results for principal Ls values (0, 90, 180, 270) suggest a temporal variation of the gas content with an annual cycle and a recurrent spatial distribution. In addition a preliminary temporal comparison with the well-known water vapour cycle and dust aerosol opacity has suggested interesting temporal phase correlations among the three atmospheric components. The possible implications of such findings have not been fully explored yet, due to the time and effort necessary to improve the temporal resolution of the data beyond the original four Ls values per year. Before undertaking such demanding effort, we have decided to improve our confidence in the results, currently affected by uncertainty of about 30 % on the derived methane abundance, focusing on the effects of the inhomogeneity in the original dataset that is linked to the presence of some anomalous spectra. Additionally, to better understand how the statistical procedure is affecting the clustering of the spectra, we have applied it to a set of synthetic Martian spectra that were generated by varying a relevant number of atmosphere and surface parameters. The clustering results for the artificial data set have then been compared to the known properties used to create it. [1] Krasnopolsky, V.A., Maillard, J.P., and Owen, T.C. 2004. Detection of methane in the martian atmosphere

  15. Mars MetNet Mission - Martian Atmospheric Observational Post Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haukka, Harri; Harri, Ari-Matti; Aleksashkin, Sergey; Arruego, Ignacio; Schmidt, Walter; Genzer, Maria; Vazquez, Luis; Siikonen, Timo; Palin, Matti

    2016-10-01

    A new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars is under development in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Lavochkin Association (LA), Space Research Institute (IKI) and Institutio Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial (INTA). The Mars MetNet mission is based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called MetNet Lander (MNL).The scientific payload of the Mars MetNet Precursor mission is divided into three categories: Atmospheric instruments, Optical devices and Composition and structure devices. Each of the payload instruments will provide significant insights in to the Martian atmospheric behavior.The key technologies of the MetNet Lander have been qualified and the electrical qualification model (EQM) of the payload bay has been built and successfully tested.Full Qualification Model (QM) of the MetNet landing unit with the Precursor Mission payload is currently under functional tests. In the near future the QM unit will be exposed to environmental tests with qualification levels including vibrations, thermal balance, thermal cycling and mechanical impact shock. One complete flight unit of the entry, descent and landing systems (EDLS) has been manufactured and tested with acceptance levels. Another flight-like EDLS has been exposed to most of the qualification tests, and hence it may be used for flight after refurbishments. Accordingly two flight-capable EDLS systems exist. The eventual goal is to create a network of atmospheric observational posts around the Martian surface. The next step in the MetNet Precursor Mission is the demonstration of the technical robustness and scientific capabilities of the MetNet type of landing vehicle. Definition of the Precursor Mission and discussions on launch opportunities are currently under way. The baseline program development funding exists for the next five years. Flight unit manufacture of the payload bay takes about 18 months, and it will be commenced after the Precursor Mission has been defined.

  16. Mars MetNet Mission - Martian Atmospheric Observational Post Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, Ari-Matti; Aleksashkin, Sergey; Arruego, Ignacio; Schmidt, Walter; Ponomarenko, Andrey; Apestigue, Victor; Genzer, Maria; Vazquez, Luis; Uspensky, Mikhail; Haukka, Harri

    2016-04-01

    3-axis accelerometer combined with a 3-axis gyrometer. The data will be sent via auxiliary beacon antenna throughout the descent phase starting shortly after separation from the spacecraft. MetNet Mission payload instruments are specially designed to operate under very low power conditions. MNL flexible solar panels provides a total of approximately 0.7-0.8 W of electric power during the daylight time. As the provided power output is insufficient to operate all instruments simultaneously they are activated sequentially according to a specially designed cyclogram table which adapts itself to the different environmental constraints. Mission Status Full Qualification Model (QM) of the MetNet landing unit with the Precursor Mission payload is currently under functional tests. In the near future the QM unit will be exposed to environmental tests with qualification levels including vibrations, thermal balance, thermal cycling and mechanical impact shock. One complete flight unit of the entry, descent and landing systems (EDLS) has been manufactured and tested with acceptance levels. Another flight-like EDLS has been exposed to most of the qualification tests, and hence it may be used for flight after refurbishments. Accordingly two flight-capable EDLS systems exist. The eventual goal is to create a network of atmospheric observational posts around the Martian surface. Even if the MetNet mission is focused on the atmospheric science, the mission payload will also include additional kinds of geophysical instrumentation. The next step in the MetNet Precursor Mission is the demonstration of the technical robustness and scientific capabilities of the MetNet type of landing vehicle. Definition of the Precursor Mission and discussions on launch opportunities are currently under way. The baseline program development funding exists for the next five years. Flight unit manufacture of the payload bay takes about 18 months, and it will be commenced after the Precursor Mission has

  17. Laboratory simulation of Martian atmospheric chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duffy, M. K. D.; Lewis, S. R.; Mason, N. J.; Patel, M. R.

    2012-09-01

    Measurements of the yield of important trace gas species such as ozone, evolved during photolytic reactions have been made under Martian environmental conditions in one of the The Open University's Mars simulation chambers. The simulation chamber can mimic Martian temperatures and pressures and a UV solar simulator can be added to irradiate a Marslike gas mixture within the chamber to drive chemical reactions. The concentration of trace gases is measured in situ using a Fourier Transform Infrared spectrometer (FTIR). The data obtained will be invaluable in improving the qualitative and quantitative representation of chemical species calculated using Mars global circulation models (MGCMs) and in interpreting a new suite of observational data such as from ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO).

  18. Mars MetNet Mission - Martian Atmospheric Observational Post Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hari, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri; Aleksashkin, Sergey; Arruego, Ignacio; Schmidt, Walter; Genzer, Maria; Vazquez, Luis; Siikonen, Timo; Palin, Matti

    2017-04-01

    accelerometer combined with a 3-axis gyrometer. The data will be sent via auxiliary beacon antenna throughout the descent phase starting shortly after separation from the spacecraft. MetNet Mission payload instruments are specially designed to operate under very low power conditions. MNL flexible solar panels provides a total of approximately 0.7-0.8 W of electric power during the daylight time. As the provided power output is insufficient to operate all instruments simultaneously they are activated sequentially according to a specially designed cyclogram table which adapts itself to the different environmental constraints. 3. Mission Status he eventual goal is to create a network of atmospheric observational posts around the Martian surface. Even if the MetNet mission is focused on the atmospheric science, the mission payload will also include additional kinds of geophysical instrumentation. The next step is the MetNet Precursor Mission that will demonstrate the technical robustness and scientific capabilities of the MetNet type of landing vehicle. Definition of the Precursor Mission and discussions on launch opportunities are currently under way. The first MetNet Science Payload Precursors have already been successfully completed, e,g, the REMS/MSL and DREAMS/Exomars-2016. The next MetNet Payload Precursors will be METEO/Exomars-2018 and MEDA/Mars-2020. The baseline program development funding exists for the next seven years. Flight unit manufacture of the payload bay takes about 18 months, and it will be commenced after the Precursor Mission has been defined. References [1] http://metnet.fmi.fi

  19. Disentangling xenon components in Nakhla: martian atmosphere, spallation and martian interior^1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilmour, J. D.; Whitby, J. A.; Turner, G.

    2001-01-01

    A powdered sample of Nakhla was separated into 3 subsamples. One was left otherwise untreated, one was washed in water and one etched with HNO 3 removing 6% of the original mass. We report results of isotopic analysis of xenon released by laser step heating on aliquots of each of these subsamples; some aliquots were neutron irradiated before isotopic analysis (to allow determination of I, Ba and U as daughter xenon isotopes) and some were not. There is evidence that water soluble phases contain both martian atmospheric xenon and a component with low 129Xe/ 132Xe, either martian interior xenon or terrestrial atmosphere. Higher temperature data from unirradiated aliquots of the water and acid treated samples reveal two-component mixing. One is a trapped xenon component with 129Xe/ 132Xe = 2.350 ± 0.026, isotopically identical to the martian atmosphere as measured in shock glass from shergottites. It is associated with leachable iodine, suggesting it is trapped close to grain boundaries. It may be a result of shock incorporation of adsorbed atmospheric gas. The second component is best explained as an intimate mixture of martian interior xenon and spallation xenon. The martian interior component is present at a concentration of ˜10 -12 cm 3 STP g -1 132Xe, around 40 times lower than that observed in Chassigny. Its association with spallation xenon (produced from Ba and light rare earth elements) suggests it is in the feldspathic mesostasis. We propose that it was trapped during crystallisation and reflects the mantle source of the parental magma.

  20. Stability of the Martian atmosphere: Is heterogeneous catalysis essential?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atreya, Sushil K.; Gu, Zhen Gang

    1994-01-01

    A comprehensive homogeneous gas phase photochemical model is developed to study the problem of stability of the Martian atmosphere. The one-dimensional model extends from the ground up to 220 km, passing through the homopause at 125 km. The model thus couples the lower (neutral) atmosphere to the ionosphere above which provides significant downward flux of carbon monoxide and oxygen atoms. It is concluded on the basic of currently accepted values for globally and seasonally averaged water vapor abundance, dust opacity and the middle atmospheric eddy mixing coefficient, as well as the relevant laboratory data (particularly the temperature dependence of CO2 absorption cross section and the rate constant for CO+OH reaction), that the rate of re-formation of carbon dioxide exceeds its photolytic destruction rate by about 40%. Furthermore, it is found that this result is virtually independent of the choice of eddy mixing coefficient, unless its value in the middle atmosphere exceeds 10(exp 8) sq cm/sec or is far smaller than 10(exp 5)sq cm/sec, or the dust opacity, unless it exceeds unity, or the water vapor mixing ratio at the surface, unless it is far smaller (less than or = 1 ppm) or far greater (greater than or = 500 ppm) than the average value (approximately 150 ppm). Since none of these extremes represent globally and seasonally averaged conditions on Mars, we propose that the present model requires existence of a mechanism to throttle down the recycling rate of carbon dioxide on Mars. Therefore, it is suggested that a heterogeneous process which provides a sink to the species that participate in the recycling of CO2, i.e., H2O, H2O2, OH, CO or O, in particular, may be necessary to bring about the balance between the CO2 recycling rate and its photolytic destruction rate. Aerosols of dust or ice (pure or doped water or carbon dioxide ice present in the atmosphere of Mars) can provide the appropriate adsorption sites for the above heterogeneous process. Despite our

  1. Martian Atmospheric Plumes: Behavior, Detectability and Plume Tracing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banfield, Don; Mischna, M.; Sykes, R.; Dissly, R.

    2013-10-01

    We will present our recent work simulating neutrally buoyant plumes in the martian atmosphere. This work is primarily directed at understanding the behavior of discrete plumes of biogenic tracer gases, and thus increasing our understanding of their detectability (both from orbit and from in situ measurements), and finally how to use the plumes to identify their precise source locations. We have modeled the detailed behavior of martian atmospheric plumes using MarsWRF for the atmospheric dynamics and SCIPUFF (a terrestrial state of the art plume modeling code that we have modified to represent martian conditions) for the plume dynamics. This combination of tools allows us to accurately simulate plumes not only from a regional scale from which an orbital observing platform would witness the plume, but also from an in situ perspective, with the instantaneous concentration variations that a turbulent flow would present to a point sampler in situ instrument. Our initial work has focused on the detectability of discrete plumes from an orbital perspective and we will present those results for a variety of notional orbital trace gas detection instruments. We have also begun simulating the behavior of the plumes from the perspective of a sampler on a rover within the martian atmospheric boundary layer. The detectability of plumes within the boundary layer has a very strong dependence on the atmospheric stability, with plume concentrations increasing by a factor of 10-1000 during nighttime when compared to daytime. In the equatorial regions of the planet where we have simulated plumes, the diurnal tidal “clocking” of the winds is strongly evident in the plume trail, which similarly “clocks” around its source. This behavior, combined with the strong diurnal concentration variations suggests that a rover hunting a plume source would be well suited to approach it from a particular azimuth (downwind at night) to maximize detectability of the plume and the ability to

  2. Did high energy astrophysical sources contribute to Martian atmospheric loss?

    CERN Document Server

    Atri, Dimitra

    2016-01-01

    Mars is believed to have had a substantial atmosphere in the past. Atmospheric loss led to depressurization and cooling, and is thought to be the primary driving force responsible for the loss of liquid water from its surface. Recently, MAVEN observations have provided new insight into the physics of atmospheric loss induced by ICMEs and solar wind interacting with the Martian atmosphere. In addition to solar radiation, it is likely that its atmosphere has been exposed to radiation bursts from high-energy astrophysical sources which become highly probable on timescales of ~Gy and beyond. These sources are capable of significantly enhancing the rates of photoionization and charged particle-induced ionization in the upper atmosphere. Here, we explore the possibility of damage from Galactic Gamma Ray Bursts, nearby supernovae, encounter with dense interstellar clouds and extreme solar events. We use Monte Carlo simulations to model the interaction of charged particles and photons from astrophysical sources in th...

  3. Intercomparison of Martian Lower Atmosphere Simulated Using Different Planetary Boundary Layer Parameterization Schemes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Natarajan, Murali; Fairlie, T. Duncan; Dwyer Cianciolo, Alicia; Smith, Michael D.

    2015-01-01

    We use the mesoscale modeling capability of Mars Weather Research and Forecasting (MarsWRF) model to study the sensitivity of the simulated Martian lower atmosphere to differences in the parameterization of the planetary boundary layer (PBL). Characterization of the Martian atmosphere and realistic representation of processes such as mixing of tracers like dust depend on how well the model reproduces the evolution of the PBL structure. MarsWRF is based on the NCAR WRF model and it retains some of the PBL schemes available in the earth version. Published studies have examined the performance of different PBL schemes in NCAR WRF with the help of observations. Currently such assessments are not feasible for Martian atmospheric models due to lack of observations. It is of interest though to study the sensitivity of the model to PBL parameterization. Typically, for standard Martian atmospheric simulations, we have used the Medium Range Forecast (MRF) PBL scheme, which considers a correction term to the vertical gradients to incorporate nonlocal effects. For this study, we have also used two other parameterizations, a non-local closure scheme called Yonsei University (YSU) PBL scheme and a turbulent kinetic energy closure scheme called Mellor- Yamada-Janjic (MYJ) PBL scheme. We will present intercomparisons of the near surface temperature profiles, boundary layer heights, and wind obtained from the different simulations. We plan to use available temperature observations from Mini TES instrument onboard the rovers Spirit and Opportunity in evaluating the model results.

  4. Local Dynamics of Baroclinic Waves in the Martian Atmosphere

    KAUST Repository

    Kavulich, Michael J.

    2013-11-01

    The paper investigates the processes that drive the spatiotemporal evolution of baroclinic transient waves in the Martian atmosphere by a simulation experiment with the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) Mars general circulation model (GCM). The main diagnostic tool of the study is the (local) eddy kinetic energy equation. Results are shown for a prewinter season of the Northern Hemisphere, in which a deep baroclinic wave of zonal wavenumber 2 circles the planet at an eastward phase speed of about 70° Sol-1 (Sol is a Martian day). The regular structure of the wave gives the impression that the classical models of baroclinic instability, which describe the underlying process by a temporally unstable global wave (e.g., Eady model and Charney model), may have a direct relevance for the description of the Martian baroclinic waves. The results of the diagnostic calculations show, however, that while the Martian waves remain zonally global features at all times, there are large spatiotemporal changes in their amplitude. The most intense episodes of baroclinic energy conversion, which take place in the two great plain regions (Acidalia Planitia and Utopia Planitia), are strongly localized in both space and time. In addition, similar to the situation for terrestrial baroclinic waves, geopotential flux convergence plays an important role in the dynamics of the downstream-propagating unstable waves. © 2013 American Meteorological Society.

  5. Applications of Electrified Dust and Dust Devil Electrodynamics to Martian Atmospheric Electricity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, R. G.; Barth, E.; Esposito, F.; Merrison, J.; Montmessin, F.; Aplin, K. L.; Borlina, C.; Berthelier, J. J.; Déprez, G.; Farrell, W. M.; Houghton, I. M. P.; Renno, N. O.; Nicoll, K. A.; Tripathi, S. N.; Zimmerman, M.

    2016-04-01

    Atmospheric transport and suspension of dust frequently brings electrification, which may be substantial. Electric fields of 10 kV m-1 to 100 kV m-1 have been observed at the surface beneath suspended dust in the terrestrial atmosphere, and some electrification has been observed to persist in dust at levels to 5 km, as well as in volcanic plumes. The interaction between individual particles which causes the electrification is incompletely understood, and multiple processes are thought to be acting. A variation in particle charge with particle size, and the effect of gravitational separation explains to, some extent, the charge structures observed in terrestrial dust storms. More extensive flow-based modelling demonstrates that bulk electric fields in excess of 10 kV m-1 can be obtained rapidly (in less than 10 s) from rotating dust systems (dust devils) and that terrestrial breakdown fields can be obtained. Modelled profiles of electrical conductivity in the Martian atmosphere suggest the possibility of dust electrification, and dust devils have been suggested as a mechanism of charge separation able to maintain current flow between one region of the atmosphere and another, through a global circuit. Fundamental new understanding of Martian atmospheric electricity will result from the ExoMars mission, which carries the DREAMS (Dust characterization, Risk Assessment, and Environment Analyser on the Martian Surface)—MicroARES (Atmospheric Radiation and Electricity Sensor) instrumentation to Mars in 2016 for the first in situ electrical measurements.

  6. Applications of Electrified Dust and Dust Devil Electrodynamics to Martian Atmospheric Electricity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, R. G.; Barth, E.; Esposito, F.; Merrison, J.; Montmessin, F.; Aplin, K. L.; Borlina, C.; Berthelier, J. J.; Déprez, G.; Farrell, W. M.; Houghton, I. M. P.; Renno, N. O.; Nicoll, K. A.; Tripathi, S. N.; Zimmerman, M.

    2016-11-01

    Atmospheric transport and suspension of dust frequently brings electrification, which may be substantial. Electric fields of 10 kV m-1 to 100 kV m-1 have been observed at the surface beneath suspended dust in the terrestrial atmosphere, and some electrification has been observed to persist in dust at levels to 5 km, as well as in volcanic plumes. The interaction between individual particles which causes the electrification is incompletely understood, and multiple processes are thought to be acting. A variation in particle charge with particle size, and the effect of gravitational separation explains to, some extent, the charge structures observed in terrestrial dust storms. More extensive flow-based modelling demonstrates that bulk electric fields in excess of 10 kV m-1 can be obtained rapidly (in less than 10 s) from rotating dust systems (dust devils) and that terrestrial breakdown fields can be obtained. Modelled profiles of electrical conductivity in the Martian atmosphere suggest the possibility of dust electrification, and dust devils have been suggested as a mechanism of charge separation able to maintain current flow between one region of the atmosphere and another, through a global circuit. Fundamental new understanding of Martian atmospheric electricity will result from the ExoMars mission, which carries the DREAMS (Dust characterization, Risk Assessment, and Environment Analyser on the Martian Surface)—MicroARES ( Atmospheric Radiation and Electricity Sensor) instrumentation to Mars in 2016 for the first in situ electrical measurements.

  7. Filter Media Tests Under Simulated Martian Atmospheric Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agui, Juan H.

    2016-01-01

    Human exploration of Mars will require the optimal utilization of planetary resources. One of its abundant resources is the Martian atmosphere that can be harvested through filtration and chemical processes that purify and separate it into its gaseous and elemental constituents. Effective filtration needs to be part of the suite of resource utilization technologies. A unique testing platform is being used which provides the relevant operational and instrumental capabilities to test articles under the proper simulated Martian conditions. A series of tests were conducted to assess the performance of filter media. Light sheet imaging of the particle flow provided a means of detecting and quantifying particle concentrations to determine capturing efficiencies. The media's efficiency was also evaluated by gravimetric means through a by-layer filter media configuration. These tests will help to establish techniques and methods for measuring capturing efficiency and arrestance of conventional fibrous filter media. This paper will describe initial test results on different filter media.

  8. A Persistent Meteoric Ion Layer in the Martian Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crismani, Matteo; Schneider, Nicholas M.; Jain, Sonal Kumar; Plane, John; Deigo Carrillo Sanchez, Juan; Deighan, Justin; Stevens, Michael H.; Evans, Scott; Chaffin, Michael S.; Jacosky, Bruce; IUVS Team

    2016-10-01

    We report on a persistent metal ion layer at Mars produced by meteoric ablation in the upper atmosphere, observed by the Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) on MAVEN. The response of the Martian atmosphere to meteoroid influx constrains cometary activity, dust dynamics, ionospheric production at Mars and meteoric smoke may represent a site of nucleation for high altitude clouds. Using observations that span more than an Earth year, we find this layer is global and steady state, contrary to previous observations, but in accordance with predictions. IUVS observations cover a range of observation conditions, which allows us to determine the variability of the Mg+ layer seasonally and geographically. Mars has passed through several predicted meteor showers, though the fluences of these events have hitherto been unconstrained. Analysis of these events will determine whether Mars' atmosphere responds to such events dramatically, as was the case with comet Siding Spring, or more similarly to Earth. Mg is also detected, but the ratio of Mg to Mg+ is less than predicted, indicative of undetermined chemical processes in the Martian atmosphere.

  9. CO2 ice structure and density under Martian atmospheric conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangan, T. P.; Salzmann, C. G.; Plane, J. M. C.; Murray, B. J.

    2017-09-01

    Clouds composed of CO2 ice form throughout the Martian atmosphere. In the mesosphere, CO2 ice clouds are thought to form via heterogeneous ice nucleation on nanoparticles of meteoric origin at temperatures often below 100 K. Lower altitude CO2 ice clouds in the wintertime polar regions form up to around 145 K and lead to the build-up of the polar ice caps. However, the crystal structure and related fundamental properties of CO2 ice under Martian conditions are poorly characterised. Here we present X-ray diffraction (XRD) measurements of CO2 ice, grown via deposition from the vapour phase under temperature and pressure conditions analogous to the Martian mesosphere. A crystalline cubic structure was determined, consistent with the low-pressure polymorph (CO2-I, space group Pa-3 (No. 205)). CO2 deposited at temperatures of 80-130 K and pressures of 0.01-1 mbar was consistent with dry ice and previous literature measurements, thus removing the possibility of a more complicated phase diagram for CO2 in this region. At 80 K, a lattice parameter of 5.578 ± 0.002 Å, cell volume of 173.554 ± 0.19 Å3 and density of 1.684 ± 0.002 g cm-3 was determined. Using these measurements, we determined the thermal expansion of CO2 across 80-130 K that allowed for a fit of CO2 ice density measurements across a larger temperature range (80-195 K) when combined with literature data (CO2 density = 1.72391 - 2.53 × 10-4T - 2.87 × 10-6 T2). Temperature-dependent CO2 density values are used to estimate sedimentation velocities and heterogeneous ice nucleation rates, showing an increase in nucleation rate of up to a factor of 1000 when compared to commonly used literature values. This temperature-dependent equation of state is therefore suggested for use in future studies of Martian mesospheric CO2 clouds. Finally, we discuss the possible shapes of crystals of CO2 ice in the Martian atmosphere and show that a range of shapes including cubes and octahedra as well as a combination of the

  10. The development of a Martian atmospheric Sample collection canister

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulczycki, E.; Galey, C.; Kennedy, B.; Budney, C.; Bame, D.; Van Schilfgaarde, R.; Aisen, N.; Townsend, J.; Younse, P.; Piacentine, J.

    The collection of an atmospheric sample from Mars would provide significant insight to the understanding of the elemental composition and sub-surface out-gassing rates of noble gases. A team of engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology have developed an atmospheric sample collection canister for Martian application. The engineering strategy has two basic elements: first, to collect two separately sealed 50 cubic centimeter unpressurized atmospheric samples with minimal sensing and actuation in a self contained pressure vessel; and second, to package this atmospheric sample canister in such a way that it can be easily integrated into the orbiting sample capsule for collection and return to Earth. Sample collection and integrity are demonstrated by emulating the atmospheric collection portion of the Mars Sample Return mission on a compressed timeline. The test results achieved by varying the pressure inside of a thermal vacuum chamber while opening and closing the valve on the sample canister at Mars ambient pressure. A commercial off-the-shelf medical grade micro-valve is utilized in the first iteration of this design to enable rapid testing of the system. The valve has been independently leak tested at JPL to quantify and separate the leak rates associated with the canister. The results are factored in to an overall system design that quantifies mass, power, and sensing requirements for a Martian atmospheric Sample Collection (MASC) canister as outlined in the Mars Sample Return mission profile. Qualitative results include the selection of materials to minimize sample contamination, preliminary science requirements, priorities in sample composition, flight valve selection criteria, a storyboard from sample collection to loading in the orbiting sample capsule, and contributions to maintaining “ Earth” clean exterior surfaces on the orbiting sample capsule.

  11. MLAM Simulation of Martian Atmosphere around Curiosity Landing Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atlaskin, Evgeny; Harri, Ari-Matti; Kauhanen, Janne; Määttänen, Anni; Paton, Mark; Savijärvi, Hannu; Schmidt, Walter; Siili, Tero

    2013-04-01

    The NASA Mars Science Laboratory 'Curiosity' landed successfully in the Martian Gale crater close to the equator on 6 Aug 2012. As part of the environment monitoring instrument package REMS [1] the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) provided the pressure and humidity sensors. A similar pressure sensor was successfully flown earlier on the Phoenix lander mission in 2008 and on the Cassini / Huygens probe to Titan in 2005. The behaviour of the Martian atmosphere inside the Gale crater is dominated by its location close to the equator, the steep outer rims and the slopes of the central mountain. These complex topographical features make it ideally suited for a mesoscale atmospheric model like the Mars Limited Area Model (MLAM), developed jointly by the University of Helsinki (UH) and FMI to study mesoscale phenomena in the Martian Atmosphere [2]. MLAM is based on the hydro-static dynamical core of the HIgh Resolution Limited Area Model (HIRLAM), an operational weather prediction model-analysis system used by several European countries. Using the simulation tools already published observational data from the first three months of Curiosity's operations and detailed topographical feature information we will show the observations in the context of the atmospheric conditions in the wider Gale crater region. In preparation of the simulation also the UH 1-dimensional model [3] is being used to study the boundary layer behaviour in that area. The expected long operation time of the rover will additionally provide insight in the seasonal change of atmospheric conditions at the equator. Some aspects might already become visible by the time of the conference. Newest Curiosity/REMS data will be shown in session PS2.5 "Curiosity on Mars: First results". Reference: [1] Gómez-Elvira J. et al. (2012), Space Sci. Rev. 170, 583-640. [2] Kauhanen, J., Siili T., Järvenoja, S. and Savijärvi, H. (2008) , The Mars Limited Area Model (MLAM) and simulations of atmospheric circulations

  12. Atmospheric environment during maneuvering descent from Martian orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tauber, Michael E.; Bowles, Jeffrey V.; Yang, Lily

    1989-01-01

    This paper presents an analysis of the atmospheric maneuvering capability of a vehicle designated to land on the Martian surface, together with an analysis of the entry environment encountered by the vehicle. A maximum lift/drag ratio of 2.3 was used for all trajectory calculations. The maximum achievable lateral ranges varied from about 3400 km to 2500 km for entry velocities of 5 km/s (from a highly elliptical Martian orbit) and 3.5 km/s (from a low-altitude lower-speed orbit), respectively. It is shown that the peak decelerations are an order of magnitude higher for the 5-km/s entries than for the 3.5-km/s entries. The vehicle entering at 3.5 km/s along a gliding trajectory encountered a much more benign atmospheric environment. In addition, the glider's peak deceleration was found to be only about 0.7 earth g, making the shallow flight path ideal for manned vehicles whose crews might be physically weakened by the long voyage to Mars.

  13. Detection of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in the Martian atmosphere with MEX / PFS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aoki, S.; Kasaba, Y.; Giuranna, M.; Geminale, A.; Sindoni, G.; Nakagawa, H.; Kasai, Y.; Murata, I.; Grassi, D.; Formisano, V.

    2011-10-01

    We first derived the long-term averaged abundance of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in the Martian atmosphere with data sets of Planetary Fourier Spectroscopy (PFS) onboard Mars Express (MEX). The total averaged amounts of H2O2 at three Martian years were 45 ± 21 ppb and 25 ± 18 ppb in the forward/reverse pendulum direction, respectively. It could not explain the observed short lifetime of CH4 in the Martian atmosphere.

  14. Neutron-Capture Kr-80 and Ar-36 in the Martian Atmosphere and Regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, M. N.; Bogard, D. D.; Nyquist, L.; McKay, D. S.; Masarik, J.

    2001-01-01

    We calculate that approximately 10% of martian atmospheric Kr-80 formed by neutron capture on Mars in approx. 0.5 Ga. The regolith contains even larger amounts of n-capture Kr-80 and Ar-36, which may provide clues to the evolution of the martian regolith and atmosphere. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  15. Martian Atmospheric Methane Plumes from Meteor Shower Infall: A Hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fries, M.; Christou, A.; Archer, D.; Conrad, P.; Cooke, W.; Eigenbrode, J.; ten Kate, I. L.; Matney, M.; Niles, P.; Sykes, M.

    2016-01-01

    Methane plumes in the martian atmosphere have been detected using Earth-based spectroscopy, the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer on the ESA Mars Express mission, and the NASA Mars Science Laboratory. The methane's origin remains a mystery, with proposed sources including volcanism, exogenous sources like impacts and interplanetary dust, aqueous alteration of olivine in the presence of carbonaceous material, release from ancient deposits of methane clathrates, and/or biological activity. To date, none of these phenomena have been found to reliably correlate with the detection of methane plumes. An additional source exists, however: meteor showers could generate martian methane via UV pyrolysis of carbon-rich infall material. We find a correlation between the dates of Mars/cometary orbit encounters and detections of methane on Mars. We hypothesize that cometary debris falls onto Mars during these interactions, depositing freshly disaggregated meteor shower material in a regional concentration. The material generates methane via UV photolysis, resulting in a localized "plume" of short-lived methane.

  16. Meteor bodies entering the Martian atmosphere: possible impact consequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuznetsova, Daria; Gritsevich, Maria

    The investigation of meteorite production on Mars has attracted considerable attention during the recent years. The possible meteorite showers are identified e.g. [1], and the estimates of meteorite fluxes on Mars are found e.g. [2,3]. In this study, we develop the theory describing a meteoroid entry into an atmosphere of a planet and apply our results to the Martian atmosphere. We introduce two key dimensionless parameters, which are based on physical parameterization and have unique values for every single meteoroid case. This allows us to derive the condition for the meteorite fall identification in a simple analytical form, which can be directly implemented for analysis and classification of the possible impact consequences. To describe the motion we use the classical equations of the model of meteor body deceleration [4,5]. The analytical dimensionless solution for the mass-velocity dependence and the height-velocity dependence can be expressed using two main parameters: (i) the ballistic coefficient alpha, which shows the ratio between the mass of the atmospheric column along the trajectory and the body's pre-entry mass, and (ii) the mass loss parameter beta, which is proportional to the ratio between the initial kinetic energy of the body and energy which is required to insure total mass loss of the body due to ablation and fragmentation [6-8]. To determine the possible consequences of impact for any given meteoroid, we use the meteorite-fall condition: the terminal mass of the meteoroid should exceed or be equal to a certain chosen value. This condition can be written using the parameters alpha and beta, so the impact consequences are described by the position of the case-under-investigation point relatively to the boundary curve in the (alpha,beta) space. Following a number of studies [9-11] we analyze the hypothesis that describes the possible evolution of Martian atmospheric density until present. Based on the properties of the meteorites recently found

  17. How many ions have escaped the Martian atmosphere?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brain, David; McFadden, James; Halekas, Jasper; Connerney, J. E. P.; Eparvier, Frank; Mitchell, David; Bougher, Stephen W.; Bowers, Charlie; Curry, Shannon; Dong, Chuanfei; Dong, Yaxue; Egan, Hilary; Fang, Xiaohua; Harada, Yuki; Jakosky, Bruce; Lillis, Robert; Luhmann, Janet; Ma, Yingjuan; Modolo, Ronan; Weber, Tristan

    2016-10-01

    The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission has been making science measurements of the Martian upper atmosphere and its escape to space since November 2014. A key part of this effort is the measurement of the escape rates of charged particles (ions) at present and over solar system history. The lack of a global dynamo magnetic field at Mars leaves its upper atmosphere more directly exposed to the impinging solar wind than magnetized planets such as Earth. For this reason it is thought that ion escape at Mars may have played a significant role in long term climate change. MAVEN measures escaping planetary ions directly, with high energy, mass, and time resolution.With nearly two years of observations in hand, we will report the average ion escape rate and the spatial distribution of escaping ions as measured by MAVEN and place them in context with previous measurements of ion loss by other spacecraft (e.g. Phobos 2 and Mars Express). We will then report on the measured variability in ion escape rates with different drivers (e.g. solar EUV, solar wind pressure, etc.). Finally, we will use these results to provide an initial estimate of the total ion escape from Mars over billions of years.

  18. Evolution of Martian atmospheric argon: Implications for sources of volatiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchins, Kevin S.; Jakosky, Bruce M.

    We have examined processes affecting isotopes of argon (36Ar, 38Ar, 40Ar) in order to determine important atmospheric sources and sinks. Our simple model for argon evolution incorporates production of radiogenic argon in the mantle, outgassing of all argon species by extrusive and intrusive volcanism, and loss to space by knock-on sputtering above the exobase. Sputtering has been shown previously to be an important loss process for atmospheric species, especially isotopes of noble gases, which have few other mechanisms of escape. The integrated evolution of argon (36Ar, 38Ar, and 40Ar, respectively) is modeled in terms of these variables: (1) the planetary concentration of potassium, (2) the fraction of juvenile argon released catastrophically during the first 600 Myr., (3) potential variation in the time-history of sputtering loss from that suggested by Luhmann et al. [1992], and (4) the volume of total outgassing to the surface as compared to outgassing contributed by volcanic release. Our results indicate that Mars has lost between 85-95% of 36Ar and 70-88% of outgassed 40Ar. Due to this substantial loss, the planet must have outgassed the equivalent of between 10 and 100 times the total volume of gases released by extrusive and intrusive volcanics. This indicates that volcanic outgassing, alone, is insufficient to explain the present-day abundances of 36Ar and 40Ar in the Martian atmosphere. Similar calculations for 20Ne suggest outgassed volumes of between 100 and 1800 times in excess of that due to volcanism. This results in a distinct Ne/Ar elemental fractionation, with a preference for outgassing argon, of the order of 10 to 17. Although the results must be evaluated within the model uncertainties, the results are compelling in that they unequivocally show the existence of additional sources of atmospheric volatiles and helps define a means to identify them.

  19. Waves in the Martian Atmosphere: Results from MGS Radio Occultations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flasar, F. M.; Hinson, D. P.; Tyler, G. L.

    1999-09-01

    Temperatures retrieved from Mars Global Surveyor radio occultations have been searched for evidence of waves. Emphasis has been on the initial series of occultations between 29(deg) N and 64(deg) S, obtained during the early martian southern summer, L_s=264(deg-308^deg) . The profiles exhibit an undulatory behavior that is suggestive of vertically propagating waves. Wavelengths ~ 10 km are often dominant, but structure on smaller scales is evident. The undulatory structure is most pronounced between latitudes 29(deg) N and 10(deg) S, usually in regions of ``interesting'' topography, e.g., in the Tharsis region and near the edge of Syrtis Major. Several temperature profiles, particularly within 30(deg) of the equator, exhibit lapse rates that locally become superadiabatic near the 0.4--mbar level or at higher altitudes. This implies that the waves are ``breaking'' and depositing horizontal momentum into the atmosphere. Such a deposition may play an important role in modulating the atmospheric winds, and characterizing the spatial and temporal distribution of these momentum transfers can provide important clues to understanding how the global circulation is maintained.

  20. Theoretical Study on Ion Escape in Martian Atmosphere

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SHI Jian-Kui; LIU Zhen-Xing; Klaus TORKAR; Tielong ZHANG

    2007-01-01

    @@ Based on the observation that Martian magnetic moment is gradually reducing from the ancient to the present,we investigate the O+ ion flux distribution along magnetic field lines and the ion escaping flux in Martian tail with different assumed Martian magnetic moments. The results show that the O+ ion flux along magnetic field lines decreases with distance from Mars; the ion flux along the field line decreases more quickly if the magnetic moment is larger; the larger the magnetic moment, the smaller the ion escaping flux in the Martian tail. The ion escaping flux depends on Z-coordinate in the Martian tail. With decrease of the magnetic moment, the ion escaping flux in the Martian tail increases. The results are significant for studying the water loss from Mars surface.

  1. O2 abundances in the Martian atmosphere determined using Mars Express SPICAM UV stellar occultation data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, N. K.; Sandel, B. R.; Yelle, R. V.; Bertaux, J.-L.; Montmessin, F.; Quémerais, E.

    2008-09-01

    The distribution of O2 with altitude, latitude, and season is an important factor in the evolution and current stability of Mars' CO2 rich atmosphere. CO2 is photolyzed in the Martian atmosphere to form CO and O according to the following process: CO2 + hn→ CO + O. The atomic oxygen then preferentially recombines to form O2. If this simple reaction is indeed the dominant process in the Martian atmosphere then O2 should be more abundant than the currently accepted value of 0.12 percent [1]. Nair et al. (1994) present a detailed photochemical model of the Martian atmosphere, which shows that the abundance of O2 is largely controlled by reactions with odd hydrogen radicals from photolyzed water in the lower atmosphere. While the Nair et al. (1994) model certainly helps to explain the major photochemical processes at work in theMartian atmosphere, it assumes the abundance of O2 does not vary with latitude and season and is roughly constant with altitude. Our study probes the abundance of O2 in theMartian atmosphere during winter in the southern hemisphere (Ls=90-180) when CO2 condenses out of the atmosphere to form a polar cap. This enrichment of O2 with respect to CO2 during southern Martian winter allows for a more robust detection of O2 in addition to probing the effect of seasonal variations on the photochemistry of the Martian atmosphere. The European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft was placed in orbit around Mars on 25 December 2003. The SPICAM (Spectroscopy for the Investigation of the Characteristics of the Atmosphere of Mars) instrument aboard Mars Express measures stellar occultations in the 118-320 nm wavelength region [2]. The stellar occultation technique determines the abundance of chemical species by comparing a reference stellar spectrum (I0) to the same stellar spectrum attenuated by the planetary atmosphere (I). The slant densities, Ni(z), are related to the transmission, Tz(l), through (1) where z is the minimum altitude along the line of

  2. The Martian paleo-magnetosphere during the early Naochian and its implication for the early Martian atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khodachenko, Maxim L.; Scherf, Manuel; Amerstorfer, Ute; Alexeev, Igor; Johnstone, Colin; Belenkaya, Elena; Tu, Lin; Lichtenegger, Herbert; Guedel, Manuel; Lammer, Helmut

    2016-10-01

    During the late 1990's the Mars Global Surveyor MAG/ER experiment detected crustal remanent magnetization at Mars indicating an ancient internal magnetic dynamo. The location of this remanent magnetization and in particular its absence at the large Martian impact craters like Hellas suggests a cessation of the dynamo during the early Naochian epoch, i.e. ~ 4.1 to 4 billion years ago. The strength of the remanent magnetization together with dynamo theory are indicating an ancient dipole field strength lying in the range of ~0.1 and ~1.0 of the present-day dipole field of the Earth, making the Martian paleo-magnetosphere comparable with the terrestrial paleo-magnetosphere. This also has implication for the early Martian atmosphere.In this poster we will present simulations of the paleo-magnetosphere of Mars for the early Naochian, just before cessation (i.e. for ~4.1 to ~4.0 billion years ago). These were performed with an adapted version of the Paraboloid Magnetospheric Model (PMM) of the Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Moscow State University, which serves as an ISO standard for the magnetosphere. Here the ancient magnetic field was assumed to be a dipole field (with dipole tilt ψ=0). The ancient solar wind ram pressure as important input parameter was derived from a newly developed solar/stellar wind evolution model, which is strongly dependent on the rotation rate of the early Sun. These simulations show that for the most extreme case of a fast rotating Sun and a paleomagnetic field strength of 0.1 of the present-day Earth value, the Martian magnetopause was located at ~5.5 RM (i.e. ~2.9 RE) above the Martian surface. Assuming a strong dipole field (i.e. 1.0 of present-day Earth) and a slow rotating Sun - our least extreme case - would lead to a standoff-distance of rs~16 RM (i.e. ~8.5 RE).Our simulations also have implications for the early Martian atmosphere, which will be demonstrated within this poster. These first results on the erosion of

  3. Martian upper atmospheric aerosol properties from Phobos eclipse observation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemmon, Mark T.

    2015-11-01

    Solar occultation photometry is a useful method for probing upper atmospheric aerosols, using a long atmospheric path for direct extinction measurements. During April-June 2015, the Mars Science Laboratory’s Mastcam was used for solar occultation photometry by proxy: 3 eclipse ingresses by Phobos into Mars’ shadow were observed, as were 3 egresses from the shadow. The observations occurred in late Southern summer, at LS 331-352°. The observations of the moon’s brightness sample the Martian atmosphere along the lines of site from the Sun to Phobos. The ingresses and egresses sampled longitudes up to 1000s of km west or east of the rover’s position, respectively; sampled latitudes from 30° S to 7° S over time; and sampled local sunset or sunrise, respectively. Each eclipse was imaged with both Mastcam cameras, M-100 with an RGB filter (638, 551, and 493 nm) and M-34 with an 867-nm filter. Light-curves for the eclipses were derived from the images and interpreted via a geometric model of the event, accounting for the full range of lines of sight through the atmosphere. The altitude of 50% extinction was found to vary within the 40-60 km range. Extinction varied with wavelength: four events showed significantly higher extinction in the blue, with a monotonic decrease with wavelength, interpreted as a result of 0.3-0.4 μm dust aerosols. Two events (one of each type) showed no significant wavelength variation of extinction, interpreted as a result of large (>1 μm) aerosols. One of these, probing local sunrise conditions, may suggest a thin layer of CO2 ice cloud. Future work may allow retrieval of vertical gradients in aerosol size near the mid-point of the sensitive region (i.e., altitudes near that of 50% transmission and/or path optical depth unity) and/or identification of discrete layers vs. well-mixed aerosols (for instance, clouds vs. dust)

  4. Tissint martian meteorite: a fresh look at the interior, surface, and atmosphere of Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aoudjehane, H Chennaoui; Avice, G; Barrat, J-A; Boudouma, O; Chen, G; Duke, M J M; Franchi, I A; Gattacceca, J; Grady, M M; Greenwood, R C; Herd, C D K; Hewins, R; Jambon, A; Marty, B; Rochette, P; Smith, C L; Sautter, V; Verchovsky, A; Weber, P; Zanda, B

    2012-11-09

    Tissint (Morocco) is the fifth martian meteorite collected after it was witnessed falling to Earth. Our integrated mineralogical, petrological, and geochemical study shows that it is a depleted picritic shergottite similar to EETA79001A. Highly magnesian olivine and abundant glass containing martian atmosphere are present in Tissint. Refractory trace element, sulfur, and fluorine data for the matrix and glass veins in the meteorite indicate the presence of a martian surface component. Thus, the influence of in situ martian weathering can be unambiguously distinguished from terrestrial contamination in this meteorite. Martian weathering features in Tissint are compatible with the results of spacecraft observations of Mars. Tissint has a cosmic-ray exposure age of 0.7 ± 0.3 million years, consistent with those of many other shergottites, notably EETA79001, suggesting that they were ejected from Mars during the same event.

  5. Evidence of atmospheric sulphur in the martian regolith from sulphur isotopes in meteorites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farquhar, J; Savarino, J; Jackson, T L; Thiemens, M H

    2000-03-02

    Sulphur is abundant at the martian surface, yet its origin and evolution over time remain poorly constrained. This sulphur is likely to have originated in atmospheric chemical reactions, and so should provide records of the evolution of the martian atmosphere, the cycling of sulphur between the atmosphere and crust, and the mobility of sulphur in the martian regolith. Moreover, the atmospheric deposition of oxidized sulphur species could establish chemical potential gradients in the martian near-surface environment, and so provide a potential energy source for chemolithoautotrophic organisms. Here we present measurements of sulphur isotopes in oxidized and reduced phases from the SNC meteorites--the group of related achondrite meteorites believed to have originated on Mars--together with the results of laboratory photolysis studies of two important martian atmospheric sulphur species (SO2 and H2S). The photolysis experiments can account for the observed sulphur-isotope compositions in the SNC meteorites, and so identify a mechanism for producing large abiogenic 34S fractionations in the surface sulphur reservoirs. We conclude that the sulphur data from the SNC meteorites reflects deposition of oxidized sulphur species produced by atmospheric chemical reactions, followed by incorporation, reaction and mobilization of the sulphur within the regolith.

  6. Martian zeolites as a source of atmospheric methane

    CERN Document Server

    Mousis, Olivier; Bellat, Jean-Pierre; Schmidt, Frédéric; Bouley, Sylvain; Chassefière, Eric; Sautter, Violaine; Quesnel, Yoann; Picaud, Sylvain; Lectez, Sébastien

    2016-01-01

    The origin of the martian methane is still poorly understood. A plausible explanation is that methane could have been produced either by hydrothermal alteration of basaltic crust or by serpentinization of ultramafic rocks producing hydrogen and reducing crustal carbon into methane. Once formed, methane storage on Mars is commonly associated with the presence of hidden clathrate reservoirs. Here, we alternatively suggest that chabazite and clinoptilolite, which belong to the family of zeolites, may form a plausible storage reservoir of methane in the martian subsurface. Because of the existence of many volcanic terrains, zeolites are expected to be widespread on Mars and their Global Equivalent Layer may range up to more than $\\sim$1 km, according to the most optimistic estimates. If the martian methane present in chabazite and clinoptilolite is directly sourced from an abiotic source in the subsurface, the destabilization of a localized layer of a few millimeters per year may be sufficient to explain the curr...

  7. Variations of carbon monoxide in the martian lower atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krasnopolsky, Vladimir A.

    2015-06-01

    Our observations of variations of CO on Mars by means of the ground-based spatially-resolved high-resolution spectroscopy (Krasnopolsky, V.A. [2003]. J. Geophys. Res. 108(E2), 5010; Krasnopolsky, V.A. [2007]. Icarus 190, 93-102) have been significantly improved using the 13CO lines near 4148 cm-1 and the CO2 lines near 4570 cm-1. These lines are of optimal strength, of low sensitivity to variations of temperature, and covered by the ATMOS solar spectrum that makes it possible to use the synthetic spectra technique for retrieval of CO and CO2 to get CO mixing ratios. The CO2 line strengths from Toth et al. (2008) were also essential to improve accuracy of the results. The 13CO/CO ratio of 1.023 times the terrestrial carbon isotope ratio was calculated using the known 13CO2/CO2 = 1.046 in the martian atmosphere (Webster, C.R., et al. [2013]. Science 341, 260-263), the photo-induced isotope fractionation (Miller, C.E., Yung, Y.L. [2000]. J. Geophys. Res. 105(D23), 29039-29051) in the CO2 photolysis, and isotope fractionation in the reaction between CO and OH (Feilberg, K.L., Johnson, M.S., Nielsen, C.J. [2005]. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 7, 2318-2323). The observations were conducted at LS = 60°, 89°, 110°, and 145° and extend over the maximum of CO in the southern hemisphere during the northern summer. The CO mixing ratio was observed to be constant over the 55°S-90°N latitudinal range to within 7%, for each observed LS period. Therefore our observations show that the enrichment of incondensable gases by condensation of CO2 in the southern polar regions does not significantly extend to the middle and low latitudes. This behavior agrees with the Mars Climate Database (Lefevre, F., Forget, F. [2009]. Nature 460, 720-722), whereas most other observations exhibit much larger latitudinal gradients and seasonal variations. Our measurements do not show the CO depletion at high northern latitudes predicted by MCD of ∼20% at LS≈ 60-150° and observed as much stronger

  8. Cometary sputtering of the Martian atmosphere during the Siding Spring encounter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yung-Ching; Luhmann, Janet G.; Rahmati, Ali; Leblanc, François; Johnson, Robert E.; Cravens, Thomas E.; Ip, Wing-Huen

    2016-07-01

    With the approach of the close encounter of comet Siding Spring with Mars, possible influences on the Martian atmosphere from the cometary coma are being explored. Here we describe the non-thermal atmospheric loss due to atmospheric sputtering produced by the impact of the coma material. We use an atmospheric sputtering model to simulate the effect of the incident neutral O and the pickup O+ , produced by photodissociation of water and its products. With the relatively large encounter speed of 56 km/s at a close flyby altitude of ∼130,000 km, the sputtering escape rates from the coma can reach 2-3 times the incident gas fluxes. Thus, the passing of the cometary coma will lead to removal of Martian atmosphere instead of mass loading. If the cometary outgassing rate reaches 1028s-1 , the sputtering from the extended coma could remove about 10 tons of Martian gases and deposit about 1 ton of external cometary material into the atmosphere during the one hour encounter. This implies that the cometary sputtering may have played a non-negligible role in Mars atmospheric evolution when this kind of cometary encounter may occur frequently in early Martian epochs.

  9. Summary of Martian Dust Filtering Challenges and Current Filter Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Hara, William J., IV

    2017-01-01

    Traditional air particulate filtering in manned spaceflight (Apollo, Shuttle, ISS, etc.) has used cleanable or replaceable catch filters such as screens and High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance (HEPA) filters. However, the human mission to Mars architecture will require a new approach. It is Martian dust that is the particulate of concern but the need also applies to particulates generated by crew. The Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) high-lighted this concern in its Mars Science, Goals, Objectives, Investigations and Priorities document [7], by saying specifically that one high priority investigation will be to "Test ISRU atmospheric processing systems to measure resilience with respect to dust and other environmental challenge performance parameters that are critical to the design of a full-scale system." By stating this as high priority the MEPAG is acknowledging that developing and adequately verifying this capability is critical to success of a human mission to Mars. This architecture will require filtering capabilities that are highly reliable, will not restrict the flow path with clogging, and require little to no maintenance. This paper will summarize why this is the case, the general requirements for developing the technology, and the status of the progress made in this area.

  10. The effects of atmospheric pressure on infrared reflectance spectra of Martian analogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, Janice L.; Pieters, Carle M.; Pratt, Stephen F.; Patterson, William

    1993-01-01

    The use of terrestrial samples as analogs of Mars soils are complicated by the Martian atmosphere. Spectral features due to the Martian atmosphere can be removed from telescopic spectra of Mars and ISM spectra of Mars, but this does not account for any spectral differences resulting from atmospheric pressure or any interactions between the atmosphere and the surface. We are examining the effects of atmospheric pressure on reflectance spectra of powdered samples in the laboratory. Contrary to a previous experiment with granite, no significant changes in albedo or the Christiansen feature were observed from 1 bar pressure down to a pressure of 8 micrometers Hg. However, reducing the atmospheric pressure does have a pronounced affect on the hydration features, even for samples retained in a dry environment for years.

  11. Oxidation of the Martian surface - Constraints due to chemical processes in the atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcelroy, M. B.; Kong, T. Y.

    1976-01-01

    Dissociation of water in the Martian atmosphere may supply oxygen to the surface and may result in the formation of minerals such as goethite, as proposed by Huguenin. The supply rate is limited by chemical processes in the atmosphere which regulate the abundance of O2. The net surface sink for atmospheric oxygen can be as large as 33 million atoms per sq cm per sec which compares to the escape rate of 60 million atoms per sq cm per sec.

  12. Chemical interactions between the present-day Martian atmosphere and surface minerals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prinn, Ronald; Fegley, Bruce

    1987-01-01

    Thermochemical and photochemical reactions between surface minerals and present-day atmospheric constituents are predicted to produce microscopic effects on the surfaces of mineral grains. Relevant reactions hypothesized in the literature include conversions of silicates and volcanic glasses to clay minerals, conversion of ferrous to ferric compounds, and formation of carbonates, nitrates, and sulfates. These types of surface-atmosphere interactions are important for addressing issues such as chemical weathering of minerals, biological potential of the surface environment, and atmospheric stability in both present and past Martian epochs. It is emphasized that the product of these reactions will be observable and interpretable on the microscopic surface layers of Martian surface rocks using modern techniques with obvious implications for sample return from Mars. Macroscopic products of chemical weathering reactions in past Martian epochs are also expected in Martian surface material. These products are expected not only as a result of reactions similar to those proceeding today but also due to aqueous reactions in past epochs in which liquid water was putatively present. It may prove very difficult or impossible however to determine definitively from the relic macroscopic product alone either the exact weathering process which led to its formation or the identity of its weathered parent mineral. The enormous advantages of studying Martian chemical weathering by investigating the microscopic products of present-day chemical reactions on sample surfaces are very apparent.

  13. Chemical interactions between the present-day Martian atmosphere and surface minerals: Implications for sample return

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prinn, Ronald; Fegley, Bruce

    1988-01-01

    Thermochemical and photochemical reactions between surface minerals and present-day atmospheric constituents are predicted to produce microscopic effects on the surface of mineral grains. Relevant reactions hypothesized in the literature include conversions of silicates and volcanic glasses to clay minerals, conversion of ferrous to ferric compounds, and formation of carbonates, nitrates, and sulfates. These types of surface-atmosphere weathering of minerals, biological potential of the surface environment, and atmospheric stability in both present and past Martian epochs. It is emphasized that the product of these reactions will be observable and interpretable on the microscopic surface layers of Martian surface rocks using modern techniques with obvious implications for sample return from Mars. Macroscopic products of chemical weathering reactions in past Martian epochs are also expected in Martian surface materials. These products are expected not only as a result of reactions similar to those proceeding today but also due to aqueous reactions in past epochs in which liquid water was putatively present. It may prove very difficult or impossible, however, to determine definitively from the relic macroscopic product alone either the exact weathering process which led to its formation of the identity of its weathering parent mineral. The enormous advantages of studying the Martian chemical weathering by investigating the microscopic products of present-day chemical reactions on sample surfaces are very apparent.

  14. Dependence of the Martian radiation environment on atmospheric depth: Modeling and measurement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Jingnan; Slaba, Tony C.; Zeitlin, Cary; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert F.; Badavi, Francis F.; Böhm, Eckart; Böttcher, Stephan; Brinza, David E.; Ehresmann, Bent; Hassler, Donald M.; Matthiä, Daniel; Rafkin, Scot

    2017-02-01

    The energetic particle environment on the Martian surface is influenced by solar and heliospheric modulation and changes in the local atmospheric pressure (or column depth). The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) on board the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity on the surface of Mars has been measuring this effect for over four Earth years (about two Martian years). The anticorrelation between the recorded surface Galactic Cosmic Ray-induced dose rates and pressure changes has been investigated by Rafkin et al. (2014) and the long-term solar modulation has also been empirically analyzed and modeled by Guo et al. (2015). This paper employs the newly updated HZETRN2015 code to model the Martian atmospheric shielding effect on the accumulated dose rates and the change of this effect under different solar modulation and atmospheric conditions. The modeled results are compared with the most up-to-date (from 14 August 2012 to 29 June 2016) observations of the RAD instrument on the surface of Mars. Both model and measurements agree reasonably well and show the atmospheric shielding effect under weak solar modulation conditions and the decline of this effect as solar modulation becomes stronger. This result is important for better risk estimations of future human explorations to Mars under different heliospheric and Martian atmospheric conditions.

  15. Martian upper atmosphere response to solar EUV flux and soft X-ray flares

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, Sonal; Stewart, Ian; Schneider, Nicholas M.; Deighan, Justin; Stiepen, Arnaud; Evans, J. Scott; Stevens, Michael H.; Chaffin, Michael S.; Crismani, Matteo; McClintock, William; Montmessin, Franck; Thiemann, E. M.; Eparvier, Frank; Chamberlin, Phillip C.; Jacosky, Bruce

    2016-10-01

    Planetary upper atmosphere energetics is mainly governed by absorption of solar extreme ultraviolet (EUV) radiation. Understanding the response of planetary upper atmosphere to the daily, long and short term variation in solar flux is very important to quantify energy budget of upper atmosphere. We report a comprehensive study of Mars dayglow observations made by the IUVS instrument aboard the MAVEN spacecraft, focusing on upper atmospheric response to solar EUV flux. Our analysis shows both short and long term effect of solar EUV flux on Martian thermospheric temperature. We find a significant drop (> 100 K) in thermospheric temperature between Ls = 218° and Ls = 140°, attributed primarily to the decrease in solar activity and increase in heliocentric distance. IUVS has observed response of Martian thermosphere to the 27-day solar flux variation due to solar rotation.We also report effect of two solar flare events (19 Oct. 2014 and 24 March 2015) on Martian dayglow observations. IUVS observed about ~25% increase in observed brightness of major ultraviolet dayglow emissions below 120 km, where most of the high energy photons (< 10 nm) deposit their energy. The results presented in this talk will help us better understand the role of EUV flux in total heat budget of Martian thermosphere.

  16. CO2 greenhouse in the early martian atmosphere: SO2 inhibits condensation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yung, Y L; Nair, H; Gerstell, M F

    1997-01-01

    Many investigators of the early martian climate have suggested that a dense carbon dioxide atmosphere was present and warmed the surface above the melting point of water (J.B. Pollack, J.F. Kasting, S.M. Richardson, and K. Poliakoff 1987. Icarus 71, 203-224). However, J.F. Kasting (1991. Icarus 94, 1-13) pointed out that previous thermal models of the primitive martian atmosphere had not considered the condensation of CO2. When this effect was incorporated, Kasting found that CO2 by itself is inadequate to warm the surface. SO2 absorbs strongly in the near UV region of the solar spectrum. While a small amount of SO2 may have a negligible effect by itself on the surface temperature, it may have significantly warmed the middle atmosphere of early Mars, much as ozone warms the terrestrial stratosphere today. If this region is kept warm enough to inhibit the condensation of CO2, then CO2 remains a viable greenhouse gas. Our preliminary radiative modeling shows that the addition of 0.1 ppmv of SO2 in a 2 bar CO2 atmosphere raises the temperature of the middle atmosphere by approximately 10 degrees, so that the upper atmosphere in a 1 D model remains above the condensation temperature of CO2. In addition, this amount of SO2 in the atmosphere provides an effective UV shield for a hypothetical biosphere on the martian surface.

  17. Rocket dust storms and detached layers in the Martian atmosphere

    CERN Document Server

    Spiga, Aymeric; Madeleine, Jean-Baptiste; Määttänen, Anni; Forget, François

    2012-01-01

    Airborne dust is the main climatic agent in the Martian environment. Local dust storms play a key role in the dust cycle; yet their life cycle is poorly known. Here we use mesoscale modeling with radiatively-active transported dust to predict the evolution of a local dust storm monitored by OMEGA on board Mars Express. We show that the evolution of this dust storm is governed by deep convective motions. The supply of convective energy is provided by the absorption of incoming sunlight by dust particles, in lieu of latent heating in moist convection on Earth. We propose to use the terminology "rocket dust storm", or conio-cumulonimbus, to describe those storms in which rapid and efficient vertical transport takes place, injecting dust particles at high altitudes in the Martian troposphere (30 to 50 km). Combined to horizontal transport by large-scale winds, rocket dust storms form detached layers of dust reminiscent of those observed with instruments on board Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Reconnaissance Orbite...

  18. Ground Based Observation of Isotopic Oxygen in the Martian Atmosphere Using Infrared Heterodyne Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, R. L.; Kostiuk, T.; Livengood, T. A.; Fast, K. E.; Hewagama, T.; Delgado, J. D.; Sonnabend, G.

    2010-01-01

    Infrared heterodyne spectra of isotopic CO2 in the Martian atmosphere were obtained using the Goddard Heterodyne Instrument for Planetary Wind and Composition, HIPWAC, which was interfaced with the 3-meter telescope at the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility- Spectra were colle cted at a resolution of lambda/delta lambda=10(exp 7). Absorption fea tures of the CO2 isotopologues have been identified from which isotop ic ratios of oxygen have been determined. The isotopic ratios O-17/O -16 and O-18/O-16 in the Martian atmosphere can be related to Martian atmospheric evolution and can be compared to isotopic ratios of oxyg en in the Earth's atmosphere. Isotopic carbon and oxygen are importa nt constraints on any theory for the erosion of the Martian primordia l atmosphere and the interaction between the atmosphere and surface o r subsurface chemical reservoirs. This investigation explored the pr esent abundance of the stable isotopes of oxygen in Mars' atmospheric carbon dioxide by measuring rovibrational line absorption in isotop ic species of CO2 using groundbased infrared heterodyne spectroscopy in the vicinity of the 9.6 micron and 10.6 micron CO2 lasing bands. T he target transitions during this observation were O-18 C-12 O-16 as well as O-178 C-12 O-16 and O-16 C-113 O-16 at higher resolving power of lambda/delta lambda=10(exp 7) and with high signal-to-noise ratio (longer integration time) in order to fully characterize the absorpt ion line profiles. The fully-resolved lineshape of both the strong n ormal-isotope and the weak isotopic CO2 lines were measured simultane ously in a single spectrum.

  19. Development of a fast, accurate radiative transfer model for the Martian atmosphere, past and present

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mischna, Michael A.; Lee, Christopher; Richardson, Mark

    2012-10-01

    We present details of an approach to creating a k-distribution radiative transfer model (KDM) for use in the Martian atmosphere. Such models preserve the accuracy of more rigorous line-by-line models, but are orders of magnitude faster, and can be effectively implemented in 3-D general circulation models. The approach taken here is sufficiently generalized that it can be employed for atmospheres of any arbitrary composition and mass, and demonstrations are provided for simulated atmospheres with a present-day Martian surface pressure (∼6 mb) and a putative thick early Mars atmosphere (∼500 mb), both with and without atmospheric water vapor. KDM-derived absorption coefficients are placed into a look-up table at a set of gridded points in pressure, temperature and atmospheric composition, and a tri-linear interpolation scheme is used to obtain the coefficients appropriate for the local atmospheric conditions. These coefficients may then be used within any of a variety of commonly used flux solvers to obtain atmospheric heating rates. A series of validation tests are performed with the KDM for both present-day and early Mars atmospheric conditions, and the model is compared against several other widely used radiative transfer schemes, including several used in contemporary general circulation models. These validation results identify weaknesses in some other approaches and demonstrate the efficacy of the KDM, providing a rigorous test of these types of models for use in the Martian atmosphere. A demonstration of results obtained by implementing the KDM in a Mars general circulation model is provided.

  20. Factors governing water condensation in the Martian atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colburn, David S.; Pollack, J. B.; Haberle, Robert M.

    1988-01-01

    Modeling results are presented suggesting a diurnal condensation cycle at high altitudes at some seasons and latitudes. In a previous paper, the use of atmospheric optical depth measurements at the Viking lander site to show diurnal variability of water condensation at different seasons of the Mars year was described. Factors influencing the amount of condensation include latitude, season, atmospheric dust content and water vapor content at the observation site. A one-dimensional radiative-convective model is used herein based on the diabatic heating routines under development for the Mars General Circulation Model. The model predicts atmospheric temperature profiles at any latitude, season, time of day and dust load. From these profiles and an estimate of the water vapor, one can estimate the maximum occurring at an early morning hour (AM) and the minimum in the late afternoon (PM). Measured variations in the atmospheric optical density between AM and PM measurements were interpreted as differences in AM and PM condensation.

  1. Ultraviolet-radiation-induced methane emissions from meteorites and the Martian atmosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keppler, Frank; Vigano, Ivan; McLeod, Andy; Ott, Ulrich; Früchtl, Marion; Röckmann, Thomas

    2012-05-30

    Almost a decade after methane was first reported in the atmosphere of Mars there is an intensive discussion about both the reliability of the observations--particularly the suggested seasonal and latitudinal variations--and the sources of methane on Mars. Given that the lifetime of methane in the Martian atmosphere is limited, a process on or below the planet's surface would need to be continuously producing methane. A biological source would provide support for the potential existence of life on Mars, whereas a chemical origin would imply that there are unexpected geological processes. Methane release from carbonaceous meteorites associated with ablation during atmospheric entry is considered negligible. Here we show that methane is produced in much larger quantities from the Murchison meteorite (a type CM2 carbonaceous chondrite) when exposed to ultraviolet radiation under conditions similar to those expected at the Martian surface. Meteorites containing several per cent of intact organic matter reach the Martian surface at high rates, and our experiments suggest that a significant fraction of the organic matter accessible to ultraviolet radiation is converted to methane. Ultraviolet-radiation-induced methane formation from meteorites could explain a substantial fraction of the most recently estimated atmospheric methane mixing ratios. Stable hydrogen isotope analysis unambiguously confirms that the methane released from Murchison is of extraterrestrial origin. The stable carbon isotope composition, in contrast, is similar to that of terrestrial microbial origin; hence, measurements of this signature in future Mars missions may not enable an unambiguous identification of biogenic methane.

  2. The Effects of the Variability of the Martian Atmosphere on Entry, Descent and Landing Scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marceta, Dusan; Segan, Stevo; Rasuo, Bosko

    Landing on Mars is extremely challenging task due to the fact that the Martian atmosphere is the most hostile environment in the Solar system to perform the entry, descent and landing (EDL) process because it is thick enough to create substantial heating of the entry vehicle but not thick enough to reduce its velocity to the values necessary for safe landing. Beside this, due to the high eccentricity of Martian orbit, which is almost six times larger than the Earth’s, there are large differences in energy received from the Sun throughout a Martian year. This difference, obliquity of the orbital to the equatorial plane and close alignment of the winter solstice and the orbital perihelion are the most important reasons of very dynamic behavior of the atmosphere of Mars. The variations of atmospheric parameters are not only extremely large but also very fast in space and time. Although seasonal variations of these parameters are for the order of magnitude larger than the diurnal, it is very important to analyze these diurnal variations because they can significantly change the vertical and horizontal atmospheric profiles in the very small time intervals. This can present serious threat to the missions which have very precise timings and specific requirement such as the requirement for the daytime landing to enable ground images acquisition. We have used Mars Global Reference Atmospheric Model (Mars-GRAM) which has been integrated into independently developed trajectory integration routine to identify the dependence of the EDL profiles on the diurnal cycles of the atmospheric parameters for different parts of the Martian year. The obtained result show that the influence of the diurnal cycle is the highest at equator and decreases relatively symmetrically toward the poles with a slightly stronger influence in the northern hemisphere. Also, there is a significant influence of the orbital position of Mars on the effect of the diurnal atmospheric variation which causes

  3. The water cycle in the general circulation model of the martian atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaposhnikov, D. S.; Rodin, A. V.; Medvedev, A. S.

    2016-03-01

    Within the numerical general-circulation model of the Martian atmosphere MAOAM (Martian Atmosphere: Observation and Modeling), we have developed the water cycle block, which is an essential component of modern general circulation models of the Martian atmosphere. The MAOAM model has a spectral dynamic core and successfully predicts the temperature regime on Mars through the use of physical parameterizations typical of both terrestrial and Martian models. We have achieved stable computation for three Martian years, while maintaining a conservative advection scheme taking into account the water-ice phase transitions, water exchange between the atmosphere and surface, and corrections for the vertical velocities of ice particles due to sedimentation. The studies show a strong dependence of the amount of water that is actively involved in the water cycle on the initial data, model temperatures, and the mechanism of water exchange between the atmosphere and the surface. The general pattern and seasonal asymmetry of the water cycle depends on the size of ice particles, the albedo, and the thermal inertia of the planet's surface. One of the modeling tasks, which results from a comparison of the model data with those of the TES experiment on board Mars Global Surveyor, is the increase in the total mass of water vapor in the model in the aphelion season and decrease in the mass of water ice clouds at the poles. The surface evaporation scheme, which takes into account the turbulent rise of water vapor, on the one hand, leads to the most complete evaporation of ice from the surface in the summer season in the northern hemisphere and, on the other hand, supersaturates the atmosphere with ice due to the vigorous evaporation, which leads to worse consistency between the amount of the precipitated atmospheric ice and the experimental data. The full evaporation of ice from the surface increases the model sensitivity to the size of the polar cap; therefore, the increase in the

  4. Precipitation of energetic neutral atoms and induced non-thermal escape fluxes from the Martian atmosphere

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lewkow, N. R.; Kharchenko, V. [Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269 (United States)

    2014-08-01

    The precipitation of energetic neutral atoms, produced through charge exchange collisions between solar wind ions and thermal atmospheric gases, is investigated for the Martian atmosphere. Connections between parameters of precipitating fast ions and resulting escape fluxes, altitude-dependent energy distributions of fast atoms and their coefficients of reflection from the Mars atmosphere, are established using accurate cross sections in Monte Carlo (MC) simulations. Distributions of secondary hot (SH) atoms and molecules, induced by precipitating particles, have been obtained and applied for computations of the non-thermal escape fluxes. A new collisional database on accurate energy-angular-dependent cross sections, required for description of the energy-momentum transfer in collisions of precipitating particles and production of non-thermal atmospheric atoms and molecules, is reported with analytic fitting equations. Three-dimensional MC simulations with accurate energy-angular-dependent cross sections have been carried out to track large ensembles of energetic atoms in a time-dependent manner as they propagate into the Martian atmosphere and transfer their energy to the ambient atoms and molecules. Results of the MC simulations on the energy-deposition altitude profiles, reflection coefficients, and time-dependent atmospheric heating, obtained for the isotropic hard sphere and anisotropic quantum cross sections, are compared. Atmospheric heating rates, thermalization depths, altitude profiles of production rates, energy distributions of SH atoms and molecules, and induced escape fluxes have been determined.

  5. The martian atmosphere: Mariner 9 television experiment progress report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leovy, C.B.; Briggs, G.A.; Young, A.T.; Smith, B.A.; Pollack, James B.; Shipley, E.N.; Wildey, R.L.

    1972-01-01

    Atmospheric phenomena appearing in the Mariner 9 television pictures are discussed in detail. The surface of the planet was heavily obscured by a global dust storm during the first month in orbit. Brightness data during this period can be fitted by a semi-infinite scattering and absorbing atmosphere model with a single-scattering albedo in the range 0.70-0.85. This low value suggests that the mean radius of the particles responsible for the obscuration was at least 10 ??m. By the end of the second month, this dust storm had largely dissipated, leaving a residual optical depth ???0.1. Much of the region north of 45??N was covered by variable clouds comprising the north polar hood. The cloud structures revealed extensive systems of lee waves generated by west-to-east flow over irregular terrain. Extensive cloud systems in this region resembled baroclinic wave cyclones. Clouds were also observed over several of the large calderas; these clouds are believed to contain water ice. Several localized dust storms were seen after the global dust storm cleared. These dust clouds appeared to be intensely convective. The convective nature of these storms and the stirring of large dust particles to great heights can be explained by vertical velocities generated by the absorption of solar radiation by the dusty atmosphere. ?? 1972.

  6. Two test-cases for synergistic detections in the Martian atmosphere: Carbon monoxide and methane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert, S.; Camy-Peyret, C.; Daerden, F.; De Mazière, M.; De Wachter, E.; Neary, L.; Vandenbussche, S.; Vandaele, A. C.

    2017-03-01

    In the frame of the scientific preparation of ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (EMTGO), synergistic retrievals were performed on synthetic spectra of two different remote sensing instruments of the Martian atmosphere. To benefit from their diversity, we have simulated spectra of a Fourier transform spectrometer (FTS), working in the middle to far infrared and of a grating spectrometer (GA) working in the middle infrared. As control runs, non-synergistic retrievals were performed as well. Two molecules of interest in the Martian atmosphere were chosen to test this method: carbon monoxide and methane. Scenarios were selected and two different vibrational bands for each molecule were used to retrieve molecular volume mixing ratios. Synergistic retrievals for CO are useful both in solar occultation and in nadir, while for CH4, the concentration of which is expected to be very low, the results for FTS and GA in synergy are not as conclusive due to the weak signal in the ν4 vibrational band (covered by FTS) compared to the stronger ν3 band (covered by GA). Our results represent a first step to an optimized use of infrared spectra to be recorded in Martian orbit by two instruments of EMTGO.

  7. A thermo-acoustic gas sensor array for photochemically critical species in the martian atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zent, Aaron P.; Quinn, Richard C.; Madou, Marc

    1998-02-01

    We describe the development of a thermoacoustic oxidant sensor (TAOS) array to quantify gases that play critical roles in the chemical evolution of the martian surface and atmosphere. The sensor combines a chemiresistor with an acoustic wave-plate device, micro-fabricated on thermally isolated hot-plates; their measurement modes are respectively: conductivity changes of chemically sensitive films, and mass changes of the same coatings. Metal Phthalocyanines (MePcs) and other organic semiconductors such as 1,4-polybutadiene are used as chemical coatings because of their chemical stability and the fact that these compounds have been shown to exhibit selectivity to oxidizing gases. The specific target gases of this experiment are H 2O 2, H 2O, O 3 and CO. Identification and quantification of these gases at the martian surface would contribute to both atmospheric and soil chemistry studies. The species H 2O 2 and/or O 3, may be responsible for the unique reactive properties of the martian regolith, as discovered in the Viking biology experiments. In addition, each of the target gases are believed to play a role in the photochemical recycling of CO 2.

  8. DYNAMO: a Mars upper atmosphere package for investigating solar wind interaction and escape processes, and mapping Martian fields

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chassefiere, E.; Nagy, A.; Mandea, M.

    2004-01-01

    DYNAMO is a small multi-instrument payload aimed at characterizing current atmospheric escape, which is still poorly constrained, and improving gravity and magnetic field representations, in order to better understand the magnetic, geologic and thermal history of Mars. The internal structure....... Ultraviolet remote sensing is an essential complement to characterize high, tenuous, layers of the atmosphere. One Martian year of operation, with about 5,000 low passes, should allow DYNAMO to map in great detail the residual magnetic field, together with the gravity field. Additional data on the internal...... structure will be obtained by mapping the electric conductivity, sinergistically with the NETLANDER magnetic data. Three options have been recommended by the International Science and Technical Review Board (ISTRB), who met on July 1st and 2nd, 2002. One of them is centered on DYNAMO. The final choice...

  9. Detectability of trace gases in the Martian atmosphere using gas correlation filter radiometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinclair, J.; Irwin, P. G. J.; Wilson, E.; Calcutt, S.

    2015-10-01

    We present the results of radiative transfer simulations of a gas correlation filter radiometer (GCFR) in the detection of trace species in the Martian atmosphere. We investigated two scenarios: 1) nadir and/or limb sounding from a Mars orbiter in the thermal infrared, 2) solar occultation measurements in the near-infrared from the Martian surface. In both scenarios, a GCFR would allow detection of trace gases at a lower concentration than that detectable by a conventional filter radiometer. In nadir/limb sounding, we find that CH4, SO2, N2O, C2H2 and CH3OH are detectable at concentrations lower than previously-derived upper limits. From solar occultation measurements, we find that CH4, SO2, C2H2, C2H6 are detectable at concentrations lower than previously-derived upper limits but only in low dust conditions.

  10. Precipitation of Energetic Neutral Atoms and Induced Non-Thermal Escape Fluxes from the Martian Atmosphere

    CERN Document Server

    Lewkow, Nicholas

    2014-01-01

    The precipitation of energetic neutral atoms (ENAs), produced through charge exchange (CX) collisions between solar wind (SW) ions and thermal atmospheric gases, is investigated. Subsequent induced non-thermal escape fluxes have been carried out for the Martian atmosphere. Detailed modeling of the ENA energy input and determination of connections between parameters of precipitating ENAs and resulting escape fluxes, reflection coefficients of fast atoms from the Mars atmosphere, and altitude dependent ENA energy distributions are established using Monte Carlo (MC) simulations of the precipitation process with accurate quantum mechanical (QM) cross sections. Detailed descriptions of secondary hot (SH) atoms and molecules induced by ENAs have been obtained for a better understanding of the mechanisms responsible for atmospheric escape and evolution. The effects of using isotropic hard sphere (HS) cross sections as compared to realistic, anisotropic quantum cross sections are examined for energy-deposition profil...

  11. Influence of seasonal cycles in Martian atmosphere on entry, descent and landing sequence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marčeta, Dušan; Šegan, Stevo; Rašuo, Boško

    2014-05-01

    The phenomena like high eccentricity of Martian orbit, obliquity of the orbital plane and close alignment of the winter solstice and the orbital perihelion, separately or together can significantly alter not only the level of some Martian atmospheric parameters but also the characteristics of its diurnal and seasonal cycle. Considering that entry, descent and landing (EDL) sequence is mainly driven by the density profile of the atmosphere and aerodynamic characteristic of the entry vehicle. We have performed the analysis of the influence of the seasonal cycles of the atmospheric parameters on EDL profiles by using Mars Global Reference Atmospheric Model (Mars-GRAM). Since the height of the deployment of the parachute and the time passed from the deployment to propulsion firing (descent time) are of crucial importance for safe landing and the achievable landing site elevation we paid special attention to the influence of the areocentric longitude of the Sun (Ls) on these variables. We have found that these variables have periodic variability with respect to Ls and can be very well approximated with a sine wave function whose mean value depends only on the landing site elevation while the amplitudes and phases depend only on the landing site latitude. The amplitudes exhibit behavior which is symmetric with respect to the latitude but the symmetry is shifted from the equator to the northern mid-tropics. We have also noticed that the strong temperature inversions which are usual for middle and higher northern latitudes while Mars is around its orbital perihelion significantly alter the descent time without influencing the height of the parachute deployment. At last, we applied our model to determine the dependence of the accessible landing region on Ls and found that this region reaches maximum when Mars is around the orbital perihelion and can vary 50° in latitude throughout the Martian year.

  12. Isotope ratios of H, C, and O in CO2 and H2O of the martian atmosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Chris R; Mahaffy, Paul R; Flesch, Gregory J; Niles, Paul B; Jones, John H; Leshin, Laurie A; Atreya, Sushil K; Stern, Jennifer C; Christensen, Lance E; Owen, Tobias; Franz, Heather; Pepin, Robert O; Steele, Andrew; Achilles, Cherie; Agard, Christophe; Alves Verdasca, José Alexandre; Anderson, Robert; Anderson, Ryan; Archer, Doug; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Arvidson, Ray; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Aubrey, Andrew; Baker, Burt; Baker, Michael; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Baratoux, David; Baroukh, Julien; Barraclough, Bruce; Bean, Keri; Beegle, Luther; Behar, Alberto; Bell, James; Bender, Steve; Benna, Mehdi; Bentz, Jennifer; Berger, Gilles; Berger, Jeff; Berman, Daniel; Bish, David; Blake, David F; Blanco Avalos, Juan J; Blaney, Diana; Blank, Jen; Blau, Hannah; Bleacher, Lora; Boehm, Eckart; Botta, Oliver; Böttcher, Stephan; Boucher, Thomas; Bower, Hannah; Boyd, Nick; Boynton, Bill; Breves, Elly; Bridges, John; Bridges, Nathan; Brinckerhoff, William; Brinza, David; Bristow, Thomas; Brunet, Claude; Brunner, Anna; Brunner, Will; Buch, Arnaud; Bullock, Mark; Burmeister, Sönke; Cabane, Michel; Calef, Fred; Cameron, James; Campbell, John; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Caride Rodríguez, Javier; Carmosino, Marco; Carrasco Blázquez, Isaías; Charpentier, Antoine; Chipera, Steve; Choi, David; Clark, Benton; Clegg, Sam; Cleghorn, Timothy; Cloutis, Ed; Cody, George; Coll, Patrice; Conrad, Pamela; Coscia, David; Cousin, Agnès; Cremers, David; Crisp, Joy; Cros, Alain; Cucinotta, Frank; d'Uston, Claude; Davis, Scott; Day, Mackenzie; de la Torre Juarez, Manuel; DeFlores, Lauren; DeLapp, Dorothea; DeMarines, Julia; DesMarais, David; Dietrich, William; Dingler, Robert; Donny, Christophe; Downs, Bob; Drake, Darrell; Dromart, Gilles; Dupont, Audrey; Duston, Brian; Dworkin, Jason; Dyar, M Darby; Edgar, Lauren; Edgett, Kenneth; Edwards, Christopher; Edwards, Laurence; Ehlmann, Bethany; Ehresmann, Bent; Eigenbrode, Jen; Elliott, Beverley; Elliott, Harvey; Ewing, Ryan; Fabre, Cécile; Fairén, Alberto; Farley, Ken; Farmer, Jack; Fassett, Caleb; Favot, Laurent; Fay, Donald; Fedosov, Fedor; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Fisk, Marty; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Floyd, Melissa; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Forni, Olivier; Fraeman, Abby; Francis, Raymond; François, Pascaline; Freissinet, Caroline; French, Katherine Louise; Frydenvang, Jens; Gaboriaud, Alain; Gailhanou, Marc; Garvin, James; Gasnault, Olivier; Geffroy, Claude; Gellert, Ralf; Genzer, Maria; Glavin, Daniel; Godber, Austin; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Golovin, Dmitry; Gómez Gómez, Felipe; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Gondet, Brigitte; Gordon, Suzanne; Gorevan, Stephen; Grant, John; Griffes, Jennifer; Grinspoon, David; Grotzinger, John; Guillemot, Philippe; Guo, Jingnan; Gupta, Sanjeev; Guzewich, Scott; Haberle, Robert; Halleaux, Douglas; Hallet, Bernard; Hamilton, Vicky; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Harpold, Daniel; Harri, Ari-Matti; Harshman, Karl; Hassler, Donald; Haukka, Harri; Hayes, Alex; Herkenhoff, Ken; Herrera, Paul; Hettrich, Sebastian; Heydari, Ezat; Hipkin, Victoria; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Hudgins, Judy; Huntress, Wesley; Hurowitz, Joel; Hviid, Stubbe; Iagnemma, Karl; Indyk, Steve; Israël, Guy; Jackson, Ryan; Jacob, Samantha; Jakosky, Bruce; Jensen, Elsa; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Johnson, Jeffrey; Johnson, Micah; Johnstone, Steve; Jones, Andrea; Joseph, Jonathan; Jun, Insoo; Kah, Linda; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kahre, Melinda; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kasprzak, Wayne; Kauhanen, Janne; Keely, Leslie; Kemppinen, Osku; Keymeulen, Didier; Kim, Myung-Hee; Kinch, Kjartan; King, Penny; Kirkland, Laurel; Kocurek, Gary; Koefoed, Asmus; Köhler, Jan; Kortmann, Onno; Kozyrev, Alexander; Krezoski, Jill; Krysak, Daniel; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Lacour, Jean Luc; Lafaille, Vivian; Langevin, Yves; Lanza, Nina; Lasue, Jeremie; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Lee, Ella Mae; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Lees, David; Lefavor, Matthew; Lemmon, Mark; Lepinette Malvitte, Alain; Léveillé, Richard; Lewin-Carpintier, Éric; Lewis, Kevin; Li, Shuai; Lipkaman, Leslie; Little, Cynthia; Litvak, Maxim; Lorigny, Eric; Lugmair, Guenter; Lundberg, Angela; Lyness, Eric; Madsen, Morten; Maki, Justin; Malakhov, Alexey; Malespin, Charles; Malin, Michael; Mangold, Nicolas; Manhes, Gérard; Manning, Heidi; Marchand, Geneviève; Marín Jiménez, Mercedes; Martín García, César; Martin, Dave; Martin, Mildred; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; Martín-Torres, F Javier; Mauchien, Patrick; Maurice, Sylvestre; McAdam, Amy; McCartney, Elaina; McConnochie, Timothy; McCullough, Emily; McEwan, Ian; McKay, Christopher; McLennan, Scott; McNair, Sean; Melikechi, Noureddine; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Meyer, Michael; Mezzacappa, Alissa; Miller, Hayden; Miller, Kristen; Milliken, Ralph; Ming, Douglas; Minitti, Michelle; Mischna, Michael; Mitrofanov, Igor; Moersch, Jeff; Mokrousov, Maxim; Molina Jurado, Antonio; Moores, John; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Morookian, John Michael; Morris, Richard; Morrison, Shaunna; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Muller, Jan-Peter; Muñoz Caro, Guillermo; Nachon, Marion; Navarro López, Sara; Navarro-González, Rafael; Nealson, Kenneth; Nefian, Ara; Nelson, Tony; Newcombe, Megan; Newman, Claire; Newsom, Horton; Nikiforov, Sergey; Nixon, Brian; Noe Dobrea, Eldar; Nolan, Thomas; Oehler, Dorothy; Ollila, Ann; Olson, Timothy; de Pablo Hernández, Miguel Ángel; Paillet, Alexis; Pallier, Etienne; Palucis, Marisa; Parker, Timothy; Parot, Yann; Patel, Kiran; Paton, Mark; Paulsen, Gale; Pavlov, Alex; Pavri, Betina; Peinado-González, Verónica; Peret, Laurent; Perez, Rene; Perrett, Glynis; Peterson, Joe; Pilorget, Cedric; Pinet, Patrick; Pla-García, Jorge; Plante, Ianik; Poitrasson, Franck; Polkko, Jouni; Popa, Radu; Posiolova, Liliya; Posner, Arik; Pradler, Irina; Prats, Benito; Prokhorov, Vasily; Purdy, Sharon Wilson; Raaen, Eric; Radziemski, Leon; Rafkin, Scot; Ramos, Miguel; Rampe, Elizabeth; Raulin, François; Ravine, Michael; Reitz, Günther; Rennó, Nilton; Rice, Melissa; Richardson, Mark; Robert, François; Robertson, Kevin; Rodriguez Manfredi, José Antonio; Romeral-Planelló, Julio J; Rowland, Scott; Rubin, David; Saccoccio, Muriel; Salamon, Andrew; Sandoval, Jennifer; Sanin, Anton; Sans Fuentes, Sara Alejandra; Saper, Lee; Sarrazin, Philippe; Sautter, Violaine; Savijärvi, Hannu; Schieber, Juergen; Schmidt, Mariek; Schmidt, Walter; Scholes, Daniel; Schoppers, Marcel; Schröder, Susanne; Schwenzer, Susanne; Sebastian Martinez, Eduardo; Sengstacken, Aaron; Shterts, Ruslan; Siebach, Kirsten; Siili, Tero; Simmonds, Jeff; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Slavney, Susie; Sletten, Ronald; Smith, Michael; Sobrón Sánchez, Pablo; Spanovich, Nicole; Spray, John; Squyres, Steven; Stack, Katie; Stalport, Fabien; Stein, Thomas; Stewart, Noel; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Stoiber, Kevin; Stolper, Ed; Sucharski, Bob; Sullivan, Rob; Summons, Roger; Sumner, Dawn; Sun, Vivian; Supulver, Kimberley; Sutter, Brad; Szopa, Cyril; Tan, Florence; Tate, Christopher; Teinturier, Samuel; ten Kate, Inge; Thomas, Peter; Thompson, Lucy; Tokar, Robert; Toplis, Mike; Torres Redondo, Josefina; Trainer, Melissa; Treiman, Allan; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; VanBommel, Scott; Vaniman, David; Varenikov, Alexey; Vasavada, Ashwin; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Vicenzi, Edward; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Voytek, Mary; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Ward, Jennifer; Weigle, Eddie; Wellington, Danika; Westall, Frances; Wiens, Roger Craig; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Williams, Amy; Williams, Joshua; Williams, Rebecca; Williams, Richard B; Wilson, Mike; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Wolff, Mike; Wong, Mike; Wray, James; Wu, Megan; Yana, Charles; Yen, Albert; Yingst, Aileen; Zeitlin, Cary; Zimdar, Robert; Zorzano Mier, María-Paz

    2013-07-19

    Stable isotope ratios of H, C, and O are powerful indicators of a wide variety of planetary geophysical processes, and for Mars they reveal the record of loss of its atmosphere and subsequent interactions with its surface such as carbonate formation. We report in situ measurements of the isotopic ratios of D/H and (18)O/(16)O in water and (13)C/(12)C, (18)O/(16)O, (17)O/(16)O, and (13)C(18)O/(12)C(16)O in carbon dioxide, made in the martian atmosphere at Gale Crater from the Curiosity rover using the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM)'s tunable laser spectrometer (TLS). Comparison between our measurements in the modern atmosphere and those of martian meteorites such as ALH 84001 implies that the martian reservoirs of CO2 and H2O were largely established ~4 billion years ago, but that atmospheric loss or surface interaction may be still ongoing.

  13. Infrared thermal mapping of the martian surface and atmosphere: first results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kieffer, H H; Chase, S C; Miner, E D; Palluconi, F D; Münch, G; Neugebauer, G; Martin, T Z

    1976-08-27

    The Viking infrared thermal mapper measures the thermal emission of the martian surface and atmosphere and the total reflected sunlight. With the high resolution and dense coverage being achieved, planetwide thermal structure is apparent at large and small scales. The thermal behavior of the best-observed areas, the landing sites, cannot be explained by simple homogeneous models. The data contain clear indications for the relevance of additional factors such as detailed surface texture and the occurrence of clouds. Areas in the polar night have temperatures distinctly lower than the CO(2) condensation point at the surface pressure. This observation implies that the annual atmospheric condensation is less than previously assumed and that either thick CO(2) clouds exist at the 20-kilometer level or that the polar atmosphere is locally enriched by noncondensable gases.

  14. Infrared thermal mapping of the Martian surface and atmosphere - First results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kieffer, H. H.; Martin, T. Z.; Chase, S. C., Jr.; Miner, E. D.; Palluconi, F. D.; Muench, G.; Neugebauer, G.

    1976-01-01

    The Viking infrared thermal mapper measures the thermal emission of the Martian surface and atmosphere and the total reflected sunlight. With the high resolution and dense coverage being achieved, planetwide thermal structure is apparent at large and small scales. The thermal behavior of the best-observed areas, the landing sites, cannot be explained by simple homogeneous models. The data contain clear indications for the relevance of additional factors such as detailed surface texture and the occurrence of clouds. Areas in the polar night have temperatures distinctly lower than the CO2 condensation point at the surface pressure. This observation implies that the annual atmospheric condensation is less than previously assumed and that either thick CO2 clouds exist at the 20-kilometer level or that the polar atmosphere is locally enriched by noncondensable gases.

  15. Mapping of [HDO]/[H2O] in the Martian Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novak, R. E.; Mumma, M. J.; Villanueva, G.; Bonev, B.; Disanti, M.

    Observations of the Martian atmosphere were taken for several seasonal dates at NASA's IRTF using CSHELL. Column densities of HDO and H2O were extracted from individual spectral lines near 3.67 ìm and 3.29 ìm. The slit was positioned N-S on Mars centered at the sub-earth point producing spectral/spatial images. Spectra were extracted at 0.6 arc-sec. intervals and analyzed with models created from GENLN2 atmospheric software; the models include solar Fraunhofer lines, a two-way transmission through Mars' atmosphere, thermal emission from Mars' surface and atmosphere, and a one way transmission through the Earth's atmosphere. From these, latitudinal maps of HDO/H2O were constructed across the observable planet. The HDO/H2O ratios have been found to be larger than those on Earth and they vary with both latitude and season. The higher global HDO/H2O value on Mars compared to that of the Earth is attributed to differential Jeans escape of D and H over geologic time. The ratio in the southern Martian hemisphere is found to be larger than that in the north. This difference could be the signature of Rayleigh distillation, a process in which the different mean temperatures of the polar caps causes a different degree of HDO sequestration resulting in different degrees of enrichment in the polar caps. Detailed results for Ls= 357o in 2006 will be presented when both the HDO and the H2O column densities were obtain from CSHELL data. These will be compared to results from other seasons.Observations of the Martian atmosphere were taken for several seasonal dates at NASA's IRTF using CSHELL. Column densities of HDO and H2O were extracted from individual spectral lines near 3.67 ìm and 3.29 ìm. The slit was positioned N-S on Mars centered at the sub-earth point producing spectral/spatial images. Spectra were extracted at 0.6 arc-sec. intervals and analyzed with models created from GENLN2 atmospheric software; the models include solar Fraunhofer lines, a two-way transmission

  16. On the detectability of trace chemical species in the martian atmosphere using gas correlation filter radiometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinclair, J. A.; Irwin, P. G. J.; Calcutt, S. B.; Wilson, E. L.

    2015-11-01

    The martian atmosphere is host to many trace gases including water (H2O) and its isotopologues, methane (CH4) and potentially sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrous oxide (N2O) and further organic compounds, which would serve as indirect tracers of geological, chemical and biological processes on Mars. With exception of the recent detection of CH4 by Curiosity, previous detections of these species have been unsuccessful or considered tentative due to the low concentrations of these species in the atmosphere (∼10-9 partial pressures), limited spectral resolving power and/or signal-to-noise and the challenge of discriminating between telluric and martian features when observing from the Earth. In this study, we present radiative transfer simulations of an alternative method for detection of trace gas species - the gas correlation radiometry method. Two potential observing scenarios were explored where a gas correlation filter radiometer (GCFR) instrument: (1) performs nadir and/or limb sounding of the martian atmosphere in the thermal infrared (200-2000 cm-1 from an orbiting spacecraft or (2) performs solar occultation measurements in the near-infrared (2000-5000 cm-1) from a lander on the martian surface. In both scenarios, simulations of a narrowband filter radiometer (without gas correlation) were also generated to serve as a comparison. From a spacecraft, we find that a gas correlation filter radiometer, in comparison to a filter radiometer (FR), offers a greater discrimination between temperature and dust, a greater discrimination between H2O and HDO, and would allow detection of N2O and CH3OH at concentrations of ∼10 ppbv and ∼2 ppbv, respectively, which are lower than previously-derived upper limits. However, the lowest retrievable concentration of SO2 (approximately 2 ppbv) is comparable with previous upper limits and CH4 is only detectable at concentrations of approximately 10 ppbv, which is an order of magnitude higher than the concentration recently measured

  17. The Zodiacal Cloud Model applied to the Martian atmosphere. Diurnal variations in Meteoric ion layers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diego Carrillo-Sánchez, Juan; Plane, John M. C.; Withers, Paul; Fallows, Kathryn; Nesvorný, David; Pokorný, Petr; Feng, Wuhu

    2016-04-01

    Sporadic metal layers have been detected in the Martian atmosphere by radio occultation measurements using the Mars Express Orbiter and Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. More recently, metallic ion layers produced by the meteor storm event following the close encounter between Comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) and Mars were identified by the Imaging UltraViolet Spectrograph (IUVS) aboard the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft. However, the background metal layers produced by the influx of sporadic meteors have not yet been detected at Mars (contrary to the permanent metal layers identified in the Earth's atmosphere). The Zodiacal Dust Cloud (ZDC) model for particle populations released by asteroids (AST), and dust grains from Jupiter Family Comets (JFC) and Halley-Type Comets (HTC) has been combined with a Monte Carlo sampling method and the Chemical ABlation MODel (CABMOD) to predict the ablation rates of Na, K, Fe, Si, Mg, Ca and Al above 40 km altitude in the Martian atmosphere. CABMOD considers the standard treatment of meteor physics, including the balance of frictional heating by radiative losses and the absorption of heat energy through temperature increases, melting phase transitions and vaporization, as well as sputtering by inelastic collisions with the air molecules. These vertical profiles are input into the Leeds 1-D Mars atmospheric model which includes photo-ionization, and gas-phase ion-molecule and neutral chemistry, in order to explore the evolution of the resulting metallic ions and atoms. We conclude that the formation of the sporadic ion layers observed below 100 km with a plasma density exceeding 104 cm-3 requires the combination of the three different influx sources considered by the ZDC model, with a significant asteroidal contribution. Finally, we explore the changes of the neutral and ionized Mg and Fe layers over a diurnal cycle.

  18. Retrieving cloud, dust and ozone abundances in the Martian atmosphere using SPICAM/UV nadir spectra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willame, Y.; Vandaele, A. C.; Depiesse, C.; Lefèvre, F.; Letocart, V.; Gillotay, D.; Montmessin, F.

    2017-08-01

    We present the retrieval algorithm developed to analyse nadir spectra from SPICAM/UV aboard Mars-Express. The purpose is to retrieve simultaneously several parameters of the Martian atmosphere and surface: the dust optical depth, the ozone total column, the cloud opacity and the surface albedo. The retrieval code couples the use of an existing complete radiative transfer code, an inversion method and a cloud detection algorithm. We describe the working principle of our algorithm and the parametrisation used to model the required absorption, scattering and reflection processes of the solar UV radiation that occur in the Martian atmosphere and at its surface. The retrieval method has been applied on 4 Martian years of SPICAM/UV data to obtain climatologies of the different quantities under investigation. An overview of the climatology is given for each species showing their seasonal and spatial distributions. The results show a good qualitative agreement with previous observations. Quantitative comparisons of the retrieved dust optical depths indicate generally larger values than previous studies. Possible shortcomings in the dust modelling (altitude profile) have been identified and may be part of the reason for this difference. The ozone results are found to be influenced by the presence of clouds. Preliminary quantitative comparisons show that our retrieved ozone columns are consistent with other results when no ice clouds are present, and are larger for the cases with clouds at high latitude. Sensitivity tests have also been performed showing that the use of other a priori assumptions such as the altitude distribution or some scattering properties can have an important impact on the retrieval.

  19. Electrostatic Precipitation of Dust in the Martian Atmosphere: Implications for the Utilization of Resources During Future Manned Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, Carlos I.; Clements, Judson S.; Thompson, Samuel M.; Cox, Nathan D.; Hogue, Michael D.; Johansen, Michael R.; Williams, Blakeley S.

    2011-01-01

    Future human missions to Mars will require the utilization of local resources for oxygen, fuel. and water. The In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) project is an active research endeavor at NASA to develop technologies that can enable cost effective ways to live off the land. The extraction of oxygen from the Martian atmosphere. composed primarily of carbon dioxide, is one of the most important goals of the Mars ISRU project. The main obstacle is the relatively large amount of dust present in the Martian atmosphere. This dust must be efficiently removed from atmospheric gas intakes for ISRU processing chambers. A common technique to achieve this removal on earth is by electrostatic precipitation, where large electrostatic fields are established in a localized region to precipitate and collect previously charged dust particles. This technique is difficult to adapt to the Martian environment, with an atmospheric pressure of about one-hundredth of the terrestrial atmosphere. At these low pressures. the corona discharges required to implant an electrostatic charge to the particles to be collected is extremely difficult to sustain and the corona easily becomes biopolar. which is unsuitable for particle charging. In this paper, we report on our successful efforts to establish a stable corona under Martian simulated conditions. We also present results on dust collecting efficiencies with an electrostatic precipitator prototype that could be effectively used on a future mission to the red planet

  20. The Development of a Method to Extract High Purity Oxygen From the Martian Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Dongchuan

    1994-01-01

    A glow-discharge in an ambient Mars atmosphere (total pressure of 5 torr, composed of 96% carbon dioxide) results in the dissociation of carbon dioxide molecules into carbon monoxide and oxygen. If the glow-discharge cone is maintained adjacent and close to a silver membrane, operated at temperatures above 400 deg. C, atomic and molecular oxygen, produced by the glow-discharge, can be separated from the other species by atomic diffusion through the membrane to an ultrahigh vacuum region where the desorbed O2 is then collected. Experiments have been conducted to study the behavior of the glow discharge in both molecular oxygen and carbon dioxide environments, and to study the interaction of atomic and molecular oxygen with silver. It was found that, with this geometry, more than 75% of the CO2 was dissociated into CO and O with only 5 mA discharge current and that the permeation flux increased linearly with discharge current. Only 0.65% of the generated atomic oxygen was adsorbed at the membrane because it quickly recombined to form O2 as it migrated toward the membrane. The atomic oxygen arriving at the membrane, bypassed the thermal dissociative adsorption and therefore had a much higher sticking coefficient. This higher sticking coefficient resulted in a greatly increased surface concentration of oxygen which greatly increased the oxygen flux through the membrane. The sticking coefficient of the atomic oxygen on silver was estimated by using a Langmuir type model and was found to be close to 1 at room temperature. Since most of the gas phase atomic oxygen quickly recombined to form O2 as it migrated toward the silver membrane, both a small amount of atomic oxygen and a relative large amount of molecular oxygen components will adsorb on the hot Ag membrane. But because of the much higher sticking coefficient for atomic oxygen on silver, the atomic component dominated the adsorption. It was also found that the oxygen flux through the Ag membranes is diffusion

  1. The InSight Mission's Martian Atmospheric Science Goals, Capabilities and Instrumentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smrekar, S. E.; Banfield, D. J.

    2015-12-01

    The InSight Mission to Mars will launch in March 2016 and land in September 2016, beginning at least 1 Mars year of observations from the surface of Mars. The primary scientific goal of the InSight mission is to characterize the interior of Mars (both deep and near-surface), but it is also equipped with very capable meteorological instrumentation, and consequently has atmospheric science goals as well. The instrumentation InSight carries includes a very sensitive and fast response pressure sensor, as well as a pair of wind and temperature sensors that are similar to those flown on MSL and will be on Mars2020. These sensors will operate essentially continuously at Mars, a first; enabling the production of a complete sampling of the Martian environment, including short-lived transients. InSight also carries cameras that can be used to survey not only the ground in the near environment, but also sky conditions. The pressure sensor responds to signals below 10Hz (~10X its predecessors) and has a noise level of about 10 mPa (better than 1/10 its predecessors). The pair of wind and temperature sensors have been carefully placed opposite one another on the deck to minimize lander interference as much as possible, leaving one sensor on the windward side of the lander at any time. These capabilities, combined with their continuous sampling enable us to pursue new atmospheric science questions at Mars, including quantifying thresholds for aeolian change, detailed dust devil characterization, bolide infrasonic detection and characterization, and quantifying secular trends in pressure. This is in addition to characterizing the normal meteorology at the InSight landing site, which while not completely new, will provide incremental and important constraints for Martian Atmospheric models. We also expect there to be unexpected discoveries, as well as more synergistic approaches to coordination among all the instruments on InSight that may result even more novel capabilities.

  2. Photochemical escape of oxygen from the Martian atmosphere: new insights from MAVEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lillis, R. J.; Deighan, J.; Bougher, S. W.; Cravens, T.; Fox, J. L.; Lee, Y.; Rahmati, A.; McFadden, J. P.; Benna, M.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Elrod, M. K.; Andersson, L.; Fowler, C. M.; Curry, S.; Gröller, H.; Jakosky, B. M.

    2015-12-01

    One of the primary goals of the MAVEN mission is to characterize rates of atmospheric escape from Mars at the present epoch and relate those escape rates to solar drivers. One of the known escape processes is photochemical escape, where a) an exothermic chemical reaction in the atmosphere results in an upward-traveling neutral particle whose velocity exceeds planetary escape velocity and b) the particle is not prevented from escaping through any subsequent collisions. Because escaping hot atoms are not directly measured, models of production and transport (through the atmosphere) of such atoms must be used to constrain photochemical escape rates. These models require altitude profiles of neutral densities and electron and ion densities and temperatures, as well as compositional information, all of which are measured by MAVEN instruments at the relevant altitudes (150-300 km). For every altitude profile: Profiles of O2+ dissociative recombination (DR) rates will be calculated from electron temperature, electron density and O2+ density. Profiles of energy distributions of hot O atoms will be calculated from profiles of electron and ion temperatures. Profiles of all neutral densities will be input into models of hot O transport in order to calculate photochemical escape fluxes from DR of O2+. We will present photochemical escape fluxes as a function of several factors, in particular solar zenith angle and EUV flux. This, combined with further simulations with progressively higher EUV fluxes, will eventually enable a total integrated loss estimate over the course of Martian history and hence a determination of the impact of this loss process on the evolution of the Martian climate.

  3. Experimental Study of Water Exchange Between Regolith and Atmosphere Under Martian Conditions: Thermodynamics and Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pommerol, A.; Schmitt, B.; Brissaud, O.

    2008-03-01

    We have designed a facility to measure near-infrared reflectance spectra of martian regolith analogs under martian surface temperature and humidity. We present adsorption isotherm and exchange kinetics between water and JSC Mars-1 regolith simulant.

  4. Analysis of high altitude clouds in the martian atmosphere based on Mars Climate Sounder observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puspitarini, L.; Määttänen, A.; Fouchet, T.; Kleinboehl, A.; Kass, D. M.; Schofield, J. T.

    2016-11-01

    High altitude clouds have been observed in the Martian atmosphere. However, their properties still remain to be characterized. Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) aboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) is an instrument that measures radiances in the thermal infrared, both in limb and nadir views. It allows us to retrieve vertical profiles of radiance, temperature and aerosols. Using the MCS data and radiative transfer model coupled with an automated inversion routine, we can investigate the chemical composition of the high altitude clouds. We will present the first results on the properties of the clouds. CO2 ice is the best candidate to be the main component of some high altitude clouds due to the most similar spectral variation compared to water ice or dust, in agreement with previous studies. Using cloud composition of contaminated CO2 ice (dust core surrounded by CO2 ice) might improve the fitting result, but further study is needed.

  5. Diurnal Variability in the Martian Atmosphere Inferred from Nearly Coincident Profiles at Semidiurnal Separation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heavens, N. G.; Johnson, M. S.

    2013-12-01

    Long-term monitoring of the Martian atmosphere by mapping instruments on sun-synchronous polar orbiters with slight orbital inclinations has two underutilized advantages for studying diurnal variability in atmospheric structure. First, the orbital pattern implies that the nightside orbit will be followed ~ 12 hours later by a dayside orbit that intersects it. That dayside orbit will be followed by a nightside orbit that itself intersects the dayside orbit ~ 12 hours previously at another point. These intersection points mostly occur in the tropics. At the poles, orbit convergence produces a similar effect, such that these semidiurnally separated orbits will have a number of nearly coincident observations in space that sample diurnal change in time. For limb sounders like the Mars Climate Sounder on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO-MCS), the horizontal resolution of the instrument at the limb may be comparable to the spatial separation between portions of sequentially intersecting dayside/nightside orbits. Indeed, this width (if simultaneously iterated) would resolve wavenumber 100 structures at the Equator. In other words, the characteristics of the instrument and orbiter combine to allow local, semidiurnal sampling of the atmosphere at synoptic or greater scales. This can be helpful at resolving diurnal and perhaps longitudinal variability when retrievals are typically successful on the nightside at different longitudes than they are successful on the dayside. Second, long-term monitoring allows fortuiitous observation of useful examples of interannual variability in the behavior of the atmosphere. Here, we will present a study of diurnal variability in the vertical dust distribution and other aspects of the atmospheric structure of Mars that makes use of the observational advantages of MRO-MCS as well as the fortuitous occurrence of a Mars Year without significant regional or global dust storm activity: the year before the landing of the Mars Science Laboratory

  6. Preservation of Biomarkers from Cyanobacteria Mixed with Mars-Like Regolith Under Simulated Martian Atmosphere and UV Flux.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baqué, Mickael; Verseux, Cyprien; Böttger, Ute; Rabbow, Elke; de Vera, Jean-Pierre Paul; Billi, Daniela

    2016-06-01

    The space mission EXPOSE-R2 launched on the 24th of July 2014 to the International Space Station is carrying the BIOMEX (BIOlogy and Mars EXperiment) experiment aimed at investigating the endurance of extremophiles and stability of biomolecules under space and Mars-like conditions. In order to prepare the analyses of the returned samples, ground-based simulations were carried out in Planetary and Space Simulation facilities. During the ground-based simulations, Chroococcidiopsis cells mixed with two Martian mineral analogues (phyllosilicatic and sulfatic Mars regolith simulants) were exposed to a Martian simulated atmosphere combined or not with UV irradiation corresponding to the dose received during a 1-year-exposure in low Earth orbit (or half a Martian year on Mars). Cell survival and preservation of potential biomarkers such as photosynthetic and photoprotective pigments or DNA were assessed by colony forming ability assays, confocal laser scanning microscopy, Raman spectroscopy and PCR-based assays. DNA and photoprotective pigments (carotenoids) were detectable after simulations of the space mission (570 MJ/m(2) of UV 200-400 nm irradiation and Martian simulated atmosphere), even though signals were attenuated by the treatment. The fluorescence signal from photosynthetic pigments was differently preserved after UV irradiation, depending on the thickness of the samples. UV irradiation caused a high background fluorescence of the Martian mineral analogues, as revealed by Raman spectroscopy. Further investigation will be needed to ensure unambiguous identification and operations of future Mars missions. However, a 3-month exposure to a Martian simulated atmosphere showed no significant damaging effect on the tested cyanobacterial biosignatures, pointing out the relevance of the latter for future investigations after the EXPOSE-R2 mission. Data gathered during the ground-based simulations will contribute to interpret results from space experiments and guide our

  7. Preservation of Biomarkers from Cyanobacteria Mixed with Mars­Like Regolith Under Simulated Martian Atmosphere and UV Flux

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baqué, Mickael; Verseux, Cyprien; Böttger, Ute; Rabbow, Elke; de Vera, Jean-Pierre Paul; Billi, Daniela

    2016-06-01

    The space mission EXPOSE-R2 launched on the 24th of July 2014 to the International Space Station is carrying the BIOMEX (BIOlogy and Mars EXperiment) experiment aimed at investigating the endurance of extremophiles and stability of biomolecules under space and Mars-like conditions. In order to prepare the analyses of the returned samples, ground-based simulations were carried out in Planetary and Space Simulation facilities. During the ground-based simulations, Chroococcidiopsis cells mixed with two Martian mineral analogues (phyllosilicatic and sulfatic Mars regolith simulants) were exposed to a Martian simulated atmosphere combined or not with UV irradiation corresponding to the dose received during a 1-year-exposure in low Earth orbit (or half a Martian year on Mars). Cell survival and preservation of potential biomarkers such as photosynthetic and photoprotective pigments or DNA were assessed by colony forming ability assays, confocal laser scanning microscopy, Raman spectroscopy and PCR-based assays. DNA and photoprotective pigments (carotenoids) were detectable after simulations of the space mission (570 MJ/m2 of UV 200-400 nm irradiation and Martian simulated atmosphere), even though signals were attenuated by the treatment. The fluorescence signal from photosynthetic pigments was differently preserved after UV irradiation, depending on the thickness of the samples. UV irradiation caused a high background fluorescence of the Martian mineral analogues, as revealed by Raman spectroscopy. Further investigation will be needed to ensure unambiguous identification and operations of future Mars missions. However, a 3-month exposure to a Martian simulated atmosphere showed no significant damaging effect on the tested cyanobacterial biosignatures, pointing out the relevance of the latter for future investigations after the EXPOSE-R2 mission. Data gathered during the ground-based simulations will contribute to interpret results from space experiments and guide our

  8. Mesoscale monsters in the Martian atmosphere: conio-cumulonimbi, katabatic jumps, and wave-induced exotic clouds (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spiga, A.

    2013-12-01

    Recent studies have shed light on the key role of mesoscale phenomena in driving the Martian climate. At the mesoscale, Mars appears as an intense and exotic counterpart to the Earth, and studying small-scale atmospheric processes offers fascinating perspectives for a comparative planetology approach. Here the most prominent and powerful mesoscale phenomena on Mars are described through a combination of dedicated high-resolution atmospheric modeling, and recent remote-sensing observations. Deep convective motions could occur in Martian local and regional dust storms. This phenomenon is proposed to be named "rocket dust storm", or "conio-cumulonimbus", given the implied fast and powerful vertical transport. The supply of convective energy is provided by the absorption of incoming sunlight by dust particles, rather than by latent heating as in moist convection on Earth and other environments. Dust-driven deep convection on Mars has potentially strong implications for the Martian atmospheric physics and dynamics, including the formation of high-altitude detached layers of aerosols. It also offers perspectives to study the onset, variability, and dynamics of larger (and sometimes planet-encircling) regional storms that might behave like Mesoscale Convective Systems on the Earth. While observations of clear-cut katabatic events are difficult on Earth, except over vast ice sheets, those intense downslope circulations are widespread on Mars owing to near-surface radiative cooling and uneven topography. Their intensity and regularity can be witnessed through numerous aeolian signatures on the surface, and distinctive thermal signatures in the steepest craters and volcanoes. Furthermore, similarly to the Loewe phenomena in terrestrial polar regions, local katabatic jumps could form within the regional katabatic flow over the Martian polar troughs. Mesoscale modeling helps to explore the transport of water vapor, the formation of water ice clouds, and the stability and

  9. The annual pressure cycle on Mars: Results from the LMD Martian atmospheric general circulation model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hourdin, Frederic; Forget, Francois; Talagrand, O.

    1993-01-01

    We have been developing a General Circulation Model (GCM) of the martian atmosphere since 1989. The model has been described rather extensively elsewhere and only the main characteristics are given here. The dynamical part of the model, adapted from the LMD terrestrial climate model, is based on a finite-difference formulation of the classical 'primitive equations of meteorology.' The radiative transfer code includes absorption and emission by CO2 (carefully validated by comparison to line-by-line calculations) and dust in the thermal range and absorption and scattering by dust in the visible range. Other physical parameterizations are included: modeling of vertical turbulent mixing, dry convective adjustment (in order to prevent vertical unstable temperature profiles), and a multilayer model of the thermal conduction in the soil. Finally, the condensation-sublimation of CO2 is introduced through specification of a pressure-dependent condensation temperature. The atmospheric and surface temperatures are prevented from falling below this critical temperature by condensation and direct precipitation onto the surface of atmospheric CO2. The only prespecified spatial fields are the surface thermal inertia, albedo, and topography.

  10. Correlations of atmospheric water ice and dust in the Martian Polar regions

    CERN Document Server

    Brown, Adrian J; Scargle, Jeffrey D

    2015-01-01

    We report on the interannual variability of the atmospheric ice/dust cycle in the Martian polar regions for Mars Years 28-30. We used CRISM emission phase function measurements to derive atmospheric dust optical depths and data from the MARCI instrument to derive atmospheric water ice optical depths. We have used autocorrelation and cross correlation functions in order to quantify the degree to which dust and ice are correlated throughout both polar regions during Mars Years 28-29. We find that in the south polar region, dust has the tendency to "self clear", demonstrated by negative autocorrelation around the central peak. This does not occur in the north polar region. In the south polar region, dust and ice are temporally and spatially anti correlated. In the north polar region, this relationship is reversed, however temporal correlation of northern dust and ice clouds is weak - 6 times weaker than the anticorrelation in the south polar region. Our latitudinal autocorrelation functions allow us to put avera...

  11. Current submarine atmosphere control technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazurek, W

    1998-01-01

    Air purification in submarines was introduced towards the end of World War II and was limited to the use of soda lime for the removal of carbon dioxide and oxygen candles for the regeneration of oxygen. The next major advances came with the advent of nuclear-powered submarines. These included the development of regenerative and, sometimes, energy-intensive processes for comprehensive atmosphere revitalization. With the present development of conventional submarines using air-independent propulsion there is a requirement for air purification similar to that of the nuclear-powered submarines but it is constrained by limited power and space. Some progress has been made in the development of new technology and the adoption of air purification equipment used in the nuclear-powered submarines for this application.

  12. Development of an Electrostatic Precipitator to Remove Martian Atmospheric Dust from ISRU Gas Intakes During Planetary Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clements, J. Sidney; Thompson, Samuel M.; Cox, Nathan D.; Johansen, Michael R.; Williams, Blakeley S.; Hogue, Michael D.; Lowder, M. Loraine; Calle, Carlos I.

    2011-01-01

    Manned exploration missions to Mars will need dependable in situ resource utilization (ISRU) for the production of oxygen and other commodities. One of these resources is the Martian atmosphere itself, which is composed of carbon dioxide (95.3%), nitrogen (2.7%), argon (1.6%), oxygen (0.13%), carbon monoxide (0.07%), and water vapor (0.03%), as well as other trace gases. However, the Martian atmosphere also contains relatively large amounts of dust, uploaded by frequent dust devils and high Winds. To make this gas usable for oxygen extraction in specialized chambers requires the removal of most of the dust. An electrostatic precipitator (ESP) system is an obvious choice. But with an atmospheric pressure just one-hundredth of Earth's, electrical breakdown at low voltages makes the implementation of the electrostatic precipitator technology very challenging. Ion mobility, drag forces, dust particle charging, and migration velocity are also affected because the low gas pressure results in molecular mean free paths that are approximately one hundred times longer than those at Earth .atmospheric pressure. We report here on our efforts to develop this technology at the Kennedy Space Center, using gases with approximately the same composition as the Martian atmosphere in a vacuum chamber at 9 mbars, the atmospheric pressure on Mars. We also present I-V curves and large particle charging data for various versions of wire-cylinder and rod-cylinder geometry ESPs. Preliminary results suggest that use of an ESP for dust collection on Mars may be feasible, but further testing with Martian dust simulant is required.

  13. Oxygen emission line properties from analysis of MAVEN-IUVS Echellograms of the Martian atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayyasi, Majd A.; Clarke, John T.; Stewart, Ian; McClintock, William; Schneider, Nicholas M.; Jakosky, Bruce; IUVS Team

    2016-10-01

    The high resolution echelle mode of the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) instrument has been used to spectrally image the sunlit limb of Mars during the spacecraft periapse orbital segments. When multiple images are co-added over a few hours, there are detectable spectral emission features that have been identified to originate from atomic and molecular neutral species such as H, D, N, O, CO as well as from C+ ions. The echelle detector has a localized spectral resolution of ~0.008 Angstrom and is therefore capable of spectrally resolving the oxygen resonant triplet (130.217, 130.486 and 130.603 nm) and forbidden doublet (135.560 and 135.851 nm) emission lines. The brightness of each of these emission lines has been determined and will be compared with detected brightnesses of other species. The emission line integrated brightness ratios are being analyzed for insights into the abundance, excitation, and variability of oxygen in the martian atmosphere.

  14. Hydrogen Isotopic Composition of Water in the Martian Atmosphere and Released from Rocknest Fines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leshin, L. A.; Webster, C. R.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Flesh, G. J.; Christensen, L. E.; Stern, J. C.; Franz, H. B.; McAdam, A. C.; Niles, P. B.; Archer, P. B., Jr.; Sutter, B.; Jones, J. H.; Ming, D. W.; Atreya, S. K.; Owen, T. C.; Conrad, P.

    2013-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover sampled the aeolian bedform called Rocknest as its first solid samples to be analyzed by the analytical instruments CheMin and SAM. The instruments ingested aliquots from a sieved sample of less than 150 micrometer grains. As discussed in other reports at this conference [e.g., 1], CheMin discovered many crystalline phases, almost all of which are igneous minerals, plus some 10s of percent of x-ray amorphous material. The SAM instrument is focused on understanding volatiles and possible organics in the fines, performing evolved gas analysis (EGA) with the SAM quadrapole mass spectrometer (QMS), isotope measurements using both the QMS and the tunable laser spectrometer (TLS), which is sensitive to CO2, water and methane, and organics with the gas chromatograph mass spectrometer (GCMS). As discussed in the abstract by Franz et al. [2] and others, EGA of Rocknest fines revealed the presence of significant amounts of H2O as well as O-, C- and S-bearing materials. SAM has also tasted the martian atmosphere several times, analyzing the volatiles in both the TLS and QMS [e.g., 3,4]. This abstract will focus on presentation of initial hydrogen isotopic data from the TLS for Rocknest soils and the atmosphere, and their interpretation. Data for CO2 isotopes and O isotopes in water are still being reduced, but should be available by at the conference.

  15. [Current data on atmospheric pollutions].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Festy, B; Petit-Coviaux, F; Le Moullec, Y

    1991-01-01

    Atmospheric pollutions (AP) are very important for human health and ecological equilibrium. They may be natural or anthropogenic and in this later case they can appear outdoor or indoor. Urban air pollution is the most known form of AP. Its main sources are industries, individual and collective heating and now mainly automobile traffic in most cities. Classical AP indicators are SO2, particles, NOx, CO and Pb measured in networks. Important factors of AP are amounts of pollutants emitted and local climatic and meteorological characteristics. Health effects of AP peaks and of AP background levels are not well known. But generally, mean AP levels of SO2 and particles decreased in the last years in most towns as the consequence of collective actions on the three main sources of AP and on fuels, emission and immission levels; but more is wanted about motor-cars. Progress are necessary for limitation of three major ecological risks: "acid-rain" (SO2 and NOx derivatives, ozone,...) which participates in lake and forest attacks; "green house" effects whose air CO2 concentration increase is the main responsible, and stratospheric ozone depletion mainly due to freons (CFC); the consequences of these two last phenomena are not well known but ecological and health risk exist. Besides, indoor air pollution (IAP) is very important because we live more than 20 h a day indoor. IAP may be occupational (a lot of chemical or biological agents) or not. In the later case air pollutants are very various: CO, NOx and particles from heating or cooking, formaldehyde from wood glue, plywood or urea-formol foams, radon and derivatives in some granitic countries, odd jobs products, cosmetics, aero-allergens of chemical or biological origins, microbes,... Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is also an important pollutant complex. Risks of IAP are real or potential: acute risk is obvious for CO, aero-allergens, formaldehyde, NOx,...); irritations are produced by ETS, formaldehyde, solvants

  16. Abundance and Isotopic Composition of Gases in the Martian Atmosphere: First Results from the Mars Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul; Webster, Chris R.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Franz, Heather; Wong, Michael; Conrad, Pamela G.; Harpold, Dan; Jones, John J.; Leshin, Laurie, A.; Manning, Heidi; Owen, Tobias; Pepin, Robert O.; Squyres, Steven; Trainer, Melissa

    2013-01-01

    Repeated measurements of the composition of the Mars atmosphere from Curiosity Rover yield a (40)Ar/N2 ratio 1.7 times greater and the (40)Ar/(36)Ar ratio 1.6 times smaller than the Viking Lander values in 1976. The unexpected change in (40)Ar/N2 ratio probably results from different instrument characteristics although we cannot yet rule out some unknown atmospheric process. The new (40)Ar/(36)Ar ratio is more aligned with Martian meteoritic values. Besides Ar and N2 the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite on the Curiosity Rover has measured the other principal components of the atmosphere and the isotopes. The resulting volume mixing ratios are: CO2 0.960(+/- 0.007); (40)Ar 0.0193(+/- 0.0001); N2 0.0189(+/- 0.0003); O2 1.45(+/- 0.09) x 10(exp -3); and CO 5.45(+/- 3.62) x 10(exp 4); and the isotopes (40)Ar/(36)Ar 1.9(+/- 0.3) x 10(exp 3), and delta (13)C and delta (18)O from CO2 that are both several tens of per mil more positive than the terrestrial averages. Heavy isotope enrichments support the hypothesis of large atmospheric loss. Moreover, the data are consistent with values measured in Martian meteorites, providing additional strong support for a Martian origin for these rocks.

  17. Seasonal Mapping of [HDO]/[H2O] in the Martian Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novak, Robert E.; Mumma, M. J.; Villanueva, G.; DiSanti, M. A.; Bonev, B.; Rahon, C. L.; Sanstead, C. C.

    2007-10-01

    We report seasonal changes in isotopic water on Mars, based on observations taken at NASA's IRTF using CSHELL. Column densities of HDO and H2O were extracted from individual spectral lines near 3.67 μm and 3.29 μm. The slit was positioned N-S on Mars' central meridian. Data were acquired in an ABBA sequence and their difference constitutes a spectral/spatial image from which each species was quantified. The frames were rectified by re-sampling in wavelength and spatial dimension, and spectra were then extracted at 0.6 arc-second intervals along the slit. We created atmospheric models for Earth and Mars using GENLN2 atmospheric software. The models include solar continuum (and Fraunhofer lines) with two-way transmission through Mars’ atmosphere, thermal emission from Mars’ surface and atmosphere with one-way transmission through Mars atmosphere, and one-way transmission through Earth's atmosphere for both. Latitudinal maps of [HDO]/[H2O] were constructed. The [HDO]/[H2O] ratios are always higher than terrestrial and they vary with both latitude and season. The ratio in the southern Martian hemisphere is found to be larger than that in the northern. This difference could be the signature of Rayleigh distillation, a process in which the different mean temperatures of the polar caps cause a different degree of HDO sequestration, resulting in different degrees of enrichment in the polar caps. For Ls =155o in 2003 and Ls =357o in 2006, HDO and H2O column densities were both obtained from CSHELL data. They will be compared with results from other seasons (Ls =67o in 1997, Ls =223o in 2005, and Ls =333o in 2004) when HDO was measured with CSHELL and H2O was measured by MGS-TES. This work was partially funded by grants from NASA's Planetary Astronomy Program (RTOP 344-32-51-96) and NSF RUI Program (AST-0505765). We acknowledge the NASA-IRTF for observing time and M. Smith for providing TES results.

  18. A Low-Cost, Low-Risk Mission Concept for the Return of Martian Atmospheric Dust: Relevance to Human Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wadhwa, M.; Leshin, L.; Clark, B.; Jones, S.; Jurewicz, A.; McLennan, S.; Mischna, M.; Ruff, S.; Squyres, S.; Westphal, A.

    2017-06-01

    We present a low-cost, low-risk mission concept for return of martian atmospheric dust. Such a mission would serve as a scientific, technological and operational pathfinder for future surface sample return and human exploration to Mars.

  19. Impact of Martian atmosphere parameter uncertainties on entry vehicles aerodynamic for hypersonic rarefied conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fei, Huang; Xu-hong, Jin; Jun-ming, Lv; Xiao-li, Cheng

    2016-11-01

    An attempt has been made to analyze impact of Martian atmosphere parameter uncertainties on entry vehicle aerodynamics for hypersonic rarefied conditions with a DSMC code. The code has been validated by comparing Viking vehicle flight data with present computational results. Then, by simulating flows around the Mars Science Laboratory, the impact of errors of free stream parameter uncertainties on aerodynamics is investigated. The validation results show that the present numerical approach can show good agreement with the Viking flight data. The physical and chemical properties of CO2 has strong impact on aerodynamics of Mars entry vehicles, so it is necessary to make proper corrections to the data obtained with air model in hypersonic rarefied conditions, which is consistent with the conclusions drawn in continuum regime. Uncertainties of free stream density and velocity weakly influence aerodynamics and pitching moment. However, aerodynamics appears to be little influenced by free stream temperature, the maximum error of what is below 0.5%. Center of pressure position is not sensitive to free stream parameters.

  20. Measurements of non-equilibrium and equilibrium temperature behind a strong shock wave in simulated martian atmosphere

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xin Lin; Xi-Long Yu; Fei Li; Shao-Hua Zhang; Jian-Guo Xin; Xin-Yu Zhang

    2012-01-01

    Non-equilibrium radiation measurements behind strong shock wave for simulated Martian atmosphere are presented in this paper.The shock wave is established in a hydrogen oxygen combustion driven shock tube.Time-resolved spectra of the △v =0 sequence of the B2Σ+ → X2Σ+ electronic transition of CN have been observed through optical emission spectroscopy (OES).A new method,which is based on fitting high resolution spectrum for rotational and vibrational temperatures measurement,is proposed to diagnose temperature distribution behind the shock wave.It is estimated that the current scheme has the maximum deviation less than 8% (1σ) for vibrational temperature measurement through detailed analysis of the influence of the uncertainties of spectroscopic constants and spectral resolution.Radiation structure of the shock layer,including induction,relaxation and equilibrium process,and corresponding rotational and vibrational temperatures are obtained through time gating OES diagnostics with sub-microsecond temporal resolution.The present extensive results will strongly benefit the reaction rate estimation and computational fluid dynamics (CFD)code validation in high enthalpy Mars reentry chemistry.

  1. Evolution of Water Reservoirs on Mars: Constraints from Hydrogen Isotopes in Martian Meteorites

    OpenAIRE

    Kurokawa, Hiroyuki; Sato, Masahiko; Ushioda, Masashi; Matsuyama, Takeshi; Moriwaki, Ryota; James M. Dohm; Usui, Tomohiro

    2014-01-01

    Martian surface morphology implies that Mars was once warm enough to maintain persistent liquid water on its surface. While the high D/H ratios (~6 times the Earth's ocean water) of the current martian atmosphere suggest that significant water has been lost from the surface during martian history, the timing, processes, and the amount of the water loss have been poorly constrained. Recent technical developments of ion-microprobe analysis of martian meteorites have provided accurate estimation...

  2. Pressurized Martian-Like Pure CO2 Atmosphere Supports Strong Growth of Cyanobacteria, and Causes Significant Changes in their Metabolism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murukesan, Gayathri; Leino, Hannu; Mäenpää, Pirkko; Ståhle, Kurt; Raksajit, Wuttinun; Lehto, Harry J.; Allahverdiyeva-Rinne, Yagut; Lehto, Kirsi

    2016-03-01

    Surviving of crews during future missions to Mars will depend on reliable and adequate supplies of essential life support materials, i.e. oxygen, food, clean water, and fuel. The most economical and sustainable (and in long term, the only viable) way to provide these supplies on Martian bases is via bio-regenerative systems, by using local resources to drive oxygenic photosynthesis. Selected cyanobacteria, grown in adequately protective containment could serve as pioneer species to produce life sustaining substrates for higher organisms. The very high (95.3 %) CO2 content in Martian atmosphere would provide an abundant carbon source for photo-assimilation, but nitrogen would be a strongly limiting substrate for bio-assimilation in this environment, and would need to be supplemented by nitrogen fertilizing. The very high supply of carbon, with rate-limiting supply of nitrogen strongly affects the growth and the metabolic pathways of the photosynthetic organisms. Here we show that modified, Martian-like atmospheric composition (nearly 100 % CO2) under various low pressure conditions (starting from 50 mbar to maintain liquid water, up to 200 mbars) supports strong cellular growth. Under high CO2 / low N2 ratio the filamentous cyanobacteria produce significant amount of H2 during light due to differentiation of high amount of heterocysts.

  3. Pressurized Martian-Like Pure CO2 Atmosphere Supports Strong Growth of Cyanobacteria, and Causes Significant Changes in their Metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murukesan, Gayathri; Leino, Hannu; Mäenpää, Pirkko; Ståhle, Kurt; Raksajit, Wuttinun; Lehto, Harry J; Allahverdiyeva-Rinne, Yagut; Lehto, Kirsi

    2016-03-01

    Surviving of crews during future missions to Mars will depend on reliable and adequate supplies of essential life support materials, i.e. oxygen, food, clean water, and fuel. The most economical and sustainable (and in long term, the only viable) way to provide these supplies on Martian bases is via bio-regenerative systems, by using local resources to drive oxygenic photosynthesis. Selected cyanobacteria, grown in adequately protective containment could serve as pioneer species to produce life sustaining substrates for higher organisms. The very high (95.3 %) CO2 content in Martian atmosphere would provide an abundant carbon source for photo-assimilation, but nitrogen would be a strongly limiting substrate for bio-assimilation in this environment, and would need to be supplemented by nitrogen fertilizing. The very high supply of carbon, with rate-limiting supply of nitrogen strongly affects the growth and the metabolic pathways of the photosynthetic organisms. Here we show that modified, Martian-like atmospheric composition (nearly 100 % CO2) under various low pressure conditions (starting from 50 mbar to maintain liquid water, up to 200 mbars) supports strong cellular growth. Under high CO2 / low N2 ratio the filamentous cyanobacteria produce significant amount of H2 during light due to differentiation of high amount of heterocysts.

  4. Chronology, Eruption Duration, and Atmospheric Contribution of the Martian Volcano Apollinaris Patera

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, M.S.; Mouginis-Mark, P. J.; Zimbelman, J.R.; Wu, S.S.C.; Ablin, K.K.; Howington-Kraus, A. E.

    1993-01-01

    Geologic mapping, thermal inertia measurements, and an analysis of the color (visual wavelengths) of the martian volcano Apollinaris Patera indicate the existence of two different surface materials, comprising an early, easily eroded edifice, and a more recent, competent fan on the southern flank. A chronology of six major events that is consistent with the present morphology of the volcano has been identified. We propose that large scale explosive activity occurred during the formation of the main edifice and that the distinctive fan on the southern flank appears to have been formed by lavas of low eruptive rate similar to those that form compound pahoehoe flow fields on Earth. A basal escarpment typically 500 m in relief and morphologically similar to the one surrounding Olympus Mons was produced between the formation of the main edifice and the fan, indicating multistage eruptions over a protracted period of time. Contact relations between the volcanic units and the adjacent chaotic material indicate that formation of the chaotic material occurred over an extended period of time and may be related to the volcanic activity that formed Apollinaris Patera. Stereophotogrammetric measurements permit the volume of the volcano to be estimated at 105 km3. From this volume measurement and an inferred eruption rate (1.5 ?? 10-2 km3 yr-1) we estimate the total eruption duration for the main edifice to be ???107 yrs. Plausible estimates of the exsolved volatile content of the parent magma imply that greater than 1015 kg of water vapor was released into the atmosphere as a consequence of this activity. This large amount of water vapor as well as other exsolved gases must have had a significant impact on local, and possibly global, climatic conditions. ?? 1993 Academic Press. All rights reserved.

  5. 3D modelling of the early Martian Climate under a denser CO2 atmosphere: Temperatures and CO2 ice clouds

    CERN Document Server

    Forget, Francois; Millour, Ehouarn; Madeleine, Jean-Baptiste; Kerber, Laura; Leconte, Jeremy; Marcq, Emmanuel; Haberle, Robert M

    2012-01-01

    On the basis of geological evidence, it is often stated that the early martian climate was warm enough for liquid water to flow on the surface thanks to the greenhouse effect of a thick atmosphere. We present 3D global climate simulations of the early martian climate performed assuming a faint young sun and a CO2 atmosphere with pressure between 0.1 and 7 bars. The model includes a detailed radiative transfer model using revised CO2 gas collision induced absorption properties, and a parameterisation of the CO2 ice cloud microphysical and radiative properties. A wide range of possible climates is explored by using various values of obliquities, orbital parameters, cloud microphysic parameters, atmospheric dust loading, and surface properties. Unlike on present day Mars, for pressures higher than a fraction of a bar, surface temperatures vary with altitude because of the adiabatic cooling and warming of the atmosphere when it moves vertically. In most simulations, CO2 ice clouds cover a major part of the planet...

  6. Samples from Martian craters: Origin of the Martian soil by hydrothermal alteration of impact melt deposits and atmospheric interactions with ejecta during crater formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newsom, Horton E.

    1988-01-01

    The origin of the Martian soil is an important question for understanding weathering processes on the Martian surface, and also for understanding the global geochemistry of Mars. Chemical analyses of the soil will provide an opportunity to examine what may be a crustal average, as studies of loess on the Earth have demonstrated. In this regard the origin of the Martian soil is also important for understanding the chemical fractionations that have affected the composition of the soil. Several processes that are likely to contribute to the Martian soil are examined.

  7. A global view of gravity waves in the Martian atmosphere inferred from a high-resolution general circulation model

    CERN Document Server

    Kuroda, Takeshi; Yiğit, Erdal; Hartogh, Paul

    2015-01-01

    Global characteristics of the small-scale gravity wave (GW) field in the Martian atmosphere obtained from a high-resolution general circulation model (GCM) are presented for the first time. The simulated GW-induced temperature variances are in a good agreement with available radio occultation data in the lower atmosphere between 10 and 30 km. The model reveals a latitudinal asymmetry with stronger wave generation in the winter hemisphere, and two distinctive sources of GWs: mountainous regions and the meandering winter polar jet. Orographic GWs are filtered while propagating upward, and the mesosphere is primarily dominated by harmonics with faster horizontal phase velocities. Wave fluxes are directed mainly against the local wind. GW dissipation in the upper mesosphere generates body forces of tens of m~s$^{-1}$~sol$^{-1}$, which tend to close the simulated jets. The results represent a realistic surrogate for missing observations, which can be used for constraining GW parameterizations and validating GCM si...

  8. Solar Wind Interaction with the Martian Upper Atmosphere at Early Mars/Extreme Solar Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, C.; Bougher, S. W.; Ma, Y.; Toth, G.; Lee, Y.; Nagy, A. F.; Tenishev, V.; Pawlowski, D. J.; Combi, M. R.

    2014-12-01

    The investigation of ion escape fluxes from Mars, resulting from the solar wind interaction with its upper atmosphere/ionosphere, is important due to its potential impact on the long-term evolution of Mars atmosphere (e.g., loss of water) over its history. In the present work, we adopt the 3-D Mars cold neutral atmosphere profiles (0 ~ 300 km) from the newly developed and validated Mars Global Ionosphere Thermosphere Model (M-GITM) and the 3-D hot oxygen profiles (100 km ~ 5 RM) from the exosphere Monte Carlo model Adaptive Mesh Particle Simulator (AMPS). We apply these 3-D model output fields into the 3-D BATS-R-US Mars multi-fluid MHD (MF-MHD) model (100 km ~ 20 RM) that can simulate the interplay between Mars upper atmosphere and solar wind by considering the dynamics of individual ion species. The multi-fluid MHD model solves separate continuity, momentum and energy equations for each ion species (H+, O+, O2+, CO2+). The M-GITM model together with the AMPS exosphere model take into account the effects of solar cycle and seasonal variations on both cold and hot neutral atmospheres. This feature allows us to investigate the corresponding effects on the Mars upper atmosphere ion escape by using a one-way coupling approach, i.e., both the M-GITM and AMPS model output fields are used as the input for the multi-fluid MHD model and the M-GITM is used as input into the AMPS exosphere model. In this study, we present M-GITM, AMPS, and MF-MHD calculations (1-way coupled) for 2.5 GYA conditions and/or extreme solar conditions for present day Mars (high solar wind velocities, high solar wind dynamic pressure, and high solar irradiance conditions, etc.). Present day extreme conditions may result in MF-MHD outputs that are similar to 2.5 GYA cases. The crustal field orientations are also considered in this study. By comparing estimates of past ion escape rates with the current ion loss rates to be returned by the MAVEN spacecraft (2013-2016), we can better constrain the

  9. Hydrogen Isotopes Record the History of the Martian Hydrosphere and Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usui, T.; Simon, J. I.; Jones, J. H.; Kurokawa, H.; Sato, M.; Alexander, C. M. O'D; Wang, J.

    2015-01-01

    The surface geology and geomorphology of Mars indicates that it was once warm enough to maintain a large body of liquid water on its surface, though such a warm environment might have been transient. The transition to the present cold and dry Mars is closely linked to the history of surface water, yet the evolution of surficial water is poorly constrained. This study presents insights from hydrogen isotopes for the origin and evolution of Martian water reservoirs.

  10. Global modelling of the early Martian climate under a denser CO2 atmosphere: Water cycle and ice evolution

    CERN Document Server

    Wordsworth, R; Millour, E; Head, J; Madeleine, J -B; Charnay, B

    2012-01-01

    We discuss 3D global simulations of the early Martian climate that we have performed assuming a faint young Sun and denser CO2 atmosphere. We include a self-consistent representation of the water cycle, with atmosphere-surface interactions, atmospheric transport, and the radiative effects of CO2 and H2O gas and clouds taken into account. We find that for atmospheric pressures greater than a fraction of a bar, the adiabatic cooling effect causes temperatures in the southern highland valley network regions to fall significantly below the global average. Long-term climate evolution simulations indicate that in these circumstances, water ice is transported to the highlands from low-lying regions for a wide range of orbital obliquities, regardless of the extent of the Tharsis bulge. In addition, an extended water ice cap forms on the southern pole, approximately corresponding to the location of the Noachian/Hesperian era Dorsa Argentea Formation. Even for a multiple-bar CO2 atmosphere, conditions are too cold to a...

  11. Gravity waves and high-altitude CO$_2$ ice cloud formation in the Martian atmosphere

    CERN Document Server

    Yiğit, Erdal; Hartogh, Paul

    2015-01-01

    We present the first general circulation model simulations that quantify and reproduce patches of extremely cold air required for CO$_2$ condensation and cloud formation in the Martian mesosphere. They are created by subgrid-scale gravity waves (GWs) accounted for in the model with the interactively implemented spectral parameterization. Distributions of GW-induced temperature fluctuations and occurrences of supersaturation conditions are in a good agreement with observations of high-altitude CO$_2$ ice clouds. Our study confirms the key role of GWs in facilitating CO$_2$ cloud formation, discusses their tidal modulation, and predicts clouds at altitudes higher than have been observed to date.

  12. The Martian annual atmospheric pressure cycle - Years without great dust storms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tillman, James E.; Johnson, Neal C.; Guttorp, Peter; Percival, Donald B.

    1993-01-01

    A model of the annual cycle of pressure on Mars for a 2-yr period, chosen to include one year at the Viking Lander 2 and to minimize the effect of great dust storms at the 22-deg N Lander 1 site, was developed by weighted least squares fitting of the Viking Lander pressure measurements to an annual mean, and fundamental and the first four harmonics of the annual cycle. Close agreement was obtained between the two years, suggesting that an accurate representation of the annual CO2 condensation-sublimation cycle can be established for such years. This model is proposed as the 'nominal' Martian annual pressure cycle, and applications are suggested.

  13. The Effect of Diffusional Transport and Surface Catalysis on the Aerothermodynamic Heating for Martian Atmospheric Entry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henline, William D.; Papadopoulos, Periklis; Langhoff, Stephen R. (Technical Monitor)

    1997-01-01

    For the reentry heating of 70-degree blunt sphere-cones entering Mars at velocities in excess of 6 km/sec, a study was performed to determine the magnitude of both convective and catalytic heating on the cone forebody. Case studies of the peak heating conditions for the current NASA Mars Pathfinder entry probe, as well as the peak heating conditions of the proposed NASA Mars 2001 aerobraking orbiter mission were performed. Since the actual behavior of the chemical recombination of Mars atmosphere hypersonic shock layer species on heat shield materials is not known, and no experimental studies of any consequence have been done to determine surface reaction rates for the CO2 system, a parametric analysis of various reaction schemes and surface catalytic mechanistic models was performed. In many cases the actual Mars entry probe will have a heat shield composed of an ablative material which can either partially or completely preclude the existence of catalytic surface recombination phenomena. The extent of this blockage effect has not been examined at this time and is not considered in this effort. Instead only non-ablative computations are performed to separately evaluate the full extent of the surface catalysis and related diffusional phenomena. Parametric studies include peak heating point comparisons of non-catalytic, partially catalytic and fully catalytic total surface heat transfer for three difference surface recombination catalytic mechanisms (with and without simultaneous CO + O and O + O recombination) as well as with different species diffusion models. Diffusion model studies include constant Schmidt number (equal diffusivities) and the bifurcation, approximate multi-component diffusion model. Since the gas phase reaction kinetics for the Mars CO2 based atmosphere have also not been validated, the effect of two different (fast and slow) sets of gas kinetics on heat transfer is presented.

  14. Gas-solid carbonation as a current alternative origin for carbonates in Martian regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garenne, A.; Montes-Hernandez, G.; Beck, P.; Schmitt, B.; Brissaud, O.

    2011-12-01

    Carbonates are abundant sedimentary minerals at the surface and sub-surface of Earth and they have been proposed as tracers of liquid water in extraterrestrial environments (e.g. at Mars surface). Its formation mechanism is since generally associated with aqueous alteration processes. Recently, carbonates minerals have been discovered on Mars surface by different orbital or rovers missions. In particular, the phoenix mission has measured from 1 to 5% of calcium carbonate (calcite type). These occurrences have been reported in area were the relative humidity is significantly high (Boynton et al., 2009). The small concentration of carbonates suggests an alternative process than carbonation in aqueous conditions. Such an observation might rather point toward a possible formation mechanism by dust-gas reaction under current Martian conditions. For this reason, in the present study, we designed an experimental setup consisting of an infrared microscope coupled to a cryogenic reaction cell (IR-CryoCell setup) in order to investigate the gas-solid carbonation of three different mineral precursors for carbonates (Ca and Mg hydroxides, and a hydrated Ca silicate formed from Ca2SiO4) at low temperature (from -10 to 25°C) and at reduced CO2 pressure (from 100 to 1000 mbar). These mineral materials are crucial precursors to form respective Ca and Mg carbonates in humid environments (0 < relative humidity < 100%) at dust-CO2 or dust-water ice-CO2 interfaces. The results have revealed a significant and fast carbonation process for Ca hydroxide and hydrated Ca silicate. Conversely, slight carbonation process was observed for Mg hydroxide. These results suggest that gas-solid carbonation process or carbonate formation at the dust-water ice-CO2 interfaces could be a currently active Mars surface process. We note that the carbonation process at low temperature (<0°C) described in the present study could also have important implications on the dust-water ice-CO2 interactions in

  15. Extending MGS-TES Temperature Retrievals in the Martian Atmosphere up to 90 Km: Retrieval Approach and Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feofilov, A. G.; Kutepov, A. A.; Rezac, L.; Smith, M. D.

    2015-01-01

    This paper describes a methodology for performing a temperature retrieval in the Martian atmosphere in the 50-90 km altitude range using spectrally integrated 15 micrometers C02 limb emissions measured by the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES), the thermal infrared spectrometer on board the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS). We demonstrate that temperature retrievals from limb observations in the 75-90 km altitude range require accounting for the non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (non-LTE) populations of the C02(v2) vibrational levels. Using the methodology described in the paper, we have retrieved approximately 1200 individual temperature profiles from MGS TES limb observations in the altitude range between 60 and 90 km. 0ur dataset of retrieved temperature profiles is available for download in supplemental materials of this paper. The temperature retrieval uncertainties are mainly caused by radiance noise, and are estimated to be about 2 K at 60 km and below, 4 K at 70 km, 7 K at 80 km, 10 K at 85 km, and 20 K at 90 km. We compare the retrieved profiles to Mars Climate Database temperature profiles and find good qualitative agreement. Quantitatively, our retrieved profiles are in general warmer and demonstrate strong variability with the following values for bias and standard deviations (in brackets) compared to the Martian Year 24 dataset of the Mars Climate Database: 6 (+/-20) K at 60 km, 7.5 (+/-25) K at 65 km, 9 (+/-27) K at 70 km, 9.5 (+/-27) K at 75 km, 10 (+/-28) K at 80 km, 11 (+/-29) K at 85 km, and 11.5 (+/-31) K at 90 km. Possible reasons for the positive temperature bias are discussed. carbon dioxide molecular vibrations

  16. Near-pure vapor condensation in the Martian atmosphere: CO2 ice crystal growth

    OpenAIRE

    Listowski, Constantino; Määttänen, Anni; Riipinen, Ilona; Montmessin, Franck; Lefèvre, Franck

    2013-01-01

    International audience; A new approach is presented to model the condensational growth of carbon dioxide (CO2) ice crystals on Mars. These condensates form in very particular conditions. First, ~95% of the atmosphere is composed of CO2 so that near-pure vapor condensation takes place. Second, the atmosphere is rarefied, having dramatic consequences on the crystal growth. Indeed, the subsequently reduced efficiency of heat transport helps maintain a high temperature difference between the crys...

  17. Miniaturized Gas Correlation Radiometer for the Detection of Trace Gases in the Martian Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melroy, Hilary R.; Wilson, Emily L.; Georgieva, Elena

    2012-01-01

    We present a miniaturized and simplified version of a gas correlation radiometer (GCR) capable of simultaneously mapping multiple trace gases and identifying active regions on the Mars surface. Gas correlation radiometry (GCR) has been shown to be a sensitive and versatile method for detecting trace gases in Earth's atmosphere. Reduction of the size and mass of the GCR was achieved by implementing compact, light-weight 1 mm inner diameter hollow-core optical fibers (hollow waveguides) as the gas correlation cells. In a comparison with an Earth orbiting CO2 GCR instrument, exchanging the 10 m multipass cells with hollow waveguide gas correlation cells of equivalent path length reduces the mass from approximately 150 kg to approximately 0.5 kg, and reduces the volume from 1.9 m x 1.3 m x 0.86 m to a small bundle of fiber coils approximately 1 meter in diameter by 0.05 m in height (mass and volume reductions of greater than 99%). A unique feature of this instrument is its stackable module design, with a single module for each trace gas. Each of the modules is self-contained, and fundamentally identical; differing by the bandpass filter wavelength range and gas mixtures inside the hollow-waveguide absorption cells. The current configuration contains four stacked modules for simultaneous measurements of methane (CH4), formaldehyde (H2CO), water vapor (H2O), and deuterated water vapor (HDO) but could easily be expanded to include measurements of additional species of interest including nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), methanol (CH3OH), and sulfur dioxide (SO2), as well as carbon dioxide (CO2) for a simultaneous measure of mass balance. Preliminary results indicate that a 1 ppb detection limit is possible for both formaldehyde and methane with one second of averaging. Using non-optimized components, we have demonstrated an instrument sensitivity equivalent to approximately 30 ppb for formaldehyde, and approximately 500 ppb for methane. We expect custom

  18. Miniaturized Gas Correlation Radiometer for the Detection of Trace Gases in the Martian Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melroy, H.; Wilson, E. L.; Georgieva, E.

    2012-12-01

    We present a miniaturized and simplified version of a gas correlation radiometer (GCR) capable of simultaneously mapping multiple trace gases and identifying active regions on the Mars surface. Gas correlation radiometry (GCR) has been shown to be a sensitive and versatile method for detecting trace gases in Earth's atmosphere. Reduction of the size and mass of the GCR was achieved by implementing compact, light-weight 1 mm inner diameter hollow-core optical fibers (hollow waveguides) as the gas correlation cells. In a comparison with an Earth orbiting CO2 GCR instrument, exchanging the 10 m multipass cells with hollow waveguide gas correlation cells of equivalent pathlength reduces the mass from ~150 kg to ~0.5 kg, and reduces the volume from 1.9 m x 1.3 m x 0.86 m to a small bundle of fiber coils approximately 1 meter in diameter by 0.05 m in height (mass and volume reductions of >99%). A unique feature of this instrument is its stackable module design, with a single module for each trace gas. Each of the modules is self-contained, and fundamentally identical; differing by the bandpass filter wavelength range and gas mixtures inside the hollow-waveguide absorption cells. The current configuration contains four stacked modules for simultaneous measurements of methane (CH4), formaldehyde (H2CO), water vapor (H2O), and deuterated water vapor (HDO) but could easily be expanded to include measurements of additional species of interest including nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), methanol (CH3OH), and sulfur dioxide (SO2), as well as carbon dioxide (CO2) for a simultaneous measure of mass balance. Preliminary results indicate that a 1 ppb detection limit is possible for both formaldehyde and methane with one second of averaging. Using non-optimized components, we have demonstrated an instrument sensitivity equivalent to ~30 ppb for formaldehyde, and ~500 ppb for methane. We expect custom bandpass filters and 6 m long waveguides to significantly improve these

  19. Orbit-spin coupling and the circulation of the Martian atmosphere

    CERN Document Server

    Shirley, James H

    2016-01-01

    The physical origins of the observed interannual variability of weather and climate on Mars are poorly understood. In this paper we introduce a deterministic physical mechanism that may account for much of the variability of the circulation of the Mars atmosphere on seasonal and longer timescales. We derive a coupling expression linking orbital and rotational motions that produces an acceleration field varying with position and with time on and within a subject body. The spatially and temporally varying accelerations may interfere constructively or destructively with large-scale flows of geophysical fluids that are established and maintained by other means. The hypothesis predicts cycles of intensification and relaxation of circulatory flows of atmospheres on seasonal and longer timescales that are largely independent of solar forcing. The predictions of the hypothesis may be tested through numerical modeling. Examples from investigations of the atmospheric circulation of Mars are provided to illustrate quali...

  20. Ultraviolet-radiation-induced methane emissions from meteorites and the Martian atmosphere

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keppler, F.; Vigano, I.; McLeod, A.; Ott, U.; Früchtl, M; Rockmann, T.

    2012-01-01

    Almost a decade after methane was first reported in the atmosphere of Mars1, 2 there is an intensive discussion about both the reliability of the observations3, 4—particularly the suggested seasonal and latitudinal variations5, 6—and the sources of methane on Mars. Given that the lifetime of methane

  1. Ultraviolet-radiation-induced methane emissions from meteorites and the Martian atmosphere

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keppler, F.; Vigano, I.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304831956; McLeod, A.; Ott, U.; Früchtl, M|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/372648096; Rockmann, T.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304838233

    2012-01-01

    Almost a decade after methane was first reported in the atmosphere of Mars1, 2 there is an intensive discussion about both the reliability of the observations3, 4—particularly the suggested seasonal and latitudinal variations5, 6—and the sources of methane on Mars. Given that the lifetime of methane

  2. Gas chromatography for space exploration : application to the in situ analysis of Titan's atmosphere, comets nucleus and martian soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sternberg, R.; Szopa, C.; Buch, A.; Mettetal, F.; Coscia, D.; Coll, P.; Cabane, M.; Rodier, C.; Vidal-Madjar, C.; Raulin, F.

    Gas chromatography is one of the most powerful technique for the in situ chemical investigation of extraterrestrial environments Its successful use in past planetary missions to Mars 1976-78 and Venus 1978-85 made it the main method selected for the in situ molecular characterization of the Titan s atmosphere comets and the Martian soil Indeed gas chromatography fully meet the severe constraints required in space instrumentation such as small weight and size low power consumption high mechanical strength and resistance to deep space conditions vacuum cosmic rays This paper presents the gas chromatographic subsystems which have been developed at LISA and SA respectively for the Huygens probe of the Cassini-Huygens mission to Titan 1 the Philae probe of the Rosetta mission to a comet 2 and the future landing probe of the MSL 2009 mission to Mars 3 The coupling of these GC subsystems with pyrolysis and chemical derivatization techniques allows the chemical analysis of a wide range of molecules including non-volatiles complex organics such as aminoacides and nucleobases the search of wich is of particular interest for exobiology The analytical capabilities of these subsystems with a particular emphasis of their exobiological aspects and implications are described 1 G Israel C Szopa F Raulin M Cabane P Coll R Sternberg et al Nature vol438 796-799 2005 2 C Szopa R Sternberg F Raulin and H Rosenbauer PSS 863-877 2003 3 Cabane M P Coll C Szopa G Isra e l F Raulin

  3. Some new aspects of the transient ionization layer of comet Siding Spring origin in the Martian upper atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venkateswara Rao, N.; ManasaMohana, P.; Jayaraman, A.; Rao, S. V. B.

    2016-04-01

    The close encounter of comet Siding Spring with Mars resulted in the formation of a dense transient ionization layer in the Martian upper atmosphere at altitudes between 80 and 120 km. Instruments on three spacecraft orbiting Mars detected the presence of this layer, as reported in previous publications. In this study, we reanalyzed the ionograms of the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding (MARSIS) instrument on Mars Express to get further insight about the recurrence of the layer. For this purpose, data from three periapsis passes of MARSIS that took place 5 h, 12 h, and 19 h after peak dust deposition are used. We found that the transient ionization layer was sustained at least for 19 h on the nightside and 12 h on the dayside. While the peak density of the layer on the nightside gradually decreases from orbit to orbit, it does not change much on the dayside. Some ionograms in all three orbits show two transient ionization layers that are separated by ~60 km in apparent altitude. These double layers occur preferentially in regions of strong vertical magnetic fields. The bottom layer of the double structure is probably an oblique echo due to reflections from ionization bulges (formed in regions of vertical magnetic fields) at altitudes of the transient ionization layer. Horizontal bifurcation of the original layer is considered as another plausible mechanism for explaining the double-layer structure.

  4. Study of trace gases in the Martian atmosphere: Groundbased observation using SUBARU/IRCS and development of radiative transfer model for MEX/PFS limb observation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aoki, S.; Nakagawa, H.; Kasaba, Y.; Giuranna, M.; Geminale, A.; Sindoni, G.; Sagawa, H.; Mendrok, J.; Kasai, Y.; Formisano, V.

    2012-09-01

    We observed Martian atmosphere to investigate CH4, H2O, and HDO on 30 November 2011, 4-5 January 2012, and 12 April 2012 using SUBARU/ IRCS. This observation aims to verify CH4 on Mars, constrain its source, and investigate the distribution of H2O/HDO ratio. Our observation covered possible source areas of CH4, i.e. the areas where the extend plumes of CH4 were detected by previous groundbased and MEX/PFS observations [1,2] and the potential mud volcanism areas [3,4]. This paper will show some preliminary results. Vertical profiles of these trace gases are crucial for understanding their chemistry and transportation. Limb observations by MEX/PFS are a powerful tool to retrieve vertical profiles of H2O, CO, and CH4. For this purpose, we adapted the SARTre model, a radiative transfer code which includes multiple scattering for limb geometry observations developed for the terrestrial atmosphere [5], to the Martian atmosphere. In order to validate our model, SARTre model for Martian limb, we first compared of our synthetic spectra in nadir geometry with the result from ARS [6] which has been widely used for previous studies of MEX/PFS nadir-observation. We concluded that the difference between them is small offset (below 3%) in the spectral range between 3000 and 3030 cm-1.

  5. Atmospheric effects on the mapping of Martian thermal inertia and thermally derived albedo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashi, Joan N.; Jakosky, Bruce M.; Haberle, Robert M.

    1995-01-01

    We examine the effects of a dusty CO2 atmosphere on the thermal inertia and thermally derived albedo of Mars and we present a new map of thermal inertias. This new map was produced using a coupled surface atmosphere (CSA) model, dust opacities from Viking infrared thermal mapper (IRTM) data, and CO2 columns based on topography. The CSA model thermal inertias are smaller than the 2% model thermal inertias, with the difference largest at large thermal inertia. Although the difference between the thermal inertias obtained with the two models is moderate for much of the region studied, it is largest in regions of either high dust opacity or of topographic lows, including the Viking Lander 1 site and some geologically interesting regions. The CSA model thermally derived albedos do not acurately predict the IRTM measured albedos and are very similar to the thermally derived albedos obtained with models making the 2% assumption.

  6. Abundance and isotopic composition of gases in the martian atmosphere from the Curiosity rover

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mahaffy, P.R.; Webster, C.R.; Atreya, S.K.; Franz, H.; Wong, M.; Conrad, P.G.; Harpold, D.; Jones, J.J.; Leshin, L.A.; Manning, H.; Owen, T.; Pepin, R.O.; Squyres, S.; Trainer, M.; MSL Science Team, the|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/292012217

    2013-01-01

    Volume mixing and isotope ratios secured with repeated atmospheric measurements taken with the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite on the Curiosity rover are: carbon dioxide (CO2), 0.960(±0.007); argon-40 (40Ar), 0.0193(±0.0001); nitrogen (N2), 0.0189(±0.0003); oxygen, 1.45(±0.09) × 10−3;

  7. Abundance and isotopic composition of gases in the martian atmosphere from the Curiosity rover

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mahaffy, P.R.; Webster, C.R.; Atreya, S.K.; Franz, H.; Wong, M.; Conrad, P.G.; Harpold, D.; Jones, J.J.; Leshin, L.A.; Manning, H.; Owen, T.; Pepin, R.O.; Squyres, S.; Trainer, M.; MSL Science Team, the

    2013-01-01

    Volume mixing and isotope ratios secured with repeated atmospheric measurements taken with the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite on the Curiosity rover are: carbon dioxide (CO2), 0.960(±0.007); argon-40 (40Ar), 0.0193(±0.0001); nitrogen (N2), 0.0189(±0.0003); oxygen, 1.45(±0.09) × 10−3; carbo

  8. Terrestrial and Martian weathering signatures of xenon components in shergottite mineral separates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, J. A.; Ocker, K. D.; Crowther, S. A.; Burgess, R.; Gilmour, J. D.

    2010-08-01

    Xenon-isotopic ratios, step-heating release patterns, and gas concentrations of mineral separates from Martian shergottites Roberts Massif (RBT) 04262, Dar al Gani (DaG) 489, Shergotty, and Elephant Moraine (EET) 79001 lithology B are reported. Concentrations of Martian atmospheric xenon are similar in mineral separates from all meteorites, but more weathered samples contain more terrestrial atmospheric xenon. The distributions of xenon from the Martian and terrestrial atmospheres among minerals in any one sample are similar, suggesting similarities in the processes by which they were acquired. However, in opaque and maskelynite fractions, Martian atmospheric xenon is released at higher temperatures than terrestrial atmospheric xenon. It is suggested that both Martian and terrestrial atmospheric xenon were initially introduced by weathering (low temperature alteration processes). However, the Martian component was redistributed by shock, accounting for its current residence in more retentive sites. The presence or absence of detectable 129Xe from the Martian atmosphere in mafic minerals may correspond to the extent of crustal contamination of the rock's parent melt. Variable contents of excess 129Xe contrast with previously reported consistent concentrations of excess 40Ar, suggesting distinct sources contributed these gases to the parent magma.

  9. Infrared radiation and inversion population of CO2 laser levels in Venusian and Martian atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordiyets, B. F.; Panchenko, V. Y.

    1983-01-01

    Formation mechanisms of nonequilibrium 10 micron CO2 molecule radiation and the possible existence of a natural laser effect in the upper atmospheres of Venus and Mars are theoretically studied. An analysis is made of the excitation process of CO2 molecule vibrational-band levels (with natural isotropic content) induced by direct solar radiation in bands 10.6, 9.4, 4.3, 2.7 and 2.0 microns. The model of partial vibrational-band temperatures was used in the case. The problem of IR radiation transfer in vibrational-rotational bands was solved in the radiation escape approximation.

  10. Water Ice Clouds and Dust in the Martian Atmosphere Observed by Mars Climate Sounder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson, Jennifer L.; Kass, David; Heavens, Nicholas; Kleinbohl, Armin

    2011-01-01

    The water ice clouds are primarily controlled by the temperature structure and form at the water condensation level. Clouds in all regions presented show day/night differences. Cloud altitude varies between night and day in the SPH and tropics: (1) NPH water ice opacity is greater at night than day at some seasons (2) The diurnal thermal tide controls the daily variability. (3) Strong day/night changes indicate that the amount of gas in the atmosphere varies significantly. See significant mixtures of dust and ice at the same altitude planet-wide (1) Points to a complex radiative and thermal balance between dust heating (in the visible) and ice heating or cooling in the infrared. Aerosol layering: (1) Early seasons reveal a zonally banded spatial distribution (2) Some localized longitudinal structure of aerosol layers (3) Later seasons show no consistent large scale organization

  11. Energetics of the martian atmosphere using the Mars Analysis Correction Data Assimilation (MACDA) dataset

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battalio, Michael; Szunyogh, Istvan; Lemmon, Mark

    2016-09-01

    The energetics of the atmosphere of the northern hemisphere of Mars during the pre-winter solstice period are explored using the Mars Analysis Correction Data Assimilation (MACDA) dataset (v1.0) and the eddy kinetic energy equation, with the quasi-geostrophic omega equation providing vertical velocities. Traveling waves are typically triggered by geopotential flux convergence. The effect of dust on baroclinic instability is examined by comparing a year with a global-scale dust storm (GDS) to two years without a global-scale dust storm. During the non-GDS years, results agree with that of a previous study using a general circulation model simulation. In the GDS year, waves develop a mixed baroclinic/barotropic growth phase before decaying barotropically. Though the total amount of eddy kinetic energy generated by baroclinic energy conversion is lower during the GDS year, the maximum eddy intensity is not diminished. Instead, the number of intense eddies is reduced by about 50%.

  12. Hydrogen isotopic composition of the Martian mantle inferred from the newest Martian meteorite fall, Tissint

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mane, P.; Hervig, R.; Wadhwa, M.; Garvie, L. A. J.; Balta, J. B.; McSween, H. Y.

    2016-11-01

    The hydrogen isotopic composition of planetary reservoirs can provide key constraints on the origin and history of water on planets. The sources of water and the hydrological evolution of Mars may be inferred from the hydrogen isotopic compositions of mineral phases in Martian meteorites, which are currently the only samples of Mars available for Earth-based laboratory investigations. Previous studies have shown that δD values in minerals in the Martian meteorites span a large range of -250 to +6000‰. The highest hydrogen isotope ratios likely represent a Martian atmospheric component: either interaction with a reservoir in equilibrium with the Martian atmosphere (such as crustal water), or direct incorporation of the Martian atmosphere due to shock processes. The lowest δD values may represent those of the Martian mantle, but it has also been suggested that these values may represent terrestrial contamination in Martian meteorites. Here we report the hydrogen isotopic compositions and water contents of a variety of phases (merrillites, maskelynites, olivines, and an olivine-hosted melt inclusion) in Tissint, the latest Martian meteorite fall that was minimally exposed to the terrestrial environment. We compared traditional sample preparation techniques with anhydrous sample preparation methods, to evaluate their effects on hydrogen isotopes, and find that for severely shocked meteorites like Tissint, the traditional sample preparation techniques increase water content and alter the D/H ratios toward more terrestrial-like values. In the anhydrously prepared Tissint sample, we see a large range of δD values, most likely resulting from a combination of processes including magmatic degassing, secondary alteration by crustal fluids, shock-related fractionation, and implantation of Martian atmosphere. Based on these data, our best estimate of the δD value for the Martian depleted mantle is -116 ± 94‰, which is the lowest value measured in a phase in the

  13. Experimental simulation of negative ion chemistry in Martian atmosphere using ion mobility spectrometry-mass spectrometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabo, Martin; Lichvanová, Zuzana; Orszagh, Juraj; Mason, Nigel; Matejčík, Štefan

    2014-08-01

    We have studied the formation of negative ions in a negative Corona Discharge (CD) fed by CO2/N2 mixtures (with 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10% N2) using the technique of ion mobility spectrometry-orthogonal acceleration time of flight mass spectrometry (IMS-oaTOF). The composition of the negative ions was found to be dependent on the initial gas composition, the gas flow regime, the concentrations of neutral reactive species formed in the discharge and the trace amounts on water in the gases were found to play an important role in the negative ions formation. In a pure CO2 discharge operating under standard gas flow conditions of IMS (associated with strong interaction of ions with neutral reactive species formed in discharge) the ions CO3 - (H2O) and CO4 -(H2O) dominated the measured negative ion spectrum while in CO2/N2 mixtures NO3 -(H2O) n , NO3 -(HNO3) ( n = 0, 1) ions prevailed. In the case of reverse gas flow regime (low interaction of ions with neutral reactive species formed in discharge), the negative ions detected were O2 -(H2O) n , and O2 -.CO2(H2O) n both in pure CO2 and N2/CO2 mixtures. The spectra of negative ions recorded for a gas mixture containing 4% N2 in CO2 were compared with theoretical predictions of negative ion composition in the lower atmosphere of Mars.

  14. Miniaturized Hollow-Waveguide Gas Correlation Radiometer (GCR) for Trace Gas Detection in the Martian Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Emily L.; Georgieva, E. M.; Melroy, H. R.

    2012-01-01

    Gas correlation radiometry (GCR) has been shown to be a sensitive and versatile method for detecting trace gases in Earth's atmosphere. Here, we present a miniaturized and simplified version of this instrument capable of mapping multiple trace gases and identifying active regions on the Mars surface. Reduction of the size and mass of the GCR instrument has been achieved by implementing a lightweight, 1 mm inner diameter hollow-core optical fiber (hollow waveguide) for the gas correlation cell. Based on a comparison with an Earth orbiting CO2 gas correlation instrument, replacement of the 10 meter mUltipass cell with hollow waveguide of equivalent pathlength reduces the cell mass from approx 150 kg to approx 0.5 kg, and reduces the volume from 1.9 m x 1.3 m x 0.86 m to a small bundle of fiber coils approximately I meter in diameter by 0.05 m in height (mass and volume reductions of >99%). This modular instrument technique can be expanded to include measurements of additional species of interest including nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), methanol (CH3OH), and sulfur dioxide (SO2), as well as carbon dioxide (CO2) for a simultaneous measure of mass balance.

  15. Some new aspects of the transient ionization layer of comet Siding Spring origin in the Martian upper atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohana Manasa, P.; Jayaraman, Achuthan; Rao Narukull, Venkateswara; Vijaya Bhaskara Rao, Sarangam

    2016-07-01

    On 19 October 2014, comet Siding Spring passed near to the Mars and deposited a large amount of dust on the Martian upper atmosphere. This resulted in the formation of a dense transient ionization layer on Mars at altitudes between 80 and 120 km. Gurnett et al., [2014] reported the detection of this layer with Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding (MARSIS) instrument aboard Mars Express spacecraft. In this study, we re-analyzed the ionograms obtained by this instrument to get further insight on the recurrence of the layer. Data from three orbital passes of MARSIS that took place 5 h, 12 h, and 19 h after peak dust deposition are used in this analysis. We found that the transient ionization layer sustained at least for 19 hours on the nightside and 12 hours on the dayside. While the peak density of the layer on the nightside gradually decreases from orbit-to-orbit, it does not change much on the dayside. Some ionograms in all the three orbits show two transient ionization layers that are separated by several kilometers in apparent altitude. We propose two mechanisms to explain this double layer structure. The first one assumes a horizontal bifurcation of the layer in which specular reflections from the two horizontal parts result in a double layer structure in ionograms. In the second mechanism, we assume specular reflections from ionization bulges (formed in regions of vertical magnetic fields) at altitudes of transient ionization layer give rise to oblique echoes that form the bottom layer of the double layer structure.

  16. Distinct Chlorine Isotopic Reservoirs on Mars: Implications for Character, Extent and Relative Timing of Crustal Interaction with Mantle-Derived Magmas, Evolution of the Martian Atmosphere, and the Building Blocks of an Early Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shearer, C. K.; Messenger, S.; Sharp, Z. D.; Burger, P. V.; Nguyen, N.; McCubbin, F. M.

    2017-01-01

    The style, magnitude, timing, and mixing components involved in the interaction between mantle derived Martian magmas and Martian crust have long been a point of debate. Understanding this process is fundamental to deciphering the composition of the Martian crust and its interaction with the atmosphere, the compositional diversity and oxygen fugacity variations in the Martian mantle, the bulk composition of Mars and the materials from which it accreted, and the noble gas composition of Mars and the Sun. Recent studies of the chlorine isotopic composition of Martian meteorites imply that although the variation in delta (sup 37) Cl is limited (total range of approximately14 per mille), there appears to be distinct signatures for the Martian crust and mantle. However, there are potential issues with this interpretation. New Cl isotope data from the SAM (Sample Analysis at Mars) instrument on the Mars Science Lab indicate a very wide range of Cl isotopic compositions on the Martian surface. Recent measurements by [10] duplicated the results of [7,8], but placed them within the context of SAM surface data. In addition, Martian meteorite Chassigny contains trapped noble gases with isotopic ratios similar to solar abundance, and has long been considered a pristine, mantle derived sample. However, previous studies of apatite in Chassigny indicate that crustal fluids have interacted with regions interstitial to the cumulus olivine. The initial Cl isotope measurements of apatite in Chassigny suggest an addition of crustal component to this lithology, apparently contradicting the rare gas data. Here, we examine the Cl isotopic composition of multiple generations and textures of apatite in Chassigny to extricate the crustal and mantle components in this meteorite and to reveal the style and timing of the addition of crustal components to mantle-derived magmas. These data reveal distinct Martian Cl sources whose signatures have their origins linked to both the early Solar

  17. Current status of quantitative rotational spectroscopy for atmospheric research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drouin, Brian J.; Wlodarczak, Georges; Colmont, Jean-Marcel; Rohart, Francois

    2004-01-01

    Remote sensing of rotational transitions in the Earth's atmosphere has become an important method for the retrieval of geophysical temperatures, pressures and chemical composition profiles that requires accurate spectral information. This paper highlights the current status of rotational data that are useful for atmospheric measurements, with a discussion of the types the rotational lineshape measurements that are not generally available in either online repository.

  18. Hydrogen in Martian Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peslier, A. H.; Hervig, R.; Irving, T.

    2017-01-01

    Most volatile studies of Mars have targeted its surface via spacecraft and rover data, and have evidenced surficial water in polar caps and the atmosphere, in the presence of river channels, and in the detection of water bearing minerals. The other focus of Martian volatile studies has been on Martian meteorites which are all from its crust. Most of these studies are on hydrous phases like apatite, a late-stage phase, i.e. crystallizing near the end of the differentiation sequence of Martian basalts and cumulates. Moreover, calculating the water content of the magma a phosphate crystallized from is not always possible, and yet is an essential step to estimate how much water was present in a parent magma and its source. Water, however, is primarily dissolved in the interiors of differentiated planets as hydrogen in lattice defects of nominally anhydrous minerals (olivine, pyroxene, feldspar) of the crust and mantle. This hydrogen has tremendous influence, even in trace quantities, on a planet's formation, geodynamics, cooling history and the origin of its volcanism and atmosphere as well as its potential for life. Studies of hydrogen in nominally anhydrous phases of Martian meteorites are rare. Measuring water contents and hydrogen isotopes in well-characterized nominally anhydrous minerals of Martian meteorites is the goal of our study. Our work aims at deciphering what influences the distribution and origin of hydrogen in Martian minerals, such as source, differentiation, degassing and shock.

  19. Martian soil component in impact glasses in a Martian meteorite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, M N; Borg, L E; McKay, D S; Wentworth, S J

    1999-11-01

    Chemical compositions of impact melt glass veins, called Lithology C (Lith C) in Martian meteorite EET79001 were determined by electron microprobe analysis. A large enrichment of S, and significant enrichments of Al, Ca, and Na were observed in Lith C glass compared to Lithology A (Lith A). The S enrichment is due to mixing of plagioclase- enriched Lith A material with Martian soil, either prior to or during impact on Mars. A mixture of 87% Lith A, 7% plagioclase, and 6% Martian soil reproduces the average elemental abundances observed in Lith C. Shock melting of such a mixture of plagioclase-enriched, fine-grained Lith A host rock and Martian soil could yield large excesses of S (observed in this study) and Martian atmospheric noble gases (found by Bogard et al., 1983) in Lith C. These mixing proportions can be used to constrain the elemental abundance of phosphorus in Martian soil.

  20. Martian Environment Electrostatic Precipitator

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDougall, Michael Owen

    2016-01-01

    As part of the planned manned mission to Mars, NASA has noticed that shipping oxygen as a part of life support to keep the astronauts alive continuously is overly expensive, and impractical. As such, noting that the Martian atmosphere is 95.37% CO2, NASA chemists noted that one could obtain oxygen from the Martian atmosphere. The plan, as part of a larger ISRU (in-situ resource utilization) initiative, would extract water from the regolith, or the Martian soil which can be electrolyzed by solar panel produced voltage into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen can then be used in the Sabatier reaction with carbon dioxide to produce methane and water producing a net reaction that does not lose water and outputs methane and oxygen for use as rocket fuel and breathing.

  1. DYNAMO: a Mars upper atmosphere package for investigating solar wind interaction and escape processes, and mapping Martian fields

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chassefiere, E.; Nagy, A.; Mandea, M.

    2004-01-01

    DYNAMO is a small multi-instrument payload aimed at characterizing current atmospheric escape, which is still poorly constrained, and improving gravity and magnetic field representations, in order to better understand the magnetic, geologic and thermal history of Mars. The internal structure...... and evolution of Mars is thought to have influenced climate evolution. The collapse of the primitive magnetosphere early in Mars history could have enhanced atmospheric escape and favored transition to the present and climate. These objectives are achieved by using a low periapsis orbit. DYNAMO has been...... proposed in response to the AO released in February 2002 for instruments to be flown as a complementary payload onboard the CNES Orbiter to Mars (MO-07), foreseen to be launched in 2007 in the framework of the French PREMIER Mars exploration program. MO-07 orbital phase 2b (with an elliptical orbit...

  2. In Situ Atmospheric Pressure Measurements in the Martian Southern Polar Region: Mars Volatiles and Climate Surveyor Meteorology Package on the Mars Polar Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A.-M.; Polkko, J.; Siili, T.; Crisp, D.

    1998-01-01

    Pressure observations are crucial for the success of the Mars Volatiles and Climate Surveyor (MVACS) Meteorology (MET) package onboard the Mars Polar Lander (MPL), due for launch early next year. The spacecraft is expected to land in December 1999 (L(sub s) = 256 degrees) at a high southern latitude (74 degrees - 78 degrees S). The nominal period of operation is 90 sols but may last up to 210 sols. The MVACS/MET experiment will provide the first in situ observations of atmospheric pressure, temperature, wind, and humidity in the southern hemisphere of Mars and in the polar regions. The martian atmosphere goes through a large-scale atmospheric pressure cycle due to the annual condensation/sublimation of the atmospheric CO2. Pressure also exhibits short period variations associated with dust storms, tides, and other atmospheric events. A series of pressure measurements can hence provide us with information on the large-scale state and dynamics of the atmosphere, including the CO2 and dust cycles as well as local weather phenomena. The measurements can also shed light on the shorter time scale phenomena (e.g., passage of dust devils) and hence be important in contributing to our understanding of mixing and transport of heat, dust, and water vapor.

  3. Note: Atmospheric point discharge current measurements using a temperature-compensated logarithmic current amplifier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marlton, G. J.; Harrison, R. G.; Nicoll, K. A.

    2013-06-01

    Measurements of atmospheric corona currents have been made for over 100 years to indicate the atmospheric electric field. Corona currents vary substantially, in polarity and in magnitude. The instrument described here uses a sharp point sensor connected to a temperature compensated bi-polar logarithmic current amplifier. Calibrations over a range of currents from ±10 fA to ±3 μA and across ±20 °C show it has an excellent logarithmic response over six orders of magnitude from 1 pA to 1 μA in both polarities for the range of atmospheric temperatures likely to be encountered in the southern UK. Comparison with atmospheric electric field measurements during disturbed weather confirms that bipolar electric fields induce corona currents of corresponding sign, with magnitudes ˜0.5 μA.

  4. Note: atmospheric point discharge current measurements using a temperature-compensated logarithmic current amplifier.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marlton, G J; Harrison, R G; Nicoll, K A

    2013-06-01

    Measurements of atmospheric corona currents have been made for over 100 years to indicate the atmospheric electric field. Corona currents vary substantially, in polarity and in magnitude. The instrument described here uses a sharp point sensor connected to a temperature compensated bi-polar logarithmic current amplifier. Calibrations over a range of currents from ±10 fA to ±3 μA and across ±20 °C show it has an excellent logarithmic response over six orders of magnitude from 1 pA to 1 μA in both polarities for the range of atmospheric temperatures likely to be encountered in the southern UK. Comparison with atmospheric electric field measurements during disturbed weather confirms that bipolar electric fields induce corona currents of corresponding sign, with magnitudes ~0.5 μA.

  5. Atmospheric point discharge current measurements using a\\ud temperature-compensated logarithmic current amplifier

    OpenAIRE

    Marlton, Graeme; Harrison, R. Giles; Nicoll, Keri A.

    2013-01-01

    Measurements of atmospheric corona currents have been made for over 100 years to indicate the atmospheric electric field. Corona currents vary substantially, in polarity and in magnitude. The instrument described here uses a sharp point sensor connected to a temperature compensated bi-polar\\ud logarithmic current amplifier. Calibrations over a range of currents from ±10 fA to ±3 μA and across ±20 ◦C show it has an excellent logarithmic response over six orders of magnitude from 1 pA to 1 μA i...

  6. Estimation of high altitude Martian dust parameters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pabari, Jayesh; Bhalodi, Pinali

    2016-07-01

    Dust devils are known to occur near the Martian surface mostly during the mid of Southern hemisphere summer and they play vital role in deciding background dust opacity in the atmosphere. The second source of high altitude Martian dust could be due to the secondary ejecta caused by impacts on Martian Moons, Phobos and Deimos. Also, the surfaces of the Moons are charged positively due to ultraviolet rays from the Sun and negatively due to space plasma currents. Such surface charging may cause fine grains to be levitated, which can easily escape the Moons. It is expected that the escaping dust form dust rings within the orbits of the Moons and therefore also around the Mars. One more possible source of high altitude Martian dust is interplanetary in nature. Due to continuous supply of the dust from various sources and also due to a kind of feedback mechanism existing between the ring or tori and the sources, the dust rings or tori can sustain over a period of time. Recently, very high altitude dust at about 1000 km has been found by MAVEN mission and it is expected that the dust may be concentrated at about 150 to 500 km. However, it is mystery how dust has reached to such high altitudes. Estimation of dust parameters before-hand is necessary to design an instrument for the detection of high altitude Martian dust from a future orbiter. In this work, we have studied the dust supply rate responsible primarily for the formation of dust ring or tori, the life time of dust particles around the Mars, the dust number density as well as the effect of solar radiation pressure and Martian oblateness on dust dynamics. The results presented in this paper may be useful to space scientists for understanding the scenario and designing an orbiter based instrument to measure the dust surrounding the Mars for solving the mystery. The further work is underway.

  7. Operational Data Reduction Procedure for Determining Density and Vertical Structure of the Martian Upper Atmosphere from Mars Global Surveyor Accelerometer Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cancro, George J.; Tolson, Robert H.; Keating, Gerald M.

    1998-01-01

    The success of aerobraking by the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft was partly due to the analysis of MGS accelerometer data. Accelerometer data was used to determine the effect of the atmosphere on each orbit, to characterize the nature of the atmosphere, and to predict the atmosphere for future orbits. To interpret the accelerometer data, a data reduction procedure was developed to produce density estimations utilizing inputs from the spacecraft, the Navigation Team, and pre-mission aerothermodynamic studies. This data reduction procedure was based on the calculation of aerodynamic forces from the accelerometer data by considering acceleration due to gravity gradient, solar pressure, angular motion of the MGS, instrument bias, thruster activity, and a vibration component due to the motion of the damaged solar array. Methods were developed to calculate all of the acceleration components including a 4 degree of freedom dynamics model used to gain a greater understanding of the damaged solar array. The total error inherent to the data reduction procedure was calculated as a function of altitude and density considering contributions from ephemeris errors, errors in force coefficient, and instrument errors due to bias and digitization. Comparing the results from this procedure to the data of other MGS Teams has demonstrated that this procedure can quickly and accurately describe the density and vertical structure of the Martian upper atmosphere.

  8. A Martian acoustic anemometer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banfield, Don; Schindel, David W; Tarr, Steve; Dissly, Richard W

    2016-08-01

    An acoustic anemometer for use on Mars has been developed. To understand the processes that control the interaction between surface and atmosphere on Mars, not only the mean winds, but also the turbulent boundary layer, the fluxes of momentum, heat and molecular constituents between surface and atmosphere must be measured. Terrestrially this is done with acoustic anemometers, but the low density atmosphere on Mars makes it challenging to adapt such an instrument for use on Mars. This has been achieved using capacitive transducers and pulse compression, and was successfully demonstrated on a stratospheric balloon (simulating the Martian environment) and in a dedicated Mars Wind Tunnel facility. This instrument achieves a measurement accuracy of ∼5 cm/s with an update rate of >20 Hz under Martian conditions.

  9. A tentative detection of the 183-GHz water vapor line in the martian atmosphere: Constraints upon the H2O abundance and vertical distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Encrenaz, TH.; Lellouch, E.; Cernicharo, J.; Paubert, G.; Gulkis, S.

    1995-01-01

    The 183-GHz water vapor line was tentatively detected on Mars in January 1991, with the IRAM 30-m millimeter antenna, under extremely dry atmospheric conditions. The measurement refers to the whole disk. The spectral line, although marginally detected, can be fit with a constant H2O mixing ratio of 1.0 x 10(exp -5), which corresponds to a water abundance of 1 pr-microns; in any case, an upper limit of 3 pr-microns is inferred. This value is comparable to the very small abundances measured by Clancy (1992) 5 weeks before our observation and seems to imply both seasonal and long-term variations in the martian water cycle.

  10. MetNet - Martian Network Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A.-M.

    2009-04-01

    We are developing a new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars - MetNet in situ observation network based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called the Met-Net Lander (MNL). The actual practical mission development work started in January 2009 with participation from various countries and space agencies. The scientific rationale and goals as well as key mission solutions will be discussed. The eventual scope of the MetNet Mission is to deploy some 20 MNLs on the Martian surface using inflatable descent system structures, which will be supported by observations from the orbit around Mars. Currently we are working on the MetNet Mars Precursor Mission (MMPM) to deploy one MetNet Lander to Mars in the 2009/2011 launch window as a technology and science demonstration mission. The MNL will have a versatile science payload focused on the atmospheric science of Mars. Detailed characterization of the Martian atmospheric circulation patterns, boundary layer phenomena, and climatology cycles, require simultaneous in-situ measurements by a network of observation posts on the Martian surface. The scientific payload of the MetNet Mission encompasses separate instrument packages for the atmospheric entry and descent phase and for the surface operation phase. The MetNet mission concept and key probe technologies have been developed and the critical subsystems have been qualified to meet the Martian environmental and functional conditions. This development effort has been fulfilled in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), the Russian Lavoschkin Association (LA) and the Russian Space Research Institute (IKI) since August 2001. Currently the INTA (Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial) from Spain is also participating in the MetNet payload development.

  11. Constraining neutrino oscillation parameters with current solar and atmospheric data

    CERN Document Server

    Maltoni, M; Tortola, M A; Valle, José W F

    2003-01-01

    We analyse the impact of recent solar and atmospheric data in the determination of the neutrino oscillation parameters, taking into account that both the solar nu_e and the atmospheric nu_mu may convert to a mixture of active and sterile neutrinos. In addition to the recent SNO neutral current (NC), spectral and day/night data we add the latest 1496-day solar and 1489-day atmospheric Super-K neutrino data samples. By investigating in detail the impact of the recent SNO NC, spectral and day/night data, we confirm the clear preference of the LMA solution of the solar neutrino problem and obtain that the LOW, VAC, SMA solutions are disfavoured with a Delta_chi^2 = 9, 9, 23, respectively. Furthermore, we find that the global solar data constrains the admixture of a sterile neutrino to be less than 45% at 99% CL. A pure sterile solution is ruled out with respect to the active one at 99.996% CL. By performing an improved fit of the atmospheric data, we also update the corresponding regions of oscillation parameters...

  12. Atmospheric Point Discharge Currents measured with a bi-polar logarithmic current amplifier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marlton, G.; Harrison, R. G.; Nicoll, K. A.

    2013-09-01

    Point Discharge Currents (PDC) flow in conductors exposed to the atmosphere when strong ambient electric fields cause breakdown of air. This can occur because of field intensification around a sharp point. In some cases point discharge can even become visible, known as St Elmo's fire, one of the longest recognized phenomena in atmospheric electricity. Due to the wide range of magnitudes of currents of both polarities encountered in measuring PDCs, a bipolar logarithmic current amplifier is used here for atmospheric investigations. During an installation at the Reading Atmospheric observatory, it was able to detect PDC of magnitude 0.5μA during periods of strong electric fields, in disturbed weather. Two useful attributes for planetary applications have been suggested by these experiments. Firstly, it is sufficiently compact and light-weight that it seems appropriate for planetary exploration of the electrical properties of atmospheres. Secondly its wide bi polar logarithmic range (~ pA to uA) makes it robust enough to provide useful data despite the environment in which it is deployed being poorly quantified.

  13. Global distribution of gravity wave fields and their seasonal dependence in the Martian atmosphere simulated in a high-resolution general circulation model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuroda, Takeshi; Medvedev, Alexander; Yiğit, Erdal; Hartogh, Paul

    2016-10-01

    Gravity waves (GWs) are small-scale atmospheric waves generated by various geophysical processes, such as topography, convection, and dynamical instability. On Mars, several observations and simulations have revealed that GWs strongly affect temperature and wind fields in the middle and upper atmosphere. We have worked with a high-resolution Martian general circulation model (MGCM), with the spectral resolution of T106 (horizontal grid interval of ~67 km), for the investigations of generation and propagation of GWs. We analyzed for three kinds of wavelength ranges, (1) horizontal total wavenumber s=21-30 (wavelength λ~700-1000 km), (2) s=31-60 (λ~350-700 km), and (3) s=61-106 (λ~200-350 km). Our results show that shorter-scale harmonics progressively dominate with height during both equinox and solstice. We have detected two main sources of GWs: mountainous regions and the meandering winter polar jet. In both seasons GW energy in the troposphere due to the shorter-scale harmonics is concentrated in the low latitudes in a good agreement with observations. Orographically-generated GWs contribute significantly to the total energy of disturbances, and strongly decay with height. Thus, the non-orographic GWs of tropospheric origin dominate near the mesopause. The vertical fluxes of wave horizontal momentum are directed mainly against the larger-scale wind. Mean magnitudes of the drag in the middle atmosphere are tens of m s-1 sol-1, while instantaneously they can reach thousands of m s-1 sol-1, which results in an attenuation of the wind jets in the middle atmosphere and in tendency of their reversal.

  14. Comparative study of the Martian suprathermal electron depletions based on Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Express, and Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN mission observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steckiewicz, M.; Garnier, P.; André, N.; Mitchell, D. L.; Andersson, L.; Penou, E.; Beth, A.; Fedorov, A.; Sauvaud, J.-A.; Mazelle, C.; Brain, D. A.; Espley, J. R.; McFadden, J.; Halekas, J. S.; Larson, D. E.; Lillis, R. J.; Luhmann, J. G.; Soobiah, Y.; Jakosky, B. M.

    2017-01-01

    Nightside suprathermal electron depletions have been observed at Mars by three spacecraft to date: Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Express, and the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission. This spatial and temporal diversity of measurements allows us to propose here a comprehensive view of the Martian electron depletions through the first multispacecraft study of the phenomenon. We have analyzed data recorded by the three spacecraft from 1999 to 2015 in order to better understand the distribution of the electron depletions and their creation mechanisms. Three simple criteria adapted to each mission have been implemented to identify more than 134,500 electron depletions observed between 125 and 900 km altitude. The geographical distribution maps of the electron depletions detected by the three spacecraft confirm the strong link existing between electron depletions and crustal magnetic field at altitudes greater than 170 km. At these altitudes, the distribution of electron depletions is strongly different in the two hemispheres, with a far greater chance to observe an electron depletion in the Southern Hemisphere, where the strongest crustal magnetic sources are located. However, the unique MAVEN observations reveal that below a transition region near 160-170 km altitude the distribution of electron depletions is the same in both hemispheres, with no particular dependence on crustal magnetic fields. This result supports the suggestion made by previous studies that these low-altitudes events are produced through electron absorption by atmospheric CO2.

  15. The effect of solar energetic particles on the Martian ionosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darwish, Omar Hussain Al; Lillis, Robert; Fillingim, Matthew; Lee, Christina

    2016-10-01

    The precipitation of Solar Energetic Particles (SEP) into the Martian atmosphere causes several effects, one of the most important of which is ionization. However, the importance of this process to the global structure and dynamics for the Martian ionosphere is currently not well understood. The MAVEN spacecraft carries instrumentation which allow us to examine this process. The Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer (NGIMS) measures the densities of planetary ions in the Mars ionosphere (O+,CO2+ and O2+). The Solar Energetic Particle (SEP) detector measures the fluxes of energetic protons and electrons. In this project, we examine the degree to which the density of ions in the Martian ionosphere is affected by the precipitation of energetic particles, under conditions of different SEP ion and electron fluxes and at various solar zenith angles. We will present statistical as well as case studies.

  16. Comment on 'Current Budget of the Atmospheric Electric Global Circuit'

    Science.gov (United States)

    Driscoll, Kevin T.; Blakeslee, Richard J.

    1996-01-01

    In this paper, three major issues relevant to Kasemir's new model will be addressed. The first concerns Kasemir's assertion that there are significant differences between the potentials associated with the new model and the conventional model. A recalculation of these potentials reveals that both models provide equivalent results for the potential difference between the Earth and ionosphere. The second issue to be addressed is Kasemir's assertion that discrepancies in the electric potentials associated with both models can be attributed to modeling the Earth as a sphere, instead of as a planar surface. A simple analytical comparison will demonstrate that differences in the equations for the potentials of the atmosphere derived with a spherical and a planar Earth are negligible for applications to global current flow. Finally, the third issue to be discussed is Kasemir's claim that numerous aspects of the conventional model are incorrect, including the role of the ionosphere in global current flow as well as the significance of cloud-to-ground lightning in supplying charge to the global circuit. In order to refute these misconceptions, it will be shown that these aspects related to the flow of charge in the atmosphere are accurately described by the conventional model of the global circuit.

  17. A Remote Raman and Laser-Induced Fluorescence Spectrometer and its Application for Lidar Remote Sensing of Martian Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ismail, S.; Sharma, S. K.; Angel, S. M.; Lucey, P. G.; McKay, C. P.; Misra, A. K.; Mouginis-Mark, P. J.; Newsom, H.; Scott, E. R.; Singh, U. N.; Taylor, J. G.; Porter, J. N.

    2005-05-01

    A combined remote Raman and Laser Induced Fluorescence (RLIF) spectrometer was proposed as a mast-mounted instrument for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). This remote RLIF system is capable of conducting reconnaissance of fluorescence materials and minerals with high sensitivity (e.g., carbonates, sulfates, phosphates, quartz, etc.) that can be recorded with a single 532 nm (35 mJ) laser pulse of 8 ns half-width. The RLIF system is also capable of identification of mineral, organic, and biogenic materials and is sitable for atmospheric studies of Mars. This instrument design is based on a prototypes that was developed with partial support from NASA's Planetary Instrument Definition and Development Program (PIDDP) at the University of Hawaii. This prototype instrument has been modified to operate in the lidar mode to obtain Mie-Rayleigh scattering profiles in the atmosphere for studying meteorological processes in the marine atmosphere. Application of RLIF to obtain range-resolved atmospheric backscattering profiles using the AOTF technique are capable of providing atmospheric backscatter profiles. Data from RLIF can be used to retrieve optical properties of dust aerosols and clouds, including the profiling of scattering intensity, location of cloud base and thickness, atmospheric extinction, and de-polarization. These measurements can be made at high vertical resolution up to altitudes >5 km. Simultaneous measurements can be made of atmospheric CO2 and its variations; surface CO2-ice and water-ice; and surface and subsurface hydrated methane on Mars. Capability of RLIF and examples of atmospheric measurements applicable to RLIF will be presented in this paper.

  18. The provenance, formation, and implications of reduced carbon phases in Martian meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steele, Andrew; McCubbin, Francis M.; Fries, Marc D.

    2016-08-01

    This review is intended to summarize the current observations of reduced carbon in Martian meteorites, differentiating between terrestrial contamination and carbon that is indigenous to Mars. Indeed, the identification of Martian organic matter is among the highest priority targets for robotic spacecraft missions in the next decade, including the Mars Science Laboratory and Mars 2020. Organic carbon compounds are essential building blocks of terrestrial life, so the occurrence and origin (biotic or abiotic) of organic compounds on Mars is of great significance; however, not all forms of reduced carbon are conducive to biological systems. This paper discusses the significance of reduced organic carbon (including methane) in Martian geological and astrobiological systems. Specifically, it summarizes current thinking on the nature, sources, and sinks of Martian organic carbon, a key component to Martian habitability. Based on this compilation, reduced organic carbon on Mars, including detections of methane in the Martian atmosphere, is best described through a combination of abiotic organic synthesis on Mars and infall of extraterrestrial carbonaceous material. Although conclusive signs of Martian life have yet to be revealed, we have developed a strategy for life detection on Mars that can be utilized in future life-detection studies.

  19. The provenance, formation, and implications of reduced carbon phases in Martian meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steele, Andrew; McCubbin, Francis M.; Fries, Marc D.

    2016-11-01

    This review is intended to summarize the current observations of reduced carbon in Martian meteorites, differentiating between terrestrial contamination and carbon that is indigenous to Mars. Indeed, the identification of Martian organic matter is among the highest priority targets for robotic spacecraft missions in the next decade, including the Mars Science Laboratory and Mars 2020. Organic carbon compounds are essential building blocks of terrestrial life, so the occurrence and origin (biotic or abiotic) of organic compounds on Mars is of great significance; however, not all forms of reduced carbon are conducive to biological systems. This paper discusses the significance of reduced organic carbon (including methane) in Martian geological and astrobiological systems. Specifically, it summarizes current thinking on the nature, sources, and sinks of Martian organic carbon, a key component to Martian habitability. Based on this compilation, reduced organic carbon on Mars, including detections of methane in the Martian atmosphere, is best described through a combination of abiotic organic synthesis on Mars and infall of extraterrestrial carbonaceous material. Although conclusive signs of Martian life have yet to be revealed, we have developed a strategy for life detection on Mars that can be utilized in future life-detection studies.

  20. Evidence for stabilization of the ice-cemented cryosphere in earlier martian history: Implications for the current abundance of groundwater at depth on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, David K.; Head, James W.

    2017-05-01

    The present-day martian mean annual surface temperature is well below freezing at all latitudes; this produces a near-surface portion of the crust that is below the freezing point of water for > 2 consecutive years (defined as permafrost). This permafrost layer (i.e., the cryosphere) is a few to tens of km thick depending on latitude. Below the base of the permafrost (i.e., the cryosphere), groundwater is stable if it exists, and can increase and decrease in abundance as the freezing isotherm rises and falls. Where water is available, ice fills the pore space within the cryosphere; this region is known as the ice-cemented cryosphere (ICC). The potential for a large reservoir of pore ice beneath the surface has been the subject of much discussion: previous studies have demonstrated that the theoretical thickness of the martian cryosphere in the Amazonian period ranges from up to ∼9 km at the equator to ∼10-22 km at the poles. The total thickness of ice that might fill the pore space within the cryosphere (the ICC), however, remains unknown. A class of martian crater, the Hesperian-Amazonian-aged single-layered ejecta crater, is widely accepted as having formed by impact into an ice-cemented target. Although the target structure related to the larger multiple-layered ejecta craters remains uncertain, they have recently been interpreted to be formed by impact crater excavation below the ice-cemented target, and here we tentatively adopt this interpretation in order to infer the thickness of the ice-cemented cryosphere. Our global examination of the excavation depths of these crater populations points to a Hesperian-Amazonian-aged ice-cemented cryosphere that is ∼1.3 km thick at the equator, and ∼2.3 km thick at the poles (corresponding to a global equivalent water layer of ∼200 m assuming ∼20% pore ice at the surface). To explore the implications of this result on the martian climatic and hydrologic evolution, we then assess the surface temperature

  1. Martian Generation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    Independent, Internet savvy and with their own Martian language, China’s post-90s generation is rewriting the rules of behavior september 14 was the 18th birth-day of Zhang Zhaoyu from Sichuan Province. He is a new student at Peking University,

  2. The impact of resolution on the dynamics of the martian global atmosphere: Varying resolution studies with the MarsWRF GCM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toigo, Anthony D.; Lee, Christopher; Newman, Claire E.; Richardson, Mark I.

    2012-09-01

    We investigate the sensitivity of the circulation and thermal structure of the martian atmosphere to numerical model resolution in a general circulation model (GCM) using the martian implementation (MarsWRF) of the planetWRF atmospheric model. We provide a description of the MarsWRF GCM and use it to study the global atmosphere at horizontal resolutions from 7.5° × 9° to 0.5° × 0.5°, encompassing the range from standard Mars GCMs to global mesoscale modeling. We find that while most of the gross-scale features of the circulation (the rough location of jets, the qualitative thermal structure, and the major large-scale features of the surface level winds) are insensitive to horizontal resolution over this range, several major features of the circulation are sensitive in detail. The northern winter polar circulation shows the greatest sensitivity, showing a continuous transition from a smooth polar winter jet at low resolution, to a distinct vertically “split” jet as resolution increases. The separation of the lower and middle atmosphere polar jet occurs at roughly 10 Pa, with the split jet structure developing in concert with the intensification of meridional jets at roughly 10 Pa and above 0.1 Pa. These meridional jets appear to represent the separation of lower and middle atmosphere mean overturning circulations (with the former being consistent with the usual concept of the “Hadley cell”). Further, the transition in polar jet structure is more sensitive to changes in zonal than meridional horizontal resolution, suggesting that representation of small-scale wave-mean flow interactions is more important than fine-scale representation of the meridional thermal gradient across the polar front. Increasing the horizontal resolution improves the match between the modeled thermal structure and the Mars Climate Sounder retrievals for northern winter high latitudes. While increased horizontal resolution also improves the simulation of the northern high

  3. Isotope ratios of H, C, and O in CO2 and H2O of the martian atmosphere

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Webster, C.R.; Mahaffy, P.R.; Flesch, G.J.; Niles, P.B.; Jones, J.H.; Leshin, L.A.; Atreya, S.K.; Stern, J.C.; Christensen, L.E.; Owen, T.; Franz, H.; Pepin, R.O.; Steele, A.; MSL Science Team, the

    2013-01-01

    Stable isotope ratios of H, C, and O are powerful indicators of a wide variety of planetary geophysical processes, and for Mars they reveal the record of loss of its atmosphere and subsequent interactions with its surface such as carbonate formation. We report in situ measurements of the isotopic ra

  4. Martian Particle

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    This image of Martian soil was taken by the Phoenix Lander's atomic force microscope on Sol 74 of the mission, which began on May 25, 2008. This image of a flat, smooth-surfaced particle is consistent with the appearance of soil from Earth containing the mineral phyllosilicate. The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by JPL, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development was by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  5. Fractionated (Martian) Noble Gases — EFA, Experiments and Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwenzer, S. P.; Barnes, G.; Bridges, J. C.; Bullock, M. A.; Chavez, C. L.; Filiberto, J.; Herrmann, S.; Hicks, L. J.; Kelley, S. P.; Miller, M. A.; Moore, J. M.; Ott, U.; Smith, H. D.; Steer, E. D.; Swindle, T. D.; Treiman, A. H.

    2016-08-01

    Noble gases are tracers for physical processes, including adsorption, dissolution and secondary mineral formation. We examine the Martian fractionated atmosphere through literature, terrestrial analogs and experiments.

  6. An Electrostatic Precipitator System for the Martian Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, C. I.; Mackey, P. J.; Hogue, M. D.; Johansen, M. R.; Phillips, J. R., III; Clements, J. S.

    2012-01-01

    Human exploration missions to Mars will require the development of technologies for the utilization of the planet's own resources for the production of commodities. However, the Martian atmosphere contains large amounts of dust. The extraction of commodities from this atmosphere requires prior removal of this dust. We report on our development of an electrostatic precipitator able to collect Martian simulated dust particles in atmospheric conditions approaching those of Mars. Extensive experiments with an initial prototype in a simulated Martian atmosphere showed efficiencies of 99%. The design of a second prototype with aerosolized Martian simulated dust in a flow-through is described. Keywords: Space applications, electrostatic precipitator, particle control, particle charging

  7. Design and Testing of a Controller for the Martian Atmosphere Pressure and Humidity Instrument DREAMS-P/H

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tapani Nikkanen, Timo; Schmidt, Walter; Genzer, Maria; Harri, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri

    2013-04-01

    The European Space Agency (ESA), driven by the goal of performing a soft landing on Mars, is planning to launch the Entry, descent and landing Demonstrator Module (EDM)[1] simultaneously with the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) as a part of the ExoMars program towards Mars in 2016. As a secondary objective, the EDM will gather meteorological data and observe the electrical environment of the landing site with its Dust characterisation, Risk assessment, and Environmental Analyser on the Martian Surface (DREAMS). The Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) is participating in the project by designing, building and testing a pressure and a humidity instrument for Mars, named DREAMS-P and DREAMS-H, respectively. The instruments are based on previous FMI designs, including ones flown on board the Huygens, Phoenix and Mars Science Laboratory.[2] Traditionally, the FMI pressure and humidity instruments have been controlled by an FPGA. However, the need to incorporate more autonomy and modifiability into instruments, cut the development time and component costs, stimulated interest to study a Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) Microcontroller Unit (MCU) based instrument design. Thus, in the DREAMS-P/H design, an automotive MCU is used as the instrument controller. The MCU has been qualified for space by tests in and outside FMI. The DREAMS-P/H controller command and data interface utilizes a RS-422 connection to receive telecommands from and to transmit data to the Central Electronics Unit (CEU) of the DREAMS science package. The two pressure transducers of DREAMS-P and one humidity transducer of DREAMS-H are controlled by a single MCU. The MCU controls the power flow for each transducer and performs pulse counting measurements on sensor and reference channels to retrieve scientific data. Pressure and humidity measurements are scheduled and set up according to a configuration table assigned to each transducer. The configuration tables can be modified during the flight. The whole

  8. Alteration of the carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition in the Martian surface rocks due to cosmic ray exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlov, A. A.; Pavlov, A. K.; Ostryakov, V. M.; Vasilyev, G. I.; Mahaffy, P.; Steele, A.

    2014-06-01

    13C/12C and 15N/14N isotopic ratios are pivotal for our understanding of the Martian carbon cycle, history of the Martian atmospheric escape, and origin of the organic compounds on Mars. Here we demonstrate that the carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition of the surface rocks on Mars can be significantly altered by the continuous exposure of Martian surface to cosmic rays. Cosmic rays can effectively produce 13C and 15N isotopes via spallation nuclear reactions on oxygen atoms in various Martian rocks. We calculate that in the top meter of the Martian rocks, the rates of production of both 13C and 15N due to galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) exposure can vary within 1.5-6 atoms/cm3/s depending on rocks' depth and chemical composition. We also find that the average solar cosmic rays can produce carbon and nitrogen isotopes at a rate comparable to GCRs in the top 5-10 cm of the Martian rocks. We demonstrate that if the total carbon content in a surface Martian rock is Mars can explain its high-temperature heavy nitrogen isotopic composition (15N/14N). Applications to Martian meteorites and the current Mars Science Laboratory mission are discussed.

  9. Alteration of the Carbon and Nitrogen Isotopic Composition in the Martian Surface Rocks Due to Cosmic Ray Exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlov, A. A.; Pavlov, A. K.; Ostryakov, V. M.; Vasilyev, G. I.; Mahaffy, P.; Steele, A.

    2014-01-01

    C-13/C-12 and N-15/N-14 isotopic ratios are pivotal for our understanding of the Martian carbon cycle, history of the Martian atmospheric escape, and origin of the organic compounds on Mars. Here we demonstrate that the carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition of the surface rocks on Mars can be significantly altered by the continuous exposure of Martian surface to cosmic rays. Cosmic rays can effectively produce C-13 and N-15 isotopes via spallation nuclear reactions on oxygen atoms in various Martian rocks. We calculate that in the top meter of the Martian rocks, the rates of production of both C-13 and N-15 due to galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) exposure can vary within 1.5-6 atoms/cm3/s depending on rocks' depth and chemical composition. We also find that the average solar cosmic rays can produce carbon and nitrogen isotopes at a rate comparable to GCRs in the top 5-10 cm of the Martian rocks. We demonstrate that if the total carbon content in a surface Martian rock is rocks with relatively short exposure ages (e.g., 100 million years), cosmogenic changes in N-15/N-14 ratio are still very significant. We also show that a short exposure to cosmic rays of Allan Hills 84001 while on Mars can explain its high-temperature heavy nitrogen isotopic composition (N-15/N-14). Applications to Martian meteorites and the current Mars Science Laboratory mission are discussed.

  10. Model of the Crustal Magnetic Field in the Martian Aurora Zone

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    TONG Dong-Sheng; CHEN Chu-Xin

    2011-01-01

    It is well known that aurorae are prominent on planets with a global magnetic field and occur where open magnetic Geld lines converge. The UV spectrometer used for investigating the characteristics of the atmosphere of Mars (SPICAM) on board the Mars Express made the first observation of auroral-type emission in the cusp region of the strong crustal magnetic field on Mars and found that the arc of the Martian aurora zone is very narrow in width, which obviously differs from that of other planets. Based on the observation, we put forward a model of a crustal magnetic field on the Martian aurora zone through the morphology of Martian aurorae. In the model, equivalent currents are proposed; the topology and magnitude of the magnetic field generated by these equivalent currents are consistent with that of the crustal magnetic field in the Martian aurora zone. The morphology of the Martian aurora zone generated through the model matches well with the observations made by the Mars Express orbiter.%It is well known that aurorae are prominent on planets with a global magnetic field and occur where open magnetic field lines converge.The UV spectrometer used for investigating the characteristics of the atmosphere of Mars (SPICAM) on board the Mars Express made the first observation of auroral-type emission in the cusp region of the strong crustal magnetic field on Mars and found that the arc of the Martian aurora zone is very narrow in width,which obviously differs from that of other planets.Based on the observation,we put forward a model of a crustal magnetic field on the Martian aurora zone through the morphology of Martian aurorae.In the model,equivalent currents are proposed;the topology and magnitude of the magnetic field generated by these equivalent currents are consistent with that of the crustal magnetic field in the Martian aurora zone.The morphology of the Martian aurora zone generated through the model matches well with the observations made by the Mars Express

  11. IR heterodyne spectrometer MILAHI for continuous monitoring observatory of Martian and Venusian atmospheres at Mt. Haleakalā, Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakagawa, Hiromu; Aoki, Shohei; Sagawa, Hideo; Kasaba, Yasumasa; Murata, Isao; Sonnabend, Guido; Sornig, Manuela; Okano, Shoichi; Kuhn, Jeffrey R.; Ritter, Joseph M.; Kagitani, Masato; Sakanoi, Takeshi; Taguchi, Makoto; Takami, Kosuke

    2016-07-01

    A new Mid-Infrared Laser Heterodyne Instrument (MILAHI) with >106 resolving power at 7-12 μm was developed for continuous monitoring of planetary atmospheres by using dedicated ground-based telescopes for planetary science at Mt. Haleakalā, Hawaii. Room-temperature-type quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) that cover wavelength ranges of 7.69-7.73, 9.54-9.59, and 10.28-10.33 μm have been newly installed as local oscillators to allow observation of CO2, CH4, H2O2, H2O, and HDO. Modeling and predictions by radiative transfer code gave the following scientific capabilities and measurement sensitivities of the MILAHI. (1) Temperature profiles are achieved at altitudes of 65-90 km on Venus, and the ground surface to 30 km on Mars. (2) New wind profiles are provided at altitudes of 75-90 km on Venus, and 5-25 km on Mars. (3) Direct measurements of the mesospheric wind and temperature are obtained from the Doppler-shifted emission line at altitudes of 110 km on Venus and 75 km on Mars. (4) Detections of trace gases and isotopic ratios are performed without any ambiguity of the reproducing the terrestrial atmospheric absorptions in the observed wavelength range. A HDO measurement of twice the Vienna Standard Mean Ocean Water (VSMOW) can be obtained by 15-min integration, while H2O of 75 ppm is provided by 3.62-h integration. The detectability of the 100 ppb-CH4 on Mars corresponds to an integration time of 32 h.

  12. The chemical effects of the Martian environment on power system component materials: A theoretical approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez-Davis, Marla E.; Gaier, James R.

    1990-01-01

    In the foreseeable future, an expedition may be undertaken to explore the planet Mars. Some of the power source options being considered for such a mission are photovoltaics, regenerative fuel cells and nuclear reactors. In addition to electrical power requirements, environmental conditions en route to Mars, in the planetary orbit and on the Martian surface must be simulated and studied in order to anticipate and solve potential problems. Space power systems components such as photovoltaic arrays, radiators, and solar concentrators may be vulnerable to degradation in the Martian environment. Natural characteristics of Mars which may pose a threat to surface power systems include high velocity winds, dust, ultraviolet radiation, large daily variation in temperature, reaction to components of the soil, atmosphere and atmospheric condensates as well as synergistic combinations. Most of the current knowledge of the characteristics of the Martian atmosphere and soil composition was obtained from the Viking 1 and 2 missions in 1976. A theoretical study is presented which was used to assess the effects of the Martian atmospheric conditions on the power systems components. A computer program written at NASA-Lewis for combustion research that uses a free energy minimization technique was used to calculate chemical equilibrium for assigned thermodynamic states of temperature and pressure. The power system component materials selected for this study include: silicon dioxide, silicon, carbon, copper, and titanium. Combinations of environments and materials considered include: (1) Mars atmosphere with power surface material, (2) Mars atmosphere and dust component with power surface material, and (3) Mars atmosphere and hydrogen peroxide or superoxide or superoxide with power system material. The chemical equilibrium calculations were performed at a composition ratio (oxidant to reactant) of 100. The temperature for the silicon dioxide material and silicon, which simulate

  13. EGATEC: A new high-resolution engineering model of the global atmospheric electric circuit—Currents in the lower atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odzimek, A.; Lester, M.; Kubicki, M.

    2010-09-01

    We present a new high-resolution model of the Earth's global atmospheric electric circuit (GEC) represented by an equivalent electrical network. Contributions of clouds to the total resistance of the atmosphere and as current generators are treated more realistically than in previous GEC models. The model of cloud current generators is constructed on the basis of the ISCCP cloud data and the OTD/LIS lightning flash rates and TRMM rainfall data. The current generated and the electric resistance can be estimated with a spatial resolution of several degrees in latitude and longitude and 3 hour time resolution. The resistance of the atmosphere is calculated using an atmospheric conductivity model which is spatially dependent and sensitive to the level of solar activity. An equivalent circuit is constructed assuming the ionosphere and ground are ideal conductors. The circuit solution provides diurnal variations of the ionospheric potential and the GEC global current at the 3 hour time resolution as well as the global distributions and diurnal variations of the air-Earth current density and electric field. The model confirms that the global atmospheric electric activity peaks daily at ˜21 UT. The diurnal variation of the ionospheric potential and the global current have a maximum at 12 and 21-24 UT in July and at 9 and 21 UT in December, and a global minimum at 3-6 UT independent of season. About 80% of the current is generated by thunderstorm convective clouds and 20% by mid-level rain clouds.

  14. Evolution of Water Reservoirs on Mars: Constraints from Hydrogen Isotopes in Martian Meteorites

    CERN Document Server

    Kurokawa, Hiroyuki; Ushioda, Masashi; Matsuyama, Takeshi; Moriwaki, Ryota; Dohm, James M; Usui, Tomohiro

    2014-01-01

    Martian surface morphology implies that Mars was once warm enough to maintain persistent liquid water on its surface. While the high D/H ratios (~6 times the Earth's ocean water) of the current martian atmosphere suggest that significant water has been lost from the surface during martian history, the timing, processes, and the amount of the water loss have been poorly constrained. Recent technical developments of ion-microprobe analysis of martian meteorites have provided accurate estimation of hydrogen isotope compositions (D/H) of martian water reservoirs at the time when the meteorites formed. Based on the D/H data from the meteorites, this study demonstrates that the water loss during the pre-Noachian (>41-99 m global equivalent layers, GEL) was more significant than in the rest of martian history (>10-53 m GEL). Combining our results with geological and geomorphological evidence for ancient oceans, we propose that undetected subsurface water/ice (~100-1000 m GEL) should have existed, and it exceeds the ...

  15. Applicability of Current Atmospheric Correction Techniques in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Tiwari, Surya Prakash

    2016-10-26

    Much of the Red Sea is considered to be a typical oligotrophic sea having very low chlorophyll-a concentrations. Few existing studies describe the variability of phytoplankton biomass in the Red Sea. This study evaluates the resulting chlorophyll-a values computed with different chlorophyll algorithms (e.g., Chl_OCI, Chl_Carder, Chl_GSM, and Chl_GIOP) using radiances derived from two different atmospheric correction algorithms (NASA standard and Singh and Shanmugam (2014)). The resulting satellite derived chlorophyll-a concentrations are compared with in situ chlorophyll values measured using the High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). Statistical analyses are used to assess the performances of algorithms using the in situ measurements obtain in the Red Sea, to evaluate the approach to atmospheric correction and algorithm parameterization.

  16. History of Martian volatiles - Implications for organic synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fanale, F. P.

    1971-01-01

    A theoretical reconstruction of the history of Martian volatiles indicates that Mars probably possessed a substantial reducing atmosphere at the outset of its history, and that its present tenuous and more oxidized atmosphere is the result of extensive chemical evolution. As a consequence, it is probable that Martian atmospheric chemical conditions, now hostile with respect to abiotic organic synthesis in the gas phase, were initially favorable. Evidence indicating the chronology and degradational history of Martian surface features, surface mineralogy, bulk volatile content, internal mass distribution, and thermal history suggests that Mars catastrophically developed a substantial reducing atmosphere as the result of rapid accretion.

  17. History of Martian volatiles - Implications for organic synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fanale, F. P.

    1971-01-01

    A theoretical reconstruction of the history of Martian volatiles indicates that Mars probably possessed a substantial reducing atmosphere at the outset of its history, and that its present tenuous and more oxidized atmosphere is the result of extensive chemical evolution. As a consequence, it is probable that Martian atmospheric chemical conditions, now hostile with respect to abiotic organic synthesis in the gas phase, were initially favorable. Evidence indicating the chronology and degradational history of Martian surface features, surface mineralogy, bulk volatile content, internal mass distribution, and thermal history suggests that Mars catastrophically developed a substantial reducing atmosphere as the result of rapid accretion.

  18. Effective mie-scattering and CO2 absorption in the dust-laden Martian atmosphere and its impact on radiative-convective temperature changes in the lower scale heights

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pallmann, A. J.

    1976-01-01

    A time dependent computer model of radiative-convective-conductive heat transfer in the Martian ground-atmosphere system was refined by incorporating an intermediate line strength CO2 band absorption which together with the strong-and weak-line approximation closely simulated the radiative transmission through a vertically inhomogeneous stratification. About 33,000 CO2 lines were processed to cover the spectral range of solar and planetary radiation. Absorption by silicate dust particulates, was taken into consideration to study its impact on the ground-atmosphere temperature field as a function of time. This model was subsequently attuned to IRIS, IR-radiometric and S-band occultation data. Satisfactory simulations of the measured IRIS spectra were accomplished for the dust-free condition. In the case of variable dust loads, the simulations were sufficiently fair so that some inferences into the effect of dust on temperature were justified.

  19. Investigations in Martian Sedimentology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Jeffrey M.

    1998-01-01

    The purpose of this report is to investigate and discuss the Martian surface. This report was done in specific tasks. The tasks were: characterization of Martian fluids and chemical sediments; mass wasting and ground collapse in terrains of volatile-rich deposits; Mars Rover terrestrial field investigations; Mars Pathfinder operations support; and Martian subsurface water instrument.

  20. Martian Meteorology: Determination of Large Scale Weather Patterns from Surface Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, James R.; Haberle, Robert M.; Bridger, Alison F. C.

    1998-01-01

    We employed numerical modelling of the martian atmosphere, and our expertise in understanding martian atmospheric processes, to better understand the coupling between lower and upper atmosphere processes. One practical application of this work has been our involvement with the ongoing atmospheric aerobraking which the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft is currently undergoing at Mars. Dr. Murphy is currently a member of the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Aerobraking Atmospheric Advisory Group (AAG). He was asked to participate in this activity based upon his knowledge of martian atmospheric dynamical processes. Aerobraking is a process whereby a spacecraft, in an elliptical orbit, passes through the upper layers of the atmosphere (in this instance Mars). This passage through the atmosphere 'drags'upon the spacecraft, gradually reducing its orbital velocity. This has the effect, over time, of converting the elliptical orbit to a circular orbit, which is the desired mapping orbit for MGS. Carrying out aerobraking eliminates the need for carrying large amounts of fuel on the spacecraft to execute an engine burn to achieve the desired orbit. Eliminating the mass of the fuel reduces the cost of launch. Damage to one of MGS's solar panels shortly after launch has resulted in a less aggressive extended in time aerobraking phase which will not end until March, 1999. Phase I extended from Sept. 1997 through March 1998. During this time period, Dr. Murphy participated almost daily in the AAG meetings, and beginning in December 1997 lead the meeting several times per week. The leader of each of the daily AAG meetings took the results of that meeting (current state of the atmosphere, identification of any time trends or spatial patterns in upper atmosphere densities, etc.) forward to the Aerobraking Planning Group (APG) meeting, at which time the decision was made to not change MGS orbit, to lower the orbit to reach higher densities (greater 'drag'), or raise the orbit to avoid

  1. Return currents and energy transport in the solar flaring atmosphere

    CERN Document Server

    Codispoti, Anna; Piana, Michele; Pinamonti, Nicola

    2013-01-01

    According to a standard ohmic perspective, the injection of accelerated electrons into the flaring region violates local charge equilibrium and therefore, in response, return currents are driven by an electric field to equilibrate such charge violation. In this framework, the energy loss rate associated to these local currents has an ohmic nature and significantly shortens the acceleration electron path. In the present paper we adopt a different viewpoint and, specifically, we study the impact of the background drift velocity on the energy loss rate of accelerated electrons in solar flares. We first utilize the Rutherford cross-section to derive the formula of the energy loss rate when the collisional target has a finite temperature and the background instantaneously and coherently moves up to equilibrate the electron injection. We then use the continuity equation for electrons and imaging spectroscopy data provided by RHESSI to validate this model. Specifically, we show that this new formula for the energy l...

  2. Water sorption on martian regolith analogs: Thermodynamics and near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pommerol, Antoine; Schmitt, Bernard; Beck, Pierre; Brissaud, Olivier

    2009-11-01

    The near-infrared reflectance spectra of the martian surface present strong absorption features attributed to hydration water present in the regolith. In order to characterize the relationships between this water and atmospheric vapor and decipher the physical state of water molecules in martian regolith analogs, we designed and built an experimental setup to measure near-IR reflectance spectra under martian atmospheric conditions. Six samples were studied that cover part of the diversity of Mars surface mineralogy: a hydrated ferric oxide (ferrihydrite), two igneous samples (volcanic tuff, and dunite sand), and three potential water rich soil materials (Mg-sulfate, smectite powder and a palagonitic soil, the JSC Mars-1 regolith stimulant). Sorption and desorption isotherms were measured at 243 K for water vapor pressure varying from 10 -5 to ˜0.3 mbar (relative humidity: 10 -4 to 75%). These measurements reveal a large diversity of behavior among the sample suite in terms of absolute amount of water adsorbed, shape of the isotherm and hysteresis between the adsorption and desorption branches. Simultaneous in situ spectroscopic observations permit a detailed analysis of the spectral signature of adsorbed water and also point to clear differences between the samples. Ferric (oxy)hydroxides like ferrihydrite or other phases present in palagonitic soils are very strong water adsorbent and may play an important role in the current martian water cycle by allowing large exchange of water between dust-covered regions and atmosphere at diurnal and seasonal scales.

  3. The chemical effects of the Martian environment on power system component materials: A theoretical approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perez-Davis, M.E.; Gaier, J.R. [Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, OH (United States)

    1994-09-01

    In the foreseeable future, an expedition may be undertaken to explore the planet Mars. Some of the power source options being considered for such a mission are photovoltaics, regenerative fuel cells and nuclear reactors. In addition to electrical power requirements, environmental conditions en route to Mars, in the planetary orbit and on the Martian surface must be simulated and studied in order to anticipate and solve potential problems. Space power systems components such as photovoltaic arrays, radiators, and solar concentrators may be vulnerable to degradation in the Martian environment. Natural characteristics of Mars which may pose a threat to surface power systems include high velocity winds, dust, ultraviolet radiation, large daily variations in temperature, reaction to components of the soil, atmosphere and atmospheric condensates as well as synergistic combinations. Most of the current knowledge of the characteristics of the Martian atmosphere and soil composition was obtained from the Viking 1 and 2 missions in 1976. This paper presents a theoretical study used to assess the effects of the Martian atmospheric conditions on the power systems components. A computer program written at NASA Lewis Research Center in 1961 to 1962 for combustion research that uses a free-energy minimization technique was used to calculate chemical equilibrium for assigned thermodynamic states of temperature and pressure. The power system component materials selected for this study include: Silicon dioxide, silicon, carbon, copper, and titanium. Combinations of environments and materials considered in this study include: (1) Mars atmosphere with power surface material, (2) Mars atmosphere and dust component with power surface material, (3) Mars atmosphere and hydrogen peroxide or superoxide with power system material.

  4. Noble Gas Analysis for Mars Robotic Missions: Evaluating K-Ar Age Dating for Mars Rock Analogs and Martian Shergottites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, J.; Ming, D. W.; Garrison, D. H.; Jones, J. H.; Bogard, D. D.; Nagao, K.

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this noble gas investigation was to evaluate the possibility of measuring noble gases in martian rocks and air by future robotic missions such as the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). The MSL mission has, as part of its payload, the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument, which consists of a pyrolysis oven integrated with a GCMS. The MSL SAM instrument has the capability to measure noble gas compositions of martian rocks and atmosphere. Here we suggest the possibility of K-Ar age dating based on noble gas release of martian rocks by conducting laboratory simulation experiments on terrestrial basalts and martian meteorites. We provide requirements for the SAM instrument to obtain adequate noble gas abundances and compositions within the current SAM instrumental operating conditions, especially, a power limit that prevents heating the furnace above approx.1100 C. In addition, Martian meteorite analyses from NASA-JSC will be used as ground truth to evaluate the feasibility of robotic experiments to constrain the ages of martian surface rocks.

  5. Bacterial survival in Martian conditions

    CERN Document Server

    D'Alessandro, Giuseppe Galletta; Giulio Bertoloni; Maurizio

    2010-01-01

    We shortly discuss the observable consequences of the two hypotheses about the origin of life on Earth and Mars: the Lithopanspermia (Mars to Earth or viceversa) and the origin from a unique progenitor, that for Earth is called LUCA (the LUCA hypothesis). To test the possibility that some lifeforms similar to the terrestrial ones may survive on Mars, we designed and built two simulators of Martian environments where to perform experiments with different bacterial strains: LISA and mini-LISA. Our LISA environmental chambers can reproduce the conditions of many Martian locations near the surface trough changes of temperature, pressure, UV fluence and atmospheric composition. Both simulators are open to collaboration with other laboratories interested in performing experiments on many kind of samples (biological, minerals, electronic) in situations similar to that of the red planet. Inside LISA we have studied the survival of several bacterial strains and endospores. We verified that the UV light is the major re...

  6. 3D Simulations of the variability of the atmospheric escape at Mars with the EUV solar flux

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaufray, J.-Y.; Leblanc, F.; Modolo, R.; Gonzalez-Galindo, F.; Lopez-Valverde, M.; Forget, F.

    2014-04-01

    The exosphere is the collisionless region surrounding a planetary atmosphere. The exosphere of Mars is an important region to characterize the escape processes. It is mainly formed from processes responsible of the atmospheric escape in the underlying atmosphere/ionosphere. The Martian exosphere is mainly composed of atomic hydrogen, molecular hydrogen and atomic oxygen. Atomic and molecular hydrogen escape is dominated by the thermal escape while the oxygen escape is dominated by the O2+ dissociative recombination in the Martian upper ionosphere. Therefore their escape rates are expected to vary strongly with the EUV solar flux which is the main driver of the heating and ionization of the Martian upper atmosphere. In this presentation, we will present simulations obtained from a 3D Martian exospheric model, coupled to the 3D GCM-LMD model for different solar UV conditions representative of current and past conditions.

  7. Water retention of selected microorganisms and Martian soil simulants under close to Martian environmental conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jänchen, J.; Bauermeister, A.; Feyh, N.; de Vera, J.-P.; Rettberg, P.; Flemming, H.-C.; Szewzyk, U.

    2014-08-01

    Based on the latest knowledge about microorganisms resistant towards extreme conditions on Earth and results of new complex models on the development of the Martian atmosphere we quantitatively examined the water-bearing properties of selected extremophiles and simulated Martian regolith components and their interaction with water vapor under close to Martian environmental conditions. Three different species of microorganisms have been chosen and prepared for our study: Deinococcus geothermalis, Leptothrix sp. OT_B_406, and Xanthoria elegans. Further, two mineral mixtures representing the early and the late Martian surface as well as montmorillonite as a single component of phyllosilicatic minerals, typical for the Noachian period on Mars, were selected. The thermal mass loss of the minerals and bacteria-samples was measured by thermoanalysis. The hydration and dehydration properties were determined under close to Martian environmental conditions by sorption isotherm measurements using a McBain-Bakr quartz spring balance. It was possible to determine the total water content of the materials as well as the reversibly bound water fraction as function of the atmospheres humidity by means of these methods. Our results are important for the evaluation of future space mission outcomes including astrobiological aspects and can support the modeling of the atmosphere/surface interaction by showing the influence on the water inventory of the upper most layer of the Martian surface.

  8. Prospects for Chronological Studies of Martian Rocks and Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyquist, L. E.; Shih, C-Y.; Reese, Y. D.

    2008-01-01

    Chronological information about Martian processes comes from two sources: Crater-frequency studies and laboratory studies of Martian meteorites. Each has limitations that could be overcome by studies of returned Martian rocks and soils. Chronology of Martian volcanism: The currently accepted chronology of Martian volcanic surfaces relies on crater counts for different Martian stratigraphic units [1]. However, there is a large inherent uncertainty for intermediate ages near 2 Ga ago. The effect of differing preferences for Martian cratering chronologies [1] is shown in Fig. 1. Stoeffler and Ryder [2] summarized lunar chronology, upon which Martian cratering chronology is based. Fig. 2 shows a curve fit to their data, and compares to it a corresponding lunar curve from [3]. The radiometric ages of some lunar and Martian meteorites as well as the crater-count delimiters for Martian epochs [4] also are shown for comparison to the craterfrequency curves. Scaling the Stoeffler-Ryder curve by a Mars/Moon factor of 1.55 [5] places Martian shergottite ages into the Early Amazonian to late Hesperian epochs, whereas using the lunar curve of [3] and a Mars/Moon factor 1 consigns the shergottites to the Middle-to-Late Amazonian, a less probable result. The problem is worsened if a continually decreasing cratering rate since 3 Ga ago is accepted [6]. We prefer the adjusted St ffler-Ryder curve because it gives better agreement with the meteorite ages (Fig.

  9. Evidence for methane in Martian meteorites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blamey, Nigel J F; Parnell, John; McMahon, Sean; Mark, Darren F; Tomkinson, Tim; Lee, Martin; Shivak, Jared; Izawa, Matthew R M; Banerjee, Neil R; Flemming, Roberta L

    2015-06-16

    The putative occurrence of methane in the Martian atmosphere has had a major influence on the exploration of Mars, especially by the implication of active biology. The occurrence has not been borne out by measurements of atmosphere by the MSL rover Curiosity but, as on Earth, methane on Mars is most likely in the subsurface of the crust. Serpentinization of olivine-bearing rocks, to yield hydrogen that may further react with carbon-bearing species, has been widely invoked as a source of methane on Mars, but this possibility has not hitherto been tested. Here we show that some Martian meteorites, representing basic igneous rocks, liberate a methane-rich volatile component on crushing. The occurrence of methane in Martian rock samples adds strong weight to models whereby any life on Mars is/was likely to be resident in a subsurface habitat, where methane could be a source of energy and carbon for microbial activity.

  10. Martian Clouds

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Released 28 June 2004 The atmosphere of Mars is a dynamic system. Water-ice clouds, fog, and hazes can make imaging the surface from space difficult. Dust storms can grow from local disturbances to global sizes, through which imaging is impossible. Seasonal temperature changes are the usual drivers in cloud and dust storm development and growth. Eons of atmospheric dust storm activity has left its mark on the surface of Mars. Dust carried aloft by the wind has settled out on every available surface; sand dunes have been created and moved by centuries of wind; and the effect of continual sand-blasting has modified many regions of Mars, creating yardangs and other unusual surface forms. This image was acquired during early spring near the North Pole. The linear 'ripples' are transparent water-ice clouds. This linear form is typical for polar clouds. The black regions on the margins of this image are areas of saturation caused by the build up of scattered light from the bright polar material during the long image exposure. Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude 68.1, Longitude 147.9 East (212.1 West). 38 meter/pixel resolution. Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip

  11. Clearing the Martian air - The troubled history of dust storms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, L. J.

    1984-03-01

    This note is an attempt to resolve some misconceptions regarding the historical record of the Martian atmospheric phenomena referred to as 'dust storms,' but often called yellow storms, yellow clouds, planetwide dust storms, global dust storms, great dust storms, etc. The known frequency of planet-encircling storms will be specifically addressed. Better knowledge of the sizes, frequencies, and locations of Martian dust storms is needed for atmospheric modeling and for future mission planning.

  12. Chemical Weathering Records of Martian Soils Preserved in the Martian Meteorite EET79001

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, M. N.; Wentworth, S. J.; McKay, D. S.

    2004-01-01

    Impact-melt glasses, rich in Martian atmospheric gases, contain Martian soil fines (MSF) mixed with other coarse-grained regolith fractions which are produced during impact bombardment on Mars surface. An important characteristic of the MSF fraction is the simultaneous enrichment of felsic component accompanied by the depletion of mafic component relative to the host phase in these glasses. In addition, these glasses yield large sulfur abundances due to the occurrence of secondary mineral phases such as sulfates produced during acid-sulfate weathering of the regolith material near the Martian surface. Sulfurous gases released into atmosphere by volcanoes on Mars are oxidized to H2SO4 which deposit back on the surface of Mars as aerosol particles. Depending on the water availability, sulfuric acids dissolve into solutions which aggressively decompose the Fe-Mg silicates in the Martian regolith. During chemical weathering, structural elements such as Fe, Mg and Ca (among others) are released into the transgressing solutions. These solutions leach away the soluble components of Mg, Ca and Na, leaving behind insoluble iron as Fe3(+) hydroxysulfate mixed with poorly crystalline hydroxide- precipitates under oxidizing conditions. In this study, we focus on the elemental distribution of FeO and SO3 in the glass veins of EET79001, 507 sample, determined by Electron Microprobe and FE SEM measurements at JSC. This glass sample is an aliquot of a bigger glass inclusion ,104 analysed by where large concentrations of Martian atmospheric noble gases are found.

  13. Current and future levels of mercury atmospheric pollution on global scale

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pacyna, Jozef M.; Travnikov, Oleg; De Simone, Francesco; Hedgecock, Ian M.; Sundseth, Kyrre; Pacyna, Elisabeth G.; Steenhuisen, Frits; Pirrone, Nicola; Munthe, John; Kindbom, Karin

    2016-01-01

    An assessment of current and future emissions, air concentrations and atmospheric deposition of mercury world-wide are presented on the basis of results obtained during the performance of the EU GMOS (Global Mercury Observation System) project. Emission estimates for mercury were prepared with the m

  14. Current and future levels of mercury atmospheric pollution on global scale

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pacyna, Jozef M.; Travnikov, Oleg; De Simone, Francesco; Hedgecock, Ian M.; Sundseth, Kyrre; Pacyna, Elisabeth G.; Steenhuisen, Frits; Pirrone, Nicola; Munthe, John; Kindbom, Karin

    2016-01-01

    An assessment of current and future emissions, air concentrations and atmospheric deposition of mercury world-wide are presented on the basis of results obtained during the performance of the EU GMOS (Global Mercury Observation System) project. Emission estimates for mercury were prepared with the

  15. Current and future levels of mercury atmospheric pollution on a global scale

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pacyna, J. M.; Travnikov, O.; De Simone, F.; Hedgecock, I. M.; Sundseth, K.; Pacyna, E. G.; Steenhuisen, F.; Pirrone, N.; Munthe, J.; Kindbom, K.

    2016-01-01

    An assessment of current and future emissions, air concentrations, and atmospheric deposition of mercury worldwide is presented on the basis of results obtained during the performance of the EU GMOS (Global Mercury Observation System) project. Emission estimates for mercury were prepared with the

  16. Current and future levels of mercury atmospheric pollution on a global scale

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steenhuisen, Frits

    2016-01-01

    An assessment of current and future emissions, air concentrations, and atmospheric deposition of mercury worldwide is presented on the basis of results obtained during the performance of the EU GMOS (Global Mercury Observation System) project. Emission estimates for mercury were prepared with the ma

  17. Extended survival of several organisms and amino acids under simulated martian surface conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, A. P.; Pratt, L. M.; Vishnivetskaya, T.; Pfiffner, S.; Bryan, R. A.; Dadachova, E.; Whyte, L.; Radtke, K.; Chan, E.; Tronick, S.; Borgonie, G.; Mancinelli, R. L.; Rothschild, L. J.; Rogoff, D. A.; Horikawa, D. D.; Onstott, T. C.

    2011-02-01

    Recent orbital and landed missions have provided substantial evidence for ancient liquid water on the martian surface as well as evidence of more recent sedimentary deposits formed by water and/or ice. These observations raise serious questions regarding an independent origin and evolution of life on Mars. Future missions seek to identify signs of extinct martian biota in the form of biomarkers or morphological characteristics, but the inherent danger of spacecraft-borne terrestrial life makes the possibility of forward contamination a serious threat not only to the life detection experiments, but also to any extant martian ecosystem. A variety of cold and desiccation-tolerant organisms were exposed to 40 days of simulated martian surface conditions while embedded within several centimeters of regolith simulant in order to ascertain the plausibility of such organisms' survival as a function of environmental parameters and burial depth. Relevant amino acid biomarkers associated with terrestrial life were also analyzed in order to understand the feasibility of detecting chemical evidence for previous biological activity. Results indicate that stresses due to desiccation and oxidation were the primary deterrent to organism survival, and that the effects of UV-associated damage, diurnal temperature variations, and reactive atmospheric species were minimal. Organisms with resistance to desiccation and radiation environments showed increased levels of survival after the experiment compared to organisms characterized as psychrotolerant. Amino acid analysis indicated the presence of an oxidation mechanism that migrated downward through the samples during the course of the experiment and likely represents the formation of various oxidizing species at mineral surfaces as water vapor diffused through the regolith. Current sterilization protocols may specifically select for organisms best adapted to survival at the martian surface, namely species that show tolerance to radical

  18. An overview of current issues in the uptake of atmospheric trace gases by aerosols and clouds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. E. Kolb

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available A workshop was held in the framework of the ACCENT (Atmospheric Composition Change – a European Network Joint Research Programme on "Aerosols" and the Programme on "Access to Laboratory Data". The aim of the workshop was to hold "Gordon Conference" type discussion covering accommodation and reactive uptake of water vapour and trace pollutant gases on condensed phase atmospheric materials. The scope was to review and define the current state of knowledge of accommodation coefficients for water vapour on water droplet and ice surfaces, and uptake of trace gas species on a variety of different surfaces characteristic of the atmospheric condensed phase particulate matter and cloud droplets. Twenty-six scientists participated in this meeting through presentations, discussions and the development of a consensus review.

    In this review we present an analysis of the state of knowledge on the thermal and mass accommodation coefficient for water vapour on aqueous droplets and ice and a survey of current state-of the-art of reactive uptake of trace gases on a range of liquid and solid atmospheric droplets and particles. The review recommends consistent definitions of the various parameters that are needed for quantitative representation of the range of gas/condensed surface kinetic processes important for the atmosphere and identifies topics that require additional research.

  19. An overview of current issues in the uptake of atmospheric trace gases by aerosols and clouds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. E. Kolb

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available A workshop was held in the framework of the ACCENT (Atmospheric Composition Change – a European Network Joint Research Programme on "Aerosols" and the Programme on "Access to Laboratory Data". The aim of the workshop was to hold "Gordon Conference" type discussion covering accommodation and reactive uptake of water vapour and trace pollutant gases on condensed phase atmospheric materials. The scope was to review and define the current state of knowledge of accommodation coefficients for water vapour on water droplet and ice surfaces, and uptake of trace gas species on a variety of different surfaces characteristic of the atmospheric condensed phase particulate matter and cloud droplets. Twenty-six scientists participated in this meeting through presentations, discussions and the development of a consensus review.

    In this review we present an analysis of the state of knowledge on the thermal and mass accommodation coefficient for water vapour on aqueous droplets and ice and a survey of current state-of the-art of reactive uptake of trace gases on a range of liquid and solid atmospheric droplets and particles. The review recommends consistent definitions of the various parameters that are needed for quantitative representation of the range of gas/condensed surface kinetic processes important for the atmosphere and identifies topics that require additional research.

  20. An overview of current issues in the uptake of atmospheric trace gases by aerosols and clouds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolb, C. E.; Cox, R. A.; Abbatt, J. P. D.; Ammann, M.; Davis, E. J.; Donaldson, D. J.; Garrett, B. C.; George, C.; Griffiths, P. T.; Hanson, D. R.; Kulmala, M.; McFiggans, G.; Pöschl, U.; Riipinen, I.; Rossi, M. J.; Rudich, Y.; Wagner, P. E.; Winkler, P. M.; Worsnop, D. R.; O'Dowd, C. D.

    2010-11-01

    A workshop was held in the framework of the ACCENT (Atmospheric Composition Change - a European Network) Joint Research Programme on "Aerosols" and the Programme on "Access to Laboratory Data". The aim of the workshop was to hold "Gordon Conference" type discussion covering accommodation and reactive uptake of water vapour and trace pollutant gases on condensed phase atmospheric materials. The scope was to review and define the current state of knowledge of accommodation coefficients for water vapour on water droplet and ice surfaces, and uptake of trace gas species on a variety of different surfaces characteristic of the atmospheric condensed phase particulate matter and cloud droplets. Twenty-six scientists participated in this meeting through presentations, discussions and the development of a consensus review. In this review we present an analysis of the state of knowledge on the thermal and mass accommodation coefficient for water vapour on aqueous droplets and ice and a survey of current state-of the-art of reactive uptake of trace gases on a range of liquid and solid atmospheric droplets and particles. The review recommends consistent definitions of the various parameters that are needed for quantitative representation of the range of gas/condensed surface kinetic processes important for the atmosphere and identifies topics that require additional research.

  1. Ion Heating and Magnetotail Losses at the Martian Ionosphere-Magnetosphere Interface

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFadden, J. P.; Livi, R.; Luhmann, J. G.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Mitchell, D. L.; Mazelle, C. X.; Andersson, L.; Jakosky, B. M.

    2015-12-01

    The Suprathermal And Thermal Ion Composition (STATIC) sensor on the MAVEN spacecraft provides the first detailed look at the heating of Martian ions at the interface between the ionosphere and the solar wind. STATIC's unique design allows it to measure both a wide range in energy (cold plasmas (Ti atmospheric loss. This paper will review the broad range of ion distributions that MAVEN observes escaping down the magnetotail beginning with outflows at the low altitude terminator and their evolution to a warm plasma that forms the tail current sheet. These observations will be used to estimate the atmospheric loss rate of tail outflows.

  2. Martian thermosphere-exosphere temperatures from SPICAM dayglow measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stiepen, A.; Gérard, J.-C.; Bougher, S.; Montmessin, F.

    2013-09-01

    We analyze the ultraviolet dayglow in the atmosphere of Mars through CO2+ and CO Cameron emissions. These emissions are accumulated on a large dataset of dayside grazing limb performed by the Spectroscopy for Investigation of Characteristics of the Atmosphere of Mars (SPICAM) instrument on board the Mars Express spacecraft. The temperature of the Martian high atmosphere can be retrieved from these limb emission profiles. Its variability with season, latitude, solar activity and the crustal magnetic field is discussed. We use a one-dimensional chemical-diffusive model to retrieve the main features of the emissions and constrain the temperature and density vertical profiles of the main components of the Martian atmosphere.

  3. Atmospheric transport and deposition of pesticides: An assessment of current knowledge

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pul, W.A.J. van; Bidleman, T.F.; Brorström-Lunden, E.

    1999-01-01

    there is a shortage of measurement data to evaluate the deposition and reemission processes. It was concluded that the mechanisms of transport and dispersion of pesticides can be described similarly to those for other air pollution components and these mechanisms are rather well-known. Large uncertainties are present......The current knowledge on atmospheric transport and deposition of pesticides is reviewed and discussed by a working group of experts during the Workshop on Fate of pesticides in the atmosphere; implications for risk assessment, held in Driebergen, the Netherlands, 22-24 April, 1998. In general...

  4. Martian polar expeditions: problems and solutions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, C S

    2001-12-01

    The Martian polar ice caps are regions of substantial scientific interest, being the most dynamic regions of Mars. They are volatile sinks and thus closely linked to Martian climatic conditions. Because of their scale and the precedent set by the past history of polar exploration on Earth, it is likely that an age of polar exploration will emerge on the surface of Mars after the establishment of a capable support structure at lower latitudes. Expeditions might be launched either from a lower latitude base camp or from a human-tended polar base. Based on previously presented expeditionary routes to the Martian poles, in this paper a "spiral in-spiral out" unsupported transpolar assault on the Martian north geographical pole is used as a Reference expedition to propose new types of equipment for the human polar exploration of Mars. Martian polar "ball" tents and "hover" modifications to the Nansen sledge for sledging on CO2-containing water ice substrates under low atmospheric pressures are suggested as elements for the success of these endeavours. Other challenges faced by these expeditions are quantitatively and qualitatively addressed.

  5. Day-to-day variability of midlatitude ionospheric currents due to magnetospheric and lower atmospheric forcing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamazaki, Y.; Häusler, K.; Wild, J. A.

    2016-07-01

    As known from previous studies on the solar quiet (Sq) variation of the geomagnetic field, the strength and pattern of ionospheric dynamo currents change significantly from day to day. The present study investigates the relative importance of two sources that contribute to the day-to-day variability of the ionospheric currents at middle and low latitudes. One is high-latitude electric fields that are caused by magnetospheric convection, and the other is atmospheric waves from the lower atmosphere. Global ionospheric current systems, commonly known as Sq current systems, are simulated using the National Center for Atmospheric Research thermosphere-ionosphere-mesosphere-electrodynamics general circulation model. Simulations are run for 1-30 April 2010 with a constant solar energy input but with various combinations of high-latitude forcing and lower atmospheric forcing. The model well reproduces geomagnetic perturbations on the ground, when both forcings are taken into account. The contribution of high-latitude forcing to the total Sq current intensity (Jtotal) is generally smaller than the contribution of wave forcing from below 30 km, except during active periods (Kp≥4), when Jtotal is enhanced due to the leakage of high-latitude electric fields to lower latitudes. It is found that the penetration electric field drives ionospheric currents at middle and low latitudes not only on the dayside but also on the nightside, which has an appreciable effect on the Dst index. It is also found that quiet time day-to-day variability in Jtotal is dominated by symmetric-mode migrating diurnal and semidiurnal tidal winds at 45-60° latitude at ˜110 km.

  6. Dust transport into Martian polar latitudes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, J. R.; Pollack, J. B.

    1992-01-01

    The presence of suspended dust in the Martian atmosphere, and its return to the planet's surface, is implicated in the formation of the polar layered terrain and the dichotomy in perennial CO2 polar cap retention in the two hemispheres. A three dimensional model was used to study Martian global dust storms. The model accounts for the interactive feedbacks between the atmospheric thermal and dynamical states and an evolving radiatively active suspended dust load. Results from dust storm experiments, as well as from simulations in which there is interest in identifying the conditions under which surface dust lifting occurs at various locations and times, indicate that dust transport due to atmospheric eddy motions is likely to be important in the arrival of suspended dust at polar latitudes. The layered terrain in both polar regions of Mars is interpreted as the reality of cyclical episodes of volatile (CO2, H2O) and dust deposition.

  7. Martian "microfossils" in lunar meteorites?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sears, D W; Kral, T A

    1998-07-01

    One of the five lines of evidence used by McKay et al. (1996) for relic life in the Martian meteorite Allan Hills (ALH) 84001 was the presence of objects thought to be microfossils. These ovoid and elongated forms are similar to structures found in terrestrial rocks and described as "nanobacteria" (Folk, 1993; McBride et al., 1994). Using the same procedures and apparatus as McKay et al. (1996), we have found structures on internal fracture surfaces of lunar meteorites that cannot be distinguished from the objects described on similar surfaces in ALH 84001. The lunar surface is currently a sterile environment and probably always has been. However, the lunar and Martian meteorites share a common terrestrial history, which includes many thousands of years of exposure to Antarctic weathering. Although we do not know the origin of these ovoid and elongated forms, we suggest that their presence on lunar meteorites indicates that the objects described by McKay et al. (1996) are not of Martian biological origin.

  8. Detection of the martian atmosphere and ionosphere using spacecraft-earth radio occultation%星-地无线电掩星技术探测火星大气和电离层

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张素君; 平劲松; 洪振杰; 韩婷婷; 毛晓飞

    2009-01-01

    历史上几乎所有的行星探测任务都开展了无线电掩星实验,以探测行星的大气、电离层、行星环以及磁场,并取得了很多重要的科学成果.掩星发生时刻前后,测量航天器发出的信号穿过行星电离层和大气层时被遮掩而引起的信号频率、相位、幅度或极化等物理特性的变化,通过某种反演技术,可以得到大气的折射率廓线,推出中性大气的密度、温度、压强廓线以及电离层的电子浓度廓线.文章嗣绕中国"萤火1号"火星探测器(YH-1)火星探测计划中将要开展的星-地无线电掩星实验,介绍了该技术用于探测火星大气和电离层的相关情况.%Investigations of planetary atmospheres, ionospheres, rings, and magnetic fields using radio science techniques have been conducted by almost every planetary mission, and have acquired many significant scientific results. Changes in the frequency, phase, amplitude and polarization of spacecraft radio signals, caused by passage through a planet's atmosphere and ionosphere, have been observed in rising and descending planet occultation events. Utilizing an inversion method, we can obtain the refractivity profiles of the atmosphere, as well as the density, temperature and pressure profiles of the neutral atmosphere, and the electron density profile of the ionosphere. In the first Chinese YH-1 Mars mission, characteristics of the Martian atmosphere and ionosphere will be detected by a radio occultation experiment. The details are presented in this paper.

  9. Responses of atmospheric electric field and air-earth current to variations of conductivity profiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makino, M.; Ogawa, T.

    1984-05-01

    A global circuit model is constructed to study responses of air-earth current and electric field to a variation of atmospheric electrical conductivity profile. The model includes the orography and the global distribution of thunderstorm generators. The conductivity varies with latitude and exponentially with altitude. The thunderstorm cloud is assumed to be a current generator with a positive source at the top and a negative one at the bottom. The UT diurnal variations of the global current and the ionospheric potential are evaluated considering the local-time dependence of thunderstorm activity. The global distribution of the electric field and the air-earth current are affected by the orography and latitudinal effects. Assuming a variation of conductivity profile, responses of atmospheric electrical parameters are investigated. The nonuniform decrement of the conductivity with altitude increases both the electric field and the air-earth current. The result suggests a possibility that the increment of the electric field and the air-earth current after a solar flare may be caused by this scheme, due to Forbush decrease.

  10. Atmospheric Wind Relaxations and the Oceanic Response in the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fewings, M. R.; Dorman, C. E.; Washburn, L.; Liu, W.

    2010-12-01

    On the West Coast of North America in summer, episodic relaxation of the upwelling-favorable winds causes warm water to propagate northward from southern to central California, against the prevailing currents [Harms and Winant 1998, Winant et al. 2003, Melton et al. 2009]. Similar wind relaxations are an important characteristic of coastal upwelling ecosystems worldwide. Although these wind relaxations have an important influence on coastal ocean dynamics, no description exists of the regional atmospheric patterns that lead to wind relaxations in southern California, or of the regional ocean response. We use QuikSCAT wind stress, North American Regional Reanalysis atmospheric pressure products, water temperature and velocity from coastal ocean moorings, surface ocean currents from high-frequency radars, and MODIS satellite sea-surface temperature and ocean color images to analyze wind relaxation events and the ocean response. We identify the events based on an empirical index calculated from NDBC buoy winds [Melton et al. 2009]. We describe the regional evolution of the atmosphere from the Gulf of Alaska to Baja California over the few days leading up to wind relaxations, and the coastal ocean temperature, color, and current response off southern and central California. We analyze ~100 wind relaxation events in June-September during the QuikSCAT mission, 1999-2009. Our results indicate south-central California wind relaxations in summer are tied to mid-level atmospheric low-pressure systems that form in the Gulf of Alaska and propagate southeastward over 3-5 days. As the low-pressure systems reach southern California, the atmospheric pressure gradient along the coast weakens, causing the surface wind stress to relax to near zero. The weak wind signal appears first at San Diego and propagates northward. QuikSCAT data indicate the relaxed winds extend over the entire Southern California Bight and up to 200 km offshore of central California. Atmospheric dynamics in

  11. Formation of the Martian Polar Layered Terrains: Quantifying Polar Water Ice and Dust Surface Deposition during Current and Past Orbital Epochs with the NASA Ames GCM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emmett, Jeremy; Murphy, Jim

    2016-10-01

    Structural and compositional variability in the layering sequences comprising Mars' polar layered terrains (PLT's) is likely explained by orbital-forced climatic variations in the sedimentary cycles of water ice and dust from which they formed [1]. The PLT's therefore contain a direct, extensive record of the recent climate history of Mars encoded in their structure and stratigraphy, but deciphering this record requires understanding the depositional history of their dust and water ice constituents. 3D Mars atmosphere modeling enables direct simulation of atmospheric dynamics, aerosol transport and quantification of surface accumulation for a range of past and present orbital configurations. By quantifying the net yearly polar deposition rates of water ice and dust under Mars' current and past orbital configurations characteristic of the last several millions of years, and integrating these into the present with a time-stepping model, the formation history of the north and south PLT's will be investigated, further constraining their age and composition, and, if reproducible, revealing the processes responsible for prominent features and stratigraphy observed within the deposits. Simulating the formation of the deposits by quantifying net deposition rates during past orbital epochs and integrating these into the present, effectively 'rebuilding' the terrains, could aid in understanding deeper stratigraphic trends, correlating between geographically-separated deposits, explaining the presence and shapes of large-scale polar features, and correlating stratigraphy with geological time. Quantification of the magnitude and geographical distribution of surface aerosol accumulation will build on the work of previous GCM-based investigations [3]. Construction and analysis of hypothetical stratigraphic sequences in the PLT's will draw from previous climate-controlled stratigraphy methodologies [2,4], but will utilize GCM-derived net deposition rates to model orbital

  12. Atmospheric deposition and critical loads for nitrogen and metals in Arctic Alaska: Review and current status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linder, Greg L.; Brumbaugh, William G.; Neitlich, Peter; Little, Edward

    2013-01-01

    To protect important resources under their bureau’s purview, the United States National Park Service’s (NPS) Arctic Network (ARCN) has developed a series of “vital signs” that are to be periodically monitored. One of these vital signs focuses on wet and dry deposition of atmospheric chemicals and further, the establishment of critical load (CL) values (thresholds for ecological effects based on cumulative depositional loadings) for nitrogen (N), sulfur, and metals. As part of the ARCN terrestrial monitoring programs, samples of the feather moss Hylocomium splendens are being col- lected and analyzed as a cost-effective means to monitor atmospheric pollutant deposition in this region. Ultimately, moss data combined with refined CL values might be used to help guide future regulation of atmospheric contaminant sources potentially impacting Arctic Alaska. But first, additional long-term studies are needed to determine patterns of contaminant deposition as measured by moss biomonitors and to quantify ecosystem responses at particular loadings/ ranges of contaminants within Arctic Alaska. Herein we briefly summarize 1) current regulatory guidance related to CL values 2) derivation of CL models for N and metals, 3) use of mosses as biomonitors of atmospheric deposition and loadings, 4) preliminary analysis of vulnerabilities and risks associated with CL estimates for N, 5) preliminary analysis of existing data for characterization of CL values for N for interior Alaska and 6) implications for managers and future research needs.

  13. 系外行星大气研究现状%Current Investigations on Exoplanetary Atmospheres

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    田蕾; 季江徽

    2015-01-01

    The ultimate goal for detecting exoplanets is to search for extraterrestrial life and habitable terrestrial planets. The exoplanetary atmosphere acts as a good window to understand exoplanet’s characteristics and habitability. Hence, such investigation is one of the most significant frontiers in astronomy. In the last decade, tremendous achievements have been made on the theories of the exoplanetary atmosphere, and observations through photometric and spectroscopic methods using a variety of space-borne and ground-based observational facilities. However, currently the atmosphere observations mainly come from transiting hot Jupiters, super-Earths and direct imaging giant planets, because of limitation in current observational techniques. The present review attempts to succinctly summarize current investigations in this field. First, we briefly describe the methods of observing exoplanetary atmospheres. Next, we review the fundamental facts, nowadays research progress of atmospheres for hot Jupiters and super-Earths. Finally,we present an introduction of the projects, which are involved in exoplanetary atmosphere detection to show the bright prospects for future investigation.%探测系外行星的最终目的是为了寻找系外生命和宜居行星,而系外行星大气是人们了解行星宜居特性的窗口,所以系外行星大气的研究至关重要。近10年来,系外行星大气的理论研究和观测都发展迅速。受观测技术限制,目前观测到大气的系外行星主要是用凌星法探测到的热木星和超级地球,还有用直接成像法探测到的离主星较远的年轻气态巨行星。力求在系外行星大气领域飞速发展之际,对该领域研究现状做简明介绍。首先介绍系外行星大气的观测方法,随后介绍热木星和超级地球的大气概况和研究现状,最后对系外行星大气探测的有关项目进行简要介绍,以展示未来系外行星大气研究的前景。

  14. Temporal variations of concentrations of currently used pesticides in the atmosphere of Strasbourg, France

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schummer, Claude [Laboratoire des Materiaux, Surfaces et Procedes pour la Catalyse, Equipe de Physico-Chimie de l' Atmosphere (UMR 7515 CNRS-Universite de Strasbourg), 1, rue Blessig, F-67084 Strasbourg Cedex (France); Laboratoire de Toxicologie, Centre de Recherche Public, Sante/Laboratoire National de Sante, Universite du Luxembourg, Campus Limpertsberg, 162A, avenue de la Faiencerie, L-1511 Luxembourg (Luxembourg); Mothiron, Elodie [Laboratoire des Materiaux, Surfaces et Procedes pour la Catalyse, Equipe de Physico-Chimie de l' Atmosphere (UMR 7515 CNRS-Universite de Strasbourg), 1, rue Blessig, F-67084 Strasbourg Cedex (France); Appenzeller, Brice M.R. [Laboratoire de Toxicologie, Centre de Recherche Public, Sante/Laboratoire National de Sante, Universite du Luxembourg, Campus Limpertsberg, 162A, avenue de la Faiencerie, L-1511 Luxembourg (Luxembourg); Rizet, Anne-Laure [Laboratoire des Materiaux, Surfaces et Procedes pour la Catalyse, Equipe de Physico-Chimie de l' Atmosphere (UMR 7515 CNRS-Universite de Strasbourg), 1, rue Blessig, F-67084 Strasbourg Cedex (France); Wennig, Robert [Laboratoire de Toxicologie, Centre de Recherche Public, Sante/Laboratoire National de Sante, Universite du Luxembourg, Campus Limpertsberg, 162A, avenue de la Faiencerie, L-1511 Luxembourg (Luxembourg); Millet, Maurice, E-mail: millet@illite.u-strasbg.f [Laboratoire des Materiaux, Surfaces et Procedes pour la Catalyse, Equipe de Physico-Chimie de l' Atmosphere (UMR 7515 CNRS-Universite de Strasbourg), 1, rue Blessig, F-67084 Strasbourg Cedex (France)

    2010-02-15

    Atmospheric samples have been collected in Strasbourg between April 18 and May 29, 2007 and were analyzed for 71 current-use pesticides, of which 38 were detected. Average concentrations ranged from 0.09 ng m{sup -3} for Fenarimol to 110.42 ng m{sup -3} for Dimethachlor, which was slightly higher than the concentrations reported from other, comparable agricultural regions. Significant temporal variations were observed for 30 pesticides, and for most of them it could be shown that these were linked to time, temperature or atmospheric pressure. In several cases this helped to identify pesticide application just before or at the beginning of the sampling period, or ongoing treatment. Humidity, in contrast to previous reports, could not be linked to these variations. For the other 8 pesticides, only very little temporal variations were observed. Generally, these concentrations were low (less than 1 ng m{sup -3}), and it was assumed that they are not in use in Alsace at present. - The paper describes the temporal variations of current-use pesticides in the atmosphere of Strasbourg during pesticide application.

  15. A Martian Air Battery Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This project will investigate an entirely new battery chemistry by developing A Martian Air Battery. Specifically the project will explore the concept of a Martian...

  16. Isothermal magnetostatic atmospheres. II - Similarity solutions with current proportional to the magnetic potential cubed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webb, G. M.

    1988-01-01

    The paper presents a family of isothermal magnetostatic atmospheres with one ignorable coordinate corresponding to a uniform gravitational field in a plane geometry. The distributed current in the model J is directed along the x-axis, where x is the horizontal ignorable coordinate. The current J is taken to be proportional to the cube of the magnetostatic potential A and falls off exponentially with distance vertical to the base with an e-folding distance equal to the gravitational scale height. A range of similarity solution examples are displayed depending on the values of the similarity parameters. Each similarity parameter corresponds to a symmetry of the underlying nonlinear elliptic equation for A. The similarity parameters also determine the source currents for the potential field solution of the family. The solutions show the interplay between the gravitational force, the J & B force (B, magnetic field induction) and the gas pressure gradient.

  17. Ice-Ridge Pile Up and the Genesis of Martian "Shorelines"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnhart, C. J.; Tulaczyk, S.; Asphaug, E.; Kraal, E. R.; Moore, J.

    2005-01-01

    Unique geomorphologic features such as basin terraces exhibiting topographic continuity have been found within several Martian craters as shown in Viking, MOC, and THEMIS images. These features, showing similarity to terrestrial shorelines, have been mapped and cataloged with significant effort [1]. Currently, open wave action on the surface of paleolakes has been hypothesized as the geomorphologic agent responsible for the generation of these features [2]. As consequence, feature interpretations, including shorelines, wave-cut benches, and bars are, befittingly, lacustrine. Because such interpretations and their formation mechanisms have profound implications for the climate and potential biological history of Mars, confidence is crucial. The insight acquired through linked quantitative modeling of geomorphologic agents and processes is key to accurately interpreting these features. In this vein, recent studies [3,4] involving the water wave energy in theoretical open water basins on Mars show minimal erosional effects due to water waves under Martian conditions. Consequently, sub-glacial lake flattens the surface, produces a local velocity increase over the lake, and creates a deviation of the ice flow from the main flow direction [11]. These consequences of ice flow are observed at Lake Vostok, Antarctica an excellent Martian analogue [11]. Martian observations include reticulate terrain exhibiting sharp inter-connected ridges speculated to reflect the deposition and reworking of ice blocks at the periphery of ice-covered lakes throughout Hellas [12]. Our model determines to what extent ice, a terrestrial geomorphologic agent, can alter the Martian landscape. Method: We study the evolution of crater ice plugs as the formation mechanism of surface features frequently identified as shorelines. In particular, we perform model integrations involving parameters such as ice slope and purity, atmospheric pressure and temperature, crater shape and composition, and an

  18. Current and future levels of mercury atmospheric pollution on a global scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacyna, Jozef M.; Travnikov, Oleg; De Simone, Francesco; Hedgecock, Ian M.; Sundseth, Kyrre; Pacyna, Elisabeth G.; Steenhuisen, Frits; Pirrone, Nicola; Munthe, John; Kindbom, Karin

    2016-10-01

    An assessment of current and future emissions, air concentrations, and atmospheric deposition of mercury worldwide is presented on the basis of results obtained during the performance of the EU GMOS (Global Mercury Observation System) project. Emission estimates for mercury were prepared with the main goal of applying them in models to assess current (2013) and future (2035) air concentrations and atmospheric deposition of this contaminant. The combustion of fossil fuels (mainly coal) for energy and heat production in power plants and in industrial and residential boilers, as well as artisanal and small-scale gold mining, is one of the major anthropogenic sources of Hg emissions to the atmosphere at present. These sources account for about 37 and 25 % of the total anthropogenic Hg emissions globally, estimated to be about 2000 t. Emissions in Asian countries, particularly in China and India, dominate the total emissions of Hg. The current estimates of mercury emissions from natural processes (primary mercury emissions and re-emissions), including mercury depletion events, were estimated to be 5207 t year-1, which represents nearly 70 % of the global mercury emission budget. Oceans are the most important sources (36 %), followed by biomass burning (9 %). A comparison of the 2035 anthropogenic emissions estimated for three different scenarios with current anthropogenic emissions indicates a reduction of these emissions in 2035 up to 85 % for the best-case scenario. Two global chemical transport models (GLEMOS and ECHMERIT) have been used for the evaluation of future mercury pollution levels considering future emission scenarios. Projections of future changes in mercury deposition on a global scale simulated by these models for three anthropogenic emissions scenarios of 2035 indicate a decrease in up to 50 % deposition in the Northern Hemisphere and up to 35 % in Southern Hemisphere for the best-case scenario. The EU GMOS project has proved to be a very important

  19. Martian Sunrise at Utopia Planitia

    Science.gov (United States)

    1978-01-01

    A Martian sunrise was captured in this Viking 2 Lander picture taken June 14, 1978, at the spacecraft's Utopia Planitia landing site. The data composing this image were acquired just as the Sun peaked over the horizon on the Lander's 631st sol (Martian solar day). Pictures taken at dawn (or dusk) are quite dark except where the sky is brightened above the Sun's position. The glow in the sky results as light from the Sun is scattered and preferentially absorbed by tiny particles of dust and ice in the atmosphere. When the Viking cameras are calibrated for darker scenes, the 'sky glow' tends to saturate their sensitivity and produce the bright regions seen here. The 'banding' and color separation effects are also artifacts, rather than real features, and are introduced because the cameras are not able to record continuous gradations of light. The cameras must represent such gradations in steps (bands) of brightness and color, and the process sometimes produces some 'false' colors within the bands. The scattering of light closest to the Sun's position tends to enhance blue wavelengths. The narrowing sky glow nearer the horizon above the Sun's position occurs as a result of light extinction. At that elevation, the optical path of sunlight through the atmosphere is at its longest penetration angle, and a substantial portion of the light is simply prevented from reaching the cameras by the dust, ice particles and other material in its way.NASA's Langley Research Center was the primary and extended mission manager; JPL assumed management for continued mission operations.

  20. Survival of microorganisms in smectite clays: Implications for Martian exobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moll, Deborah M.; Vestal, J. Robie

    1992-08-01

    Manned exploration of Mars may result in the contamination of that planet with terrestrial microbes, a situation requiring assessment of the survival potential of possible contaminating organisms. In this study, the survival of Bacillus subtilis, Azotobacter chroococcum, and the enteric bacteriophage MS2 was examined in clays representing terrestrial (Wyoming type montmorillonite) or Martian (Fe 3+-montmorillonite) soils exposed to terrestrial and Martian environmental conditions of temperature and atmospheric pressure and composition, but not to UV flux or oxidizing conditions. Survival of bacteria was determined by standard plate counts and biochemical and physiological measurements over 112 days. Extractable lipid phosphate was used to measure microbial biomass, and the rate of 14C-acetate incorporation into microbial lipids was used to determine physiological activity. MS2 survival was assayed by plaque counts. Both bacterial types survived terrestrial or Martian conditions in Wyoming montmorillonite better than Martian conditions in Fe 3+-montmorillonite. Decreased survival may have been caused by the lower pH of the Fe 3+-montmorillonite compared to Wyoming montmorillonite. MS2 survived simulated Mars conditions better than the terrestrial environment, likely due to stabilization of the virus caused by the cold and dry conditions of the simulated Martian environment. The survival of MS2 in the simulated Martian environment is the first published indication that viruses may be able to survive in Martian type soils. This work may have implications for planetary protection for future Mars missions.

  1. Current Research in Lidar Technology Used for the Remote Sensing of Atmospheric Aerosols.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comerón, Adolfo; Muñoz-Porcar, Constantino; Rocadenbosch, Francesc; Rodríguez-Gómez, Alejandro; Sicard, Michaël

    2017-06-20

    Lidars are active optical remote sensing instruments with unique capabilities for atmospheric sounding. A manifold of atmospheric variables can be profiled using different types of lidar: concentration of species, wind speed, temperature, etc. Among them, measurement of the properties of aerosol particles, whose influence in many atmospheric processes is important but is still poorly stated, stands as one of the main fields of application of current lidar systems. This paper presents a review on fundamentals, technology, methodologies and state-of-the art of the lidar systems used to obtain aerosol information. Retrieval of structural (aerosol layers profiling), optical (backscatter and extinction coefficients) and microphysical (size, shape and type) properties requires however different levels of instrumental complexity; this general outlook is structured following a classification that attends these criteria. Thus, elastic systems (detection only of emitted frequencies), Raman systems (detection also of Raman frequency-shifted spectral lines), high spectral resolution lidars, systems with depolarization measurement capabilities and multi-wavelength instruments are described, and the fundamentals in which the retrieval of aerosol parameters is based is in each case detailed.

  2. Catalog of Martian Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newsom, Horton E.; Hagerty, J. J.

    1998-01-01

    The long-term exploration of Mars will require the utilization of surface and near-surface materials for construction, radiation shielding, and life support. Eventually, such materials could be used as raw materials in manufacturing. While there is a resemblance between the surface of Mars, as revealed in Viking and Pathfinder images, and terrestrial desert environments, there are distinct differences that will affect the utilization of in situ resources. In general, the surface geological features are extremely old compared to Earth, dating back to the early evolution of the solar system. Therefore, materials created by processes such as impact cratering are important on Mars. Impact cratering probably created extensive sheets of impact melt bearing breccias on the surface and resulted in the formation of a thick regolith of broken rock fragments in the ancient terrains of Mars. Another key feature is the lack of rainfall over most of Mars' history. This resulted in the lack of extensive erosion. On Earth, extensive erosion of volcanic centers, for example, has exposed deep hydrothermal deposits that are mined for Cu, Mo, and W, but such deposits are not likely to be exposed at the surface on Mars. Similarly, deposits of quartz sand, used for glass making, are created by the erosion of granitic terrains on Earth, and are not likely to be found on Mars. The soil on Mars is also very different from wind-blown material on Earth. Virtually no organic material is present, and the material is enriched in volatile elements, such as S and Cl, and possibly also toxic heavy metals, derived from volcanic gases and hydrothermal waters that poured onto the surface. The volatile elements have remained in the soil due to the absence of processes that recycle volatile elements back into the planet's crust. Hydrogen peroxide originally formed in the atmosphere is also mixed into the soil and regolith, and was probably responsible for the "oxidant" found in the soil by the Viking

  3. Variability of the Martian thermospheric temperatures during the last 7 Martian Years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Galindo, Francisco; Lopez-Valverde, Miguel Angel; Millour, Ehouarn; Forget, François

    2014-05-01

    The temperatures and densities in the Martian upper atmosphere have a significant influence over the different processes producing atmospheric escape. A good knowledge of the thermosphere and its variability is thus necessary in order to better understand and quantify the atmospheric loss to space and the evolution of the planet. Different global models have been used to study the seasonal and interannual variability of the Martian thermosphere, usually considering three solar scenarios (solar minimum, solar medium and solar maximum conditions) to take into account the solar cycle variability. However, the variability of the solar activity within the simulated period of time is not usually considered in these models. We have improved the description of the UV solar flux included on the General Circulation Model for Mars developed at the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD-MGCM) in order to include its observed day-to-day variability. We have used the model to simulate the thermospheric variability during Martian Years 24 to 30, using realistic UV solar fluxes and dust opacities. The model predicts and interannual variability of the temperatures in the upper thermosphere that ranges from about 50 K during the aphelion to up to 150 K during perihelion. The seasonal variability of temperatures due to the eccentricity of the Martian orbit is modified by the variability of the solar flux within a given Martian year. The solar rotation cycle produces temperature oscillations of up to 30 K. We have also studied the response of the modeled thermosphere to the global dust storms in Martian Year 25 and Martian Year 28. The atmospheric dynamics are significantly modified by the global dust storms, which induces significant changes in the thermospheric temperatures. The response of the model to the presence of both global dust storms is in good agreement with previous modeling results (Medvedev et al., Journal of Geophysical Research, 2013). As expected, the simulated

  4. Electric currents in the solar atmosphere in the presence of magnetic null points

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlo Santos, Jean; Büchner, Jörg; Otto, Antonius

    So far the role of magnetic null points in 3D reconnection was investigated mainly for the close vicinity of the null, with perturbations being applied at the nearby boundaries. In the solar atmosphere, however, electric currents are generated due to perturbations originating at the photosphere, far a way from coronal 3D nulls. We investigate the consequences of photospheric motion for the development of electric cur-rents in a coronal magnetic field configuration containing a null, located far away from the boundaries, and the influence of topological structures on their spatial distribution. We use a 3D resistive MHD code to investigate the consequences of photospheric plasma motion for the generation of currents in a coronal magnetic field containing a null. The plasma is consid-ered fully compressible and is initially in hydrostatic equilibrium. The initial magnetic field is current free (potential). Initially the photospheric plasma motion creates a magnetic field perturbation that propagates to the corona along the field lines at the local Alfvén speed. The shear Alfvenic wave pertur-e bation corresponds to a propagating current. The currents are mainly parallel to the magnetic field. The perturbations starting close to the foot points of the field lines that connect to the null eventually reach the vicinity of the null. Since the local Alfvén speed decreases as we approach the magnetic null point, the perturbations of the magnetic field never reach the null. Meanwhile, strong currents develop around the null point where the perturbations reach the intersection of two separatrices. On those regions, when there is an appropriate perturbation, a shear of the magnetic field is created in a length scale much smaller than the characteristic length scale of the system, generating a strong current channel.

  5. Numerical simulation and experimental validation of a direct current air corona discharge under atmospheric pressure

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Liu Xing-Hua; He Wei; Yang Fan; Wang Hong-Yu; Liao Rui-Jin; Xiao Han-Guang

    2012-01-01

    Air corona discharge is one of the critical problems associated with high-voltage equipment.Investigating the corona mechanism plays a key role in enhancing the electrical insulation performance.An improved self-consistent multi-component two-dimensional plasma hybrid model is presented for the simulation of a direct current atmospheric pressure corona discharge in air.The model is based on plasma hydrodynamic and chemical models,and includes 12 species and 26 reactions.In addition,the photoionization effect is introduced into the model.The simulation on a bar-plate electrode configuration with an inter-electrode gap of 5.0 mm is carried out.The discharge voltage-current characteristics and the current density distribution predicted by the hybrid model agree with the experimental measurements.In addition,the dynamics of volume charged species generation,discharge current waveform,current density distribution at an electrode,charge density,electron temperature,and electric field variations are investigated in detail based on the model.The results indicate that the model can contribute valuable insights into the physics of an air plasma discharge.

  6. Seasonal absolute acoustic intensity, atmospheric forcing and currents in a tropical coral reef system

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Jesús Salas Pérez, José; Salas-Monreal, David; Monreal-Gómez, María Adela; Riveron-Enzastiga, Mayra Lorena; Llasat, Carme

    2012-03-01

    The seasonal patterns of marine circulation and biovolume were obtained from time-series measurements carried out in the "Parque Nacional Sistema Arrecifal Veracruzano" (PNSAV), located in the western continental shelf of the Gulf of Mexico, from June 2008 to September 2009. Two mechanisms were depicted as the responsible for the current pattern observed in the PNSAV and not only one as suggested in large-scale studies. The first mechanism is the wind generated currents. This mechanism by itself is responsible for up to 78% of total variation of the seasonal circulation in the PNSAV as estimated with the first mode of the EOF's (Empirical Orthogonal Functions), which was correlated (Normalized Lagged Correlation) with the north-south wind component. Therefore, the wind and the first mode were highly correlated for most of the year (r > 0.7). The second mode was attributed to the low frequency current, associated to the meso-scale circulation of the Gulf of Mexico, owing to the cyclonic eddy of the Campeche Bay. Both mechanisms were mostly observed throughout the year. Nevertheless, the cyclonic eddy of the Campeche Bay (meso-scale) was the first responsible for the current fluctuations observed during the summer of 2008 and 2009. The absolute acoustic intensity (plankton biovolumes) was highly correlated to currents, showing high spatial variability, attributed to advection produced by the meso-scale circulation and to river discharges, but also by eddy diffusion produced by atmospheric and coastal water fronts.

  7. First observations of the Martian cold oxygen corona by IUVS/MAVEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaufray, Jean-Yves; Deighan, Justin; Chaffin, Michael; Schneider, Nick; McClintock, Bill; Stewart, Ian; Holsclaw, Greg; Clarke, John; Jakosky, Bruce

    2015-04-01

    The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission (MAVEN) has been recently inserted around Mars. This mission is motivated by the study of the Mars atmospheric erosion rates along its history. Most of the atmospheric erosion rates occur in the upper atmosphere and therefore the understanding of the energetics, chemistry and dynamics of the Martian upper atmosphere is crucial to constrain the contribution of the different escape channels to the Martian atmospheric erosion. The atomic oxygen, produced by photodissociation of the atmospheric carbon dioxid, becomes the main neutral species in the upper thermosphere and low exosphere of Mars. This species is a key species for several processes in the Martian upper atmosphere. For example, the collisions between atomic oxygen and carbon dioxid can effectively excite the ν2 vibrational state of CO2 leading to an increase of the 15 μm emission which in turn leads to an increase of the thermospheric cooling rate and therefore controls the Martian temperature at the exobase. The Martian ionosphere is mainly composed by O2+, CO2+, O+ whose abundances are chemically controlled by the amount of atomic oxygen in the thermosphere. According to recent GCM simulations, cold atomic oxygen is very sensitive to the thermospheric circulation and its expected diurnal variations could be used to constrain the dynamics of the Martian upper atmosphere. Finally, thermal exospheric oxygen can be ionized and picked up by the solar wind contributing to the erosion of the Martian atmosphere. The caracterization of the atomic oxygen in the Martian upper atmosphere can be derived from its UV emission at 130.4 nm mainly produced by resonant scattering of the solar flux. The UV spectrometer IUVS aboard the MAVEN mission routinely observes this emission at Mars. In this presentation we will present the first observations of the 130.4 nm resonant line performed by IUVS at different altitudes and solar zenith angles, we will compare these

  8. Determination of Martian soil mineralogy and water content using the Thermal Analyzer for Planetary Soils (TAPS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gooding, James L.; Ming, Douglas W.; Allton, Judith H.; Byers, Terry B.; Dunn, Robert P.; Gibbons, Frank L.; Pate, Daniel B.; Polette, Thomas M.

    1992-01-01

    Physical and chemical interactions between the surface and atmosphere of Mars can be expected to embody a strong cause-and-effect relationship with the minerals comprising the martian regolith. Many of the minerals in soils and sediments are probably products of chemical weathering (involving surface/atmosphere or surface/hydrosphere reactions) that could be expected to subsequently influence the sorption of atmospheric gases and water vapor. Therefore, identification of the minerals in martian surface soils and sediments is essential for understanding both past and present interactions between the Mars surface and atmosphere. Clearly, the most definitive mineral analyses would be achieved with well-preserved samples returned to Earth-based laboratories. In advance of a Mars sample return mission, however, significant progress could be made with in situ experiments that fill current voids in knowledge about the presence or abundance of key soil minerals such as clays (layered-structured silicates), zeolites, and various salts, including carbonates. TAPS is intended to answer that challenge by providing first-order identification of soil and sediment minerals.

  9. Planetary-scale hydraulic jumps and transonic jet-streaks in the MACDA reanalysis of the Martian atmosphere: a comparison with Earth's lower mesosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dowling, Timothy E.; Bradley, Mary Elizabeth; Lewis, Stephen R.; Read, Peter L.

    2016-10-01

    We have analyzed the Mars MACDA V1.0 global reanalysis on potential-temperature surfaces, θ, over the range θ = 400 to 900 K (~30 to ~60 km). The strongest seasonal wind, the northern-winter polar jet, exhibits two intriguing features: i) transonic jet streaks and ii) the juxtaposition of regions of shooting and tranquil flow, in the sense of Froude-number hydraulics, which suggests a planetary-scale hydraulic jump. Mesoscale bores have been studied on Mars, but to our knowledge the above two features have not been reported elsewhere. To characterize the basic state, we examine scatter plots of Ertel potential vorticity, Q, versus Bernoulli streamfunction, B, and fit the linear model Q/Q0 = 1 - μ0 (B-B0). In autumn, winter and spring, the nondimensionalized correlation parameter, μ'0 = (NH)2 μ0, in mid-latitudes is positive and nearly constant in time. Its value is close to unity at the bottom of the study region and gradually decreases with increasing θ (increasing altitude). In northern summer it swings negative. These attributes match Earth's lower mesosphere (θ = 2000 to 3000 K; ~48 to ~62 km). In southern summer, Ls ~ 270○, a hypsometric flaring of the θ layers, which is not seen in northern summer, is associated with the previously reported reduction of Q to approximately zero across the entire southern hemisphere and northern tropics. Between each winter polar jet and pole, especially in the north, there is a large spread of Q over a small domain of B, which is unlike Earth and may be related to the aforementioned hydraulic jump. We are currently examining 3D Lagrangian fluid trajectories to better characterize the rotating hydraulics of the system as a function of season.

  10. Overview of the Martian radiation environment experiment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zeitlin, C.; Cleghorn, T.F.; Cucinotta, F.A.; Saganti, P.; Andersen, V.; Lee, K.T.; Pinsky, L.S.; Atwell, W.; Turner, R.; Badhwar, G.

    2004-12-01

    Space radiation presents a hazard to astronauts, particularly those journeying outside the protective influence of the geomagnetosphere. Crews on future missions to Mars will be exposed to the harsh radiation environment of deep space during the transit between Earth and Mars. Once on Mars, they will encounter radiation that is only slightly reduced, compared to free space, by the thin Martian atmosphere. NASA is obliged to minimize, where possible, the radiation exposures received by astronauts. Thus, as a precursor to eventual human exploration, it is necessary to measure the Martian radiation environment in detail. The MARIE experiment, aboard the 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft, is returning the first data that bear directly on this problem. Here we provide an overview of the experiment, including introductory material on space radiation and radiation dosimetry, a description of the detector, model predictions of the radiation environment at Mars, and preliminary dose-rate data obtained at Mars.

  11. Liquid Water in the Extremely Shallow Martian Subsurface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlov, A.; Shivak, J. N.

    2012-01-01

    Availability of liquid water is one of the major constraints for the potential Martian biosphere. Although liquid water is unstable on the surface of Mars due to low atmospheric pressures, it has been suggested that liquid films of water could be present in the Martian soil. Here we explored a possibility of the liquid water formation in the extremely shallow (1-3 cm) subsurface layer under low atmospheric pressures (0.1-10 mbar) and low ("Martian") surface temperatures (approx.-50 C-0 C). We used a new Goddard Martian simulation chamber to demonstrate that even in the clean frozen soil with temperatures as low as -25C the amount of mobile water can reach several percents. We also showed that during brief periods of simulated daylight warming the shallow subsurface ice sublimates, the water vapor diffuses through porous surface layer of soil temporarily producing supersaturated conditions in the soil, which leads to the formation of additional liquid water. Our results suggest that despite cold temperatures and low atmospheric pressures, Martian soil just several cm below the surface can be habitable.

  12. Some current problems in atmospheric ozone chemistry; role of chemical kinetics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cox, R.A.

    1987-03-01

    A review is given on selected aspects of the reaction mechanisms of current interest in the chemistry of atmospheric ozone. Atmospheric ozone is produced and removed by a complex series of elementary gas-phase photochemical reactions involving O/sub x/, HO/sub x/, NO/sub x/, CIO/sub x/ and hydrocarbon species. At the present time there is a good knowledge of the basic processes involved in ozone chemistry in the stratosphere and the troposphere and the kinetics of most of the key reactions are well defined. There are a number of difficulties in the theoretical descriptions of observed ozone behaviour which may be due to uncertainties in the chemistry. Examples are the failure to predict present day ozone in the photochemically controlled region above 35 Km altitude and the large reductions in the ozone column in the Antartic Spring which has been observed in recent years. In the troposphere there is growing evidence that ozone and other trace gases have changed appreciably from pre-industrial concentrations, due to chemical reactions involving man-made pollutants. Quantitative investigation of the mechanisms by which these changes may occur requires a sound laboratory kinetics data base.

  13. Characteristics of cold atmospheric plasma source based on low-current pulsed discharge with coaxial electrodes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bureyev, O. A.; Surkov, Yu S.; Spirina, A. V.

    2017-05-01

    This work investigates the characteristics of the gas discharge system used to create an atmospheric pressure plasma flow. The plasma jet design with a cylindrical graphite cathode and an anode rod located on the axis of the system allows to realize regularly reproducible spark breakdowns mode with a frequency ∼ 5 kHz and a duration ∼ 40 μs. The device generates a cold atmospheric plasma flame with 1 cm in diameter in the flow of various plasma forming gases including nitrogen and air at about 100 mA average discharge current. In the described construction the cathode spots of individual spark channels randomly move along the inner surface of the graphite electrode creating the secondary plasma stream time-average distributed throughout the whole exit aperture area after the decay of numerous filamentary discharge channels. The results of the spectral diagnostics of plasma in the discharge gap and in the stream coming out of the source are presented. Despite the low temperature of atoms and molecules in plasma stream the cathode spots operation with temperature of ∼ 4000 °C at a graphite electrode inside a discharge system enables to saturate the plasma by CN-radicals and atomic carbon in the case of using nitrogen as the working gas.

  14. Numerical simulation of a direct current glow discharge in atmospheric pressure helium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Zeng-Qian; Wang, Yan; Zhang, Pan-Pan; Zhang, Qi; Li, Xue-Chen

    2016-12-01

    Characteristics of a direct current (DC) discharge in atmospheric pressure helium are numerically investigated based on a one-dimensional fluid model. The results indicate that the discharge does not reach its steady state till it takes a period of time. Moreover, the required time increases and the current density of the steady state decreases with increasing the gap width. Through analyzing the spatial distributions of the electron density, the ion density and the electric field at different discharge moments, it is found that the DC discharge starts with a Townsend regime, then transits to a glow regime. In addition, the discharge operates in a normal glow mode or an abnormal glow one under different parameters, such as the gap width, the ballast resistors, and the secondary electron emission coefficients, judged by its voltage-current characteristics. Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 11575050 and 10805013), the Midwest Universities Comprehensive Strength Promotion Project, the Natural Science Foundation of Hebei Province, China (Grant Nos. A2016201042 and A2015201092), and the Research Foundation of Education Bureau of Hebei Province, China (Grant No. LJRC011).

  15. Shocks and currents in stratified atmospheres with a magnetic null point

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarr, Lucas A.; Linton, Mark

    2017-08-01

    We use the resistive MHD code LARE (Arber et al 2001) to inject a compressive MHD wavepacket into a stratified atmosphere that has a single magnetic null point, as recently described in Tarr et al 2017. The 2.5D simulation represents a slice through a small ephemeral region or area of plage. The strong gradients in field strength and connectivity related to the presence of the null produce substantially different dynamics compared to the more slowly varying fields typically used in simple sunspot models. The wave-null interaction produces a fast mode shock that collapses the null into a current sheet and generates a set of outward propagating (from the null) slow mode shocks confined to field lines near each separatrix. A combination of oscillatory reconnection and shock dissipation ultimately raise the plasma's internal energy at the null and along each separatrix by 25-50% above the background. The resulting pressure gradients must be balanced by Lorentz forces, so that the final state has contact discontinuities along each separatrix and a persistent current at the null. The simulation demonstrates that fast and slow mode waves localize currents to the topologically important locations of the field, just as their Alfvenic counterparts do, and also illustrates the necessity of treating waves and reconnection as coupled phenomena.

  16. Atmospheric pressure air direct current glow discharge ionization source for ion mobility spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Can; Wang, Weiguo; Li, Haiyang

    2008-05-15

    A new atmospheric pressure air direct current glow discharge (DCGD) ionization source has been developed for ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) to overcome the regularity problems associated with the conventional (63)Ni source and the instability of the negative corona discharge. Its general electrical characteristics were experimentally investigated. By equipping it to IMS, a higher sensitivity was obtained compared to that of a (63)Ni source and corona discharge, and a linear dynamic range from 20 ppb to 20 ppm was obtained for m-xylene. Primary investigations showed that alkanes, such as pentane, which are nondetectable or insensitively detectable with (63)Ni-IMS, can be efficiently detected by DCGD-IMS and the detection limit of 10 ppb can be reached. The preliminary results have shown that the new DCGD ionization source has great potential applications in IMS, such as online monitoring of environment pollutants and halogenated compounds.

  17. Heating Mechanisms in the Low Solar Atmosphere through Magnetic Reconnection in Current Sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ni, Lei; Lin, Jun; Roussev, Ilia I.; Schmieder, Brigitte

    2016-12-01

    We simulate several magnetic reconnection processes in the low solar chromosphere/photosphere; the radiation cooling, heat conduction and ambipolar diffusion are all included. Our numerical results indicate that both the high temperature (≳8 × 104 K) and low temperature (˜104 K) magnetic reconnection events can happen in the low solar atmosphere (100-600 km above the solar surface). The plasma β controlled by plasma density and magnetic fields is one important factor to decide how much the plasma can be heated up. The low temperature event is formed in a high β magnetic reconnection process, Joule heating is the main mechanism to heat plasma and the maximum temperature increase is only several thousand Kelvin. The high temperature explosions can be generated in a low β magnetic reconnection process, slow and fast-mode shocks attached at the edges of the well developed plasmoids are the main physical mechanisms to heat the plasma from several thousand Kelvin to over 8 × 104 K. Gravity in the low chromosphere can strongly hinder the plasmoid instability and the formation of slow-mode shocks in a vertical current sheet. Only small secondary islands are formed; these islands, however, are not as well developed as those in the horizontal current sheets. This work can be applied to understand the heating mechanism in the low solar atmosphere and could possibly be extended to explain the formation of common low temperature Ellerman bombs (˜104 K) and the high temperature Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) bombs (≳8 × 104) in the future.

  18. Blue moons and Martian sunsets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehlers, Kurt; Chakrabarty, Rajan; Moosmüller, Hans

    2014-03-20

    The familiar yellow or orange disks of the moon and sun, especially when they are low in the sky, and brilliant red sunsets are a result of the selective extinction (scattering plus absorption) of blue light by atmospheric gas molecules and small aerosols, a phenomenon explainable using the Rayleigh scattering approximation. On rare occasions, dust or smoke aerosols can cause the extinction of red light to exceed that for blue, resulting in the disks of the sun and moon to appear as blue. Unlike Earth, the atmosphere of Mars is dominated by micron-size dust aerosols, and the sky during sunset takes on a bluish glow. Here we investigate the role of dust aerosols in the blue Martian sunsets and the occasional blue moons and suns on Earth. We use the Mie theory and the Debye series to calculate the wavelength-dependent optical properties of dust aerosols most commonly found on Mars. Our findings show that while wavelength selective extinction can cause the sun's disk to appear blue, the color of the glow surrounding the sun as observed from Mars is due to the dominance of near-forward scattering of blue light by dust particles and cannot be explained by a simple, Rayleigh-like selective extinction explanation.

  19. Demonstrating Martian Gravity

    CERN Document Server

    Pirkola, Patrik

    2016-01-01

    The surface gravity on Mars is smaller than the surface gravity on Earth, resulting in longer falling times. This effect can be simulated on Earth by taking advantage of air resistance and buoyancy, which cause low density objects to fall slowly enough to approximate objects falling on the surface of Mars. We describe a computer simulation based on an experiment that approximates Martian gravity, and verify our numerical results by performing the experiment.

  20. Evaluation of the Atmospheric Chemical Entropy Production of Mars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfonso Delgado-Bonal

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Thermodynamic disequilibrium is a necessary situation in a system in which complex emergent structures are created and maintained. It is known that most of the chemical disequilibrium, a particular type of thermodynamic disequilibrium, in Earth’s atmosphere is a consequence of life. We have developed a thermochemical model for the Martian atmosphere to analyze the disequilibrium by chemical reactions calculating the entropy production. It follows from the comparison with the Earth atmosphere that the magnitude of the entropy produced by the recombination reaction forming O3 (O + O2 + CO2 ⥦ O3 + CO2 in the atmosphere of the Earth is larger than the entropy produced by the dominant set of chemical reactions considered for Mars, as a consequence of the low density and the poor variety of species of the Martian atmosphere. If disequilibrium is needed to create and maintain self-organizing structures in a system, we conclude that the current Martian atmosphere is unable to support large physico-chemical structures, such as those created on Earth.

  1. Cartography for Martian Trojans

    CERN Document Server

    Tabachnik, S A

    1999-01-01

    The last few months have seen the discovery of a second Martian Trojan (1998 VF31), as well as two further possible candidates (1998 QH56 and 1998 SD4). Together with the previously discovered Martian satellite 5261 Eureka, these are the only known possible solar system Trojan asteroids not associated with Jupiter. Here, maps of the locations of the stable Trojan trajectories of Mars are presented. These are constructed by integrating an ensemble of in-plane and inclined orbits in the vicinity of the Martian Lagrange points for between 25 million and 60 million years. The survivors occupy a band of inclinations between 15 degrees and 40 degrees and longitudes between 240 degrees and 330 degrees at the L5 Lagrange point. Around the L4 point, stable Trojans inhabit two bands of inclinations (15 degrees < i < 30 degrees and 32 degrees < i < 40 degrees) with longitudes restricted between 25 degrees and 120 degrees. Both 5261 Eureka and 1998 VF31 lie deep within one of the stable zones, which suggests ...

  2. Evidence from Olivine-Hosted Melt Inclusions that the Martian Mantle has a Chondritic D/H Ratio and that Some Young Basalts have Assimilated Old Crust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usui, Tomohiro; Alexander, O'D.; Wang, J.; Simon, J. I.; Jones, J. H.

    2012-01-01

    Magmatic degassing of volatile elements affects the climate and near-surface environment of Mars. Telescopic and meteorite studies have revealed that the Martian atmosphere and near-surface materials have D/H ratios 5-6 times terrestrial values [e.g., 1, 2]. Such high D/H ratios are interpreted to result from the preferential loss of H relative to heavier D from the Martian atmosphere, assuming that the original Martian water inventory had a D/H ratio similar to terrestrial values and to H in primitive meteorites [e.g., 1, 3]. However, the primordial Martian D/H ratio has, until now, not been well constrained. The uncertainty over the Martian primordial D/H ratio has arisen both from the scarcity of primitive Martian meteorites and as a result of contamination by terrestrial and, perhaps, Martian surface waters that obscure the signature of the Martian mantle. This study reports a comprehensive dataset of magmatic volatiles and D/H ratios in Martian primary magmas based on low-contamination, in situ ion microprobe analyses of olivine-hosted melt inclusions from both depleted [Yamato 980459 (Y98)] and enriched [Larkman Nunatak 06319 (LAR06)] Martian basaltic meteorites. Analyses of these primitive melts provide definitive evidence that the Martian mantle has retained a primordial D/H ratio and that young Martian basalts have assimilated old Martian crust.

  3. Resource Utilization and Site Selection for a Self-Sufficient Martian Outpost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barker, Donald; Chamitoff, Gregory; James, George

    1998-04-01

    As a planet with striking similarities to Earth, Mars is an important focus for scientific research aimed at understanding the processes of planetary evolution and the formation of our solar system. Fortunately, Mars is also a planet with abundant natural resources, including assessible materials that can be used to support human life and to sustain a self-sufficient martian outpost. Resources required include water, breathable air, food, shelter, energy, and fuel. Through a mission design based on in situ resource development, we can establish a permanent outpost on Mars beginning with the first manned mission. This paper examines the potential for supporting the first manned mission with the objective of achieving self-sufficiency through well-understood resource development and a program of rigorous scientific research aimed at extending that capability. We examine the potential for initially extracting critical resources from the martian environment, and discuss the scientific investigations required to identify additional resources in the atmosphere, on the surface, and within the subsurface. We also discuss our current state of knowledge of Mars, technical considerations of resource utilization, and using unmanned missions' data for selecting an optimal site. The primary goal of achieving self-sufficiency on Mars would accelerate the development of human colonization beyond Earth, while providing a robust and permanent martian base from which humans can explore and conduct long-term research on planetary evolution, the solar system, and life itself.

  4. Ring current Atmosphere interactions Model with Self-Consistent Magnetic field

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2016-09-09

    The Ring current Atmosphere interactions Model with Self-Consistent magnetic field (B) is a unique code that combines a kinetic model of ring current plasma with a three dimensional force-balanced model of the terrestrial magnetic field. The kinetic portion, RAM, solves the kinetic equation to yield the bounce-averaged distribution function as a function of azimuth, radial distance, energy and pitch angle for three ion species (H+, He+, and O+) and, optionally, electrons. The domain is a circle in the Solar-Magnetic (SM) equatorial plane with a radial span of 2 to 6.5 RE. It has an energy range of approximately 100 eV to 500 KeV. The 3-D force balanced magnetic field model, SCB, balances the JxB force with the divergence of the general pressure tensor to calculate the magnetic field configuration within its domain. The domain ranges from near the Earth’s surface, where the field is assumed dipolar, to the shell created by field lines passing through the SM equatorial plane at a radial distance of 6.5 RE. The two codes work in tandem, with RAM providing anisotropic pressure to SCB and SCB returning the self-consistent magnetic field through which RAM plasma is advected.

  5. Study of a new direct current atmospheric pressure glow discharge in helium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gielniak, B. [University of Hamburg, Institute for Inorganic and Applied Chemistry, Martin-Luther-King-Platz 6, 20146 Hamburg (Germany); Fiedler, T. [Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Institute for Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry, Duesbergweg 10-14, 55128 Mainz (Germany); Broekaert, J.A.C., E-mail: jose.broekaert@chemie.uni-hamburg.de [University of Hamburg, Institute for Inorganic and Applied Chemistry, Martin-Luther-King-Platz 6, 20146 Hamburg (Germany)

    2011-01-15

    In this study a new DC-APGD operated in He was developed and characterized. The discharge is operated at 0.9 kV and about 25-35 mA and at a gas flow of 100 ml/min. The source was spectroscopically studied and parameters such as the rotational temperature (T{sub rot}), the excitation temperature (T{sub exc}), the ionization temperature (T{sub ion}) and the electron number density (n{sub e}) were determined. The current-voltage characteristic of the source was studied as well. At optimized conditions the discharge operates in the normal region of the current-voltage characteristic. Rotational and excitation temperatures determined with the use of OH band and Fe I lines as thermometric species were of the order of about 900-1200 and 4500-5500 K, respectively. This indicates that despite of the atmospheric pressure, the discharge is not in LTE. Spatially resolved temperature measurements were performed with axial as well as radial resolution and showed relatively flat profiles. Axially resolved emission intensity profiles for several species such as H, N{sub 2}, N{sub 2}{sup +}, OH, He and Hg were determined. It also was found that H{sub 2} introduced into the He by electrolysis of acid solutions such as in ECHG considerably increases the spectroscopically measured gas temperatures but decreases the analyte line intensities, as shown for Hg.

  6. Meteor layers in the Martian ionosphere: Observations and Modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter, Kerstin; Molina Cuberos, Gregorio J.; Witasse, Olivier; Paetzold, Martin

    Observations by the radio science experiments MaRS on Mars Express and VeRa on Venus Express revealed the appearance of additional electron density layers in the Martian and Venu-sian ionosphere below the common secondary layers in some of the ionospheric profiles. This may be an indicator for the signature of meteoric particles in the Martian atmosphere. There are two main sources of meteoric flux into planetary atmospheres: the meteoroid stream com-ponent whose origin is related to comets, and the sporadic meteoroid component which has its source in body collisions i.e. in the Kuiper belt or the asteoroid belt. This paper will present the detection status for the Martian meteor layers in MaRS electron density profiles and the first steps towards modelling this feature. The presented meteor layer model will show the influence of the sporadic meteoric component on the Martian ionosphere. Input param-eters to this model are the ablation profiles of atomic Magnesium and Iron in the Martian atmosphere caused by sporadic meteoric influx, the neutral atmosphere which is taken from the Mars Climate Database and electron density profiles for an undisturbed ionosphere from a simple photochemical model. The meteor layer model includes the effects of molecular and eddy diffusion processes of metallic species and contains chemical reaction schemes for atomic Magnesium and Iron. It calculates the altitude-density-profiles for several metallic species on the basis of Mg and Fe in chemical equilibrium by analytical solution of the reaction equations. A first comparison of model and observed meteoric structures in the Martian ionosphere will be presented.

  7. Modeling the Martian neutral particle radiation - predictions for ExoMars/IRAS and implications for Martian habitability during the Noachian

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ehresmann, Bent; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Burmeister, Soenke; Koehler, Jan; Kulkarni, Shri [Christian-Albrechts-Universitaet, Kiel (Germany); Reitz, Guenther [Deutsches Zentrum fuer Luft- und Raumfahrt (Germany)

    2009-07-01

    The exciting results of recent Mars exploration missions indicate that water existed on the Martian surface, which provides a possibility for life on Mars. Thus, there is an enhanced interest in analyzing the conditions for habitability on Mars, especially in the Noachian epoch. An important aspect of habitability is the radiation level of charged and neutral particles in possible habitats. Using Planetocosmics, we calculate particle radiation in the Martian atmosphere and at ground level for present-day conditions. These calculations allow us to make predictions for the measurements of the Ionizing Radiation Sensor (IRAS) on ExoMars. By changing atmosphere conditions and varying the water-content of the Martian soil, we can derive radiation levels expected during the Noachian period. We will discuss the implications of these model results in terms of Noachian habitability.

  8. Tracing the fate of carbon and the atmospheric evolution of Mars

    CERN Document Server

    Hu, Renyu; Ehlmann, Bethany L; Yung, Yuk L

    2015-01-01

    The climate of Mars likely evolved from a warmer, wetter early state to the cold, arid current state. However, no solutions for this evolution have previously been found to satisfy the observed geological features and isotopic measurements of the atmosphere. Here we show that a family of solutions exist, invoking no missing reservoirs or loss processes. Escape of carbon via CO photodissociation and sputtering enriches heavy carbon (13C) in the Martian atmosphere, partially compensated by moderate carbonate precipitation. The current atmospheric 13C/12C and rock and soil carbonate measurements indicate an early atmosphere with a surface pressure <1 bar. Only scenarios with large amounts of carbonate formation in open lakes permit higher values up to 1.8 bar. The evolutionary scenarios are fully testable with data from the MAVEN mission and further studies of the isotopic composition of carbonate in the Martian rock record through time.

  9. Current understanding of the aeronomy of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagy, Andrew F.; Grebowsky, Joseph M.

    2015-12-01

    This paper provides a short overview of our current understanding of the upper atmosphere/ionosphere of Mars including the escaping neutral atmosphere to space that plays a key role in the current state of the Mars upper atmosphere. The proper definition of the word "aeronomy" relates to the upper atmosphere where ionization is important. Currently there is a paucity of measurements of the internal physical structure of the Martian upper atmosphere/ionosphere. Much that we know has been deduced from theoretical models that predict many more things than thus far measured. The newest Mars orbital missions, the US MAVEN and Indian MOM missions, just beginning their science analyses, will provide the measurements needed to fully characterize the aeronomy of Mars.

  10. Adaption of an Antarctic lichen to Martian niche conditions can occur within 34 days

    OpenAIRE

    de Vera, J. P.; Schulze-Makuch, D.; Khan, A; Lorek, A.; Möhlmann, D.; T. Spohn

    2014-01-01

    Stresses occurring on the Martian surface were simulated in a Mars Simulation Chamber (MSC) and included high UV fluxes (Zarnecki andCatling,2002), low temperatures, low water activity, high atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and an atmospheric pressure of about 800Pa (Kasting, 1991; Head etal., 2003). The lichen Pleopsidium chlorophanum is an extremophile that lives in very cold, dry, high-altitude habitats, which are Earth's best approximation of the Martian surface. Samples with P.ch...

  11. Seasonal cycle of Martian climate : Experimental data and numerical simulation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodin, A. V.; Willson, R. J.

    2006-01-01

    The most adequate theoretical method of investigating the present-day Martian climate is numerical simulation based on a model of general circulation of the atmosphere. First and foremost, such models encounter the greatest difficulties in description of aerosols and clouds, which in turn essentiall

  12. Seasonal cycle of Martian climate : Experimental data and numerical simulation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodin, A. V.; Willson, R. J.

    2006-01-01

    The most adequate theoretical method of investigating the present-day Martian climate is numerical simulation based on a model of general circulation of the atmosphere. First and foremost, such models encounter the greatest difficulties in description of aerosols and clouds, which in turn

  13. Seasonal cycle of Martian climate : Experimental data and numerical simulation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodin, A. V.; Willson, R. J.

    2006-01-01

    The most adequate theoretical method of investigating the present-day Martian climate is numerical simulation based on a model of general circulation of the atmosphere. First and foremost, such models encounter the greatest difficulties in description of aerosols and clouds, which in turn essentiall

  14. On the increase in the limiting current of an atmospheric-pressure glow discharge in an argon flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldanov, B. B.; Ranzhurov, Ts. V.

    2014-04-01

    The initiation of an atmospheric-pressure glow discharge (APGD) is studied in the multitip cathode-planar anode electrode system through which an argon flow passes. It is shown that sectioning of the cathode and ballast resistances present at corona tips make it possible to substantially expand the current region of the discharge and considerably raise the limiting current of the APGD. The shape of the coronafree electrode is found to influence the limiting discharge current.

  15. Optical emission spectroscopy diagnostics of an atmospheric pressure direct current microplasma jet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sismanoglu, B.N., E-mail: bogos@ita.b [Departamento de Fisica, Instituto Tecnologico de Aeronautica, Comando-Geral de Tecnologia Aeroespacial, Pca Marechal Eduardo Gomes 50, 12 228-900, Sao Jose dos Campos, SP (Brazil); Amorim, J., E-mail: jayr.amorim@bioetanol.org.b [Centro de Ciencia e Tecnologia do Bioetanol - CTBE, Caixa Postal 6170, 13083-970 Campinas, Sao Paulo (Brazil); Souza-Correa, J.A., E-mail: jorge.correa@bioetanol.org.b [Centro de Ciencia e Tecnologia do Bioetanol - CTBE, Caixa Postal 6170, 13083-970 Campinas, Sao Paulo (Brazil); Oliveira, C., E-mail: carlosf@ita.b [Departamento de Fisica, Instituto Tecnologico de Aeronautica, Comando-Geral de Tecnologia Aeroespacial, Pca Marechal Eduardo Gomes 50, 12 228-900, Sao Jose dos Campos, SP (Brazil); Gomes, M.P., E-mail: gomesmp@ita.b [Departamento de Fisica, Instituto Tecnologico de Aeronautica, Comando-Geral de Tecnologia Aeroespacial, Pca Marechal Eduardo Gomes 50, 12 228-900, Sao Jose dos Campos, SP (Brazil)

    2009-11-15

    This paper is about the use of optical emission spectroscopy as a diagnostic tool to determine the gas discharge parameters of a direct current (98% Ar-2% H{sub 2}) non-thermal microplasma jet, operated at atmospheric pressure. The electrical and optical behaviors were studied to characterize this glow discharge. The microplasma jet was investigated in the normal and abnormal glow regimes, for current ranging from 10 to 130 mA, at approx 220 V of applied voltage for copper cathode. OH (A {sup 2}SIGMA{sup +}, nu = 0 -> X {sup 2}PI, nu' = 0) rotational bands at 306.357 nm and also the 603.213 nm Ar I line, which is sensitive to van der Waals broadening, were used to determine the gas temperature, which ranges from 550 to 800 K. The electron number densities, ranging from 6.0 x 10{sup 14} to 1.4 x 10{sup 15} cm{sup -3}, were determined through a careful analysis of the main broadening mechanisms of the H{sub beta} line. From both 603.213 nm and 565.070 nm Ar I line broadenings, it was possible to obtain simultaneously electron number density and temperature (approx 8000 K). Excitation temperatures were also measured from two methods: from two Cu I lines and from Boltzmann-plot of 4p-4s and 5p-4s Ar I transitions. By employing H{sub alpha} line, the hydrogen atoms' H temperature was estimated (approx 18,000 K) and found to be surprisingly hotter than the excitation temperature.

  16. Atmospheric pressure chemical ionization of explosives using alternating current corona discharge ion source.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usmanov, D T; Chen, L C; Yu, Z; Yamabe, S; Sakaki, S; Hiraoka, K

    2015-04-01

    The high-sensitive detection of explosives is of great importance for social security and safety. In this work, the ion source for atmospheric pressure chemical ionization/mass spectrometry using alternating current corona discharge was newly designed for the analysis of explosives. An electromolded fine capillary with 115 µm inner diameter and 12 mm long was used for the inlet of the mass spectrometer. The flow rate of air through this capillary was 41 ml/min. Stable corona discharge could be maintained with the position of the discharge needle tip as close as 1 mm to the inlet capillary without causing the arc discharge. Explosives dissolved in 0.5 µl methanol were injected to the ion source. The limits of detection for five explosives with 50 pg or lower were achieved. In the ion/molecule reactions of trinitrotoluene (TNT), the discharge products of NOx (-) (x = 2,3), O3 and HNO3 originating from plasma-excited air were suggested to contribute to the formation of [TNT - H](-) (m/z 226), [TNT - NO](-) (m/z 197) and [TNT - NO + HNO3 ](-) (m/z 260), respectively. Formation processes of these ions were traced by density functional theory calculations. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  17. Significant Atmospheric Boundary Layer Change Observed above an Agulhas Current Warm Cored Eddy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Messager

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The air-sea impact of a warm cored eddy ejected from the Agulhas Retroflection region south of Africa was assessed through both ocean and atmospheric profiling measurements during the austral summer. The presence of the eddy causes dramatic atmospheric boundary layer deepening, exceeding what was measured previously over such a feature in the region. This deepening seems mainly due to the turbulent heat flux anomaly above the warm eddy inducing extensive deep and persistent changes in the atmospheric boundary layer thermodynamics. The loss of heat by turbulent processes suggests that this kind of oceanic feature is an important and persistent source of heat for the atmosphere.

  18. The New Martians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanas, Nick

    In The New Martians,the crewmembers undergo a great deal of psychological and interpersonal stress during their return home, in part prompted by the actions of a mysterious presence on board. Of course, no one knows for sure if such a presence will actually materialize during a real Mars expedition! But psychosocial issues will nevertheless affect a Mars crew due to the isolation, confinement, and long separation from family and friends that will characterize such a mission. In what follows, many of these issues will be reviewed, followed in each section by illustrations from the novel.

  19. WET MARS: Plentiful, Readily-Available Martian Water and its Implications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hyde, R.; Ishikawa, M.; Nuckolls, J.; Whitehead, J.; Wood, L.

    1999-09-14

    /oxygen/fuel plant exploiting Martian atmospheric water. All of the oxygen, water and propellants necessary for life-support, extensive exploration and Earth-return can be provided readily by the host planet. Crewed exploration of Mars launched from LEO with on1.V 2 Shuttle-loads of equipment and consumables--a commercial total cost-equivalent of {approx}$650 M--thereby becomes feasible. The most challenging current problem with respect to human expeditions to Mars is escape from Earth's deep, 11.2 km/s gravity well, and is largely an economic issue. Living on Mars, exploring it extensively and returning to Earth, each hitherto major technical issues, are actually much less difficult, thanks in no small part to the effective ''wetness'' of Mars. Similar considerations apply to other water-rich locations in the Solar system, e.g. Europa.

  20. Ground-based instrumentation for measurements of atmospheric conduction current and electric field at the South Pole

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byrne, G. J.; Benbrook, J. R.; Bering, E. A.; Few, A. A.; Morris, G. A.; Trabucco, W. J.; Paschal, E. W.

    1993-01-01

    Attention is given to instruments constructed to measure the atmospheric conduction current and the atmospheric electric field - two fundamental parameters of the global-electric circuit. The instruments were deployed at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in January 1991 and are designed to operate continuously for up to one year without operator intervention. The atmospheric current flows into one hemisphere, through the electronics where it is measured, and out the other hemisphere. The electric field is measured by a field mill of the rotating dipole type. Sample data from the first days of operation at the South Pole indicate variations in the global circuit over time scales from minutes to hours to days.

  1. Extended Survival of Several Microorganisms and Relevant Amino Acid Biomarkers under Simulated Martian Surface Conditions as a Function of Burial Depth

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Johnson, Adam [Indiana University; Pratt, L.M. [Indiana University; Vishnivetskaya, Tatiana A [ORNL; Pfiffner, S. M. [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK); Bryan, R. A. [Yeshiva University, New York; Dadachova, E. [Yeshiva University, New York; Whyte, L G [McGill University, Montreal, Quebec; Radtke, K. [McGill University, Montreal, Quebec; Chan, E. [Princeton University; Tronick, S. [Princeton University; Borgonie, G. [Ghent University, Belgium; Mancinelli, R. [SETI Institute; Rothschild, L. [NASA Ames Research Center; Rogoff, D. [NASA Ames Research Center; Horikawa, D. D. [NASA Ames Research Center; Onstott, T. C. [Princeton University

    2011-01-01

    Recent orbital and landed missions have provided substantial evidence for ancient liquid water on the martian surface as well as evidence of more recent sedimentary deposits formed by water and/or ice. These observations raise serious questions regarding an independent origin and evolution of life on Mars. Future missions seek to identify signs of extinct martian biota in the form of biomarkers or morphological characteristics, but the inherent danger of spacecraft-borne terrestrial life makes the possibility of forward contamination a serious threat not only to the life detection experiments, but also to any extant martian ecosystem. A variety of cold and desiccation-tolerant organisms were exposed to 40 days of simulated martian surface conditions while embedded within several centimeters of regolith simulant in order to ascertain the plausibility of such organisms survival as a function of environmental parameters and burial depth. Relevant amino acid biomarkers associated with terrestrial life were also analyzed in order to understand the feasibility of detecting chemical evidence for previous biological activity. Results indicate that stresses due to desiccation and oxidation were the primary deterrent to organism survival, and that the effects of UV-associated damage, diurnal temperature variations, and reactive atmospheric species were minimal. Organisms with resistance to desiccation and radiation environments showed increased levels of survival after the experiment compared to organisms characterized as psychrotolerant. Amino acid analysis indicated the presence of an oxidation mechanism that migrated downward through the samples during the course of the experiment and likely represents the formation of various oxidizing species at mineral surfaces as water vapor diffused through the regolith. Current sterilization protocols may specifically select for organisms best adapted to survival at the martian surface, namely species that show tolerance to radical

  2. Bacterial growth in a simulated Martian subsurface environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kronyak, R. E.; Pavlov, A.; House, C. H.

    2013-12-01

    The ability of microorganisms to grow under Martian conditions has implications in both the search for life and habitability of Mars as well as the potential contamination of Mars by landing spacecraft. Factors that inhibit the growth of organisms on Mars include UV radiation, low pressure and temperature, CO2 atmosphere, lack of liquid water, and extreme desiccation. Yet a possible biozone capable of supporting microbial life on Mars exists in the shallow subsurface where there is protection from harsh UV rays. In addition, the presence of widespread subsurface ice, confirmed by the Phoenix Lander, offers a water source as the ice sublimates through the upper soil. Here we will determine the ability of the organism Halomonas desiderata strain SP1 to grow in the simulated Martian subsurface environment. Halomonas was chosen as the bacteria of interest due to its tolerance to extreme environments, including carrying salt concentrations and pH. Experiments were carried out in the Mars Simulation Chamber, where temperatures, pressures, and atmospheric composition can be closely monitored to simulate Martian conditions. A series of stress experiments were conducted to observe Halomonas's ability to withstand exposure to a Mars analog soil, freezing temperatures, anoxic conditions, and low pressures. We have determined that Halomonas is able to survive exposures to low temperatures, pressures, and anoxic conditions. We will report on the survival and growth of Halomonas in the simulated Martian permafrost under low (6-10 mbar) atmospheric pressures.

  3. Martian thermosphere scale height from SPICAM dayglow measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stiepen, A.; Gérard, J.-C.; Bougher, S.; Montmessin, F.

    2014-04-01

    We analyze the ultraviolet dayglow in the atmosphere of Mars through CO2+ and CO Cameron emissions. These emissions are accumulated on a large dataset of dayside grazing limb performed by the Spectroscopy for Investigation of Characteristics of the Atmosphere of Mars (SPICAM) instrument on board the Mars Express spacecraft. The temperature of the Martian upper atmosphere can be retrieved from these limb emission profiles. We present discussion on the validity domain for such retrieval. We also show evidence for local (spatial and temporal) variability in the scale height of the atmosphere at the altitude of these emissions.

  4. Current status and challenges in optical turbulence simulations in various layers of the Earth's atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Ping; Nunalee, Christopher G.; Basu, Sukanta; Vorontsov, Mikhail A.; Fiorino, Steven T.

    2014-10-01

    In this study, we present a brief review on the existing approaches for optical turbulence estimation in various layers of the Earth's atmosphere. The advantages and disadvantages of these approaches are also discussed. An alternative approach, based on mesoscale modeling with parameterized turbulence, is proposed and tested for the simulation of refractive index structure parameter (C2n ) in the atmospheric boundary layer. The impacts of a few atmospheric flow phenomena (e.g., low-level jets, island wake vortices, gravity waves) on optical turbulence are discussed. Consideration of diverse geographic settings (e.g., flat terrain, coastal region, ocean islands) makes this study distinct.

  5. SNC meteorites and their implications for reservoirs of Martian volatiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, J. H.

    1993-01-01

    The SNC meteorites and the measurements of the Viking landers provide our only direct information about the abundance and isotopic composition of Martian volatiles. Indirect measurements include spectroscopic determinations of the D/H ratio of the Martian atmosphere. A personal view of volatile element reservoirs on Mars is presented, largely as inferred from the meteoritic evidence. This view is that the Martian mantle has had several opportunities for dehydration and is most likely dry, although not completely degassed. Consequently, the water contained in SNC meteorites was most likely incorporated during ascent through the crust. Thus, it is possible that water can be decoupled from other volatile/incompatible elements, making the SNC meteorites suspect as indicators of water inventories on Mars.

  6. Multi-spacecraft Observations of the Martian Plasma Interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brain, David; Luhmann, J.; Halekas, J.; Frahm, R.; Winningham, J.; Barabash, S.

    2006-09-01

    Two spacecraft with complementary instrumentation and orbits are currently making in situ measurements of the Martian plasma environment. Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) measures electrons and magnetic field from a 400 km circular mapping orbit with fixed local time. Mars Express (MEX) measures ions, electrons, and neutral particles from a precessing elliptical orbit. Each spacecraft's dataset has obvious strengths and shortcomings. Exploration of these two datasets in tandem provides an opportunity to increase our overall understanding of the Martian solar wind interaction and atmospheric escape. Close passes of spacecraft (conjunctions) are one particularly powerful means of increasing the utility of measurements, as evidenced by the Cluster mission. At Mars, conjunctions might be used to obtain more complete simultaneous and/or co-located plasma measurements, which can be used to study a variety of phenomena ranging from the motion and 3D shape of plasma boundaries to particle acceleration near crustal magnetic fields. We have identified 40 conjunctions (instances with spacecraft separation pass was 40 km. Conjunctions occur at mid-latitudes (when the surface-projected orbit tracks of the two spacecraft nearly overlap), and at the poles. We will present comparisons of MGS Magnetometer and Electron Reflectometer (MAG/ER) and MEX Analyzer of Space Plasmas and Energetic Atoms (ASPERA-3) data for these events, including intercomparison of MGS and MEX electron data, the addition of MGS magnetic field and MES ion data, and the inclusion of solar wind proxy information to establish context. Finally, we will present the results of a search for other useful configurations of MGS and MEX, including times when they are on the same flux tube, times when they pass through the same region of space separated by a delay, and times when they are on opposite sides of plasma boundaries.

  7. Do Titan's Mountains Betray the Late Acquisition of its Current Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Jeffrey Morgan; Nimmo, F.

    2011-01-01

    Titan may have acquired its massive atmosphere relatively recently in solar system history [1,2,3,4]. Prior to that time, Titan would have been nearly airless, with its volatiles frozen or sequestered. Present-day Titan experiences only small (approximately 4 K) pole-to-equator variations, owing to efficient heat transport via the thick atmosphere [5]; these temperature variations would have been much larger (approximately 20 K) in the absence of an atmosphere. If Titan's ice shell is conductive, the change in surface temperature associated with the development of an atmosphere would have led to changes in shell thickness. In particular, the poles would move down (inducing compression) while the equator would move up. Figure 1 shows the predicted change in surface elevation as a result of the change in surface temperature, using the numerical conductive shell thickness model of [6

  8. Earth – Mars Similarity Criteria for Martian Vehicles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Octavian TRIFU

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available In order to select the most efficient kind of a martian exploring vehicle, the similarity criteria are deduced from the equilibrium movement in the terrestrial and martian conditions. Different invariants have been obtained for the existing (entry capsules, parachutes and rovers and potential martian exploring vehicles (lighter-than-air vehicle, airplane, helicopter and Mars Jumper. These similarity criteria, as non dimensional numbers, allow to quickly compare if such a kind of vehicles can operate in the martian environment, the movement performances, the necessary geometrical dimensions and the power consumption. Following this way of study it was concluded what vehicle is most suitable for the near soil Mars exploration. “Mars Rover” has less power consumption on Mars, but due to the rugged terrain the performances are weak. A vacuumed rigid airship is possible to fly with high performances and endurance on Mars, versus the impossibility of such a machine on the Earth. Due to very low density and the low Reynolds numbers in the Mars atmosphere, the power consumption for the martian airplane or helicopter, is substantial higher. The most efficient vehicle for the Mars exploration it seems to be a machine using the in-situ non-chemical propellants: the 95% CO2 atmosphere and the weak solar radiation. A small compressor, electrically driven by photovoltaics, compresses the gas in a storage tank, in time. If the gas is expanded through a nozzle, sufficient lift and control forces are obtained for a VTOL flight of kilometers over the martian soil, in comparison with tens of meters of the actual Mars rovers.

  9. Earth Mars similarity criteria for exploring martian vehicles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savu, G.

    2006-10-01

    In order to select the most efficient kind of a martian exploring vehicle, the similarity criteria are deduced from the equilibrium movement in the terrestrial and martian conditions. Different invariants have been obtained for the existing (entry capsules, parachutes and rovers) and potential martian exploring vehicles (lighter-than-air vehicle, airplane, helicopter and Mars Jumper). These similarity criteria, as non-dimensional numbers, allow to quickly compare if such kind of vehicles can operate in the martian environment, the movement performances, the necessary geometrical dimensions and the power consumption. Following this way of study it was concluded what vehicle is most suitable for the near soil Mars exploration. “Mars Rover” has less power consumption on Mars, but due to the rugged terrain the performances are weak. A vacuumed rigid airship is possible to fly with high performances and endurance on Mars, versus the impossibility of such a machine on the Earth. Due to very low density and the low Reynolds numbers in the Mars atmosphere, the power consumption for the martian airplane or helicopter is substantially higher. The most efficient vehicle for the Mars exploration seems to be a machine using the in situ non-chemical propellants: the 95% CO2 atmosphere and the weak solar radiation. A small compressor, electrically driven by photovoltaics, compresses the gas in a storage tank, in time. If the gas is expanded through a nozzle, sufficient lift and control forces are obtained for a VTOL flight of kilometers over the martian soil, in comparison with tens of meters of the actual Mars rovers.

  10. Earth-Mars similarity criteria for exploring martian vehicles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savu, G.

    2003-11-01

    In order to select the most efficient kind of a martian exploring vehicle, the similarity criteria are deduced from the equilibrium movement in the terrestrial and martian conditions. Different invariants have been obtained for the existing (entry capsules, parachutes and rovers) and potential martian exploring vehicles (lighter-than-air vehicle, airplane, helicopter and Mars Jumper). These similarity criteria, as non dimensional numbers, allow to quickly compare if such a kind of vehicles can operate in the martian environment, the movement performances, the necessary geometrical dimensions and the power consumption. Following this way of study it was concluded what vehicle is most suitable for the near soil Mars exploration. "Mars Rover" has less power consumption on Mars, but due to the rugged terrain the performances are weak. A vacuumed rigid airship is possible to fly with high performances and endurance on Mars, versus the impossibility of such a machine on the Earth. Due to very low density and the low Reynolds numbers in the Mars atmosphere, the power consumption for the martian airplane or helicopter, is substantial higher. The most efficient vehicle for the Mars exploration it seems to be a machine using the in-situ non-chemical propellants: the 95% CO2 atmosphere and the weak solar radiation. A small compressor, electrically driven by photovoltaics, compresses the gas in a storage tank, in time. If the gas is expanded through a nozzle, sufficient lift and control forces are obtained for a VTOL flight of kilometers over the martian soil, in comparison with tens of meters of the actual Mars rovers.

  11. An Adulterated Martian Meteorite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, G. J.

    1999-07-01

    Martian meteorite, Elephant Moraine EETA79001, is composed of two distinct rock types. Scientists have thought that both formed from magmas, hence are igneous rocks and contain important information about the interior of Mars, the nature of lava flows on its surface, and the timing of igneous events on Mars. All that is now open to question, as a group of investigators at Lockheed Martin Space Operations and the Johnson Space Center led by David Mittlefehldt (Lockheed) has shown that one of the rock types making up EETA79001, designated lithology A, is almost certainly a melted mixture of other rocks. Mittlefehldt and coworkers suggest that formation by impact melting is the most likely explanation for the chemical and mineralogical features seen in the rock. If confirmed by other investigations, this may change the way we view the igneous evolution of Mars.

  12. Legacy and currently used pesticides in the atmospheric environment of Lake Victoria, East Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arinaitwe, Kenneth; Kiremire, Bernard T; Muir, Derek C G; Fellin, Phil; Li, Henrik; Teixeira, Camilla; Mubiru, Drake N

    2016-02-01

    The Lake Victoria watershed has extensive agricultural activity with a long history of pesticide use but there is limited information on historical use or on environmental levels. To address this data gap, high volume air samples were collected from two sites close to the northern shore of Lake Victoria; Kakira (KAK) and Entebbe (EBB). The samples, to be analyzed for pesticides, were collected over various periods between 1999 and 2004 inclusive (KAK 1999-2000, KAK 2003-2004, EBB 2003 and EBB 2004 sample sets) and from 2008 to 2010 inclusive (EBB 2008, EBB 2009 and EBB 2010 sample sets). The latter sample sets (which also included precipitation samples) were also analyzed for currently used pesticides (CUPs) including chlorpyrifos, chlorthalonil, metribuzin, trifluralin, malathion and dacthal. Chlorpyrifos was the predominant CUP in air samples with average concentrations of 93.5, 26.1 and 3.54 ng m(-3) for the EBB 2008, 2009, 2010 sample sets, respectively. Average concentrations of total endosulfan (ΣEndo), total DDT related compounds (ΣDDTs) and hexachlorocyclohexanes (ΣHCHs) ranged from 12.3-282, 22.8-130 and 3.72-81.8 pg m(-3), respectively, for all the sample sets. Atmospheric prevalence of residues of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) increased with fresh emissions of endosulfan, DDT and lindane. Hexachlorobenzene (HCB), pentachlorobenzene (PeCB) and dieldrin were also detected in air samples. Transformation products, pentachloroanisole, 3,4,5-trichloroveratrole and 3,4,5,6-tetrachloroveratrole, were also detected. The five most prevalent compounds in the precipitation samples were in the order chlorpyrifos>chlorothalonil>ΣEndo>ΣDDTs>ΣHCHs with average fluxes of 1123, 396, 130, 41.7 and 41.3 ng m(-2)sample(-1), respectively. PeCB exceeded HCB in precipitation samples. The reverse was true for air samples. Backward air trajectories suggested transboundary and local emission sources of the analytes. The results underscore the need for a concerted

  13. Martian fluid and Martian weathering signatures identified in Nakhla, NWA 998 and MIL 03346 by halogen and noble gas analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, J. A.; Gilmour, J. D.; Burgess, R.

    2013-03-01

    We report argon (Ar) noble gas, Ar-Ar ages and halogen abundances (Cl, Br, I) of Martian nakhlites Nakhla, NWA 998 and MIL 03346 to determine the presence of Martian hydrous fluids and weathering products. Neutron-irradiated samples were either crushed and step-heated (Nakhla only), or simply step-heated using a laser or furnace, and analysed for noble gases using an extension of the 40Ar-39Ar technique to determine halogen abundances. The data obtained provide the first isotopic evidence for a trapped fluid that is Cl-rich, has a strong correlation with 40ArXS (40ArXS = 40Armeasured - 40Arradiogenic) and displays 40ArXS/36Ar of ˜1000 - consistent with the Martian atmosphere. This component was released predominantly in the low temperature and crush experiments, which may suggest a fluid inclusion host. For the halogens, we observe similar Br/Cl and I/Cl ratios between the nakhlites and terrestrial reservoirs, which is surprising given the absence of crustal recycling, organic matter and frequent fluid activity on Mars. In particular, Br/Cl ratios in our Nakhla samples (especially olivine) are consistent with previously analysed Martian weathering products, and both low temperature and crush analyses show a similar trend to the evaporation of seawater. This may indicate that surface brines play an important role on Mars and on halogen assemblages within Martian meteorites and rocks. Elevated I/Cl ratios in the low temperature NWA 998 and MIL 03346 releases may relate to in situ terrestrial contamination, though we are unable to distinguish between low temperature terrestrial or Martian components. Whilst estimates of the amount of water present based on the 36Ar concentrations are too high to be explained by a fluid component alone, they are consistent with a mixed-phase inclusion (gas and fluid) or with shock-implanted Martian atmospheric argon. The observed fluid is dilute (low salinity, but high Br/Cl and I/Cl ratios), contains a Martian atmospheric component

  14. Identification of Martian biota using their radioresistance ability and specific isotopic composition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlov, A. K.; Kalinin, V.; Konstantinov, A.; Shelegedin, V.; Pavlov, A. A.

    2003-04-01

    Because of a thin atmosphere and weak magnetic field, Martian surface is a subject to high levels of ionizing radiation. On the other hand, variations in Martian obliquity produce the global climate oscillations (with the main period ~120000 years) of the great magnitude. Martian biota would accumulate large radiation dosage during the periods of cold climate, when it would be in the dormant state and would rebuild its population during the periods of warm climate. Therefore, all types of hypothetical Martian microorganisms living in subsurface layers of soil have to posses very high radiation tolerance. In our experiments, we find that "ordinary" bacteria (Escherichia coli and two species of Bacillus ) can develop radioresistance ability after a number of cycles of exposure to the high (almost lethal) radiation dosages, followed by recovery of the bacterial population. We show that natural cycles of this kind could take place only on Mars. On the other hand, high radiation tolerance is hardly necessary for the survival in any natural environment on Earth. A few number of terrestrial microorganisms (radioresistant bacteria) posses this peculiar ability (Deinococus radiodurance , Rubrobacter radiotolerance, Rubrobacter xylanophilus ). The radiation background on Earth, including vicinity of natural nuclear reactor Oklo is many orders of magnitude lower than the lethal dose for these microorganisms. We show that such radioresistance can be "trained" only in the Martian conditions. Therefore, we propose that Earth has been infected several times by the Martian biota on Martian meteorites. We propose that high radioresistance could be a strong sign of the Martian origin for potential microorganisms acquired in the sample return missions. Another way to identify "Martian" microorganisms and exclude contamination in returned samples involves analysis of the radionuclides abundance (being produced by the high energy cosmic rays in the Martian soil). We show that these

  15. Nightside Martian Ionosphere Produced by Electron Impact Ionization

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Yi-Teng; LI Lei

    2009-01-01

    Based on the Martian magnetic field model established by magnetohydrodynamics simulation,we determine the possible precipitation areas of the solar wind electron in the nightside Martian atmosphere,and analyze the electron impact ionization to estimate the height of the nightside Martian ionospheric peak and the electron density profile using the energy flux analysis method.The influences of the single electron energy,electron energy density and ionization efficiency on the altitude of the ionospheric peak and the electron density profile axe also investigated.Our results show that the solar wind electron moves along the V-shaped solar wind magnetic field lines,to precipitate into the Martian atmosphere.Due to the crustal magnetic field,the precipitation regions on the nightside are quite narrow and unstable.The impact ionization happens at the altitude of 130-500km,and the height of the ionospheric peak is around 170kin,with a peak electron density of 3.0×103 cm-3.The simulation results are consistent with the results from Mars 4/5 and Viking occultation measurements.

  16. Martian sub-surface ionising radiation: biosignatures and geology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. M. Ward

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available The surface of Mars, unshielded by thick atmosphere or global magnetic field, is exposed to high levels of cosmic radiation. This ionising radiation field is deleterious to the survival of dormant cells or spores and the persistence of molecular biomarkers in the subsurface, and so its characterisation is of prime astrobiological interest. Here, we present modelling results of the absorbed radiation dose as a function of depth through the Martian subsurface, suitable for calculation of biomarker persistence. A second major implementation of this dose accumulation rate data is in application of the optically stimulated luminescence technique for dating Martian sediments.

    We present calculations of the dose-depth profile in the Martian subsurface for various scenarios: variations of surface composition (dry regolith, ice, layered permafrost, solar minimum and maximum conditions, locations of different elevation (Olympus Mons, Hellas basin, datum altitude, and increasing atmospheric thickness over geological history. We also model the changing composition of the subsurface radiation field with depth compared between Martian locations with different shielding material, determine the relative dose contributions from primaries of different energies, and discuss particle deflection by the crustal magnetic fields.

  17. Martian sub-surface ionising radiation: biosignatures and geology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. R. Dartnell

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available The surface of Mars, unshielded by thick atmosphere or global magnetic field, is exposed to high levels of cosmic radiation. This ionizing radiation field is deleterious to the survival of dormant cells or spores and the persistence of molecular biomarkers in the subsurface, and so its characterisation is of prime astrobiological interest. Previous research has attempted to address the question of biomarker persistence by inappropriately using dose profiles weighted specifically for cellular survival. Here, we present modelling results of the unmodified physically absorbed radiation dose as a function of depth through the Martian subsurface. A second major implementation of this dose accumulation rate data is in application of the optically stimulated luminescence technique for dating Martian sediments.

    We present calculations of the dose-depth profile from galactic cosmic rays in the Martian subsurface for various scenarios: variations of surface composition (dry regolith, ice, layered permafrost, solar minimum and maximum conditions, locations of different elevation (Olympus Mons, Hellas basin, datum altitude, and increasing atmospheric thickness over geological history. We also model the changing composition of the subsurface radiation field with depth compared between Martian locations with different shielding material, determine the relative dose contributions from primaries of different energies, and briefly treat particle deflection by the crustal magnetic fields.

  18. Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility (ACRF Instrumentation Status: New, Current, and Future)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    JW Voyles

    2008-01-30

    The purpose of this report is to provide a concise but comprehensive overview of Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility instrumentation status. The report is divided into the following four sections: (1) new instrumentation in the process of being acquired and deployed, (2) existing instrumentation and progress on improvements or upgrades, (3) proposed future instrumentation, and (4) Small Business Innovation Research instrument development.

  19. The Martian surface radiation environment – a comparison of models and MSL/RAD measurements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthiä Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Context: The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL has been measuring the radiation environment on the surface of Mars since August 6th 2012. MSL-RAD is the first instrument to provide detailed information about charged and neutral particle spectra and dose rates on the Martian surface, and one of the primary objectives of the RAD investigation is to help improve and validate current radiation transport models. Aims: Applying different numerical transport models with boundary conditions derived from the MSL-RAD environment the goal of this work was to both provide predictions for the particle spectra and the radiation exposure on the Martian surface complementing the RAD sensitive range and, at the same time, validate the results with the experimental data, where applicable. Such validated models can be used to predict dose rates for future manned missions as well as for performing shield optimization studies. Methods: Several particle transport models (GEANT4, PHITS, HZETRN/OLTARIS were used to predict the particle flux and the corresponding radiation environment caused by galactic cosmic radiation on Mars. From the calculated particle spectra the dose rates on the surface are estimated. Results: Calculations of particle spectra and dose rates induced by galactic cosmic radiation on the Martian surface are presented. Although good agreement is found in many cases for the different transport codes, GEANT4, PHITS, and HZETRN/OLTARIS, some models still show large, sometimes order of magnitude discrepancies in certain particle spectra. We have found that RAD data is helping to make better choices of input parameters and physical models. Elements of these validated models can be applied to more detailed studies on how the radiation environment is influenced by solar modulation, Martian atmosphere and soil, and changes due to the Martian seasonal pressure cycle. By extending the range of the calculated particle

  20. Evidence that the reactivity of the martian soil is due to superoxide ions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yen, A. S.; Kim, S. S.; Hecht, M. H.; Frant, M. S.; Murray, B.

    2000-01-01

    The Viking Landers were unable to detect evidence of life on Mars but, instead, found a chemically reactive soil capable of decomposing organic molecules. This reactivity was attributed to the presence of one or more as-yet-unidentified inorganic superoxides or peroxides in the martian soil. Using electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy, we show that superoxide radical ions (O2-) form directly on Mars-analog mineral surfaces exposed to ultraviolet radiation under a simulated martian atmosphere. These oxygen radicals can explain the reactive nature of the soil and the apparent absence of organic material at the martian surface.

  1. Plasma diagnostics and modeling of direct current microplasma discharges at atmospheric pressure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qiang

    High pressure (100s of torr) microplasma (length scale 100s of micrometer) non-equilibrium discharges have potential applications as chemical microreactors, sensors, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), and excimer radiation sources. Experimental and theoretical studies of these microplasmas can provide critical information on fundamental discharge characteristics, and help extend the window of stable discharge operation. Spatially resolved measurements (resolution ˜ 6 mum) were taken across a 200 mum slot-type microdischarge in atmospheric pressure helium or argon. Small amounts of actinometer gases were added to the flow for optical emission spectroscopy measurements. Gas temperature profiles were determined from N2 emission rotational spectroscopy. Stark splitting of the hydrogen Balmer-beta (Hbeta ) line was used to investigate the electric field distribution in the cathode sheath region. Electron densities were evaluated from the analysis of the spectral line broadenings of Hbeta emission. The measured gas temperature was in the range of 350--650 K in He, and 600--1200 K in Ar, both peaking near the cathode and increasing with power. The electron density in the bulk plasma was in the range (3-7)x1013 cm -3 in He, and (1-4)x1014 cm-3 in Ar. The measured electric field in He peaked at the cathode and decayed to small values over a distance of ˜50 mum (sheath edge) from the cathode. The experimental data were also used to validate a self-consistent one-dimensional plasma model. By a combination of measurements and simulation it was found that the dominant gas heating mechanism in DC microplasmas was ion Joule heating. Simulation results also predicted the existence of electric field reversals in the negative glow under operating conditions that favor a high electron diffusion flux emanating from the cathode sheath. The electric field adjusted to satisfy continuity of the total current. Also, the electric field in the anode layer was self adjusted to be

  2. Isothermal magnetostatic atmospheres. III - Similarity solutions with current proportional to the magnetic potential squared. [in solar corona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webb, G. M.

    1988-01-01

    A family of isothermal magnetostatic atmospheres with one ignorable coordinate corresponding to a uniform gravitational field in a plane geometry is considered. It is assumed that the current (J) is proportional to the square of the magnetostatic potential and falls off exponentially with distance. Results are presented for the contributions of the anisotropic J x B force (where B is the magnetic field induction), the gravitational force, and the gas pressure gradient to the force balance.

  3. Martian 'Kitchen Sponge'

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-01-01

    This picture is illuminated by sunlight from the upper left. It shows a tiny 1 kilometer by 1 kilometer (0.62 x 0.62 mile) area of the martian north polar residual ice cap as it appears in summertime.The surface looks somewhat like that of a kitchen sponge--it is flat on top and has many closely-spaced pits of no more than 2 meters (5.5 ft) depth. The upper, flat surface in this image has a medium-gray tone, while the pit interiors are darker gray. Each pit is generally 10 to 20 meters (33-66 feet) across. The pits probably form as water ice sublimes--going directly from solid to vapor--during the martian northern summer seasons. The pits probably develop over thousands of years. This texture is very different from what is seen in the south polar cap, where considerably larger and more circular depressions are found to resemble slices of swiss cheese rather than a kitchen sponge.This picture was taken by the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) during northern summer on March 8, 1999. It was one of the very last 'calibration' images taken before the start of the Mapping Phase of the MGS mission, and its goal was to determine whether the MOC was properly focused. The crisp appearance of the edges of the pits confirmed that the instrument was focused and ready for its 1-Mars Year mapping mission. The scene is located near 86.9oN, 207.5oW, and has a resolution of about 1.4 meters (4 ft, 7 in) per pixel.Malin Space Science Systems and the California Institute of Technology built the MOC using spare hardware from the Mars Observer mission. MSSS operates the camera from its facilities in San Diego, CA. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Surveyor Operations Project operates the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft with its industrial partner, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, from facilities in Pasadena, CA and Denver, CO.

  4. The Martian hydrologic cycle - Effects of CO2 mass flux on global water distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, P. B.

    1985-01-01

    The Martian CO2 cycle, which includes the seasonal condensation and subsequent sublimation of up to 30 percent of the planet's atmosphere, produces meridional winds due to the consequent mass flux of CO2. These winds currently display strong seasonal and hemispheric asymmetries due to the large asymmetries in the distribution of insolation on Mars. It is proposed that asymmetric meridional advection of water vapor on the planet due to these CO2 condensation winds is capable of explaining the observed dessication of Mars' south polar region at the current time. A simple model for water vapor transport is used to verify this hypothesis and to speculate on the effects of changes in orbital parameters on the seasonal water cycle.

  5. Hydrogen Isotopic Systematics of Nominally Anhydrous Phases in Martian Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, Kera

    Hydrogen isotope compositions of the martian atmosphere and crustal materials can provide unique insights into the hydrological and geological evolution of Mars. While the present-day deuterium-to-hydrogen ratio (D/H) of the Mars atmosphere is well constrained (~6 times that of terrestrial ocean water), that of its deep silicate interior (specifically, the mantle) is less so. In fact, the hydrogen isotope composition of the primordial martian mantle is of great interest since it has implications for the origin and abundance of water on that planet. Martian meteorites could provide key constraints in this regard, since they crystallized from melts originating from the martian mantle and contain phases that potentially record the evolution of the H 2O content and isotopic composition of the interior of the planet over time. Examined here are the hydrogen isotopic compositions of Nominally Anhydrous Phases (NAPs) in eight martian meteorites (five shergottites and three nakhlites) using Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS). This study presents a total of 113 individual analyses of H2O contents and hydrogen isotopic compositions of NAPs in the shergottites Zagami, Los Angeles, QUE 94201, SaU 005, and Tissint, and the nakhlites Nakhla, Lafayette, and Yamato 000593. The hydrogen isotopic variation between and within meteorites may be due to one or more processes including: interaction with the martian atmosphere, magmatic degassing, subsolidus alteration (including shock), and/or terrestrial contamination. Taking into consideration the effects of these processes, the hydrogen isotope composition of the martian mantle may be similar to that of the Earth. Additionally, this study calculated upper limits on the H2O contents of the shergottite and nakhlite parent melts based on the measured minimum H2O abundances in their maskelynites and pyroxenes, respectively. These calculations, along with some petrogenetic assumptions based on previous studies, were subsequently used

  6. Magnesium isotope systematics in Martian meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magna, Tomáš; Hu, Yan; Teng, Fang-Zhen; Mezger, Klaus

    2017-09-01

    Magnesium isotope compositions are reported for a suite of Martian meteorites that span the range of petrological and geochemical types recognized to date for Mars, including crustal breccia Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034. The δ26Mg values (per mil units relative to DSM-3 reference material) range from -0.32 to -0.11‰; basaltic shergottites and nakhlites lie to the heavier end of the Mg isotope range whereas olivine-phyric, olivine-orthopyroxene-phyric and lherzolitic shergottites, and chassignites have slightly lighter Mg isotope compositions, attesting to modest correlation of Mg isotopes and petrology of the samples. Slightly heavier Mg isotope compositions found for surface-related materials (NWA 7034, black glass fraction of the Tissint shergottite fall; δ26Mg > -0.17‰) indicate measurable Mg isotope difference between the Martian mantle and crust but the true extent of Mg isotope fractionation for Martian surface materials remains unconstrained. The range of δ26Mg values from -0.19 to -0.11‰ in nakhlites is most likely due to accumulation of clinopyroxene during petrogenesis rather than garnet fractionation in the source or assimilation of surface material modified at low temperatures. The rather restricted range in Mg isotope compositions between spatially and temporally distinct mantle-derived samples supports the idea of inefficient/absent major tectonic cycles on Mars, which would include plate tectonics and large-scale recycling of isotopically fractionated surface materials back into the Martian mantle. The cumulative δ26Mg value of Martian samples, which are not influenced by late-stage alteration processes and/or crust-mantle interactions, is - 0.271 ± 0.040 ‰ (2SD) and is considered to reflect δ26Mg value of the Bulk Silicate Mars. This value is robust taking into account the range of lithologies involved in this estimate. It also attests to the lack of the Mg isotope variability reported for the inner Solar System bodies at current

  7. Shergottite Impact Melt Glasses Contain Soil from Martian Uplands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, M. N.; McKay, D. S.

    2002-01-01

    Martian meteorite (shergottite) impact melt glasses that contain high concentrations of martian atmospheric noble gases and show significant variations in Sr-87/Sr-86 isotopic ratios are likely to contain Martian surface fines mixed with coarser regolith materials. The mixed soil constituents were molten due to shock at the time of meteoroid impact near the Martian surface and the molten glass got incorporated into the voids and cracks in some shergottite meteorites. Earlier, Rao et al. found large enrichments of sulfur (sulfate) during an electron-microprobe study of several impact melt glass veins and pods in EET79001,LithC thin sections. As sulfur is very abundant in Martian soil, these S excesses were attributed to the mixing of a soil component containing aqueously altered secondary minerals with the LithC precursor materials prior to impact melt generation. Recently, we studied additional impact melt glasses in two basaltic shergottites, Zagami and Shergotty using procedures similar to those described. Significant S enrichments in Zagami and Shergotty impact melt glass veins similar to the EET79001, LithC glasses were found. In addition, we noticed the depletion of the mafic component accompanied by the enrichment of felsic component in these impact melt glass veins relative to the bulk host rock in the shergottites. To explain these observations, we present a model based on comminution of basaltic rocks due to meteoroid bombardment on martian regolith and mechanical fractionation leading to enrichment of felsics and depletion of mafics in the fine grained dust which is locally mobilized as a result of saltation and deflation due to the pervasive aeolian activity on Mars.

  8. Martian terrain - 3D

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-01-01

    This area of terrain near the Sagan Memorial Station was taken on Sol 3 by the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP). 3D glasses are necessary to identify surface detail.The IMP is a stereo imaging system with color capability provided by 24 selectable filters -- twelve filters per 'eye.' It stands 1.8 meters above the Martian surface, and has a resolution of two millimeters at a range of two meters.Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is an operating division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) was developed by the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory under contract to JPL. Peter Smith is the Principal Investigator.Click below to see the left and right views individually. [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Left [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Right

  9. Geomorphology of Martian meanders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregoire-Mazzocco, H.; Stepinski, T.; McGovern, P.; Lanzoni, S.; Marani, M.; Rinaldo, A.

    2005-12-01

    Morphological features of meandering landforms observed on the surface of Mars are computed and discussed. The relevance of the study pertains potentially useful hypotheses for the understanding of the evolution of Mars. Materials are digital images taken from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimer (MOLA) and from the Viking orbiter. The methods of morphological analysis derive from tool employed in the analysis of channeled landforms, in particular tidal ones, where the unit of information (i.e. the elementary pixel) is considerably smaller than the size of the channels. The results obtained concern the physical characterization of martian meanders, including the evolution in space of widths, wavelengths and curvatures and their spectra. Evidence for a narrow distribution of sinuosities (possibly a proxy of age of erosion/deposition processes carving the meanders) and for tapering of widths (a proxy of landforming flowrates) appears to suggest the past existence on Mars of massive and relatively brief outbursts of flow. The range of duration of such processes might be speculated upon comparison with terrestrial processes.

  10. Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program Science Plan. Current Status and Future Directions of the ARM Science Program

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ackerman, Thomas P.; Del Genio, Anthony D.; Ellingson, Robert G.; Ferrare, Richard A.; Klein, Steve A.; McFarquhar, Gregory M.; Lamb, Peter J.; Long, Charles M.; Verlinde, Johannes

    2004-10-30

    The Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program has matured into one of the key programs in the U.S. Climate Change Science Program. The ARM Program has achieved considerable scientific success in a broad range of activities, including site and instrument development, atmospheric radiative transfer, aerosol science, determination of cloud properties, cloud modeling, and cloud parameterization testing and development. The focus of ARM science has naturally shifted during the last few years to an increasing emphasis on modeling and parameterization studies to take advantage of the long time series of data now available. During the next 5 years, the principal focus of the ARM science program will be to: Maintain the data record at the fixed ARM sites for at least the next five years; Improve significantly our understanding of and ability to parameterize the 3-D cloud-radiation problem at scales from the local atmospheric column to the global climate model (GCM) grid square; Continue developing techniques to retrieve the properties of all clouds, with a special focus on ice clouds and mixed-phase clouds; Develop a focused research effort on the indirect aerosol problem that spans observations, physical models, and climate model parameterizations; Implement and evaluate an operational methodology to calculate broad-band heating rates in the atmospheric columns at the ARM sites; Develop and implement methodologies to use ARM data more effectively to test atmospheric models, both at the cloud-resolving model scale and the GCM scale; and, Use these methodologies to diagnose cloud parameterization performance and then refine these parameterizations to improve the accuracy of climate model simulations. In addition, the ARM Program is actively developing a new ARM Mobile Facility (AMF) that will be available for short deployments (several months to a year or more) in climatically important regions. The AMF will have much of the same instrumentation as the remote

  11. An interpretation of induced electric currents in long pipelines caused by natural geomagnetic sources of the upper atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, W.H.

    1986-01-01

    Electric currents in long pipelines can contribute to corrosion effects that limit the pipe's lifetime. One cause of such electric currents is the geomagnetic field variations that have sources in the Earth's upper atmosphere. Knowledge of the general behavior of the sources allows a prediction of the occurrence times, favorable locations for the pipeline effects, and long-term projections of corrosion contributions. The source spectral characteristics, the Earth's conductivity profile, and a corrosion-frequency dependence limit the period range of the natural field changes that affect the pipe. The corrosion contribution by induced currents from geomagnetic sources should be evaluated for pipelines that are located at high and at equatorial latitudes. At midlatitude locations, the times of these natural current maxima should be avoided for the necessary accurate monitoring of the pipe-to-soil potential. ?? 1986 D. Reidel Publishing Company.

  12. Phoenix Conductivity Probe Inserted in Martian Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    This series of six images from the Robotic Arm Camera on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander records the first time that the four spikes of the lander's thermal and electrical conductivity probe were inserted into Martian soil. The images were taken on July 8, 2008, during the Phoenix mission's 43rd Martian day, or sol, since landing. The insertion visible from the shadows cast on the ground on that sol was a validation test of the procedure. The spikes on the probe are about 1.5 centimeters or half an inch long. The science team will use the probe tool to assess how easily heat and electricity move through the soil from one spike to another. Such measurements can provide information about frozen or unfrozen water in the soil. The probe is mounted on the 'knuckle' of Phoenix's Robotic Arm. It has already been used for assessing water vapor in the atmosphere when it is held above the ground. The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is led by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  13. Charge Balance in the Martian Ionosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esman, Teresa; Yelle, Roger V.; Stone, Shane W.; Andersson, Laila; Fowler, Christopher Michael; Benna, Mehdi; Eparvier, Francis; Mahaffy, Paul; Ergun, Bob; Elrod, Meredith K.; MAVEN

    2016-10-01

    We present empirical models of the Martian ionosphere in conjunction with data from the Langmuir Probe and Waves (LPW), Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer (NGIMS), and Extreme Ultraviolet Monitor (EUVM) instruments aboard the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission (MAVEN) spacecraft. Among the data provided by MAVEN are electron densities and temperatures, ion and neutral densities, and solar extreme ultraviolet (EUV) flux. We explore a number of contributors to the CO2 photoionization rate, with a specific focus on the role of electron temperatures, which, prior to MAVEN, were not well-known. We compare our results with expectations of the ionospheric structure and behavior to confirm our understanding of the basic structure of the Martian ionosphere in the photochemical region. We show that the ionosphere of Mars is well matched by photochemical equilibrium to within the accuracy of the measurements. These results will aid in the development of more complex ionospheric and escape models and lead to a comprehensive and global scale picture of thermal ion escape on Mars.

  14. On the presence of electric currents in the solar atmosphere. I - A theoretical framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagyard, M.; Low, B. C.; Tandberg-Hanssen, E.

    1981-01-01

    The general magnetic field above the solar photosphere is divided by an elementary analysis based on Ampere's law into two parts: a potential field due to electric currents below the photosphere and a field produced by electric currents above the photosphere combined with the induced mirror currents. The latter, by symmetry, has a set of field lines lying in the plane taken to be the photosphere which may be constructed from given vector magnetograph measurements. These field lines also represent all the information on the electric currents above the photosphere that a magnetograph can provide. Theoretical illustrations are given, and implications for data analysis are discussed.

  15. Low-frequency variability of Western Boundary Currents in the turbulent ocean: intrinsic modes and atmospheric forcing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sérazin, Guillaume; Penduff, Thierry; Terray, Laurent; Grégorio, Sandy; Barnier, Bernard; Molines, Jean-Marc

    2015-04-01

    Ocean-atmosphere heat fluxes are particularly strong in Western Boundary Current (WBC) regions where SST front variations influence basin-scale climate variability. Observed low-frequency fluctuations in latitude and strength of these oceanic jets are classically thought to be essentially atmospherically-driven by wind stress curl variability via the oceanic Rossby wave adjustment. Yet academic eddy-resolving process-oriented models with double-gyre configurations have revealed that an idealized WBC may exhibit low-frequency intrinsic fluctuations without low-frequency external forcing (e.g. Berloff et al., 2007, Dijkstra and Ghil, 2005, etc). Experiments with eddying Ocean General Circulation Models (OGCMs) have also shown that the amount of low-frequency Sea Level Anomaly (SLA) variability is largely intrinsic in WBCs (Penduff et al. 2011; Sérazin et al 2014) and that the frontal-scale (<10°) pattern of the Kuroshio Extension (KE) variability is similar to intrinsic modes (Taguchi et al. 2010). Based on a pair of atmospherically-forced 1/12° OGCM experiments that simulate with accuracy either the intrinsic variability (seasonally-forced) or the observed total variability (forced with the full range of atmospheric timescales), Empirical Orthogonal Function analysis is performed on zonally-averaged SLA fields of four main WBCs (e.g. Gulf Stream, Kuroshio Extension, Agulhas Current and East Australian Current). The first two modes of the KE and GS exhibit a similar spatial structure that is shaped by oceanic intrinsic processes. The frequency content is however different between the intrinsic and total Principal Components, the former containing a wide range of timescales similar to a red noise and the latter being more autocorrelated at interannual-to-decadal timescales. These modes are compared with those obtained from the 20 years of altimetry observation and relationships with low-frequency westward propagative features in the respective oceanic basin are

  16. The poles of Mars, past and present: A high-resolution observational study of the martian polar regions and their connection to climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becerra, Patricio

    The poles of Mars, much like Earth's polar regions, are covered by kilometer-thick sheets of ice that interact with the Martian atmosphere and can record climatic changes in their stratigraphy. These polar caps are composed of several icy sections that interact with the Martian environment over different timescales. This dissertation describes my investigation of two of these units: The South Polar Residual Cap (SPRC), and the North Polar Layered Deposits (NPLD). The overarching theme of my work is to explore the connections between these caps and the current (SPRC) and past (NPLD) climate of Mars using a wide variety of data from spacecraft missions, and applying numerical models of surface properties and processes to interpret the observations. (Abstract shortened by ProQuest.).

  17. Magnesium Based Rockets for Martian Exploration Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We propose to develop Mg rockets for Martian ascent vehicle applications. The propellant can be acquired in-situ from MgO in the Martian regolith (5.1% Mg by mass)...

  18. Hydrological and Climatic Significance of Martian Deltas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Achille, G.; Vaz, D. A.

    2017-10-01

    We a) review the geomorphology, sedimentology, and mineralogy of the martian deltas record and b) present the results of a quantitative study of the hydrology and sedimentology of martian deltas using modified version of terrestrial model Sedflux.

  19. Sustained diffusive alternating current gliding arc discharge in atmospheric pressure air

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhu, Jiajian; Gao, Jinlong; Li, Zhongshan

    2014-01-01

    current (AC) power source. The plasma column extended beyond the water-cooled stainless steel electrodes and was stabilized by matching the flow speed of the turbulent air jet with the rated output power. Comprehensive investigations were performed using high-speed movies measured over the plasma column......, synchronized with simultaneously recorded current and voltage waveforms. Dynamic details of the novel non-equilibrium discharge are revealed, which is characterized by a sinusoidal current waveform with amplitude stabilized at around 200 mA intermediate between thermal arc and glow discharge, shedding light...

  20. Current understanding of the driving mechanisms for spatiotemporal variations of atmospheric speciated mercury: a review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Huiting; Cheng, Irene; Zhang, Leiming

    2016-10-01

    Atmospheric mercury (Hg) is a global pollutant and thought to be the main source of mercury in oceanic and remote terrestrial systems, where it becomes methylated and bioavailable; hence, atmospheric mercury pollution has global consequences for both human and ecosystem health. Understanding of spatial and temporal variations of atmospheric speciated mercury can advance our knowledge of mercury cycling in various environments. This review summarized spatiotemporal variations of total gaseous mercury or gaseous elemental mercury (TGM/GEM), gaseous oxidized mercury (GOM), and particulate-bound mercury (PBM) in various environments including oceans, continents, high elevation, the free troposphere, and low to high latitudes. In the marine boundary layer (MBL), the oxidation of GEM was generally thought to drive the diurnal and seasonal variations of TGM/GEM and GOM in most oceanic regions, leading to lower GEM and higher GOM from noon to afternoon and higher GEM during winter and higher GOM during spring-summer. At continental sites, the driving mechanisms of TGM/GEM diurnal patterns included surface and local emissions, boundary layer dynamics, GEM oxidation, and for high-elevation sites mountain-valley winds, while oxidation of GEM and entrainment of free tropospheric air appeared to control the diurnal patterns of GOM. No pronounced diurnal variation was found for Tekran measured PBM at MBL and continental sites. Seasonal variations in TGM/GEM at continental sites were attributed to increased winter combustion and summertime surface emissions, and monsoons in Asia, while those in GOM were controlled by GEM oxidation, free tropospheric transport, anthropogenic emissions, and wet deposition. Increased PBM at continental sites during winter was primarily due to local/regional coal and wood combustion emissions. Long-term TGM measurements from the MBL and continental sites indicated an overall declining trend. Limited measurements suggested TGM/GEM increasing from the

  1. The Martian Dust Chronicle: Eight Years of Reconstructed Climatology from Spacecraft Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montabone, Luca; Forget, François; Millour, Ehouarn; Wilson, R. John; Lewis, Stephen R.; Kass, David; Kleinboehl, Armin; Lemmon, Mark T.; Smith, Michael D.; Wolff, Mike J.

    2014-05-01

    We have reconstructed the climatology of airborne dust from Martian years (MY) 24 to 31 using multiple datasets of retrieved or estimated column optical depth. The datasets are based on observations of the Martian atmosphere from March 1999 to July 2013 by different orbiting instruments: the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) on board Mars Global Surveyor, the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) on board Mars Odyssey, and the Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) on board Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The procedure we have adopted consists in gridding the available retrievals of column dust optical depth (CDOD) from TES and THEMIS nadir observations, as well as the estimates of this quantity from MCS limb observations. Our gridding method calculates weighted averages on a regular but likely incomplete spatial grid, using an iterative procedure with weights in space, time, and retrieval uncertainty. The derived product consists of daily synoptic gridded maps of CDOD at a resolution of 6 degree longitude x 3 degree latitude for MY 24-26, and 6 degree longitude x 5 degree latitude for MY 27-31. We have statistically analyzed the gridded maps to present an overview of the dust climatology on Mars over eight years, specifically in relation to its intraseasonal and interannual variability. Finally, we have produced complete daily maps of CDOD by spatially interpolating the available incomplete gridded maps using a kriging method. These complete maps are used as dust scenarios in the Mars Climate Database (MCD) version 5, and should be useful for many other applications. The maps for the eight available Martian years are publicly available and distributed with open access, under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. The current version and future updates can be downloaded from the MCD website at the Laboratoire de Meteorologie Dynamique: http://www-mars.lmd.jussieu.fr/mars/dust_climatology/

  2. Mapping the Iron Oxidation State in Martian Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, A. M.; Treimann, A. H.; Righter, K.

    2017-01-01

    Several types of Martian igneous meteorites have been identified: clinopyroxenites (nakhlites), basaltic shergottites, peridotitic shergottites, dunites (chassignites) and orthopyroxenites [1,2]. In order to constrain the heterogeneity of the Martian mantle and crust, and their evolution through time, numerous studies have been performed on the iron oxidation state of these meteorites [3,4,5,6,7,8,9]. The calculated fO2 values all lie within the FMQ-5 to FMQ+0.5 range (FMQ representing the Fayalite = Magnetite + Quartz buffer); however, discrepancies appear between the various studies, which are either attributed to the choice of the minerals/melts used, or to the precision of the analytical/calculation method. The redox record in volcanic samples is primarily related to the oxidation state in the mantle source(s). However, it is also influenced by several deep processes: melting, crystallization, magma mixing [10], assimilation and degassing [11]. In addition, the oxidation state in Martian meteorites is potentially affected by several surface processes: assimilation of sediment/ crust during lava flowing at Mars' surface, low temperature micro-crystallization [10], weathering at the surface of Mars and low temperature reequilibration, impact processes (i.e. high pressure phase transitions, mechanical mixing, shock degassing and melting), space weathering, and weathering on Earth (at atmospheric conditions different from Mars). Decoding the redox record of Martian meteorites, therefore, requires large-scale quantitative analysis methods, as well as a perfect understanding of oxidation processes.

  3. Martian polar vortices: Comparison of reanalyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waugh, D. W.; Toigo, A. D.; Guzewich, S. D.; Greybush, S. J.; Wilson, R. J.; Montabone, L.

    2016-09-01

    The structure and evolution of the Martian polar vortices is examined using two recently available reanalysis systems: version 1.0 of the Mars Analysis Correction Data Assimilation (MACDA) and a preliminary version of the Ensemble Mars Atmosphere Reanalysis System (EMARS). There is quantitative agreement between the reanalyses in the lower atmosphere, where Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) data are assimilated, but there are differences at higher altitudes reflecting differences in the free-running general circulation model simulations used in the two reanalyses. The reanalyses show similar potential vorticity (PV) structure of the vortices: There is near-uniform small PV equatorward of the core of the westerly jet, steep meridional PV gradients on the polar side of the jet core, and a maximum of PV located off of the pole. In maps of 30 sol mean PV, there is a near-continuous elliptical ring of high PV with roughly constant shape and longitudinal orientation from fall to spring. However, the shape and orientation of the vortex varies on daily time scales, and there is not a continuous ring of PV but rather a series of smaller scale coherent regions of high PV. The PV structure of the Martian polar vortices is, as has been reported before, very different from that of Earth's stratospheric polar vortices, but there are similarities with Earth's tropospheric vortices which also occur at the edge of the Hadley Cell, and have near-uniform small PV equatorward of the jet, and a large increase of PV poleward of the jet due to increased stratification.

  4. Martian cratering 11. Utilizing decameter scale crater populations to study Martian history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartmann, W. K.; Daubar, I. J.

    2017-03-01

    New information has been obtained in recent years regarding formation rates and the production size-frequency distribution (PSFD) of decameter-scale primary Martian craters formed during recent orbiter missions. Here we compare the PSFD of the currently forming small primaries (P) with new data on the PSFD of the total small crater population that includes primaries and field secondaries (P + fS), which represents an average over longer time periods. The two data sets, if used in a combined manner, have extraordinary potential for clarifying not only the evolutionary history and resurfacing episodes of small Martian geological formations (as small as one or few km2) but also possible episodes of recent climatic change. In response to recent discussions of statistical methodologies, we point out that crater counts do not produce idealized statistics, and that inherent uncertainties limit improvements that can be made by more sophisticated statistical analyses. We propose three mutually supportive procedures for interpreting crater counts of small craters in this context. Applications of these procedures support suggestions that topographic features in upper meters of mid-latitude ice-rich areas date only from the last few periods of extreme Martian obliquity, and associated predicted climate excursions.

  5. Overview of Solar Wind-Magnetosphere-Ionosphere-Atmosphere Coupling and the Generation of Magnetospheric Currents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milan, S. E.; Clausen, L. B. N.; Coxon, J. C.; Carter, J. A.; Walach, M.-T.; Laundal, K.; Østgaard, N.; Tenfjord, P.; Reistad, J.; Snekvik, K.; Korth, H.; Anderson, B. J.

    2017-02-01

    We review the morphology and dynamics of the electrical current systems of the terrestrial magnetosphere and ionosphere. Observations from the Active Magnetosphere and Planetary Electrodynamics Response Experiment (AMPERE) over the three years 2010 to 2012 are employed to illustrate the variability of the field-aligned currents that couple the magnetosphere and ionosphere, on timescales from minutes to years, in response to the impact of solar wind disturbances on the magnetosphere and changes in the level of solar illumination of the polar ionospheres. The variability is discussed within the context of the occurrence of magnetic reconnection between the solar wind and terrestrial magnetic fields at the magnetopause, the transport of magnetic flux within the magnetosphere, and the onset of magnetic reconnection in the magnetotail. The conditions under which the currents are expected to be weak, and hence minimally contaminate measurements of the internally-produced magnetic field of the Earth, are briefly outlined.

  6. The effect of dust on the martian polar vortices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzewich, Scott D.; Toigo, A. D.; Waugh, D. W.

    2016-11-01

    The influence of atmospheric dust on the dynamics and stability of the martian polar vortices is examined, through analysis of Mars Climate Sounder observations and MarsWRF general circulation model simulations. We show that regional and global dust storms produce "transient vortex warming" events that partially or fully disrupt the northern winter polar vortex for brief periods. Increased atmospheric dust heating alters the Hadley circulation and shifts the downwelling branch of the circulation poleward, leading to a disruption of the polar vortex for a period of days to weeks. Through our simulations, we find this effect is dependent on the atmospheric heating rate, which can be changed by increasing the amount of dust in the atmosphere or by altering the dust optical properties (e.g., single scattering albedo). Despite this, our simulations show that some level of atmospheric dust is necessary to produce a distinct northern hemisphere winter polar vortex.

  7. Heating mechanisms in the low solar atmosphere through magnetic reconnection in current sheets

    CERN Document Server

    Ni, Lei; Roussev, Ilia I; Schmieder, Brigitte

    2016-01-01

    We simulate several magnetic reconnection processes in the low solar chromosphere/photosphere, the radiation cooling, heat conduction and ambipolar diffusion are all included. Our numerical results indicate that both the high temperature($ \\gtrsim 8\\times10^4$~K) and low temperature($\\sim 10^4$~K) magnetic reconnection events can happen in the low solar atmosphere ($100\\sim600$~km above the solar surface). The plasma $\\beta$ controlled by plasma density and magnetic fields is one important factor to decide how much the plasma can be heated up. The low temperature event is formed in a high $\\beta$ magnetic reconnection process, Joule heating is the main mechanism to heat plasma and the maximum temperature increase is only several thousand Kelvin. The high temperature explosions can be generated in a low $\\beta$ magnetic reconnection process, slow and fast-mode shocks attached at the edges of the well developed plasmoids are the main physical mechanisms to heat the plasma from several thousand Kelvin to over $8...

  8. North-Polar Martian Cap as Habitat for Elementary Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallis, M. K.; Wickramasinghe, J. T.; Wickramasinghe, N. C.

    2008-09-01

    North-polar cap over millenia Atmospheric water in Mars tends currently as for the past millenia to distil onto the polar caps and be buried under dust deposits. Diffusive release from ground-ice (and its excavation in meteorite impacts [1]) replenishes atmospheric water, allowing the gradual build up of polar ice-dust deposits. When sunlit, this warmed and sublimating ice-dust mix has interest as a potential habitat for micro-organisms. Modelling shows precipitable vapour at 10-50μm/yr, varying sensitively with small changes in orbitable obliquity around the present 25° [2]. The modelling applies to a globe with regionally uniform albedo, unlike the steep topography and dark layering of the north polar cap whose upper 300m have accumulated over the last 500 kyr [3]. The cliffs and ravines of the north-polar cap are thought to form through south-facing slopes sublimating and gaining a dirt-encrusted surface, while horizontal surfaces brighten through frost deposits. The two-phase surface derives from the dust and frost feedback on surface albedo [4] and the resulting terrain develops over diurnal cycles of frosting and sublimation, and over annual seasonal cycles. The steep south-facing sides of observed ravines when unshadowed would see for a few hours the full intensity of sunlight at near normal incidence, without the atmospheric dimming at similar inclinations on Earth. As exposed ice sublimates at T > 200K (partial pressure exceeds typical martian 0.1 Pa), a crust of dirt develops to maintain quasi-stability. The dirt crust's main function is to buffer the ice against diurnal temperature fluctuations, but it also slows down vapour diffusion - analogous to south polar ice sublimation [5] and the growth of ground-ice [6]. We envisage 1-10 mm/yr as the net sublimation rate, compatible with the 100 kyr life and scales of the north polar ravines. Modelling of icy-dirt crusts in the polar cap Plane-parallel layers have been used to model the changing temperature

  9. Possible Habilability of Martian Regolity and Research of Ancient Life "Biomarkers"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlov, A. K.

    2017-05-01

    We consider environments of modern subsurface martian regolith layer as possible habitats of the terrestrial like microorganisms. Recent experimental studies demonstrate that low atmospheric pressure, low temperature and high level of cosmic rays ionizing radiation are not able to sterilize the subsurface layer of Mars. Even nonextremofile microorganisms can reproduce in martian regolith using films of liquid water which are produced by absorption of water vapor of subsurface ice sublimation. Areas of possible seasonal subsurface water flow (recurring slope lineae, dark dune spots) and methane emission regions are discussed as perspective sites for discovering of modern life on Mars. Degradation of "biomarkers" (complex organic molecules and isotopic ratio 13C/12C) in martian soil under high level of cosmic rays radiation is analyzed. We show the ancient biomarkers are effectively destroyed within period 108 -109 years. As result, probability of its discovering in shallow subsurface martian layer is low.

  10. Non-stationary corona around multi-point system in atmospheric electric field: I. Onset electric field and discharge current

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bazelyan, E. M.; Raizer, Yu. P.; Aleksandrov, N. L.

    2014-03-01

    The properties of a non-stationary glow corona maintained near the tips of a multi-point ground system in a time-varying thundercloud electric field have been studied numerically and analytically. Computer and analytical models were developed to simulate the corona discharge initiated from a system of identical vertical conductive electrodes distributed uniformly over a grounded plane surface. The simulation was based on a solution of the electrostatic equation for electric field and continuity equations for light and aerosol ions. The development of individual corona space charge layers from different points and the formation of a united plane layer were considered. The effect of system dimensions and that of the distance between electrodes on the external electric field corresponding to corona onset near the rod tips was investigated. The evolution in time of the corona current was calculated for systems with various numbers of coronating rods in time-varying atmospheric electric field. In the limit of infinite number of coronating rods, reasonable agreement was obtained between numerical calculations and analytical theory considering the effect of surrounding rods on the corona discharge from a given rod in a simplified integral way. Conditions were determined under which the corona properties of a multi-point system are similar to the properties of a plane surface emitting ions into the atmosphere. In this case, the corona current density is governed by the time derivative of the thundercloud electric field and is independent of the ion mobility and of the coronating system dimensions. The total corona space charge injected into the atmosphere per unit area by a given instant is controlled by the thundercloud electric field at this instant and depends on the geometrical parameters of the system only indirectly, through the corona onset atmospheric electric field. This simple model could be used to simulate a corona discharge during thunderstorms at the earth

  11. Curiosity analyzes Martian soil samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy; Balcerak, Ernie

    2012-12-01

    NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has conducted its first analysis of Martian soil samples using multiple instruments, the agency announced at a 3 December news briefing at the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco. "These results are an unprecedented look at the chemical diversity in the area," said NASA's Michael Meyer, program scientist for Curiosity.

  12. Electric Currents and Fields in Middle and Low Atmosphere in Fair-Weather Regions due to Distant Thunderstorms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velinov, Peter; Velinov, Peter; Tonev, Peter

    The electric currents created by the thunderstorms and the electrified shower clouds over the Earth flow into the global atmospheric electric circuit and are responsible for the formation in fair-weather regions of ionosphere-ground current of about 2 pA per square meter, as well as for the related fair-weather electric field of the order of 100 V/m at sea level. The link of the diurnal variations of the fair-weather electric field with the global thunderstorm activity has been widely studied with connection to the Wilson's hypothesis. To confirm this hypothesis directly, also the fair-weather electric field response to a strong single lightning discharge has being examined. Here we study theoretically the variations of the electric currents and fields in fair-weather regions at different altitudes of the lower and middle atmosphere, which are provoked by distant lightning discharges. The electric field variations can play an important role at higher altitudes (in the upper troposphere and above), where they are much larger and possibly influence the physical and chemical processes. For our goals we realize a globalscale model of the electric fields and currents generated by a lightning discharge, which is based on the Maxwell's equations. The fair-weather electric characteristics are studied by our model depending on the lightning parameters, location and distance. We also examine how variations of the conductivity in the strato/mesosphere due to changes of solar and geomagnetic activity affect the characteristics studied. Another question discussed is whether and how the mesospheric electric response to a remote lightning discharge is influenced by the conductivity anisotropy above 70 km and by the geomagnetic field geometry. The variations of the fairweather electric fields due to a distant lightning at tropospheric heights are also studied with respect to their presumable role in the cloud physics.

  13. Effects of atmospheric air plasma treatment of graphite and carbon felt electrodes on the anodic current from Shewanella attached cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epifanio, Monica; Inguva, Saikumar; Kitching, Michael; Mosnier, Jean-Paul; Marsili, Enrico

    2015-12-01

    The attachment of electrochemically active microorganisms (EAM) on an electrode is determined by both the chemistry and topography of the electrode surface. Pre-treatment of the electrode surface by atmospheric air plasma introduces hydrophilic functional groups, thereby increasing cell attachment and electroactivity in short-term experiments. In this study, we use graphite and carbon felt electrodes to grow the model EAM Shewanella loihica PV-4 at oxidative potential (0.2 V vs. Ag/AgCl). Cell attachment and electroactivity are measured through electrodynamic methods. Atmospheric air plasma pre-treatment increases cell attachment and current output at graphite electrodes by 25%, while it improves the electroactivity of the carbon felt electrodes by 450%. Air plasma pre-treatment decreased the coulombic efficiency on both carbon felt and graphite electrodes by 60% and 80%, respectively. Microbially produced flavins adsorb preferentially at the graphite electrode, and air plasma pre-treatment results in lower flavin adsorption at both graphite and carbon felt electrodes. Results show that air plasma pre-treatment is a feasible option to increase current output in bioelectrochemical systems.

  14. Applying geochemical signatures of atmospheric dust to distinguish current mine emissions from legacy sources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Chenyin; Taylor, Mark Patrick

    2017-07-01

    Resolving the source of environmental contamination is the critical first step in remediation and exposure prevention. Australia's oldest silver-zinc-lead mine at Broken Hill (>130 years old) has generated a legacy of contamination and is associated with persistent elevated childhood blood lead (Pb) levels. However, the source of environmental Pb remains in dispute: current mine emissions; remobilized mine-legacy lead in soils and dusts; and natural lead from geological weathering of the gossan ore body. Multiple lines of evidence used to resolve this conundrum at Broken Hill include spatial and temporal variations in dust Pb concentrations and bioaccessibility, Pb isotopic compositions, particle morphology and mineralogy. Total dust Pb loading (mean 255 μg/m2/day) and its bioaccessibility (mean 75% of total Pb) is greatest adjacent to the active mining operations. Unweathered galena (PbS) found in contemporary dust deposits contrast markedly to Pb-bearing particles from mine-tailings and weathered gossan samples. Contemporary dust particles were more angular, had higher sulfur content and had little or no iron and manganese. Dust adjacent to the mine has Pb isotopic compositions (208Pb/207Pb: 2.3197; 206Pb/207Pb: 1.0406) that are a close match (99%) to the ore body with values slightly lower (94%) at the edge of the city. The weight of evidence supports the conclusion that contemporary dust Pb contamination in Broken Hill is sourced primarily from current mining activities and not from weathering or legacy sources.

  15. Martian Radiative Transfer Modeling Using the Optimal Spectral Sampling Method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eluszkiewicz, J.; Cady-Pereira, K.; Uymin, G.; Moncet, J.-L.

    2005-01-01

    The large volume of existing and planned infrared observations of Mars have prompted the development of a new martian radiative transfer model that could be used in the retrievals of atmospheric and surface properties. The model is based on the Optimal Spectral Sampling (OSS) method [1]. The method is a fast and accurate monochromatic technique applicable to a wide range of remote sensing platforms (from microwave to UV) and was originally developed for the real-time processing of infrared and microwave data acquired by instruments aboard the satellites forming part of the next-generation global weather satellite system NPOESS (National Polarorbiting Operational Satellite System) [2]. As part of our on-going research related to the radiative properties of the martian polar caps, we have begun the development of a martian OSS model with the goal of using it to perform self-consistent atmospheric corrections necessary to retrieve caps emissivity from the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) spectra. While the caps will provide the initial focus area for applying the new model, it is hoped that the model will be of interest to the wider Mars remote sensing community.

  16. Current meter data from FIXED PLATFORMS as part of the Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere (TOGA) project from 15 May 1988 to 19 June 1989 (NODC Accession 9700014)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Current meter data were collected from FIXED PLATFORMS from 15 May 1988 to 19 June 1989. University of South Florida (USF) as part of the Tropical Ocean Global...

  17. Interannual observations and quantification of summertime H2O ice deposition on the Martian CO2 ice south polar cap

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Adrian J.; Piqueux, Sylvain; Titus, Timothy N.

    2014-01-01

    The spectral signature of water ice was observed on Martian south polar cap in 2004 by the Observatoire pour l'Mineralogie, l'Eau les Glaces et l'Activite (OMEGA) ( Bibring et al., 2004). Three years later, the OMEGA instrument was used to discover water ice deposited during southern summer on the polar cap ( Langevin et al., 2007). However, temporal and spatial variations of these water ice signatures have remained unexplored, and the origins of these water deposits remains an important scientific question. To investigate this question, we have used observations from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) instrument on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft of the southern cap during austral summer over four Martian years to search for variations in the amount of water ice. We report below that for each year we have observed the cap, the magnitude of the H2O ice signature on the southern cap has risen steadily throughout summer, particularly on the west end of the cap. The spatial extent of deposition is in disagreement with the current best simulations of deposition of water ice on the south polar cap (Montmessin et al., 2007). This increase in water ice signatures is most likely caused by deposition of atmospheric H2O ice and a set of unusual conditions makes the quantification of this transport flux using CRISM close to ideal. We calculate a ‘minimum apparent‘ amount of deposition corresponding to a thin H2O ice layer of 0.2 mm (with 70% porosity). This amount of H2O ice deposition is 0.6–6% of the total Martian atmospheric water budget. We compare our ‘minimum apparent’ quantification with previous estimates. This deposition process may also have implications for the formation and stability of the southern CO2 ice cap, and therefore play a significant role in the climate budget of modern day Mars.

  18. Martian north polar cap summer water cycle

    CERN Document Server

    Brown, Adrian J; Becerra, Patricio; Byrne, Shane

    2016-01-01

    A key outstanding question in Martian science is 'are the polar caps gaining or losing mass and what are the implications for past, current and future climate?' To address this question, we use observations from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) of the north polar cap during late summer for multiple Martian years, to monitor the summertime water cycle in order to place quantitative limits on the amount of water ice deposited and sublimed in late summer. We establish here for the first time the summer cycle of water ice absorption band signatures on the north polar cap. We show that in a key region in the interior of the north polar cap, the absorption band depths grow until Ls=120, when they begin to shrink, until they are obscured at the end of summer by the north polar hood. This behavior is transferable over the entire north polar cap, where in late summer regions 'flip' from being net sublimating into net condensation mode. This transition or 'mode flip' happens earlier for ...

  19. Numerical Modeling of Glaciers in Martian Paleoclimates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colaprete, A.; Haberle, R. M.; Montmessin, F.; Scheaffer, J.

    2004-01-01

    Numerous geologic features suggest the presence of ice flow on the surface of mars. These features include lobate debris aprons, concentric crater fill, and lineated valley fill. The lateral extent of these features can range from 100 meters to over 20 km. Previous work has demonstrated that these features could not have formed in current Martian conditions. It has long been speculated that changes in Mars orbital properties, namely its obliquity, eccentricity, and argument of perihelion, can result in dramatic changes to climate. Recent climate model studies have shown that at periods of increased obliquity north polar water ice is mobilized southward and deposited at low ad mid latitudes. Mid latitude accumulation of ice would provide the necessary conditions for rock glaciers to form. A time-marching, finite element glacier model is used to demonstrate the ability of ice and ice-rock mixtures to flow under Martian paleoclimate conditions. Input to this model is constrained by the NASA Ames Mars General Circulation Model (MGCM).

  20. Microscopic Views of Martian Soils and Evidence for Incipient Diagenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goetz, W.; Madsen, M. B.; Bridges, N.; Clark, B.; Edgett, K. S.; Fisk, M.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Hviid, S. F.; Meslin, P.-Y.; Ming, D. W.; hide

    2014-01-01

    Mars landed missions returned im-ages at increasingly higher spatial resolution (Table 1). These images help to constrain the microstructure of Martian soils, i.e. the grain-by-grain association of chemistry and mineralogy with secondary properties, such as albedo, color, magnetic properties, and mor-phology (size, shape, texture). The secondary charac-teristics are controlled by mineralogical composition as well as the geo-setting (transport and weathering modes, e.g. water supply, pH, atmospheric properties, exposure to radiation, etc.). As of today this association is poorly constrained. However, it is important to un-derstand soil-forming processes on the surface of Mars. Here we analyze high-resolution images of soils re-turned by different landed missions. Eventually these images must be combined with other types of data (chemistry and mineralogy at small spatial scale) to nail down the microstructure of Martian soils.

  1. The application of NERVA technology to Martian power plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farbman, G. H.; Pierce, B. L.

    1991-09-01

    A Martian Nuclear Power Plant is described, based on the nuclear technologies developed and demonstrated in the NERVA nuclear propulsion program. The reactor is in a closed-cycle system, employing an inert gas coolant, while the power-turbine generator system is an open-cycle gas turbine which uses the Martian atmosphere as a working fluid. The two systems are connected by a double-walled heat exchanger which transfers energy from the reactor to the power turbine system. The plant is rated at 3 MWe and is capable of three years of power operation, at a capacity factor of 90 percent, before the fuel is depleted. The plant is arranged in modules, which are fully constructed on earth and then interconnected on the surface of Mars. A preliminary estimate of the module contents and masses leads to a total plant specific mass of 25.3 kg/kWe.

  2. On the physical processes ruling an atmospheric pressure air glow discharge operating in an intermediate current regime

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Prevosto, L., E-mail: prevosto@waycom.com.ar; Mancinelli, B.; Chamorro, J. C.; Cejas, E. [Grupo de Descargas Eléctricas, Departamento Ing. Electromecánica, Facultad Regional Venado Tuerto (UTN), Laprida 651, Venado Tuerto (2600), Santa Fe (Argentina); Kelly, H. [Grupo de Descargas Eléctricas, Departamento Ing. Electromecánica, Facultad Regional Venado Tuerto (UTN), Laprida 651, Venado Tuerto (2600), Santa Fe (Argentina); Instituto de Física del Plasma (CONICET), Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales (UBA) Ciudad Universitaria Pab. I, 1428, Buenos Aires (Argentina)

    2015-02-15

    Low-frequency (100 Hz), intermediate-current (50 to 200 mA) glow discharges were experimentally investigated in atmospheric pressure air between blunt copper electrodes. Voltage–current characteristics and images of the discharge for different inter-electrode distances are reported. A cathode-fall voltage close to 360 V and a current density at the cathode surface of about 11 A/cm{sup 2}, both independent of the discharge current, were found. The visible emissive structure of the discharge resembles to that of a typical low-pressure glow, thus suggesting a glow-like electric field distribution in the discharge. A kinetic model for the discharge ionization processes is also presented with the aim of identifying the main physical processes ruling the discharge behavior. The numerical results indicate the presence of a non-equilibrium plasma with rather high gas temperature (above 4000 K) leading to the production of components such as NO, O, and N which are usually absent in low-current glows. Hence, the ionization by electron-impact is replaced by associative ionization, which is independent of the reduced electric field. This leads to a negative current-voltage characteristic curve, in spite of the glow-like features of the discharge. On the other hand, several estimations show that the discharge seems to be stabilized by heat conduction; being thermally stable due to its reduced size. All the quoted results indicate that although this discharge regime might be considered to be close to an arc, it is still a glow discharge as demonstrated by its overall properties, supported also by the presence of thermal non-equilibrium.

  3. The mineralogic evolution of the Martian surface through time: Implications from chemical reaction path modeling studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plumlee, G. S.; Ridley, W. I.; Debraal, J. D.; Reed, M. H.

    1993-01-01

    Chemical reaction path calculations were used to model the minerals that might have formed at or near the Martian surface as a result of volcano or meteorite impact driven hydrothermal systems; weathering at the Martian surface during an early warm, wet climate; and near-zero or sub-zero C brine-regolith reactions in the current cold climate. Although the chemical reaction path calculations carried out do not define the exact mineralogical evolution of the Martian surface over time, they do place valuable geochemical constraints on the types of minerals that formed from an aqueous phase under various surficial and geochemically complex conditions.

  4. Anomalous diurnal variation of atmospheric potential gradient and air-Earth current density observed at Maitri, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeeva, K.; Gurubaran, S.; Williams, E. R.; Kamra, A. K.; Sinha, A. K.; Guha, A.; Selvaraj, C.; Nair, K. U.; Dhar, Ajay

    2016-11-01

    The scope of this paper is to explore the mechanisms operating over Maitri (70.76°S, 11.74°E, 117 m above mean sea level), a coastal Antarctic station, that produce an anomalous fair-weather diurnal pattern of the atmospheric electric potential gradient (PG) and air-Earth current density (AEC). The anomaly in the diurnal variations of AEC and the PG is displaying an ostensible minimum at 10 UT and a diminished response to the thunderstorm over the African continent in the 14-16 UT time frame. The data sets (2005-2014, except 2012) of the PG, and to some extent, AEC, from Maitri, are used to explore this anomaly. It follows that the fair-weather electrical phenomena over Maitri can be ascribed to global electrified convection on the one hand and to regional phenomena like convection due to the replacement of warm air by katabatic winds on the other hand. The katabatic winds originate on the polar plateau and blow from 130° at Maitri which are likely to transport various elements from the mountain slopes, and space charge from the polar plateau is expected to produce various disturbances in the PG and AEC monitored over the coastal Antarctica. This mechanism may be responsible for peaks in the early UT hours and also for the anomalous behavior of atmospheric electrical parameters observed at Maitri. Maitri data are compared with that of Carnegie cruise and Vostok to explain the source of anomaly.

  5. Characterization of direct-current atmospheric-pressure discharges useful for ambient desorption/ionization mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shelley, Jacob T; Wiley, Joshua S; Chan, George C Y; Schilling, Gregory D; Ray, Steven J; Hieftje, Gary M

    2009-05-01

    Two relatively new ambient ionization sources, direct analysis in real time (DART) and the flowing atmospheric-pressure afterglow (FAPA), use direct current, atmospheric-pressure discharges to produce reagent ions for the direct ionization of a sample. Although at a first glance these two sources appear similar, a fundamental study reveals otherwise. Specifically, DART was found to operate with a corona-to-glow transition (C-G) discharge whereas the FAPA was found to operate with a glow-to-arc transition (G-A) discharge. The characteristics of both discharges were evaluated on the basis of four factors: reagent-ion production, response to a model analyte (ferrocene), infrared (IR) thermography of the gas used for desorption and ionization, and spatial emission characteristics. The G-A discharge produced a greater abundance and a wider variety of reagent ions than the C-G discharge. In addition, the discharges yielded different adducts and signal strengths for ferrocene. It was also found that the gas exiting the discharge chamber reached a maximum of 235 degrees C and 55 degrees C for the G-A and C-G discharges, respectively. Finally, spatially resolved emission maps of both discharges showed clear differences for N(2)(+) and O(I). These findings demonstrate that the discharges used by FAPA and DART are fundamentally different and should have different optimal applications for ambient desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (ADI-MS).

  6. Soil development and sampling strategies for the returned Martian surface samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Everett K.

    1988-01-01

    Sampling of the Martian surface materials should be based on the experience gained from the study of soils and rocks collected in cold, dry environments, i.e., dry valleys of Antarctica. Previous studies have suggested that some of our best terrestrial analogs of the Martian soils are represented by those found in the polar deserts of Antarctica. Special sampling considerations must be taken into account when obtaining these samples because they represent at least five distinct types of materials. Weathering of planetary regolith materials occurs from both chemical and physical interactions of the planet's surface materials with the atmosphere and, if present, the hydrosphere and biosphere along with extraplanetary objects which may produce the original surface materials and produce secondary materials that are product of equilibrium between the atmosphere and study weathering processes and regolith development occurring on Martian-like surfaces, simulation studies must be carried out in materials in the field.

  7. Noble gas contents of shergottites and implications for the Martian origin of SNC meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogard, D. D.; Nyquist, L. E.; Johnson, P.

    1984-01-01

    Three meteorites belonging to the rare group of SNC achondrites, which may have originated in the planet Mars, have been subjected to noble gas isotopic concentration measurements. The elemental and isotopic ratios obtained are unlike those for any other noble gas components except those obtained in analyses of the Martian atmosphere by Viking spacecraft. It is hypothesized that the Kr and Xe gases represent a portion of the Martian atmosphere which was shock-implanted in the case of Elephant Moraine A79001, and that they constitute direct evidence of a Martian origin for the shergottite meteorites. If the SNC meteorites were ejected from Mars at the shergottite shock age of about 180 My ago, they must have been objects more than 6 m in diameter which experienced at least three space collisions to initiate cosmic ray exposure.

  8. SNC Meteorites and Martian Reservoirs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, J. H.

    2002-01-01

    The martian mantle is apparently heterogeneous, which opens the possibility that it is layered, with each layer convectively isolated. If this is correct, melt generation should occur either at thermal boundary layers or in plumes generated at those boundaries. Mantle layering may be a good means of slowing the planet's cooling rate, allowing young volcanism. Layering may also provide a means for keeping the crust and upper mantle cool, allowing the preservation of ancient variations in crustal thickness.

  9. Effect of the planet shine on the corona: Application to the Martian hot oxygen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaufray, J.-Y.; Deighan, J.; Stewart, A. I. F.; Schneider, N.; Clarke, J.; Leblanc, F.; Jakosky, B.

    2016-11-01

    Systematic observations of the Martian hot oxygen corona by Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph on Mars Atmosphere and Volatile and EvolutioN can be used to constrain estimates of the current neutral oxygen escape rate. In this paper, we investigate the effect of the photons emitted from the thermosphere and lower exosphere on the emissivity of the hot oxygen corona at 130.4 nm. We compare this source of illumination, generally neglected, to the direct solar illumination used to convert the O I 130.4 triplet brightness into line-of-sight column density. This study is performed using a radiative transfer model with two Maxwellian oxygen populations, assuming spherical symmetry for the cold and hot oxygen densities. Contribution to the corona from the illumination of the exosphere by the sunlit atmosphere depends on the amount of cold oxygen and varies with altitude and solar zenith angle. An analytic formulation to take into account variations of this effect with respect to the hot oxygen kinetic temperature is proposed. The effect of the atmosphere sunlit should be general and occur on other planets for other very optically thick resonance lines.

  10. Mapping the Martian Meteorology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allison, M.; Ross, J. D.; Solomon, N.

    1999-01-01

    The Mars-adapted version of the NASA/GISS general circulation model (GCM) has been applied to the hourly/daily simulation of the planet's meteorology over several seasonal orbits. The current running version of the model includes a diurnal solar cycle, CO2 sublimation, and a mature parameterization of upper level wave drag with a vertical domain extending from the surface up to the 6microb level. The benchmark simulations provide a four-dimensional archive for the comparative evaluation of various schemes for the retrieval of winds from anticipated polar orbiter measurements of temperatures by the Pressure Modulator Infrared Radiometer. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  11. Current state and temporal evolution of the chemical composition of atmospheric depositions in forest areas of the CONECOFOR network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marchetto A

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Current state and temporal evolution of the chemical composition of atmospheric depositions in forest areas of the CONECOFOR network. Since 1997, atmospheric deposition was sampled and analyzed in the permanent plots of the Italian network for the evaluation of forest health (CONECOFOR, under the coordination of the Italian Forest Service. This paper presents the results of the activity carried out in 2009, when the EU-funded LIFE+ “FutMon” project allowed to extend the sampling network to 22 sites. Long-term trends will also be evaluated for the sampling sites with the longest time series. The sampling of open field bulk deposition was performed in a clearance close to the CONECOFOR permanent plots, while throughfall deposition and stemflow (in beech stand, only were sampled in the plot. Deposition samples were collected weekly and sent to the laboratories, where they were analyzed for pH, conductivity, major ions, and total carbon and nitrogen. Most measured variables showed a strong geographical gradient. For example, nitrogen deposition was relatively high in the Po plain (where the emissions of nitrogen oxides and ammonia are the highest and surrounding hills, reaching 10-20 kgN ha-1 y-1 in the open field and 13-25 kgN ha-1 y-1 in the throughfall. Sulphate deposition also showed a marked geographical gradient. Deposition of marine aerosol also had an important impact on the chemical composition of atmospheric deposition in Italy, together with the episodic deposition of Saharan dust, which showed a marked gradient, with highest values in the southernmost plots. Trend analysis was carried out on 10 sites running since the beginning of the program. A general negative trend in sulphate concentration was detected, paralleled in most plots by a positive trend in deposition pH, in good agreement with the strong reduction in the emission of sulphur dioxide recorded in the last decades. Nitrogen concentration also showed a significant decrease

  12. The chemical reactivity of the Martian soil and implications for future missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zent, Aaron P.; Mckay, Christopher P.

    1994-01-01

    Possible interpretations of the results of the Viking Biology Experiments suggest that greater than 1 ppm of a thermally labile oxidant, perhaps H2O2, and about 10 ppm of a thermally stable oxidant are present in the martian soil. We reexamine these results and discuss implications for future missions, the search for organics on Mars, and the possible health and engineering effects for human exploration. We conclude that further characterization of the reactivity of the martian regolith materials is warrented-although if our present understanding is correct the oxidant does not pose a hazard to humans. There are difficulties in explaining the reactivity of the Martian soil by oxidants. Most bulk phase compounds that are capable of oxidizing H2O to O2 per the Gas Exchange Experiment (GEx) are thermally labile or unstable against reduction by atmospheric CO2. Models invoking trapped O2 or peroxynitrates (NOO2(-)) require an unlikely geologic history for the Viking Lander 2 site. Most suggested oxidants, including H2O2, are expected to decompose rapidly under martian UV. Nonetheless, we conclude that the best model for the martian soil contains oxidants produced by heterogeneous chemical reactions with a photochemically produced atmospheric oxidant. The GEx results may be due to catalytic decomposition of an unstable oxidizing material by H2O. We show that interfacial reaction sites covering less than 1% of the available soil surfaces could explain the Viking Biology Experiments results.

  13. The chemical reactivity of the Martian soil and implications for future missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zent, Aaron P.; Mckay, Christopher P.

    1994-01-01

    Possible interpretations of the results of the Viking Biology Experiments suggest that greater than 1 ppm of a thermally labile oxidant, perhaps H2O2, and about 10 ppm of a thermally stable oxidant are present in the martian soil. We reexamine these results and discuss implications for future missions, the search for organics on Mars, and the possible health and engineering effects for human exploration. We conclude that further characterization of the reactivity of the martian regolith materials is warrented-although if our present understanding is correct the oxidant does not pose a hazard to humans. There are difficulties in explaining the reactivity of the Martian soil by oxidants. Most bulk phase compounds that are capable of oxidizing H2O to O2 per the Gas Exchange Experiment (GEx) are thermally labile or unstable against reduction by atmospheric CO2. Models invoking trapped O2 or peroxynitrates (NOO2(-)) require an unlikely geologic history for the Viking Lander 2 site. Most suggested oxidants, including H2O2, are expected to decompose rapidly under martian UV. Nonetheless, we conclude that the best model for the martian soil contains oxidants produced by heterogeneous chemical reactions with a photochemically produced atmospheric oxidant. The GEx results may be due to catalytic decomposition of an unstable oxidizing material by H2O. We show that interfacial reaction sites covering less than 1% of the available soil surfaces could explain the Viking Biology Experiments results.

  14. MEDUSA (Martian Environmental DUst Systematic Analyser)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battaglia, R.; Colangeli, L.; della Corte, V.; Esposito, F.; Ferrini, G.; Mazzotta Epifani, E.; Palomba, E.; Palumbo, P.; Panizza, A.; Rotundi, A.

    2003-04-01

    ) onboard the Mars Global Surveyor. Seasonal variations in the column abundance are due to the combined effect of exchange of H_2O between atmosphere and water reservoirs (i.e. polar caps, regolith) and atmospheric transport. Despite the low absolute water content (0.03% by volume), relative humidity can exceed 100% leading to frosting phenomena, thanks to low Martian temperatures. The typical value of the pressure at surface, close to the triple point value of water phase diagram, makes the persistence of liquid water at the surface of Mars highly improbable. This means that the water is probably present exclusively in gaseous and solid states, at the surface level. Attempts to use space-born and earth-based observations to estimate quantitatively surface and near-surface sources and sinks of water vapour have had good but also partial success. Most important questions that appear from the present knowledge is how the water vapour atmospheric circulation occurs and how to explain the difference in the hemispheric and seasonal behaviour of the water vapour. Despite TES results showed that a percentage of hemispheric "asymmetry" of the seasonal vapour abundance was probably due to the presence of two dust storms during MAWD observations, an evident difference remains partially unexplained. In this context, it is extremely important to study the role of the different contributions to the production of atmospheric vapour from the main reservoirs and to the formation of water ice clouds most probably catalysed by the atmospheric dust. At present, no in situ measurement of water vapour content was performed yet. We discuss the possibility of using a new concept instrument for extraterrestrial planetary environments, based on the past experience acquired for dust monitoring in space and on Earth and new possible technologies for space applications. MEDUSA (Martian Environmental Dust Analyser) project is a multisensor and multistage instrument based on an optical detector of dust

  15. Sublimation of the Martian CO2 Seasonal South Polar Cap

    CERN Document Server

    Schmidt, Frederic; Doute, Sylvain; Forget, Francois; Jian, Jeng-Jong; Martin, Patrick; Langevin, Yves; Bibring, Jean-Pierre

    2010-01-01

    The polar condensation/sublimation of CO2, that involve about one fourth of the atmosphere mass, is the major Martian climatic cycle. Early observations in visible and thermal infrared have shown that the sublimation of the Seasonal South Polar Cap (SSPC) is not symmetric around the geographic South Pole. Here we use observations by OMEGA/Mars Express in the near-infrared to detect unambiguously the presence of CO2 at the surface, and to estimate albedo. Second, we estimate the sublimation of CO2 released in the atmosphere and show that there is a two-step process. From Ls=180^\\circ to 220^\\circ, the sublimation is nearly symmetric with a slight advantage for the cryptic region. After Ls=220^\\circ the anti-cryptic region sublimation is stronger. Those two phases are not balanced such that there is 22%\\pm9 more mass the anti-cryptic region, arguing for more snow precipitation. We compare those results with the MOLA height measurements. Finally we discuss implications for the Martian atmosphere about general ci...

  16. Characterization of Martian Soil Fines Fraction in SNC Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, M. N.; McKay, D. S.

    2003-01-01

    Some impact-melt glasses in shergottite meteorites contain large abundances of martian atmospheric noble gases with high (129)Xe/(132)Xe ratios, accompanied by varying (87)Sr/(86)Sr (initial) ratios. These glasses contain Martian Soil Fines (MSF) probably from young volcanic terrains such as Tharsis or Elysium Mons. The composition of the MSF bearing samples is different from the average bulk composition of the host rock. These samples show the following charecteristics: a) simultaeneous enrichment of the felsic component and depletion of the mafic component relative to the host phase and b) significant secondary sulfur/sulfate excesses over the host material. The degree of enrichment and associated depletion varies from one sample to another. Earlier, we found large enrichments of felsic (Al, Ca, Na and K) component and depletion of mafic (Fe, Mg, Mn and Ti) component in several impact melt glass veins and pods of samples ,77 ,78 , 18, and ,20A in EET79001 accompanied by large sulfur/sulfate excesses. Based on these results, we proposed a model where the comminution of basaltic rocks takes place by meteoroid bombardment on the martian surface, leading to the generation of fine-grained soil near the impact sites. This fine-grained soil material is subsequently mobilized by saltation and deflation processes on Mars surface due to pervasive aeolian activity. This movement results in mechanical fractionation leading to the felsic enrichment and mafic depletion in the martian dust. We report, here, new data on an impact-melt inclusion ,507 (PAPA) from EET79001, Lith B and ,506 (ALPHA) from EET79001, Lith A and compare the results with those obtained on Shergotty impact melt glass (DBS).

  17. Martian north polar cap summer water cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Adrian J.; Calvin, Wendy M.; Becerra, Patricio; Byrne, Shane

    2016-10-01

    A key outstanding question in Martian science is "are the polar caps gaining or losing mass and what are the implications for past, current and future climate?" To address this question, we use observations from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) of the north polar cap during late summer for multiple Martian years, to monitor the summertime water cycle in order to place quantitative limits on the amount of water ice deposited and sublimed in late summer. We establish here for the first time the summer cycle of water ice absorption band signatures on the north polar cap. We show that in a key region in the interior of the north polar cap, the absorption band depths grow until Ls = 120, when they begin to shrink, until they are obscured at the end of summer by the north polar hood. This behavior is transferable over the entire north polar cap, where in late summer regions 'flip' from being net sublimating into net condensation mode. This transition or 'mode flip' happens earlier for regions closer to the pole, and later for regions close to the periphery of the cap. The observations and calculations presented herein estimate that on average a water ice layer ∼70 microns thick is deposited during the Ls = 135-164 period. This is far larger than the results of deposition on the south pole during summer, where an average layer 0.6-6 microns deep has been estimated by Brown et al. (2014) Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 406, 102-109.

  18. Boron enrichment in martian clay.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James D Stephenson

    Full Text Available We have detected a concentration of boron in martian clay far in excess of that in any previously reported extra-terrestrial object. This enrichment indicates that the chemistry necessary for the formation of ribose, a key component of RNA, could have existed on Mars since the formation of early clay deposits, contemporary to the emergence of life on Earth. Given the greater similarity of Earth and Mars early in their geological history, and the extensive disruption of Earth's earliest mineralogy by plate tectonics, we suggest that the conditions for prebiotic ribose synthesis may be better understood by further Mars exploration.

  19. Boron Enrichment in Martian Clay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagashima, Kazuhide; Freeland, Stephen J.

    2013-01-01

    We have detected a concentration of boron in martian clay far in excess of that in any previously reported extra-terrestrial object. This enrichment indicates that the chemistry necessary for the formation of ribose, a key component of RNA, could have existed on Mars since the formation of early clay deposits, contemporary to the emergence of life on Earth. Given the greater similarity of Earth and Mars early in their geological history, and the extensive disruption of Earth's earliest mineralogy by plate tectonics, we suggest that the conditions for prebiotic ribose synthesis may be better understood by further Mars exploration. PMID:23762242

  20. Non-Detection of Methane in the Mars Atmosphere by the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Chris R.; Mahaffy, Paul R.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Flesch, Gregory J.; Farley, Kenneth A.

    2014-01-01

    By analogy with Earth, methane in the atmosphere of Mars is a potential signature of ongoing or past biological activity on the planet. During the last decade, Earth-based telescopic and Mars orbit remote sensing instruments have reported significant abundances of methane in the Martian atmosphere ranging from several to tens of parts-per-billion by volume (ppbv). Observations from Earth showed plumes of methane with variations on timescales much faster than expected and inconsistent with localized patches seen from orbit, prompting speculation of sources from sub-surface methanogen bacteria, geological water-rock reactions or infall from comets, micro-meteorites or interplanetary dust. From measurements on NASAs Curiosity Rover that landed near Gale Crater on 5th August 2012, we here report no definitive detection of methane in the near-surface Martian atmosphere. Our in situ measurements were made using the Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS) in the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite6 that made three separate searches on Martian sols 79, 81 and 106 after landing. The measured mean value of 0.39 plus or minus 1.4 ppbv corresponds to an upper limit for methane abundance of 2.7 ppbv at the 95 confidence level. This result is in disagreement with both the remote sensing spacecraft observations taken at lower sensitivity and the telescopic observations that relied on subtraction of a very large contribution from terrestrial methane in the intervening observation path. Since the expected lifetime of methane in the Martian atmosphere is hundreds of years, our results question earlier observations and set a low upper limit on the present day abundance, reducing the probability of significant current methanogenic microbial activity on Mars.

  1. Comparison of atmospheric air plasmas excited by high-voltage nanosecond pulsed discharge and sinusoidal alternating current discharge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shuai; Wang, Wen-chun; Jiang, Peng-chao; Yang, De-zheng; Jia, Li; Wang, Sen

    2013-10-01

    In this paper, atmospheric pressure air discharge plasma in quartz tube is excited by 15 ns high-voltage nanosecond pulsed discharge (HVNPD) and sinusoidal alternating current discharge (SACD), respectively, and a comparison study of these two kinds of discharges is made through visual imaging, electrical characterization, optical detection of active species, and plasma gas temperature. The peak voltage of the power supplies is kept at 16 kV while the pulse repetition rate of nanosecond pulse power supply is 100 Hz, and the frequency of sinusoidal power supply is 10 kHz. Results show that the HVNPD is uniform while the SACD presents filamentary mode. For exciting the same cycles of discharge, the average energy consumption in HVNPD is about 1/13 of the SACD. However, the chemical active species generated by the HVNPD is about 2-9 times than that excited by the SACD. Meanwhile, the rotational and vibrational temperatures have been obtained via fitting the simulated spectrum of N2 (C3Πu → B3Πg, 0-2) with the measured one, and the results show that the plasma gas temperature in the HVNPD remains close to room temperature whereas the plasma gas temperature in the SACD is about 200 K higher than that in HVNPD in the initial phase and continually increases as discharge exposure time goes on.

  2. S.E.T.U.P., a new program of representative simulations of Titan's atmosphere: current status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gazeau, Marie-Claire; Arzoumanian, Emmanuel; Yves, Benilan; Sebbar, Touhami; Jolly, Antoine; Perrier, Sebastien; Romanzin, Claire

    In the frame of the S.E.T.U.P. (Experimental and Theoretical Simulations Useful for Planetology) program, representative simulation experiments in terms of temperature, pressure as well as energy deposition are planned. Solar photons and electrons coming from the magnetosphere of Saturn are driving the chemical evolution of Titan's atmosphere. Therefore, we will expose the initial gas mixture (N2 -CH4 ) to both energy sources photons and electrons. Indeed, in the new dedicated reactor, nitrogen dissociation will be created by a plasma discharge while methane photodissociation will be initiated by UV photons provided by a classical continuous H2 /He lamp (λ= 121,6 nm) or, in order to achieve kinetic studies, a pulsed laser KrF excimer laser (λ= 248 nm). So far, in such simulation experiments, the analysis was only performed on the resulting gas sample. From now on, time resolved analysis (Cavity Ring Down Spectroscopy technique) of intermediates species as well as primary products will be performed in order to determine the chemical mechanisms involved in the reactor. Currently, a method for the quantification of the N atoms is developed. In parallel, experimental and theoretical studies (0D model) on the CH4 photolysis @ 121,6 and 248 nm (quantification of photofragments, especially CH and determination of the subsequent photochemistry) are performed. Results on these different tasks will be presented.

  3. The 11-year solar cycle in current reanalyses: a (non)linear attribution study of the middle atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuchar, A.; Sacha, P.; Miksovsky, J.; Pisoft, P.

    2015-06-01

    This study focusses on the variability of temperature, ozone and circulation characteristics in the stratosphere and lower mesosphere with regard to the influence of the 11-year solar cycle. It is based on attribution analysis using multiple nonlinear techniques (support vector regression, neural networks) besides the multiple linear regression approach. The analysis was applied to several current reanalysis data sets for the 1979-2013 period, including MERRA, ERA-Interim and JRA-55, with the aim to compare how these types of data resolve especially the double-peaked solar response in temperature and ozone variables and the consequent changes induced by these anomalies. Equatorial temperature signals in the tropical stratosphere were found to be in qualitative agreement with previous attribution studies, although the agreement with observational results was incomplete, especially for JRA-55. The analysis also pointed to the solar signal in the ozone data sets (i.e. MERRA and ERA-Interim) not being consistent with the observed double-peaked ozone anomaly extracted from satellite measurements. The results obtained by linear regression were confirmed by the nonlinear approach through all data sets, suggesting that linear regression is a relevant tool to sufficiently resolve the solar signal in the middle atmosphere. The seasonal evolution of the solar response was also discussed in terms of dynamical causalities in the winter hemispheres. The hypothetical mechanism of a weaker Brewer-Dobson circulation at solar maxima was reviewed together with a discussion of polar vortex behaviour.

  4. Chemical reactivity of the Martian soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zent, A. P.; Mckay, C. P.

    1992-01-01

    The Viking life sciences experimental packages detected extraordinary chemical activity in the martian soil, probably the result of soil-surface chemistry. At least one very strong oxidant may exist in the martian soil. The electrochemical nature of the martian soil has figured prominently in discussions of future life sciences research on Mars. Putative oxidants in the martian soil may be responsible for the destruction of organic material to considerable depth, precluding the recovery of reducing material that may be relic of early biological forms. Also, there have been serious expressions of concern regarding the effect that soil oxidants may have on human health and safety. The concern here has centered on the possible irritation of the respiratory system due to dust carried into the martian habitat through the air locks.

  5. Electric Field Generation in Martian Dust Devils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barth, Erika L.; Farrell, William M.; Rafkin, Scot C. R.

    2015-01-01

    Terrestrial dust devils are known to generate electric fields from the vertical separation of charged dust particles. The particles present within the dust devils on Mars may also be subject to similar charging processes and so likely contribute to electric field generation there as well. However, to date, no Marsin situ instrumentation has been deployed to measure electric field strength. In order to explore the electric environment of dust devils on Mars, the triboelectric dust charging physics from the MacroscopicTriboelectric Simulation (MTS) code has been coupled to the Mars Regional Atmospheric ModelingSystem (MRAMS). Using this model, we examine how macroscopic electric fields are generated within martian dust disturbances and attempt to quantify the time evolution of the electrodynamical system.Electric fields peak for several minutes within the dust devil simulations. The magnitude of the electric field is a strong function of the size of the particles present, the average charge on the particles and the number of particles lifted. Varying these parameters results in peak electric fields between tens of millivolts per meter and tens of kilovolts per meter.

  6. Solar wind modulation of the Martian ionosphere observed by Mars Global Surveyor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.-S. Wang

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available Electron density profiles in the Martian ionosphere observed by the radio occultation experiment on board Mars Global Surveyor have been analyzed to determine if the densities are influenced by the solar wind. Evidence is presented that the altitude of the maximum ionospheric electron density shows a positive correlation to the energetic proton flux in the solar wind. The solar wind modulation of the Martian ionosphere can be attributed to heating of the neutral atmosphere by the solar wind energetic proton precipitation. The modulation is observed to be most prominent at high solar zenith angles. It is argued that this is consistent with the proposed modulation mechanism.

  7. Production of reactive oxygen species from abraded silicates. Implications for the reactivity of the Martian soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bak, Ebbe N.; Zafirov, Kaloyan; Merrison, Jonathan P.

    2017-01-01

    lead to a production of H(2)O(2)facilitated by atmospheric O-2 and inhibited by carbon dioxide. Furthermore, during simulated saltation the silicate particles became triboelectrically charged and at pressures similar to the Martian surface pressure we observed glow discharges. Electrical discharges can......The results of the Labeled Release and the Gas Exchange experiments conducted on Mars by the Viking Landers show that compounds in the Martian soil can cause oxidation of organics and a release of oxygen in the presence of water. Several sources have been proposed for the oxidizing compounds...

  8. Production of reactive oxygen species from abraded silicates. Implications for the reactivity of the Martian soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bak, Ebbe Norskov; Zafirov, Kaloyan; Merrison, Jonathan P.

    2017-01-01

    of H2O2 facilitated by atmospheric O2 and inhibited by carbon dioxide. Furthermore, during simulated saltation the silicate particles became triboelectrically charged and at pressures similar to the Martian surface pressure we observed glow discharges. Electrical discharges can cause dissociation of CO......The results of the Labeled Release and the Gas Exchange experiments conducted on Mars by the Viking Landers show that compounds in the Martian soil can cause oxidation of organics and a release of oxygen in the presence of water. Several sources have been proposed for the oxidizing compounds...

  9. Why do Martian Magmas erupt?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balta, J. B.; McSween, H. Y.

    2011-12-01

    Eruption of silicate lava, whether on Earth or another planet, requires that at some depth the melt has lower density than the surrounding rocks. As the densities of silicate liquids change during crystallization, whether a particular silicate liquid will erupt or be trapped at a level of neutral buoyancy is a complex yet fundamental issue for planetary dynamics. In general, 3 factors drive surface eruptions: inherent buoyancy relative to mantle phases, compositional evolution, and volatile contents. These factors manifest on Earth as terrestrial basalts commonly have compositions close to a density minimum [1]. Recent work has produced estimates of Martian parental magma compositions [2-5] based on shergottite meteorites and from Gusev crater. Using the MELTS algorithm [6] and other density calibrations, we simulated evolution of these liquids, focusing on density changes. For much of the crystallization path, density is controlled by FeO. All of the liquids begin with ρ ~ 2.8 g/cc at 1 bar, and the evolution of liquid density is controlled by the liquidus phases. At low pressures, olivine is the liquidus phase for each melt, and as FeO is not incompatible in olivine, olivine crystallization decreases liquid density, increasing buoyancy with crystallization. However, FeO is incompatible in pyroxene, and thus liquids crystallizing pyroxene become denser and less buoyant with crystallization, producing liquids with densities up to and above 3.0 g/cc. As the olivine-pyroxene saturation relationship is affected by pressure and chemistry, the identity of the liquidus phase and density evolution will vary between magmas. Without spreading centers, Mars has no location where the mantle approaches the surface, and it is likely that any magma which is denser than the crust will stall below or within that crust. The crystallization path of a liquid is a function of pressure, with pyroxene crystallizing first at P > 10 kbar (~80 km depth), close to the base of the Martian

  10. Martian methane and link with clathrates in the crust of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gloesener, Elodie; Karatekin, Ozgur; Dehant, Veronique

    2013-04-01

    The recent detection of methane in the Martian atmosphere (Krasnopolsky et al., 2004; Formisano et al., 2004; Geminale et al., 2008; Mumma et al., 2009; Fonti and Marzo, 2010) generated a large interest among the scientific community in particular because the source of this gas is still unknown and because it is a potential biomarker. Methane, observed at a level of 10 parts per billion and per volume, has a non-uniform distribution involving a photochemical lifetime of 200 days (Lefevre and Forget, 2009), smaller than the 300 years calculated by photochemical models. In addition, there is a correlation between the mixing ratio of water vapor and methane (Geminale et al., 2008). In order to explain this phenomenon, the existence of metastable clathrates decomposing in the atmosphere and releasing CH4 has been suggested (Chassefière, 2009). Clathrates are chemical compounds formed by the inclusion of gas molecules in the cavities of a water molecules network and are stable at high pressure and low temperature. In addition to the biological origin, often invoked to explain most of the methane on Earth, the Martian methane may also have been produced by hydrogeochemical or volcanic processes or may be the last traces of an amount brought by a meteoritic impact a few hundred or thousands years (Atreya et al., 2007). Methane could also come from the exposure to ultraviolet of meteorites falling continuously on the surface of Mars (Keppler et al., 2012). Although the process is very likely to occur on Mars, it does not produce all the expected amount of methane currently measured. Moreover, conditions in the Martian crust are favorable to the stability of methane clathrates. So CH4 emissions observed may also be due to the dissociation of the clathrates due to a change in temperature, pressure or composition. Current conditions of Mars do not allow them to be stable on the surface but they can remain stable in the crust if they were formed below a certain depth

  11. Cooling of the Martian thermosphere by CO$_2$ radiation and gravity waves: An intercomparison study with two general circulation models

    CERN Document Server

    Medvedev, Alexander S; Yiğit, Erdal; Feofilov, Artem G; Forget, François; Hartogh, Paul

    2015-01-01

    Observations show that the lower thermosphere of Mars ($\\sim$100--140 km) is up to 40 K colder than the current general circulation models (GCMs) can reproduce. Possible candidates for physical processes missing in the models are larger abundances of atomic oxygen facilitating stronger CO$_2$ radiative cooling, and thermal effects of gravity waves. Using two state-of-the-art Martian GCMs, the Laboratoire de M\\'et\\'eorologie Dynamique and Max Planck Institute models that self-consistently cover the atmosphere from the surface to the thermosphere, these physical mechanisms are investigated. Simulations demonstrate that the CO$_2$ radiative cooling with a sufficiently large atomic oxygen abundance, and the gravity wave-induced cooling can alone result in up to 40 K colder temperature in the lower thermosphere. Accounting for both mechanisms produce stronger cooling at high latitudes. However, radiative cooling effects peak above the mesopause, while gravity wave cooling rates continuously increase with height. A...

  12. Spectroscopic and Visual Evidence of Perchlorate Deliquescence Under Martian Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikolakakos, George; Whiteway, James

    2015-04-01

    One of the key findings during the Phoenix and Mars Science Laboratory landed Mars missions has been the detection of perchlorate, a highly deliquescent salt. Perchlorates are of great interest on Mars due to their high affinity for water vapour as well as their ability to greatly depress the freezing point of water when in solution. This has intriguing biological implications as resulting brines could potentially provide a habitable environment for living organisms. Additionally, it has been speculated that these salts may play a significant role in influencing the hydrological cycle on Mars. In order to experimentally study water exchange processes between the surface and atmosphere on Mars and assess the feasibility of a future landed detection tool, a stand-off Raman spectroscopy instrument and environmental simulation chamber have been developed at York University. A sample of magnesium perchlorate consistent with the size of patches found at the Phoenix site has been subjected to the low water vapour pressure and temperatures found at polar Martian latitudes. Results indicate that at a water vapour pressure of ~2 Pa (-54°C frost point temperature), Raman spectroscopy is able to detect the onset of brine formation and provide a relative estimate of the quantity of water taken up by the sample until complete deliquescence is reached. Significant uptake of water from the atmosphere is observed to occur prior to the frost point temperature being reached and on time scales relevant to the Martian diurnal cycle. This result suggests that perchlorates in the Martian regolith can contribute to the hydrological cycle, pre-emptively reducing the water vapour pressure before saturation is reached.

  13. Martian methane and stability of clathrates in the crust of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gloesener, E.; Karatekin, Ö.; Dehant, V.

    2013-09-01

    In recent years, methane was detected in the Martian atmosphere [4, 5, 6, 7, 9]. However, its origin is still unknown at present time and several mechanisms have been suggested to explain its presence on the red planet such as volcanic activity, contribution from meteorites and comets, photolysis of water in presence of carbon monoxide, hydrogeochemical processes or biological activity [1, 2]. Whatever the process of methane formation, past or present CH4 can be stored in clathrates. These chemical compounds formed by water and gas are stable in the Martian crust and could serve as methane reservoirs. A change in temperature or pressure can lead to the dissociation of clathrates and thus the release of the trapped gas. The stability zone of clathrates approach the Martian surface with increasing latitude. Seasonal and interannual thermal oscillations could therfore destabilize clathrates at high latitude and cause the release of methane.

  14. Structural and Radiation Shielding Properties of a Martian Habitat Material Synthesized From In-Situ Resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sen, S.; Caranza, S.; Bhattacharya, M.; Makel, D. B.

    2006-01-01

    The 2 primary requirements of a Martian habitat structure include sufficient structural integrity and effective radiation shielding. In addition, the capability to synthesize such building materials primarily from in-situ resources would significantly reduce the cost associated with transportation of such materials and structures from earth. To demonstrate the feasibility of such an approach we have fabricated samples in the laboratory using simulated in-situ resources, evaluated radiation shielding effectiveness using radiation transport codes and radiation test data, and conducted mechanical properties testing. In this paper we will present experimental results that demonstrate the synthesis of polyethylene from a simulated Martian atmosphere and the fabrication of a composite material using simulated Martian regolith with polyethylene as the binding material. Results from radiation transport calculations and data from laboratory radiation testing using a 500 MeV/nucleon Fe beam will be discussed. Mechanical properties of the proposed composite as a function of composition and processing parameters will also be presented.

  15. Multi-year investigation of flux ropes in the Martian ionosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, M. L.; Brain, D.; Halekas, J. S.; Eastwood, J. P.

    2011-12-01

    A magnetic flux rope is a collection of twisted magnetic field lines capable of transporting plasma from one region to another. Several studies report the occurrence of magnetic flux ropes in the Martian ionosphere [Cloutier et al., 1999; Vignes et al., 2004; Eastwood et al., 2008; Brain et al., 2010; Morgan et al., 2011]. Observations of a flux rope transporting ionospheric plasma away from Mars indicate that flux ropes could be an important means of atmospheric loss. Interestingly, there are at least three suggested flux rope formation mechanisms at Mars; the first is similar to Venus type events where the flux rope is formed via a shear related instability that occurs by interaction with the solar wind [Cloutier et al., 1999; Vignes et al., 2004]. The second mechanism is similar to plasmoid creation in the Earth's magnetotail, where the flux rope is created when the crustal fields stretch and shear due to interaction with the solar wind [Brain et al., 2010; Morgan et al., 2011]. The third flux rope formation mechanism is based on the identification of flux ropes near current sheets on the night side of Mars and likely created via collisionless magnetic reconnection [Eastwood et al., 2008]. Previous statistical surveys suggest that all three of these formation mechanisms are continuously active at Mars, but have had difficulty differentiating the three populations of flux ropes due to the spacecraft orbit or lack of events. We conducted a larger statistical study of the Martian flux ropes using two years of the MGS magnetic field and suprathermal electron datasets in the circular mapping orbit at ~400km. The purpose of this study is to collect a large dataset of events to characterize the flux rope formation mechanisms and study the relationship to solar cycle.

  16. The Importance and Current Limitations of Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL) Retrieval from Space for Land-Atmosphere Coupling Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santanello, J. A., Jr.; Schaefer, A.

    2016-12-01

    There is an established need for improved PBL remote sounding over land for hydrology, land-atmosphere (L-A), PBL, cloud/convection, pollution/chemistry studies and associated model evaluation and development. Most notably, the connection of surface hydrology (through soil moisture) to clouds and precipitation relies on proper quantification of water's transport through the coupled system, which is modulated strongly by PBL structure, growth, and feedback processes such as entrainment. In-situ (ground-based or radiosonde) measurements will be spatially limited to small field campaigns for the foreseeable future, so satellite data is a must in order to understand these processes globally. The scales of these applications require diurnal resolution (e.g. 3-hourly or finer) at PBL coupling and water and energy cycles at their native scales. Today's satellite sensors (e.g. advanced IR, GEO, lidar, GPS-RO) do not reach close to these targets in terms of accuracy or resolution, and each of these sensors has some advantages but even more limitations that make them impractical for PBL and L-A studies. Unfortunately, there is very little attention or planning (short or long-term) in place for improving lower tropospheric sounding over land, and as a result PBL and L-A interactions have been identified as `gaps' in current programmatic focal areas. It is therefore timely to assess how these technologies can be leveraged, combined, or evolved in order to form a dedicated mission or sub-mission to routinely monitor the PBL on diurnal timescales. In addition, improved PBL monitoring from space needs to be addressed in the next Decadal Survey. In this talk, the importance of PBL information (structure, evolution) for L-A coupling diagnostics and model development will be summarized. The current array of PBL retrieval methods and products from space will then be assessed in terms of meeting the needs of these models, diagnostics, and scales, with a look forward as to how this can

  17. Production of reactive oxygen species from abraded silicates. Implications for the reactivity of the Martian soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bak, Ebbe N.; Zafirov, Kaloyan; Merrison, Jonathan P.; Jensen, Svend J. Knak; Nørnberg, Per; Gunnlaugsson, Haraldur P.; Finster, Kai

    2017-09-01

    The results of the Labeled Release and the Gas Exchange experiments conducted on Mars by the Viking Landers show that compounds in the Martian soil can cause oxidation of organics and a release of oxygen in the presence of water. Several sources have been proposed for the oxidizing compounds, but none has been validated in situ and the cause of the observed oxidation has not been resolved. In this study, laboratory simulations of saltation were conducted to examine if and under which conditions wind abrasion of silicates, a process that is common on the Martian surface, can give rise to oxidants in the form of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and hydroxyl radicals (ṡOH). We found that silicate samples abraded in simulated Martian atmospheres gave rise to a significant production of H2O2 and ṡOH upon contact with water. Our experiments demonstrated that abraded silicates could lead to a production of H2O2 facilitated by atmospheric O2 and inhibited by carbon dioxide. Furthermore, during simulated saltation the silicate particles became triboelectrically charged and at pressures similar to the Martian surface pressure we observed glow discharges. Electrical discharges can cause dissociation of CO2 and through subsequent reactions lead to a production of H2O2. These results indicate that the reactions linked to electrical discharges are the dominant source of H2O2 during saltation of silicates in a simulated Martian atmosphere, given the low pressure and the relatively high concentration of CO2. Our experiments provide evidence that wind driven abrasion could enhance the reactivity of the Martian soil and thereby could have contributed to the oxidation of organic compounds and the O2 release observed in the Labeled Release and the Gas Exchange experiments. Furthermore, the release of H2O2 and ṡOH from abraded silicates could have a negative effect on the persistence of organic compounds in the Martian soil and the habitability of the Martian surface.

  18. Modeling of the Martian Environment for Radiation Analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    De Angelis, G. [Istituto Superiore di Sanit, Rome, I-00161 (Italy); Badavi, F.F. [Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA 23606 (United States); Blattnig, S.R.; Clowdsley, M.S. [NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA 23681 (United States); Nealy, J.E. [Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23508 (United States); Qualls, G.D.; Singleterry, R.C.; Tripathi, R.K.; Wilson, J.W. [NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA 23681 (United States)

    2007-04-15

    Results for the radiation environment to be found on the planet Mars due to Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) and Solar Particle Events (SPE) has been obtained. Primary particle environments computed for Martian conditions are transported within the Mars atmosphere, modeled in a time-dependent way in terms of density, pressure, and temperature vs. altitude, down to the surface, with topography and backscattering patterns taken into account. The atmospheric chemical and isotopic composition has been modeled over results from the in-situ Viking Lander measurements for both major and minor components. The surface topography has been determined by using a model based on the data provided by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) instrument on board the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft. The surface itself has been modeled in both the dry ('regolith') and volatile components. Mars regolith composition has been modeled based on the measurements obtained with orbiter and lander spacecraft from which an average composition has been derived. The volatile inventory properties, both in the regolith and in the seasonal and perennial polar caps, has been taken into account by modeling the deposition of volatiles and its variations with geography and time all throughout the Martian year, from results from imaging data of orbiter spacecraft. Results are given in terms of fluxes, doses and LET, for most kinds of particles, namely protons, neutrons, alpha particles, heavy ions, pions, and muons for various soil compositions.

  19. What SNC meteorites tell us about Martian magmatism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longhi, John; Pan, Vivian

    1987-01-01

    The SNC meteorites record relatively recent (less than b.y.) basaltic volcanism on a hydrous planet with a core. This much was known about Mars even before the Viking mission. The SNCs tell that the basalts were unusually low in Al2O3 and, despite overall similarities in major elements, apparently sampled two isotopically distinct regions of Mars: one is relatively depleted in incompatible elements (Nahklite source) with a U-Pb model age of 4.3 b.y. and is probably a portion of the upper Martian mantle, whereas the other is relatively enriched in incompatible elements (Shergottite source) with a 4.5 b.y. U-Pb age and is probably Martian crust assimulated into the mantle-derived Shergottite magma. The SNCs tell that the overall abundances of moderately volatile elements, such as alkalies, are higher on Mars than on earth. Given extensive volcanism and a depleted mantle, the present day absence of a thick atmosphere is more likely due to catastrophic removal of a primordial atmosphere than lack of degassing.

  20. Variability of the Martian thermosphere during eight Martian years as simulated by a ground-to-exosphere global circulation model

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Galindo, F.; López-Valverde, M. A.; Forget, F.; García-Comas, M.; Millour, E.; Montabone, L.

    2015-11-01

    Using a ground-to-exosphere general circulation model for Mars we have simulated the variability of the dayside temperatures at the exobase during eight Martian years (MY, from MY24 to MY31, approximately from 1998 to 2013), taking into account the observed day-to-day solar and dust load variability. We show that the simulated temperatures are in good agreement with the exospheric temperatures derived from Precise Orbit Determination of Mars Global Surveyor. We then study the effects of the solar variability and of two planetary-encircling dust storms on the simulated temperatures. The seasonal effect produced by the large eccentricity of the Martian orbit translates in an aphelion-to-perihelion temperature contrast in every simulated year. However, the magnitude of this seasonal temperature variation is strongly affected by the solar conditions, ranging from 50 K for years corresponding to solar minimum conditions to almost 140 K during the last solar maximum. The 27 day solar rotation cycle is observed on the simulated temperatures at the exobase, with average amplitude of the temperature oscillation of 2.6 K but with a significant interannual variability. These two results highlight the importance of taking into account the solar variability when simulating the Martian upper atmosphere and likely have important implications concerning the atmospheric escape rate. We also show that the global dust storms in MY25 and MY28 have a significant effect on the simulated temperatures. In general, they increase the exospheric temperatures over the low latitude and midlatitude regions and decrease them in the polar regions.

  1. Analysis of frozen salt solutions with laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy under Martian conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schröder, S.; Pavlov, S. G.; Hübers, H.-W.; Rauschenbach, I.; Jessberger, E. K.

    2010-05-01

    Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is a powerful analytical technique for determining the elemental composition of materials. It can be applied in-situ to geological surfaces on planetary missions. Since pure liquid water is unstable at the current surface conditions on Mars, i.e. low surface pressure and temperatures ranging from 140 K to 300 K, salt solutions or brines are of particular interest. It has been suggested that salts could stabilize liquid water on Mars lowering the freezing point of the solution and suppressing evaporation rates. The appropriate salts have been found on Mars in different locations. In this study LIBS is employed for the investigation of frozen sulphate and chloride solutions under Martian conditions in a dedicated simulation chamber. For the laboratory experiments, various salt solutions were prepared with different concentrations. To produce ice with only little inclusions of air, the samples were degassed before freezing them in a copper container. The measurements were performed at 240 K by cooling with liquid nitrogen and controlled heating. A constant flow of a Martian atmosphere-like gas mixture at a pressure of approximately 6 hPa was maintained through the chamber during the measurements. A Q-switched Nd:YAG laser operating at 1064nm and at 10 Hz was used to ablate material and to generate a plasma on the frozen sample's surface. The emitted light of the plasma was collected into the entrance slit of an echelle spectrometer (LTB Aryelle Butterfly) by a toroid mirror. A time-gated ICCD camera (Andor) at the exit of the spectrometer recorded the plasma emission signal. The laser beam was focused at a new position for each measurement. The delay time and the integration time of the spectrometer have been optimized to obtain good signal-to-noise ratios up to 150 while at the same time not losing signals from fast recombining ions. First, the spectra of several frozen salt solutions were investigated qualitatively

  2. Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy for analysis of frozen salt solutions under Martian conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schröder, Susanne; Pavlov, Sergey; Hübers, Heinz-Wilhelm; Rauschenbach, Isabelle; Jessberger, Elmar K.

    Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is a powerful analytical technique for determin-ing the elemental composition of materials. It can be applied in-situ to geological surfaces on planetary missions. Since pure liquid water is unstable at the current surface conditions on Mars, i.e. low surface pressure and temperatures ranging from 140 K to 300 K, salt solutions or brines are of particular interest. It has been suggested that salts could stabilize liquid water on Mars lowering the freezing point of the solution and suppressing evaporation rates. The ap-propriate salts have been found on Mars in different locations. In this study LIBS is employed for the investigation of frozen sulphate and chloride solutions under Martian conditions in a dedicated simulation chamber. For the laboratory experiments, various salt solutions were prepared with different concen-trations. To produce ice with only little inclusions of air, the samples were degassed before freezing them in a copper container. The measurements were performed at 240 K by cooling with liquid nitrogen and controlled heating. A constant flow of a Martian atmosphere-like gas mixture at a pressure of approximately 6 hPa was maintained through the chamber during the measurements. A Q-switched Nd:YAG laser operating at 1064nm and at 10 Hz was used to ablate material and to generate a plasma on the frozen sample's surface. The emitted light of the plasma was collected into the entrance slit of an echelle spectrometer (LTB Aryelle But-terfly) by a toroid mirror. A time-gated ICCD camera (Andor) at the exit of the spectrometer recorded the plasma emission signal. The laser beam was focused at a new position for each measurement. The delay time and the integration time of the spectrometer have been optimized to obtain good signal-to-noise ratios up to 150 while at the same time not losing signals from fast recombining ions. First, the spectra of several frozen salt solutions were investigated qualitatively

  3. A Comet Engulfs Mars: MAVEN Observations of Comet Siding Spring's Influence on the Martian Magnetosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espley, Jared R.; Dibraccio, Gina A.; Connerney, John E. P.; Brain, David; Gruesbeck, Jacob; Soobiah, Yasir; Halekas, Jasper S.; Combi, Michael; Luhmann, Janet; Ma, Yingjuan

    2015-01-01

    The nucleus of comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) passed within 141,000?km of Mars on 19 October 2014. Thus, the cometary coma and the plasma it produces washed over Mars for several hours producing significant effects in the Martian magnetosphere and upper atmosphere. We present observations from Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN's (MAVEN's) particles and field's instruments that show the Martian magnetosphere was severely distorted during the comet's passage. We note four specific major effects: (1) a variable induced magnetospheric boundary, (2) a strong rotation of the magnetic field as the comet approached, (3) severely distorted and disordered ionospheric magnetic fields during the comet's closest approach, and (4) unusually strong magnetosheath turbulence lasting hours after the comet left. We argue that the comet produced effects comparable to that of a large solar storm (in terms of incident energy) and that our results are therefore important for future studies of atmospheric escape, MAVEN's primary science objective.

  4. Trial Production and Evaluation of Solar Cells Optimized for Solar Spectrum in Mars Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toyota, Hiroyuki; Shimada, Takanobu; Takahashi, Yu; Oyama, Akira; Washio, Hidetoshi

    2014-08-01

    We describe the production and evaluation of a prototype of an inverted metamorphic triple-junction (IMM3J) solar cell optimized for the solar spectrum on the surface of Mars. High-efficiency, flexible, lightweight solar panels containing IMM3J solar cells are promising power sources for Mars surface explorers such as rovers, landers, and airplanes. The intensity of sunlight at the Martian surface substantially decreases at wavelengths shorter than 700 nm because of absorption and scattering by the atmosphere. This decreases the output current of the InGaP top cells in state-of-the-art IMM3J solar cells, and thus decreases the overall output current. Therefore, solar cells for Mars surface explorers need to be optimized for the solar spectrum at the Martian surface. We modified IMM3J solar cells in two ways to increase the output power. We increased the thickness of the InGaP top cell to increase the light absorption, which increased the output current of the entire cell. We also increased the band gap energy of the InGaAs bottom cell by trimming the surplus current, in order to increase the output voltage. In the simulated Martian solar spectrum, the performance of the prototype solar cells was higher than that of IMM3J solar cells designed for the AM0 spectrum.

  5. Coupled atmosphere-mixed layer ocean response to ocean heat flux convergence along the Kuroshio current extension

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kwon, Young-Oh [Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Physical Oceanography Department, Woods Hole, MA (United States); Deser, Clara [National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States); Cassou, Christophe [CNRS-CERFACS, Toulouse (France)

    2011-06-15

    The winter response of the coupled atmosphere-ocean mixed layer system to anomalous geostrophic ocean heat flux convergence in the Kuroshio Extension is investigated by means of experiments with an atmospheric general circulation model coupled to an entraining ocean mixed layer model in the extra-tropics. The direct response consists of positive SST anomalies along the Kuroshio Extension and a baroclinic (low-level trough and upper-level ridge) circulation anomaly over the North Pacific. The low-level component of this atmospheric circulation response is weaker in the case without coupling to an extratropical ocean mixed layer, especially in late winter. The inclusion of an interactive mixed layer in the tropics modifies the direct coupled atmospheric response due to a northward displacement of the Pacific Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone which drives an equivalent barotropic anomalous ridge over the North Pacific. Although the tropically driven component of the North Pacific atmospheric circulation response is comparable to the direct response in terms of sea level pressure amplitude, it is less important in terms of wind stress curl amplitude due to the mitigating effect of the relatively broad spatial scale of the tropically forced atmospheric teleconnection. (orig.)

  6. Geophysics of Martian Periglacial Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mellon, Michael T.

    2004-01-01

    Through the examination of small-scale geologic features potentially related to water and ice in the martian subsurface (specifically small-scale polygonal ground and young gully-like features), determine the state, distribution and recent history of subsurface water and ice on Mars. To refine existing models and develop new models of near-surface water and ice, and develop new insights about the nature of water on Mars as manifested by these geologic features. Through an improved understanding of potentially water-related geologic features, utilize these features in addressing questions about where to best search for present day water and what space craft may encounter that might facilitate or inhibit the search for water.

  7. Manganese, Metallogenium, and Martian Microfossils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, L. Y.; Nealson, K. H.

    1999-01-01

    Manganese could easily be considered an abundant element in the Martian regolith, assuming that the composition of martian meteorites reflects the composition of the planet. Mineralogical analyses of 5 SNC meteorites have revealed an average manganese oxide concentration of 0.48%, relative to the 0.1% concentration of manganese found in the Earth's crust. On the Earth, the accumulation of manganese oxides in oceans, soils, rocks, sedimentary ores, fresh water systems, and hydrothermal vents can be largely attributed to microbial activity. Manganese is also a required trace nutrient for most life forms and participates in many critical enzymatic reactions such as photosynthesis. The wide-spread process of bacterial manganese cycling on Earth suggests that manganese is an important element to both geology and biology. Furthermore, there is evidence that bacteria can be fossilized within manganese ores, implying that manganese beds may be good repositories for preserved biomarkers. A particular genus of bacteria, known historically as Metallogenium, can form star-shaped manganese oxide minerals (called metallogenium) through the action of manganese oxide precipitation along its surface. Fossilized structures that resemble metallogenium have been found in Precambrian sedimentary formations and in Cretaceous-Paleogene cherts. The Cretaceous-Paleogene formations are highly enriched in manganese and have concentrations of trace elements (Fe, Zn, Cu, and Co) similar to modern-day manganese oxide deposits in marine environments. The appearance of metallogenium-like fossils associated with manganese deposits suggests that bacteria may be preserved within the minerals that they form. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  8. Advanced concept for a crewed mission to the martian moons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conte, Davide; Di Carlo, Marilena; Budzyń, Dorota; Burgoyne, Hayden; Fries, Dan; Grulich, Maria; Heizmann, Sören; Jethani, Henna; Lapôtre, Mathieu; Roos, Tobias; Castillo, Encarnación Serrano; Schermann, Marcel; Vieceli, Rhiannon; Wilson, Lee; Wynard, Christopher

    2017-10-01

    This paper presents the conceptual design of the IMaGInE (Innovative Mars Global International Exploration) Mission. The mission's objectives are to deliver a crew of four astronauts to the surface of Deimos and perform a robotic exploration mission to Phobos. Over the course of the 343 day mission during the years 2031 and 2032, the crew will perform surface excursions, technology demonstrations, In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) of the Martian moons, as well as site reconnaissance for future human exploration of Mars. This mission design makes use of an innovative hybrid propulsion concept (chemical and electric) to deliver a relatively low-mass reusable crewed spacecraft (approximately 100 mt) to cis-martian space. The crew makes use of torpor which minimizes launch payload mass. Green technologies are proposed as a stepping stone towards minimum environmental impact space access. The usage of beamed energy to power a grid of decentralized science stations is introduced, allowing for large scale characterization of the Martian environment. The low-thrust outbound and inbound trajectories are computed through the use of a direct method and a multiple shooting algorithm that considers various thrust and coast sequences to arrive at the final body with zero relative velocity. It is shown that the entire mission is rooted within the current NASA technology roadmap, ongoing scientific investments and feasible with an extrapolated NASA Budget. The presented mission won the 2016 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts - Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) competition.

  9. Magnesium Based Rockets for Martian Exploration Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — In the proposed Phase II program, we will continue the development of Mg bipropellant rockets for Martian PAV applications. In Phase I, we proved the feasibility of...

  10. Robust Automated Identification of Martian Impact Craters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stepinski, T. F.; Mendenhall, M. P.; Bue, B. D.

    2007-03-01

    Robust automatic identification of martian craters is achieved by a computer algorithm acting on topographic data. The algorithm outperforms manual counts; derived crater sizes and depths are comparable to those measured manually.

  11. Phosphates and Carbon in Martian Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mojzsis, Stephen J.

    2000-01-01

    This paper proposes tests for exobiological examination of samples prior to obtaining martian rocks of known provenance via future sample-return missions. If we assume that all of the secondary minerals in martian meteorite ET79001 were indeed cogenetic and originate from Mars, we list conclusions that can be drawn that are of exobiological interest. This work serves as a preamble for the subsequent work listed below.

  12. Martian Cryogenic Carbonate Formation: Stable Isotope Variations Observed in Laboratory Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Socki, Richard A.; Niles, Paul B.; Sun, Tao; Fu, Qi; Romanek, Christopher S.; Gibson, Everett K. Jr.

    2014-01-01

    The history of water on Mars is tied to the formation of carbonates through atmospheric CO2 and its control of the climate history of the planet. Carbonate mineral formation under modern martian atmospheric conditions could be a critical factor in controlling the martian climate in a means similar to the rock weathering cycle on Earth. The combination of evidence for liquid water on the martian surface and cold surface conditions suggest fluid freezing could be very common on the surface of Mars. Cryogenic calcite forms easily from freezing solutions when carbon dioxide degasses quickly from Ca-bicarbonate-rich water, a process that has been observed in some terrestrial settings such as arctic permafrost cave deposits, lake beds of the Dry Valleys of Antarctica, and in aufeis (river icings) from rivers of N.E. Alaska. A series of laboratory experiments were conducted that simulated cryogenic carbonate formation on Mars in order to understand their isotopic systematics. The results indicate that carbonates grown under martian conditions show variable enrichments from starting bicarbonate fluids in both carbon and oxygen isotopes beyond equilibrium values.

  13. Effects of shock and Martian alteration on Tissint hydrogen isotope ratios and water content

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallis, L. J.; Huss, G. R.; Nagashima, K.; Taylor, G. J.; Stöffler, D.; Smith, C. L.; Lee, M. R.

    2017-03-01

    The Tissint meteorite, a picritic shergottite, fell to Earth in Morocco on the 18th of July 2011, and is only the fifth Martian meteorite witnessed to fall. Hydrogen isotope ratios and water contents are variable within different minerals in Tissint. Ringwoodite and shock melt pockets contain elevated D/H ratios relative to terrestrial values (δD = 761-4224‰). These high ratios in recrystallized phases indicate significant implantation of hydrogen from the D-rich Martian atmosphere during shock. In contrast, although olivine has detectable water abundances (230-485 ppm), it exhibits much lower D/H ratios (δD = +88 to -150‰), suggesting this water was not implanted from the Martian atmosphere. The minimal terrestrial weathering experienced by Tissint gives confidence that the olivine-hosted water has a Martian origin, but its high concentration indicates direct inheritance from the parental melt is improbable, especially given the low pressure of olivine crystallisation. Incorporation of a low δD crustal fluid, or deuteric alteration during crystallisation, could explain the relatively high water contents and low D/H ratios in Tissint olivine.

  14. ACS experiment for atmospheric studies on "ExoMars-2016" Orbiter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korablev, O. I.; Montmessin, F.; Fedorova, A. A.; Ignatiev, N. I.; Shakun, A. V.; Trokhimovskiy, A. V.; Grigoriev, A. V.; Anufreichik, K. A.; Kozlova, T. O.

    2015-12-01

    ACS is a set of spectrometers for atmospheric studies (Atmospheric Chemistry Suite). It is one of the Russian instruments for the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) of the Russian-European "ExoMars" program. The purpose of the experiment is to study the Martian atmosphere by means of two observations regimes: sensitive trace gases measurements in solar occultations and by monitoring the atmospheric state during nadir observations. The experiment will allow us to approach global problems of Mars research such as current volcanism, and the modern climate status and its evolution. Also, the experiment is intended to solve the mystery of methane presence in the Martian atmosphere. Spectrometers of the ACS set cover the spectral range from the near IR-range (0.7 μm) to the thermal IR-range (17 μm) with spectral resolution λ/Δλ reaching 50000. The ACS instrument consists of three independent IR spectrometers and an electronics module, all integrated in a single unit with common mechanical, electrical and thermal interfaces. The article gives an overview of scientific tasks and presents the concept of the experiment.

  15. Morphogenesis of Antarctic Paleosols: Martian Analogue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaney, W. C.; Dohm, J. M.; Baker, V. R.; Newsom, Horton E.; Malloch, D.; Hancock, R. G. V.; Campbell, Iain; Sheppard, D.; Milner, M. W.

    2001-11-01

    Samples of horizons in paleosols from the Quartermain Mountains of the Antarctic Dry Valleys (Aztec and New Mountain areas) were analyzed for their physical characteristics, mineralogy, chemical composition, and microbiology to determine the accumulation and movement of salts and other soluble constituents and the presence/absence of microbial populations. Salt concentrations are of special interest because they are considered to be a function of age, derived over time, in part from nearby oceanic and high-altitude atmospheric sources. The chemical composition of ancient Miocene-age paleosols in these areas is the direct result of the deposition and weathering of airborne-influxed salts and other materials, as well as the weathering of till derived principally from local dolerite and sandstone outcrops. Paleosols nearer the coast have greater contents of Cl, whereas near the inland ice sheet, nitrogen tends to increase on a relative basis. The accumulation and vertical distribution of salts and other soluble chemical elements indicate relative amounts of movement in the profile over long periods of time, in the order of several million years. Four of the six selected subsamples from paleosol horizons in two ancient soil profiles contained nil concentrations of bacteria and fungi. However, two horizons at depths of between 3 and 8 cm, in two profiles, yielded several colonies of the fungi Beauveria bassiana and Penicillium brevicompactum, indicating very minor input of organic carbon. Beauveria bassiana is often reported in association with insects and is used commercially for the biological control of some insect pests. Penicillium species are commonly isolated from Arctic, temperate, and tropical soils and are known to utilize a wide variety of organic carbon and nitrogen compounds. The cold, dry soils of the Antarctic bear a close resemblance to various present and past martian environments where similar weathering could occur and possible microbial populations

  16. Explaining the Birth of the Martian Moons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-09-01

    led to the formation of large clumps, which eventually agglomerated to form Phobos and Deimos.The authors find that Phobos and Deimos most likely formed in the outer regions of the accretion disk that was created by a large impact with Mars. [Adapted from Ronnet et al. 2016]In the study conducted by Ronnet, Vernazza, and collaborators, the authors investigated the composition and texture of the dust that would have crystallized in an impact-generated accretion disk making up Marss moons. They find that Phobos and Deimos could not have formed out of the extremely hot, magma-filled inner regions of such a disk, because this would have resulted in different compositions than we observe.Phobos and Deimos could have formed, however, in the very outer part of an impact-generated accretion disk, where the hot gas condensed directly into small solid grains instead of passing through the magma phase. Accretion of such tiny grains would naturally explain the similarity in physical properties we observe between Marss moons and some main-belt asteroids and yet this picture is also consistent with the moons current orbital parameters.The authors argue that the formation of the Martian moons from the outer regions of an impact-generated accretion disk is therefore a plausible scenario, neatly reconciling the observed physical properties of Phobos and Diemos with their orbital properties.CitationT. Ronnet et al 2016 ApJ 828 109. doi:10.3847/0004-637X/828/2/109

  17. Pesticides in the atmosphere: a comparison of gas-particle partitioning and particle size distribution of legacy and current-use pesticides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Degrendele, C.; Okonski, K.; Melymuk, L.; Landlová, L.; Kukučka, P.; Audy, O.; Kohoutek, J.; Čupr, P.; Klánová, J.

    2016-02-01

    This study presents a comparison of seasonal variation, gas-particle partitioning, and particle-phase size distribution of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and current-use pesticides (CUPs) in air. Two years (2012/2013) of weekly air samples were collected at a background site in the Czech Republic using a high-volume air sampler. To study the particle-phase size distribution, air samples were also collected at an urban and rural site in the area of Brno, Czech Republic, using a cascade impactor separating atmospheric particulates according to six size fractions. Major differences were found in the atmospheric distribution of OCPs and CUPs. The atmospheric concentrations of CUPs were driven by agricultural activities while secondary sources such as volatilization from surfaces governed the atmospheric concentrations of OCPs. Moreover, clear differences were observed in gas-particle partitioning; CUP partitioning was influenced by adsorption onto mineral surfaces while OCPs were mainly partitioning to aerosols through absorption. A predictive method for estimating the gas-particle partitioning has been derived and is proposed for polar and non-polar pesticides. Finally, while OCPs and the majority of CUPs were largely found on fine particles, four CUPs (carbendazim, isoproturon, prochloraz, and terbuthylazine) had higher concentrations on coarse particles ( > 3.0 µm), which may be related to the pesticide application technique. This finding is particularly important and should be further investigated given that large particles result in lower risks from inhalation (regardless the toxicity of the pesticide) and lower potential for long-range atmospheric transport.

  18. Widespread loess-like deposit in the Martian northern lowlands identifies Middle Amazonian climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skinner, James A.; Tanaka, Kenneth L.; Thomas Platz,

    2014-01-01

    Consistently mappable units critical to distinguishing the style and interplay of geologic processes through time are sparse in the Martian lowlands. This study identifies a previously unmapped Middle Amazonian (ca. 1 Ga) unit (Middle Amazonian lowland unit, mAl) that postdates the Late Hesperian and Early Amazonian lowland plains by >2 b.y. The unit is regionally defined by subtle marginal scarps and slopes, has a mean thickness of 32 m, and extends >3.1 × 106 km2 between lat 35°N and 80°N. Pedestal-type craterforms and nested, arcuate ridges (thumbprint terrain) tend to occur adjacent to unit mAl outcrops, suggesting that current outcrops are vestiges of a more extensive deposit that previously covered ∼16 × 106 km2. Exposed layers, surface pits, and the draping of subjacent landforms allude to a sedimentary origin, perhaps as a loess-like deposit emplaced rhythmically through atmospheric fallout. We propose that unit mAl accumulated coevally with, and at the expense of, the erosion of the north polar basal units, identifying a major episode of Middle Amazonian climate-driven sedimentation in the lowlands. This work links ancient sedimentary processes to climate change that occurred well before those implied by current orbital and spin axis models.

  19. Is the Electron Avalanche Process in a Martian Dust Devil Self-Quenching?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrell, William M.; McLain, Jason L.; Collier, M. R.; Keller, J. W.; Jackson, T. J.; Delory, G. T.

    2015-01-01

    Viking era laboratory experiments show that mixing tribocharged grains in a low pressure CO2 gas can form a discharge that glows, indicating the presence of an excited electron population that persists over many seconds. Based on these early experiments, it has been predicted that martian dust devils and storms may also contain a plasma and new plasma chemical species as a result of dust grain tribo-charging. However, recent results from modeling suggest a contrasting result: that a sustained electron discharge may not be easily established since the increase in gas conductivity would act to short-out the local E-fields and quickly dissipate the charged grains driving the process. In essence, the system was thought to be self-quenching (i.e., turn itself off). In this work, we attempt to reconcile the difference between observation and model via new laboratory measurements. We conclude that in a Mars-like low pressure CO2 atmosphere and expected E-fields, the electron current remains (for the most part) below the expected driving tribo-electric dust currents (approx. 10 microA/m(exp. 2)), thereby making quenching unlikely.

  20. Modeling the variations of Dose Rate measured by RAD during the first MSL Martian year: 2012-2014

    CERN Document Server

    Guo, Jingnan; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert F; Rafkin, Scot; Hassler, Donald M; Posner, Arik; Heber, Bernd; Koehler, Jan; Ehresmann, Bent; Appel, Jan K; Boehm, Eckart; Boettcher, Stephan; Burmeister, Soenke; Brinza, David E; Lohf, Henning; Martin, Cesar; Kahanpaeae, H; Reitz, Guenther

    2015-01-01

    The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD), on board Mars Science Laboratory's (MSL) rover Curiosity, measures the {energy spectra} of both energetic charged and neutral particles along with the radiation dose rate at the surface of Mars. With these first-ever measurements on the Martian surface, RAD observed several effects influencing the galactic cosmic ray (GCR) induced surface radiation dose concurrently: [a] short-term diurnal variations of the Martian atmospheric pressure caused by daily thermal tides, [b] long-term seasonal pressure changes in the Martian atmosphere, and [c] the modulation of the primary GCR flux by the heliospheric magnetic field, which correlates with long-term solar activity and the rotation of the Sun. The RAD surface dose measurements, along with the surface pressure data and the solar modulation factor, are analysed and fitted to empirical models which quantitatively demonstrate} how the long-term influences ([b] and [c]) are related to the measured dose rates. {Correspondingly we ...

  1. Nature of the Martian surface as inferred from the particle-size distribution of lunar-surface material.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, C. C.

    1971-01-01

    Analysis of lunar particle size distribution data indicates that the surface material is composed of two populations. One population is caused by comminution from the impact of the larger-sized meteorites, while the other population is caused by the melting of fine material by the impact of smaller-sized meteorites. The results are referred to Mars, and it is shown that the Martian atmosphere would vaporize the smaller incoming meteorites and retard the incoming meteorites of intermediate and large size, causing comminution and stirring of the particulate layer. The combination of comminution and stirring would result in fine material being sorted out by the prevailing circulation of the Martian atmosphere and the material being transported to regions where it could be deposited. As a result, the Martian surface in regions of prevailing upward circulation is probably covered by either a rubble layer or by desert pavement; regions of prevailing downward circulation are probably covered by sand dunes.

  2. Lunar Mare Basalts as Analogues for Martian Volcanic Compositions: Evidence from Visible, Near-IR, and Thermal Emission Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graff, T. G.; Morris, R. V.; Christensen, P. R.

    2003-01-01

    The lunar mare basalts potentially provide a unique sample suite for understanding the nature of basalts on the martian surface. Our current knowledge of the mineralogical and chemical composition of the basaltic material on Mars comes from studies of the basaltic martian meteorites and from orbital and surface remote sensing observations. Petrographic observations of basaltic martian meteorites (e.g., Shergotty, Zagami, and EETA79001) show that the dominant phases are pyroxene (primarily pigeonite and augite), maskelynite (a diaplectic glass formed from plagioclase by shock), and olivine [1,2]. Pigeonite, a low calcium pyroxene, is generally not found in abundance in terrestrial basalts, but does often occur on the Moon [3]. Lunar samples thus provide a means to examine a variety of pigeonite-rich basalts that also have bulk elemental compositions (particularly low-Ti Apollo 15 mare basalts) that are comparable to basaltic SNC meteorites [4,5]. Furthermore, lunar basalts may be mineralogically better suited as analogues of the martian surface basalts than the basaltic martian meteorites because the plagioclase feldspar in the basaltic Martian meteorites, but not in the lunar surface basalts, is largely present as maskelynite [1,2]. Analysis of lunar mare basalts my also lead to additional endmember spectra for spectral libraries. This is particularly important analysis of martian thermal emission spectra, because the spectral library apparently contains a single pigeonite spectrum derived from a synthetic sample [6].

  3. Pathways of PFOA to the Arctic: variabilities and contributions of oceanic currents and atmospheric transport and chemistry sources

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Stemmler

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA and other perfluorinated compounds are industrial chemicals in use for decades which resist degradation in the environment and seem to accumulate in polar regions. Transport of PFOA was modeled using a spatially resolved global multicompartment model including fully coupled three-dimensional ocean and atmosphere general circulation models, and two-dimensional top soil, vegetation surfaces, and sea ice compartments. In addition to primary emissions, the formation of PFOA in the atmosphere from degradation of 8:2 fluorotelomer alcohol was included as a PFOA source. Oceanic transport, delivered 14.8±5.0 (8–23 t a−1 to the Arctic, strongly influenced by changes in water transport, which determined its interannual variability. This pathway constituted the dominant source of PFOA to the Arctic. Formation of PFOA in the atmosphere led to episodic transport events (timescale of days into the Arctic with small spatial extent. Deposition in the polar region was found to be dominated by wet deposition over land, and shows maxima in boreal winter. The total atmospheric deposition of PFOA in the Arctic in the 1990s was ≈1 t a−1, much higher than previously estimated, and is dominated by primary emissions rather than secondary formation.

  4. Pathways of PFOA to the Arctic: variabilities and contributions of oceanic currents and atmospheric transport and chemistry sources

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Stemmler

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA and other perfluorinated compounds are industrial chemicals in use since decades which resist degradation in the environment and seem to accumulate in polar regions. Transport of PFOA was modeled using a spatially resolved global multicompartment model including fully coupled three-dimensional ocean and atmosphere general circulation models, and two-dimensional top soil, vegetation surfaces, and sea ice compartments. In addition to primary emissions, the formation of PFOA in the atmosphere from degradation of 8:2 fluorotelomer alcohol was included as a PFOA source. Oceanic transport, delivered 14.8±5.0 (8–23 t a−1 to the Arctic, strongly influenced by changes in water transport, which determined its interannual variability. This pathway constituted the dominant source of PFOA to the Arctic. Formation of PFOA in the atmosphere lead to episodic transport events (timescale of days into the Arctic with small spatial extent. Deposition in the polar region was found to be dominated by wet deposition over land, and shows maxima in boreal winter. The total atmospheric deposition of PFOA in the Arctic in the 1990s was ≈1 t a−1, much higher than previously estimated, and is dominated by primary emissions rather than secondarily formed.

  5. Advanced Curation: Solving Current and Future Sample Return Problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fries, M.; Calaway, M.; Evans, C.; McCubbin, F.

    2015-01-01

    Advanced Curation is a wide-ranging and comprehensive research and development effort at NASA Johnson Space Center that identifies and remediates sample related issues. For current collections, Advanced Curation investigates new cleaning, verification, and analytical techniques to assess their suitability for improving curation processes. Specific needs are also assessed for future sample return missions. For each need, a written plan is drawn up to achieve the requirement. The plan draws while upon current Curation practices, input from Curators, the analytical expertise of the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) team, and suitable standards maintained by ISO, IEST, NIST and other institutions. Additionally, new technologies are adopted on the bases of need and availability. Implementation plans are tested using customized trial programs with statistically robust courses of measurement, and are iterated if necessary until an implementable protocol is established. Upcoming and potential NASA missions such as OSIRIS-REx, the Asteroid Retrieval Mission (ARM), sample return missions in the New Frontiers program, and Mars sample return (MSR) all feature new difficulties and specialized sample handling requirements. The Mars 2020 mission in particular poses a suite of challenges since the mission will cache martian samples for possible return to Earth. In anticipation of future MSR, the following problems are among those under investigation: What is the most efficient means to achieve the less than 1.0 ng/sq cm total organic carbon (TOC) cleanliness required for all sample handling hardware? How do we maintain and verify cleanliness at this level? The Mars 2020 Organic Contamination Panel (OCP) predicts that organic carbon, if present, will be present at the "one to tens" of ppb level in martian near-surface samples. The same samples will likely contain wt% perchlorate salts, or approximately 1,000,000x as much perchlorate oxidizer as organic carbon

  6. Survivability of Psychrobacter cryohalolentis K5 Under Simulated Martian Surface Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, David J.; Schuerger, Andrew C.; Davidson, Mark M.; Pacala, Stephen W.; Bakermans, Corien; Onstott, Tullis C.

    2009-03-01

    Spacecraft launched to Mars can retain viable terrestrial microorganisms on board that may survive the interplanetary transit. Such biota might compromise the search for life beyond Earth if capable of propagating on Mars. The current study explored the survivability of Psychrobacter cryohalolentis K5, a psychrotolerant microorganism obtained from a Siberian permafrost cryopeg, under simulated martian surface conditions of high ultraviolet irradiation, high desiccation, low temperature, and low atmospheric pressure. First, a desiccation experiment compared the survival of P. cryohalolentis cells embedded, or not embedded, within a medium/salt matrix (MSM) maintained at 25°C for 24 h within a laminar flow hood. Results indicate that the presence of the MSM enhanced survival of the bacterial cells by 1 to 3 orders of magnitude. Second, tests were conducted in a Mars Simulation Chamber to determine the UV tolerance of the microorganism. No viable vegetative cells of P. cryohalolentis were detected after 8 h of exposure to Mars-normal conditions of 4.55 W/m2 UVC irradiation (200-280 nm), -12.5°C, 7.1 mbar, and a Mars gas mix composed of CO2 (95.3%), N2 (2.7%), Ar (1.6%), O2 (0.2%), and H2O (0.03%). Third, an experiment was conducted within the Mars chamber in which total atmospheric opacities were simulated at τ = 0.1 (dust-free CO2 atmosphere at 7.1 mbar), 0.5 (normal clear sky with 0.4 = dust opacity and 0.1 = CO2-only opacity), and 3.5 (global dust storm) to determine the survivability of P. cryohalolentis to partially shielded UVC radiation. The survivability of the bacterium increased with the level of UVC attenuation, though population levels still declined several orders of magnitude compared to UVC-absent controls over an 8 h exposure period.

  7. Optical properties of the atmospheric pressure helium plasma jet generated by alternative current (a.c.) power supply

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilik, Erkan; Akan, Tamer

    2016-05-01

    In this work, an atmospheric pressure plasma jet (APPJ) was produced to generate cold flowing post-discharge plasma of pure helium gas. The main aim of this study was to generate cold flowing APPJ of pure helium gas and to determine how their optical emission spectrum change influences varying different flow rates. Lengths of early, middle, and late post-discharge plasma (jet) regions and their fluctuations were determined, respectively. Then, ignition condition dependence of the post-discharge plasma for flow rate was specified at a constant voltage. Spectroscopic studies of an atmospheric pressure plasma jet of helium were presented via analyzing OH, N2, N2+, oxygen, and helium intensities for various flow rates.

  8. Recovery of Minerals in Martian Soils Via Supercritical Fluid Extraction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debelak, Kenneth A.; Roth, John A.

    2001-03-01

    We are investigating the use of supercritical fluids to extract mineral and/or carbonaceous material from Martian surface soils and its igneous crust. Two candidate supercritical fluids are carbon dioxide and water. The Martian atmosphere is composed mostly of carbon dioxide (approx. 95.3%) and could therefore provide an in-situ source of carbon dioxide. Water, although present in the Martian atmosphere at only approx. 0.03%, is also a candidate supercritical solvent. Previous work done with supercritical fluids has focused primarily on their solvating properties with organic compounds. Interestingly, the first work reported by Hannay and Hogarth at a meeting of the Royal Society of London in 1879 observed that increasing or decreasing the pressure caused several inorganic salts e.g., cobalt chloride, potassium iodide, and potassium bromide, to dissolve or precipitate in supercritical ethanol. In high-pressure boilers, silica, present in most boiler feed waters, is dissolved in supercritical steam and transported as dissolved silica to the turbine blades. As the pressure is reduced the silica precipitates onto the turbine blades eventually requiring the shutdown of the generator. In supercritical water oxidation processes for waste treatment, dissolved salts present a similar problem. The solubility of silicon dioxide (SiO2) in supercritical water is shown. The solubility curve has a shape characteristic of supercritical systems. At a high pressure (greater than 1750 atmospheres) increasing the temperature results in an increase in solubility of silica, while at low pressures, less than 400 atm., the solubility decreases as temperature increases. There are only a few studies in the literature where supercritical fluids are used in extractive metallurgy. Bolt modified the Mond process in which supercritical carbon monoxide was used to produce nickel carbonyl (Ni(CO)4). Tolley and Tester studied the solubility of titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4) in supercritical CO2

  9. The Martian Radiation Environment Experiment -- Results and Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeitlin, C.; Cleghorn, T. F.; Cucinotta, F. A.; Saganti, P.; Andersen, V.; Lee, K. T.; Pinsky, L. S.; Atwell, W.; Turner, R.

    2004-05-01

    Ionizing radiation in space presents a potentially serious health hazard to astronauts on long-duration missions. Missions that take humans outside the geomagnetosphere (which provides significant shielding for crews in low-Earth orbit) are of particular concern. A mission to Mars would expose a crew to a substantial radiation dose from high-energy heavy ions in the Galactic Cosmic Radiation (GCR). Though not expected to cause acute effects, such exposures might endanger the long-term health of crewmembers, leading to increased risk of late effects such as cancer and cataract. Since the biological effects of these ions are not well understood, NASA cannot yet specify career limits for deep-space missions. While ground-based research in radiobiology continues, it is necessary to characterize the radiation field on the Martian surface. This is determined by the radiation incident on the top of the Martian atmosphere, the transmission properties of the atmosphere, and the production of secondary particles (neutrons in particular) in the upper part of the surface. The Martian Radiation Environment Experiment (MARIE), aboard the 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft, has returned the first detailed measurements of the radiation field incident on the atmosphere. MARIE consists of a stack of silicon charged-particle detectors, designed to measure the nearly-constant flux of energetic Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) and intermittent Solar Particle Events (SPE). The detector is optimized for the detection of solar protons and helium in the energy range from 30 to 75 MeV/nucleon, though higher energies and heavier ions are also detected. Despite considerable uncertainties in data normalization, the measured dose agrees with model calculations, to an accuracy well within the (conservatively) estimated errors. As of this writing (Feb. 2004), MARIE is off, having sustained damage during the large Solar Particle Event of Oct. 29, 2003. Attempts to recover the instrument will resume in the

  10. Measurements of Martian dust devil winds with HiRISE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, D.S.; Dundas, C.M.

    2011-01-01

    We report wind measurements within Martian dust devils observed in plan view from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) orbiting Mars. The central color swath of the HiRISE instrument has three separate charge-coupled devices (CCDs) and color filters that observe the surface in rapid cadence. Active features, such as dust devils, appear in motion when observed by this region of the instrument. Our image animations reveal clear circulatory motion within dust devils that is separate from their translational motion across the Martian surface. Both manual and automated tracking of dust devil clouds reveal tangential winds that approach 20-30 m s -1 in some cases. These winds are sufficient to induce a ???1% decrease in atmospheric pressure within the dust devil core relative to ambient, facilitating dust lifting by reducing the threshold wind speed for particle elevation. Finally, radial velocity profiles constructed from our automated measurements test the Rankine vortex model for dust devil structure. Our profiles successfully reveal the solid body rotation component in the interior, but fail to conclusively illuminate the profile in the outer regions of the vortex. One profile provides evidence for a velocity decrease as a function of r -1/2, instead of r -1, suggestive of surface friction effects. However, other profiles do not support this observation, or do not contain enough measurements to produce meaningful insights. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

  11. Constraints from atmospheric CO2 and satellite-based vegetation activity observations on current land carbon cycle trends

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Zaehle

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Terrestrial ecosystem models used for Earth system modelling show a significant divergence in future patterns of ecosystem processes, in particular carbon exchanges, despite a seemingly common behaviour for the contemporary period. An in-depth evaluation of these models is hence of high importance to achieve a better understanding of the reasons for this disagreement. Here, we develop an extension for existing benchmarking systems by making use of the complementary information contained in the observational records of atmospheric CO2 and remotely-sensed vegetation activity to provide a firm set of diagnostics of ecosystem responses to climate variability in the last 30 yr at different temporal and spatial scales. The selection of observational characteristics (traits specifically considers the robustness of information given the uncertainties in both data and evaluation analysis. In addition, we provide a baseline benchmark, a minimum test that the model under consideration has to pass, to provide a more objective, quantitative evaluation framework. The benchmarking strategy can be used for any land surface model, either driven by observed meteorology or coupled to a climate model. We apply this framework to evaluate the offline version of the MPI-Earth system model's land surface scheme JSBACH. We demonstrate that the complementary use of atmospheric CO2 and satellite based vegetation activity data allows to pinpoint specific model failures that would not be possible by the sole use of atmospheric CO2 observations.

  12. Insights into the Martian Regolith from Martian Meteorite Northwest Africa 7034

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCubbin, Francis M.; Boyce, Jeremy W.; Szabo, Timea; Santos, Alison R.; Domokos, Gabor; Vazquez, Jorge; Moser, Desmond E.; Jerolmack, Douglas J.; Keller, Lindsay P.; Tartese, Romain

    2015-01-01

    Everything we know about sedimentary processes on Mars is gleaned from remote sensing observations. Here we report insights from meteorite Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034, which is a water-rich martian regolith breccia that hosts both igneous and sedimentary clasts. The sedimentary clasts in NWA 7034 are poorly-sorted clastic siltstones that we refer to as protobreccia clasts. These protobreccia clasts record aqueous alteration process that occurred prior to breccia formation. The aqueous alteration appears to have occurred at relatively low Eh, high pH conditions based on the co-precipitation of pyrite and magnetite, and the concomitant loss of SiO2 from the system. To determine the origin of the NWA 7034 breccia, we examined the textures and grain-shape characteristics of NWA 7034 clasts. The shapes of the clasts are consistent with rock fragmentation in the absence of transport. Coupled with the clast size distribution, we interpret the protolith of NWA 7034 to have been deposited by atmospheric rainout resulting from pyroclastic eruptions and/or asteroid impacts. Cross-cutting and inclusion relationships and U-Pb data from zircon, baddelleyite, and apatite indicate NWA 7034 lithification occurred at 1.4-1.5 Ga, during a short-lived hydrothermal event at 600-700 C that was texturally imprinted upon the submicron groundmass. The hydrothermal event caused Pb-loss from apatite and U-rich metamict zircons, and it caused partial transformation of pyrite to submicron mixtures of magnetite and maghemite, indicating the fluid had higher Eh than the fluid that caused pyrite-magnetite precipitation in the protobreccia clasts. NWA 7034 also hosts ancient 4.4 Ga crustal materials in the form of baddelleyites and zircons, providing up to a 2.9 Ga record of martian geologic history. This work demonstrates the incredible value of sedimentary basins as scientific targets for Mars sample return missions, but it also highlights the importance of targeting samples that have not been

  13. Dependence of the location of the Martian magnetic lobes on the interplanetary magnetic field direction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romanelli, Norberto; Mazelle, Christian; Bertucci, Cesar; Gomez, Daniel

    2016-04-01

    The magnetic field topology surrounding the Martian atmosphere is mainly the result of gradients in the velocity of the solar wind (SW). Such variations in the SW velocity are in turn the result of a massloading process and forces associated with electric currents flowing around the ionosphere of Mars [Nagy et al 2004, Mazelle et al 2004, Brain et al 2015]. In particular, in the regions where the collisionless regime holds, the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) frozen into the SW piles up in front of the stagnation region of the flow. At the same time, the magnetic field lines are stretched in the direction of the unperturbed SW as this stream moves away from Mars, giving rise to a magnetotail [Alfvén, 1957]. As a result and in contrast with an obstacle with and intrinsic global magnetic field, the structure and organization of the magnetic field around Mars depends on the direction of the IMF and its variabilities [Yeroshenko et al., 1990; Crider et al., 2004; Bertucci et al., 2003; Romanelli et al 2015]. In this study we use magnetometer data from the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft during portions of the premapping orbits of the mission to study the variability of the Martian-induced magnetotail as a function of the orientation of the IMF. The time spent by MGS in the magnetotail lobes during periods with positive solar wind flow-aligned IMF component B∥IMF suggests that their location as well as the position of the central polarity reversal layer (PRL) are displaced in the direction antiparallel to the IMF cross-flow component B⊥IMF . Analogously, in the cases where B∥IMF is negative, the lobes are displaced in the direction of B⊥IMF. We find this behavior to be compatible with a previously published B⊥IMF analytical model of the IMF draping, where for the first time, the displacement of a complementary reversal layer (denoted as IPRL for inverse polarity reversal layer) is deduced from first principles [Romanelli et al 2014]. We also

  14. Martian hillside gullies and icelandic analogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartmann, William K.; Thorsteinsson, Thorsteinn; Sigurdsson, Freysteinn

    2003-04-01

    We report observations of Icelandic hillside gully systems that are near duplicates of gullies observed on high-latitude martian hillsides. The best Icelandic analogs involve basaltic talus slopes at the angle of repose, with gully formation by debris flows initiated by ground water saturation, and/or by drainage of water from upslope cliffs. We report not only the existence of Mars analog gullies, but also an erosional sequence of morphologic forms, found both on Mars and in Iceland. The observations support hypotheses calling for creation of martian gullies by aqueous processes. Issues remain whether the water in each case comes only from surficial sources, such as melting of ground ice or snow, or from underground sources such as aquifers that gain surface access in hillsides. Iceland has many examples of the former, but the latter mechanism is not ruled out. Our observations are consistent with the martian debris flow mechanism of F. Costard et al. (2001c, Science295, 110-113), except that classic debris flows begin at midslope more frequently than on Mars. From morphologic observations, we suggest that some martian hillside gully systems not only involve significant evolution by extended erosive activity, but gully formation may occur in episodes, and the time interval since the last episode is considerably less than the time interval needed to erase the gully through normal martian obliteration processes.

  15. Alteration assemblages in Martian meteorites: implications for near-surface processes

    OpenAIRE

    Bridges, J.C.; Catling, D.C.; Saxton, J M; Swindle, T. D.; Lyon, I C; Grady, M.M

    2001-01-01

    The SNC (Shergotty-Nakhla-Chassigny) meteorites have recorded interactions between martian crustal fluids and the parent igneous rocks. The resultant secondary minerals – which comprise up to 1 vol.% of the meteorites – provide information about the timing and nature of hydrous activity and atmospheric processes on Mars. We suggest that the most plausible models for secondary mineral formation involve the evaporation of low temperature (25 – 150 °C) brines. This is consistent with the simple ...

  16. Exoplanet Atmospheres

    CERN Document Server

    Seager, S

    2010-01-01

    At the dawn of the first discovery of exoplanets orbiting sun-like stars in the mid-1990s, few believed that observations of exoplanet atmospheres would ever be possible. After the 2002 Hubble Space Telescope detection of a transiting exoplanet atmosphere, many skeptics discounted it as a one-object, one-method success. Nevertheless, the field is now firmly established, with over two dozen exoplanet atmospheres observed today. Hot Jupiters are the type of exoplanet currently most amenable to study. Highlights include: detection of molecular spectral features; observation of day-night temperature gradients; and constraints on vertical atmospheric structure. Atmospheres of giant planets far from their host stars are also being studied with direct imaging. The ultimate exoplanet goal is to answer the enigmatic and ancient question, "Are we alone?" via detection of atmospheric biosignatures. Two exciting prospects are the immediate focus on transiting super Earths orbiting in the habitable zone of M-dwarfs, and u...

  17. Was Earth Ever Infected by Martian Biota? Clues from Radioresistant Bacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlov, Anatoly K.; Kalinin, Vitaly L.; Konstantinov, Alexei N.; Shelegedin, Vladimir N.; Pavlov, Alexander A.

    2006-12-01

    Here we propose that the radioresistance (tolerance to ionizing radiation) observed in several terrestrial bacteria has a martian origin. Multiple inconsistencies with the current view of radioresistance as an accidental side effect of tolerance to desiccation are discussed. Experiments carried out 25 years ago were reproduced to demonstrate that "ordinary" bacteria can develop high radioresistance ability after multiple cycles of exposure to high radiation dosages followed by cycles of recovery of the bacterial population. We argue that "natural" cycles of this kind could have taken place only on the martian surface, and we hypothesize that Mars microorganisms could have developed radioresistance in just several million years' time and, subsequently, have undergone transfer to Earth by way of martian meteorites. Our mechanism implies multiple and frequent exchanges of biota between Mars and Earth.

  18. Large-scale atmospheric circulation and local particulate matter concentrations in Bavaria - from current observations to future projections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, Christoph; Weitnauer, Claudia; Brosy, Caroline; Hald, Cornelius; Lochbihler, Kai; Siegmund, Stefan; Jacobeit, Jucundus

    2016-04-01

    Particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of 10 μm or less (PM10) may have distinct adverse effects on human health. Spatial and temporal variations in PM10 concentrations reflect local emission rates, but are as well influenced by the local and synoptic-scale atmospheric conditions. Against this background, it can be furthermore argued that potential future climate change and associated variations in large-scale atmospheric circulation and local meteorological parameters will probably provoke corresponding changes in future PM10 concentration levels. The DFG-funded research project „Particulate matter and climate change in Bavaria" aimed at establishing quantitative relationships between daily and monthly PM10 indices at different Bavarian urban stations and the corresponding large-scale atmospheric circulation as well as local meteorological conditions. To this end, several statistical downscaling approaches have been developed for the period 1980 to 2011. PM10 data from 19 stations from the air quality monitoring network (LÜB) of the Bavarian Environmental Agency (LfU) have been utilized as predictands. Large-scale atmospheric gridded data from the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data base and local meteorological observational data provided by the German Meteorological Service (DWD) served as predictors. The downscaling approaches encompass the synoptic downscaling of daily PM10 concentrations and several multivariate statistical models for the estimation of daily and monthly PM10, i.e.monthly mean and number of days exceeding a certain PM10 concentration threshold. Both techniques utilize objective circulation type classifications, which have been optimized with respect to their synoptic skill for the target variable PM10. All downscaling approaches have been evaluated via cross validation using varying subintervals of the 1980-2011 period as calibration and validation periods respectively. The most suitable - in terms of model skill determined from cross

  19. Martian Surface after Phoenix's Conductivity Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's Robotic Arm Camera took this image on Sol 71 (August 6, 2008), the 71st Martian day after landing. The shadow shows the outline of Phoenix's Thermal and Electrical Conductivity Probe, or TECP. The holes seen in the Martian surface were made by this instrument to measure the soil's conductivity. A fork-like probe inserted into the soil checks how well heat and electricity move through the soil from one prong to another. The measurements completed Wednesday ran from the afternoon of Phoenix's 70th Martian day, or sol, to the morning of Sol 71. The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  20. Vertical Analysis of Martian Drainage Basins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stepinski, T. F.; OHara, W. J.

    2003-01-01

    We have performed a vertical analysis of drainage basins on Mars that were computationally extracted from DEMs based on the MOLA data. Longitudinal profiles of main streams are calculated and the slope-area relation is established for 20 basins coming from assorted martian locations. An identical analysis is done for 19 terrestrial river basins. Our results show that, in comparison to terrestrial basins, martian basins have more linear longitudinal profiles, more frequent existence of knickpoints, predominance of asymmetric location of the main stream in the basin, and smaller values of concavity exponent. This suggests a limited role for surface runoff on the global scale. However, two basins extracted from the slopes of martian volcanoes show a strong similarity to terrestrial basins, indicating a possible local role for the process of surface runoff.

  1. Ensemble-Based Data Assimilation With a Martian GCM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, W.; Richardson, M. I.; McCleese, D. J.; Anderson, J. L.; Chen, Y.; Snyder, C.

    2007-12-01

    Quantitative study of Mars weather and climate will ultimately stem from analysis of its dynamic and thermodynamic fields. Of all the observations of Mars available to date, such fields are most easily derived from mapping data (radiances) of the martian atmosphere as measured by orbiting infrared spectrometers and radiometers (e.g., MGS / TES and MRO / MCS). Such data-derived products are the solutions to inverse problems, and while individual profile retrievals have been the popular data-derived products in the planetary sciences, the terrestrial meteorological community has gained much ground over the last decade by employing techniques of data assimilation (DA) to analyze radiances. Ancillary information is required to close an inverse problem (i.e., to disambiguate the family of possibilities that are consistent with the observations), and DA practitioners inevitably rely on numerical models for this information (e.g., general circulation models (GCMs)). Data assimilation elicits maximal information content from available observations, and, by way of the physics encoded in the numerical model, spreads this information spatially, temporally, and across variables, thus allowing global extrapolation of limited and non-simultaneous observations. If the model is skillful, then a given, specific model integration can be corrected by the information spreading abilities of DA, and the resulting time sequence of "analysis" states are brought into agreement with the observations. These analysis states are complete, gridded estimates of all the fields one might wish to diagnose for scientific study of the martian atmosphere. Though a numerical model has been used to obtain these estimates, their fidelity rests in their simultaneous consistency with both the observations (to within their stated uncertainties) and the physics contained in the model. In this fashion, radiance observations can, say, be used to deduce the wind field. A new class of DA approaches based on

  2. Martian carbon dioxide: Clues from isotopes in SNC meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karlsson, H. R.; Clayton, R. N.; Mayeda, T. K.; Jull, A. J. T.; Gibson, E. K., Jr.

    1993-01-01

    Attempts to unravel the origin and evolution of the atmosphere and hydrosphere on Mars from isotopic data have been hampered by the impreciseness of the measurements made by the Viking Lander and by Earth-based telescopes. The SNC meteorites which are possibly pieces of the Martian surface offer a unique opportunity to obtain more precise estimates of the planet's volatile inventory and isotopic composition. Recently, we reported results on oxygen isotopes of water extracted by pyrolysis from samples of Shergotty, Zagami, Nakhla, Chassigny, Lafayette, and EETA-79001. Now we describe complementary results on the stable isotopic composition of carbon dioxide extracted simultaneously from those same samples. We will also report on C-14 abundances obtained by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) for some of these CO2 samples.

  3. Conductivity Probe Inserted in Martian Soil, Sol 46

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    This image taken by the Surface Stereo Imager on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander shows the lander's Thermal and Electrical Conductivity Probe (TECP), at the end of the Robotic Arm, on the 46th Martian day, or sol, of the mission (July 11, 2008). The TECP is inserted at a site called Vestri, which was monitored several times over the course of the mission. The probe's measurements at this site yielded evidence that water was exchanged, daily and seasonally, between the soil and atmosphere. The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  4. Absence of Martian Radiation Belts and Implications Thereof.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Allen, J A; Frank, L A; Krimigis, S M; Hills, H K

    1965-09-10

    A system of sensitive particle detectors on Mariner IV showed the presence of electrons of energy (E(e)) less than 40 kiloelectron volts out to a radial distance of 165,000 kilometers in the morning fringe of the earth's magnetosphere but failed to detect any such electrons during the close encounter with Mars on 14-15 July 1965, at the time when the minimum areocentric radial distance was 13,200 kilometers. This result can mean that the ratio of the magnetic dipole moment of Mars to that of the earth (M(M)/M(E)) is surely less than 0.001 and probably is less than 0.0005. The corresponding upper limits on the equatorial magnetic field at the surface of Mars are 200 and 100 gammas, respectively. It appears possible that the solar wind interacts directly with the Martian atmosphere.

  5. Chaotic obliquity and the nature of the Martian climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakosky, Bruce M.; Henderson, Bradley G.; Mellon, Michael T.

    1995-01-01

    Recent calculations of the Martian obliquity suggests that it varies chaotically on timescales longer than about 10(exp 7) years and varies between about 0 and 60 deg. We examine the seasonal water behavior at obliquities between 40 and 60 deg. Up to several tens of centimeters of water may sublime from the polar caps each year, and possibly move to the equator, where it is more stable. The CO2 frost and CO2-H2O clathrate hydrate are stable in thepolar deposits below a few tens of meters depth, so that the polar cap could contain a significant CO2 reservoir. If CO2 is present, it could be left over from the early history of Mars; also, it could be released into the atmosphere during periods of high obliquity, causing occasional periods of more-clement climate.

  6. Life on Mars: chemical arguments and clues from Martian meteorites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brack, A; Pillinger, C T

    1998-08-01

    Primitive terrestrial life-defined as a chemical system able to transfer its molecular information via self-replication and to evolve-probably originated from the evolution of reduced organic molecules in liquid water. Several sources have been proposed for the prebiotic organic molecules: terrestrial primitive atmosphere (methane or carbon dioxide), deep-sea hydrothermal systems, and extraterrestrial meteoritic and cometary dust grains. The study of carbonaceous chondrites, which contain up to 5% by weight of organic matter, has allowed close examination of the delivery of extraterrestrial organic material. Eight proteinaceous amino acids have been identified in the Murchison meteorite among more than 70 amino acids. Engel reported that L-alanine was surprisingly more abundant than D-alanine in the Murchison meteorite. Cronin also found excesses of L-enantiomers for nonprotein amino acids. A large collection of micrometeorites has been recently extracted from Antarctic old blue ice. In the 50- to 100-micron size range, carbonaceous micrometeorites represent 80% of the samples and contain 2% of carbon, on average. They might have brought more carbon than that involved in the present surficial biomass. The early histories of Mars and Earth clearly show similarities. Liquid water was once stable on the surface of Mars, attesting the presence of an atmosphere capable of deccelerating C-rich micrometeorites. Therefore, primitive life may have developed on Mars as well and fossilized microorganisms may still be present in the near subsurface. The Viking missions to Mars in 1976 did not find evidence of either contemporary or past life, but the mass spectrometer on the lander aeroshell determined the atmospheric composition, which has allowed a family of meteorites to be identified as Martian. Although these samples are essentially volcanic in origin, it has been recognized that some of them contain carbonate inclusions and even veins that have a carbon isotopic

  7. A Hypothesis for the Abiotic and Non-Martian Origins of Putative Signs of Ancient Martian Life in ALH84001

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treiman, Allan H.

    2001-01-01

    Putative evidence of martian life in ALH84001 can be explained by abiotic and non-martian processes consistent with the meteorite's geological history. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  8. Martian Surface Boundary Layer Characterization: Enabling Environmental Data for Science, Engineering and Human Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    England, C.

    2000-01-01

    For human or large robotic exploration of Mars, engineering devices such as power sources will be utilized that interact closely with the Martian environment. Heat sources for power production, for example, will use the low ambient temperature for efficient heat rejection. The Martian ambient, however, is highly variable, and will have a first order influence on the efficiency and operation of all large-scale equipment. Diurnal changes in temperature, for example, can vary the theoretical efficiency of power production by 15% and affect the choice of equipment, working fluids, and operating parameters. As part of the Mars Exploration program, missions must acquire the environmental data needed for design, operation and maintenance of engineering equipment including the transportation devices. The information should focus on the variability of the environment, and on the differences among locations including latitudes, altitudes, and seasons. This paper outlines some of the WHY's, WHAT's and WHERE's of the needed data, as well as some examples of how this data will be used. Environmental data for engineering design should be considered a priority in Mars Exploration planning. The Mars Thermal Environment Radiator Characterization (MTERC), and Dust Accumulation and Removal Technology (DART) experiments planned for early Mars landers are examples of information needed for even small robotic missions. Large missions will require proportionately more accurate data that encompass larger samples of the Martian surface conditions. In achieving this goal, the Mars Exploration program will also acquire primary data needed for understanding Martian weather, surface evolution, and ground-atmosphere interrelationships.

  9. Martian Surface Boundary Layer Characterization: Enabling Environmental Data for Science, Engineering and Human Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    England, C.

    2000-01-01

    For human or large robotic exploration of Mars, engineering devices such as power sources will be utilized that interact closely with the Martian environment. Heat sources for power production, for example, will use the low ambient temperature for efficient heat rejection. The Martian ambient, however, is highly variable, and will have a first order influence on the efficiency and operation of all large-scale equipment. Diurnal changes in temperature, for example, can vary the theoretical efficiency of power production by 15% and affect the choice of equipment, working fluids, and operating parameters. As part of the Mars Exploration program, missions must acquire the environmental data needed for design, operation and maintenance of engineering equipment including the transportation devices. The information should focus on the variability of the environment, and on the differences among locations including latitudes, altitudes, and seasons. This paper outlines some of the WHY's, WHAT's and WHERE's of the needed data, as well as some examples of how this data will be used. Environmental data for engineering design should be considered a priority in Mars Exploration planning. The Mars Thermal Environment Radiator Characterization (MTERC), and Dust Accumulation and Removal Technology (DART) experiments planned for early Mars landers are examples of information needed for even small robotic missions. Large missions will require proportionately more accurate data that encompass larger samples of the Martian surface conditions. In achieving this goal, the Mars Exploration program will also acquire primary data needed for understanding Martian weather, surface evolution, and ground-atmosphere interrelationships.

  10. Martian Soil Inside Phoenix's Robotic Arm Scoop

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    This image from NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) shows material from the Martian surface captured by the Robotic Arm (RA) scoop during its first test dig and dump on the seventh Martian day of the mission, or Sol 7 (June 1, 2008). The test sample shown was taken from the digging area informally known as 'Knave of Hearts.' The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  11. Geopolymers from lunar and Martian soil simulants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexiadis, Alessio; Alberini, Federico; Meyer, Marit E.

    2017-01-01

    This work discusses the geopolymerization of lunar dust simulant JSC LUNAR-1A and Martian dust simulant JSC MARS-1A. The geopolymerization of JSC LUNAR-1A occurs easily and produces a hard, rock-like, material. The geopolymerization of JSC MARS-1A requires milling to reduce the particle size. Tests were carried out to measure, for both JSC LUNAR-1A and JSC MARS-1A geopolymers, the maximum compressive and flexural strengths. In the case of the lunar simulant, these are higher than those of conventional cements. In the case of the Martian simulant, they are close to those of common building bricks.

  12. Martian surface paleotemperatures from thermochronology of meteorites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shuster, David L; Weiss, Benjamin P

    2005-07-22

    The temporal evolution of past martian surface temperatures is poorly known. We used thermochronology and published noble gas and petrographic data to constrain the temperature histories of the nakhlites and martian meteorite ALH84001. We found that the nakhlites have not been heated to more than 350 degrees C since they formed. Our calculations also suggest that for most of the past 4 billion years, ambient near-surface temperatures on Mars are unlikely to have been much higher than the present cold (<0 degrees C) state.

  13. Structural Origins of Martian Pit Chains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyrick, D.; Ferrill, D. A.; Morris, A. P.; Colton, S. L.; Sims, D. W.

    2003-12-01

    Pit craters are circular to elliptical depressions found in alignments (chains), which in many cases coalesce into linear troughs, and are common on the surface of Mars. Pit craters lack an elevated rim, ejecta deposits, or lava flows that are associated with impact craters or calderas. It is generally agreed that these features are formed by collapse into a subsurface cavity. Hypotheses regarding the formation of pit crater chains require development of a substantial subsurface void to accommodate collapse of the overlying sediments. Suggested mechanisms of formation include: collapsed lava tubes, dike swarms, collapsed magma chamber, karst dissolution, fissuring beneath loose material, and dilational faulting. The research described here is intended to constrain current interpretations of pit crater chain formation by analyzing their distribution and morphology. The western hemisphere of Mars was systematically mapped using Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) images to generate ArcView Geographic Information System (GIS) coverages. All visible pit crater chains were mapped, including their orientations and associations with other structures. We found that pit chains commonly occur in areas that show regional extension or local fissuring. There is a strong correlation between pit chains and fault-bounded grabens. Frequently, there are transitions along strike from (i) visible faulting to (ii) faults and pits to (iii) pits alone. We performed a detailed quantitative analysis of pit crater morphology using MOC narrow angle images, Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) visual images and Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) data. This allowed us to interpret a pattern of pit chain evolution and calculate pit depth, slope, and volume. The information collected in the study was then compared with non-Martian examples of pit chains and physical analog models. We evaluated the various mechanisms for pit chain development based on the data collected and conclude that dilational

  14. Uncertainties in the current knowledge of some atmospheric trace gases associated with U.S. agriculture: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krupa, Sagar; Booker, Fitzerald; Bowersox, Van; Lehmann, Christopher; Lehmann, Chris Topher; Grantz, David

    2008-08-01

    Approximately 80 different crop species are grown in the United States in widely differing geographic areas, climatic and edaphic conditions, and management practices. Although the majority of cultivated acreage in the United States is planted with only about 10 primary crops, uncertainties associated with trace gas emissions arise from: (1) limited data availability, (2) inaccurate estimates because of large temporal and spatial variability in trace gas composition and magnitude of trace gas emissions from agricultural activities, (3) differing characteristics of pollutant emissions from highly dispersed animal feed-lots, and (4) limited understanding of the emissions of semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) associated with agriculture. Although emission issues are of concern, so also is atmospheric deposition to cropping systems, including wet and dry nitrogen, minerals, and organic compounds. These can have feedback effects on trace gas emissions. Overall, the many gaps in our understanding of these aspects of agricultural systems deserve serious attention.

  15. Seasonal activity and morphological changes in martian gullies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dundas, Colin M.; Diniega, Serina; Hansen, Candice J.; Byrne, Shane; McEwen, Alfred S.

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies of martian dune and non-dune gullies have suggested a seasonal control on present-day gully activity. The timing of current gully activity, especially activity involving the formation or modification of channels (which commonly have been taken as evidence of fluvial processes), has important implications regarding likely gully formation processes and necessary environmental conditions. In this study, we describe the results of frequent meter-scale monitoring of several active gully sites by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The aim is to better assess the scope and nature of current morphological changes and to provide improved constraints on timing of gully activity on both dune and non-dune slopes. Our observations indicate that (1) gully formation on Mars is ongoing today and (2) the most significant morphological changes are strongly associated with seasonal frost and defrosting activity. Observed changes include formation of all major components of typical gully landforms, although we have not observed alcove formation in coherent bedrock. These results reduce the need to invoke recent climate change or present-day groundwater seepage to explain the many martian gullies with pristine appearance.

  16. Martian Analogues Emissivity Spectra From the Berlin Emissivity Database (BED)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maturilli, A.; Helbert, J.; Moroz, L.

    2006-12-01

    Remote sensing infrared spectroscopy is the principal field of investigation for planetary surfaces composition. Past, present and future missions to bodies in the solar system include in their payload instruments measuring the emerging radiation in the infrared range. For the interpretation of the measured data an emissivity spectral library of planetary analog materials is needed. The Berlin Emissivity Database (BED) currently contains emissivity spectra of plagioclase and potassium feldspars, low Ca and high Ca pyroxenes, olivine, elemental sulphur, and Martian analogue minerals, measured in the wavelength range from 7 to 22 microns as a function of particle size. For each sample we measured the spectra of four particle size separates ranging from 0 to 250 microns. The device we used is built at DLR (Berlin) and is coupled to a Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (Bruker IFS 88), purged with dry air and equipped with a cooled detector (MCT). All spectra were acquired with a spectral resolution of 4 cm-1. We present here the results of our analysis on well knew and characterized Martian analogue minerals: JSC Mars-1, Salten Skov, and Palagonite from Mauna Kea, Hawaii. We are currently working to upgrade our emissivity facility. A new spectrometer (Bruker VERTEX 80v) and new detectors will allow us to measure the emissivity of samples in the wavelength range from 1 to 50 microns, even in a vacuum environment.

  17. A multi-instrument Exomars study of meteoroid effects on the Martian environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christou, A. A.; Griffiths, A. D.; McAuliffe, J. P.; Koschny, D.; Paetzold, M.; Oberst, J.; Trigo-Rodriguez, J. M.; Vaubaillon, J.; Withers, P.; Chappelow, J. E.; Patel, M. R.

    2008-09-01

    Mars, like the Earth, encounters meteoroids of various sizes, composition and origin during its orbital trek around the Sun. Those meteoroids' mass and kinetic energy are incorporated into the Martian environment through: atmospheric ablation and deposition of meteoroid constituents in the upper atmosphere; efficient atmospheric braking leading to a meteorite on the surface; and hard impact, resulting in luminous flares (and/or plumes), seismic shaking and crater excavation [1]. These effects have been modelled theoretically but in situ measurements needed to test these models have hitherto been lacking. The Exomars instrument suite presents an excellent opportunity to carry out such observations and compare with similar processes detected at the Earth and Moon. The following investigations that we advocate promote synergism between the different instruments, require no hardware modification or space qualification of "soft" mission resources such as inflight software and provide maximum science for the effort. Meteor activity at Mars would be punctuated by annually recurring showers and occasional outbursts with pronounced effects on the Martian atmosphere and surface [2, 3, 4, 5]. These, mostly cometary, meteoroids, have been delivering prebiotic material to Mars for the past 4.5 Gyr. As the present Martian atmosphere has similarities with that of the early Earth, the astrobiological relevance of meteor showers as exogenous sources of organics and water for both Earth and Mars is obvious. These events can now be predicted with sufficient reliability both at Mars [4] and the Earth (eg [6, 7]) to justify targeted observational campaigns. Relevant measurements include: dual-eye panoramic camera detection of visible meteors in the Martian sky using existing flight-qualified change-detection software to minimise data volume [8]; radio occultation height profiles of ionospheric electron density during the orbital phase of the mission [9] and of the total electron

  18. The O+ Ion Flux in the Martian Magnetosphere andMartian Intrinsic Moment

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    A model is developed to study the ionospheric ion flux distribution along magnetic force lines in Martian magnetosphere and the influence of Martian intrinsic moment on the distribution.It is discovered that the intrinsic moment has significant influence on the O+ ion flux distribution that a lower flux in the magnetotail will be associated with a stronger intrinsic moment.According to the theoretical result and the observed data on the ion flux which is about 7.6×106 cm-2s-1 in the Martian magnetotail,the deduced Martian moment is about 2×1021 G cm3.This agrees well with the most recent data obtained by MAG/ER on the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft.

  19. Martian slope streaks as plausible indicators of transient water activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhardwaj, Anshuman; Sam, Lydia; Martín-Torres, F Javier; Zorzano, María-Paz; Fonseca, Ricardo M

    2017-08-01

    Slope streaks have been frequently observed in the equatorial, low thermal inertia and dusty regions of Mars. The reason behind their formation remains unclear with proposed hypotheses for both dry and wet mechanisms. Here, we report an up-to-date distribution and morphometric investigation of Martian slope streaks. We find: (i) a remarkable coexistence of the slope streak distribution with the regions on Mars with high abundances of water-equivalent hydrogen, chlorine, and iron; (ii) favourable thermodynamic conditions for transient deliquescence and brine development in the slope streak regions; (iii) a significant concurrence of slope streak distribution with the regions of enhanced atmospheric water vapour concentration, thus suggestive of a present-day regolith-atmosphere water cycle; and (iv) terrain preferences and flow patterns supporting a wet mechanism for slope streaks. These results suggest a strong local regolith-atmosphere water coupling in the slope streak regions that leads to the formation of these fluidised features. Our conclusions can have profound astrobiological, habitability, environmental, and planetary protection implications.

  20. Study of the origin and structure of a nocturnal atmospheric density current from observations and numerical simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ander Arrillaga, Jon; Yagüe, Carlos; Román-Cascón, Carlos; Sastre, Mariano

    2016-04-01

    Density currents are flows generated when a dense fluid passes through a less dense surrounding, under the influence of gravity. They usually appear as a consequence of sea-breeze circulations, thunderstorm outflows or katabatic flows. Density currents acquire a particular relevance during nocturnal stable situations, as their onset causes a significant turbulence increase (both from buoyancy and shear) and they occasionally produce turbulence intermittency through the formation of gravity waves. In this work, the arrival of a density current on 23 September 2015 is analysed in the CIBA site (Spain), which is located in the Spanish Northern Plateau, approximately 200 km away from the sea and 100 km away from the closest mountain ranges. Previous studies at this location associated similar nocturnal events with daytime sea breeze in the eastern Cantabrian coast [1]. Micrometeorological measurements from sonic anemometers and different sensors at multiple levels up to 100 m agl provide a solid database. In this specific case, the outbreak of the density current occurs 2 hours after sunset, causing an abrupt increase of the wind speed and a significant weakening of the surface-based thermal inversion. Besides, turbulent parameters and fluxes such as the friction velocity, the sensible heat flux and the Turbulent Kinetic Energy (TKE) are sharply altered with its arrival. The latter, indeed, increases by two orders of magnitude and the Multi Resolution Flux Decomposition (MRFD) of this and other turbulent variables gives the approximate size of the contributing eddies. Furthermore, simulations with the WRF model, which is tested for different Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL) schemes and the topo_wind option for complex topography [2], give meaningful information about the vertical structure and origin of this density current. [1] Udina, M., Soler, M.R., Viana, S. & Yagüe, C. (2013). Model simulation of gravity waves triggered by a density current. Q J R Meteorol Soc, 139

  1. Accessing the Martian deep subsurface to search for life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mancinelli, Rocco L.

    2000-09-01

    To date there has been no data indicating that the surface of Mars is inhabited. Research conducted on Earth has revealed that life can exist deep beneath the surface of a planet. Current data from Mars missions suggesting the presence of liquid water early in Mars' history and mathematical modeling of the fate of water on Mars imply that liquid water may exist deep beneath the surface of Mars. The existence of liquid water beneath the Martian surface, combined with life's ability to live chemolithoautotrophically, leads to the hypothesis that life may exist deep beneath the Martian surface. Acquisition and analyses of Martian subsurface samples will shed light on the possibility of extant or extinct life, in permafrost and liquid water, on Mars, the processes leading to the origin of life, and the size of the Solar System's habitable zone. The results of a workshop convened by NASA in 1998 suggest that no fewer than two missions could be considered for accessing the deep subsurface of Mars. This two mission scenario includes a mission penetrating to a depth of ˜300 m and a mission penetrating to a depth of ˜3 km. As in all space missions the power, mass and volume of the penetration system and all associated equipment to be used to gain access to the Martian subsurface must be kept to a minimum. One technique that may be applicable, but in need of further development, is an electrically heated probe (bit) that penetrates and cores by melting through rock. The probe is attached to an umbilical cable to provide power and to allow periodic retrieval of the probe. This approach appears to address planetary protection concerns and may decrease the mass, power and volume requirements of conventional drilling systems by eliminating the need for casing material, drilling fluids, and handling potentially contaminated debris from the bore hole. Deep drilling on Mars presents several planetary protection forward and back contamination issues. These issues include sample

  2. Electrical measurements in the atmosphere and the Ionosphere over an active thunderstorm. II - Direct current electric fields and conductivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holzworth, R. H.; Kelley, M. C.; Siefring, C. L.; Hale, L. C.; Mitchell, J. D.

    1985-01-01

    On August 9, 1981, a series of three rockets was launched over an air mass thunderstorm off the eastern seaboard of Virginia while simultaneous stratospheric and ground-based electric field measurements were made. The conductivity was substantially lower at most altitudes than the conductivity profiles used by theoretical models. Direct current electric fields over 80 mV/m were measured as far away as 96 km from the storm in the stratosphere at 23 km altitude. No dc electric fields above 75 km altitude could be identified with the thunderstorm, in agreement with theory. However, vertical current densities over 120 pA/sq m were seen well above the classical 'electrosphere' (at 50 or 60 km). Frequent dc shifts in the electric field following lightning transients were seen by both balloon and rocket payloads. These dc shifts are clearly identifiable with either cloud-to-ground (increases) or intercloud (decreases) lightning flashes.

  3. Martian Dust Devil Electron Avalanche Process and Associated Electrochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Telana L.; Farrell, William M.; Delory, Gregory T.; Nithianandam, Jeyasingh

    2010-01-01

    Mars' dynamic atmosphere displays localized dust devils and larger, global dust storms. Based on terrestrial analog studies, electrostatic modeling, and laboratory work these features will contain large electrostatic fields formed via triboelectric processes. In the low-pressure Martian atmosphere, these fields may create an electron avalanche and collisional plasma due to an increase in electron density driven by the internal electrical forces. To test the hypothesis that an electron avalanche is sustained under these conditions, a self-consistent atmospheric process model is created including electron impact ionization sources and electron losses via dust absorption, electron dissociation attachment, and electron/ion recombination. This new model is called the Dust Devil Electron Avalanche Model (DDEAM). This model solves simultaneously nine continuity equations describing the evolution of the primary gaseous chemical species involved in the electrochemistry. DDEAM monitors the evolution of the electrons and primary gas constituents, including electron/water interactions. We especially focus on electron dynamics and follow the electrons as they evolve in the E field driven collisional gas. When sources and losses are self-consistently included in the electron continuity equation, the electron density grows exponentially with increasing electric field, reaching an equilibrium that forms a sustained time-stable collisional plasma. However, the character of this plasma differs depending upon the assumed growth rate saturation process (chemical saturation versus space charge). DDEAM also shows the possibility of the loss of atmospheric methane as a function of electric field due to electron dissociative attachment of the hydrocarbon. The methane destruction rates are presented and can be included in other larger atmospheric models.

  4. Martian Dust Devil Electron Avalanche Process and Associated Electrochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Telana L.; Farrell, William M.; Delory, Gregory T.; Nithianandam, Jeyasingh

    2010-01-01

    Mars' dynamic atmosphere displays localized dust devils and larger, global dust storms. Based on terrestrial analog studies, electrostatic modeling, and laboratory work these features will contain large electrostatic fields formed via triboelectric processes. In the low-pressure Martian atmosphere, these fields may create an electron avalanche and collisional plasma due to an increase in electron density driven by the internal electrical forces. To test the hypothesis that an electron avalanche is sustained under these conditions, a self-consistent atmospheric process model is created including electron impact ionization sources and electron losses via dust absorption, electron dissociation attachment, and electron/ion recombination. This new model is called the Dust Devil Electron Avalanche Model (DDEAM). This model solves simultaneously nine continuity equations describing the evolution of the primary gaseous chemical species involved in the electrochemistry. DDEAM monitors the evolution of the electrons and primary gas constituents, including electron/water interactions. We especially focus on electron dynamics and follow the electrons as they evolve in the E field driven collisional gas. When sources and losses are self-consistently included in the electron continuity equation, the electron density grows exponentially with increasing electric field, reaching an equilibrium that forms a sustained time-stable collisional plasma. However, the character of this plasma differs depending upon the assumed growth rate saturation process (chemical saturation versus space charge). DDEAM also shows the possibility of the loss of atmospheric methane as a function of electric field due to electron dissociative attachment of the hydrocarbon. The methane destruction rates are presented and can be included in other larger atmospheric models.

  5. Initiation and growth of martian ice lenses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sizemore, Hanna G.; Zent, Aaron P.; Rempel, Alan W.

    2015-05-01

    Water ice in the upper meters of the martian regolith is a major volatile reservoir. Although the geographic extent, burial depth, and thermal stability of this shallow ice are well understood, its origin, history, and stratigraphy are not. Over the past decade, a growing body of observational evidence has indicated that shallow ground ice exceeds the pore volume of its host soil over large regions of both martian hemispheres. This is confounding, given that (1) the physical theory that accurately predicts the location of ground ice also assumes that ice should be pore-filling in the upper meter of regolith, and (2) the Phoenix spacecraft uncovered far more pore-filling ice than excess ice at its landing site in the northern hemisphere. The development of ice lenses by low-temperature in situ segregation - analogous to the processes that generate frost heave on Earth - has been hypothesized to explain shallow excess ice on Mars. We have developed a numerical model of ice lens initiation and growth in the martian environment, and used it to test this hypothesis for the first time. We carried out a large suite of numerical simulations in order to place quantitative constraints on the timing and location of ice lens initiation, and on the magnitude of ice lens growth in a variety of host soils. We find that ice lens initiation is a ubiquitous process in the martian high latitudes, but the ultimate magnitude of lens growth, or frost heave, is sensitive to the properties of the host soil. Depending on the specific properties of martian soils, in situ segregation may be a very slow process sufficient to explain the excess ice observed in the Dodo-Goldilocks trench at the Phoenix landing site, but without regionally significant effects. Alternatively, if clay-sized particles or perchlorate salts are present, in situ segregation may be a vigorous process that has significantly affected the stratigraphy of ground ice in the upper meter of regolith throughout the high

  6. Nature of Reduced Carbon in Martian Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Everett K., Jr.; McKay, D. S.; Thomas-Keprta, K. L.; Clemett, S. J.; White, L. M.

    2012-01-01

    Martian meteorites provide important information on the nature of reduced carbon components present on Mars throughout its history. The first in situ analyses for carbon on the surface of Mars by the Viking landers yielded disappointing results. With the recognition of Martian meteorites on Earth, investigations have shown carbon-bearing phases exist on Mars. Studies have yielded presence of reduced carbon, carbonates and inferred graphitic carbon phases. Samples ranging in age from the first approximately 4 Ga of Mars history [e.g. ALH84001] to nakhlites with a crystallization age of 1.3 Ga [e.g. Nakhla] with aqueous alteration processes occurring 0.5-0.7 Ga after crystallizaton. Shergottites demonstrate formation ages around 165-500 Ma with younger aqueous alterations events. Only a limited number of the Martian meteorites do not show evidence of significance terrestrial alterations. Selected areas within ALH84001, Nakhla, Yamato 000593 and possibly Tissint are suitable for study of their indigenous reduced carbon bearing phases. Nakhla possesses discrete, well-defined carbonaceous phases present within iddingsite alteration zones. Based upon both isotopic measurements and analysis of Nakhla's organic phases the presence of pre-terrestrial organics is now recognized. The reduced carbon-bearing phases appear to have been deposited during preterrestrial aqueous alteration events that produced clays. In addition, the microcrystalline layers of Nakhla's iddingsite have discrete units of salt crystals suggestive of evaporation processes. While we can only speculate on the origin of these unique carbonaceous structures, we note that the significance of such observations is that it may allow us to understand the role of Martian carbon as seen in the Martian meteorites with obvious implications for astrobiology and the pre-biotic evolution of Mars. In any case, our observations strongly suggest that reduced organic carbon exists as micrometer- size, discrete structures

  7. The origin of the Martian regolith : study of a terrestrial analogue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chevrier, V.; Mathé, P.-E.; Rochette, P.

    2003-04-01

    Understanding the processes leading to oxidized iron-bearing phases on the surface of Mars is of primary importance in the knowledge of Martian paleoclimatology. After the missions Viking and Pathfinder revealed the presence of strongly magnetic phases in the Martian regolith, some authors rejected the assumption of a pedogenic process of terrestrial type, based on the weakly magnetic character of terrestrial soils derived from weakly magnetic rocks. We collected a block of the Jurassic Ferrar dolerite (close to the Priestley glacier, Transantarctic Mountains), weathered in cold and dry climate, in order to study a relevant analogue of the Martian subsurface in terms of lithology and paleoclimate. This decimetric block presents a brownish red surface layer of 2 mm thickness due to microcrystalline iron (oxyhydr)oxydes. It was the subject of magnetic and mineralogical study, along the weathering gradient defined from the surface to the core, and completed with MIMOS Mössbauer analyse in the perspective of calibrating future in situ analyse on Mars. Changes in magnetic susceptibility (from 4.10-6 in the core to 10.10-6 m3/kg at the surface), as well as Natural Remanent Magnetization (NRM - from 1.10-3 in the core to 4.10-3 Am2/kg at the surface) and saturation magnetization indicates an increase in spinel concentrations. Thermomagnetic curves and multi-components NRM reveal a partial oxidation of primary titanomagnetite into titanomaghemite. The neoformed microcrystalline phases, whose Martian analogues are at the origin of the "Red Planet" spectroscopic properties, could appear little even nonmagnetic. This mineralogical and magnetic study thus rehabilitates the assumption that the strongly magnetic fraction of the Martian regolith could be inherited from the basaltic subsurface via a pedogenic process under an oxidizing atmosphere.

  8. Changes in gas exchange characteristics during the life span of giant sequoia: Implications for response to current and future concentrations of atmospheric ozone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grulke, N.E.; Miller, P.R. (USDA Forest Service, Riverside, CA (United States))

    Native stands of giant sequoia are being exposed to relatively high concentrations of atmospheric ozone produced in urban and agricultural areas upwind. The expected change in environmental conditions over the next 100 y is likely to be unprecendented in the life span (ca 2,500 y) of giant sequoia. Changes in the physiological responses of three age classes of giant sequoia (current year, 12 y and 25 y) to different concentrations of ozone were determined, and age-related differences in sensitivity to pollutants were assessed by examining physiological changes (gas exchange, water use efficiency) across the life span of giant sequoia. The CO[sub 2] exchange rate (CER) was greater in current year (12.1 [mu]mol CO[sub 2]/m[sup 2]s) and 2 year old seedlings (4.8 [mu]mol CO[sub 2]/m[sup 2]s) than in all older trees (average of 3.0 [mu]mol CO[sub 2]/m[sup 2]s). Dark respiration was highest for current year seedlings and was increased twofold in symptotic individuals exposed to elevated ozone concentrations. Stomatal conductance was greater in current-year and 2 year old seedlings (335 and 200 mmol H[sub 2]O/m[sup 2]s), respectively, than in all older trees (50 mmol H[sub 2]O/m[sup 2]s), indicating that the ozone concentration in substomatol cavities is higher in young seedlings than in older trees. Significant changes in water use efficiency occurred in trees between ages 5 and 20 years. It is concluded that giant sequoia seedlings are sensitive to atmospheric ozone until they are ca 5 y old. Low conductance, high water use efficiency, and compact mesophyll all contribute to a natural ozone tolerance, or defense, or both, in foliage of older trees. 11 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.

  9. High chance that current atmospheric greenhouse concentrations commit to warmings greater than 1.5 °C over land.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huntingford, Chris; Mercado, Lina M

    2016-07-27

    The recent Paris UNFCCC climate meeting discussed the possibility of limiting global warming to 2 °C since pre-industrial times, or possibly even 1.5 °C, which would require major future emissions reductions. However, even if climate is stabilised at current atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations, those warming targets would almost certainly be surpassed in the context of mean temperature increases over land only. The reason for this is two-fold. First, current transient warming lags significantly below equilibrium or "committed" warming. Second, almost all climate models indicate warming rates over land are much higher than those for the oceans. We demonstrate this potential for high eventual temperatures over land, even for contemporary GHG levels, using a large set of climate models and for which climate sensitivities are known. Such additional land warming has implications for impacts on terrestrial ecosystems and human well-being. This suggests that even if massive and near-immediate emissions reductions occur such that atmospheric GHGs increase further by only small amounts, careful planning is needed by society to prepare for higher land temperatures in an eventual equilibrium climatic state.

  10. High chance that current atmospheric greenhouse concentrations commit to warmings greater than 1.5 °C over land

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huntingford, Chris; Mercado, Lina M.

    2016-07-01

    The recent Paris UNFCCC climate meeting discussed the possibility of limiting global warming to 2 °C since pre-industrial times, or possibly even 1.5 °C, which would require major future emissions reductions. However, even if climate is stabilised at current atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations, those warming targets would almost certainly be surpassed in the context of mean temperature increases over land only. The reason for this is two-fold. First, current transient warming lags significantly below equilibrium or “committed” warming. Second, almost all climate models indicate warming rates over land are much higher than those for the oceans. We demonstrate this potential for high eventual temperatures over land, even for contemporary GHG levels, using a large set of climate models and for which climate sensitivities are known. Such additional land warming has implications for impacts on terrestrial ecosystems and human well-being. This suggests that even if massive and near-immediate emissions reductions occur such that atmospheric GHGs increase further by only small amounts, careful planning is needed by society to prepare for higher land temperatures in an eventual equilibrium climatic state.

  11. Atmospheric Constraints on Landing Site Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kass, David M.; Schofield, J. T.

    2001-01-01

    The Martian atmosphere is a significant part of the environment that the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) will encounter. As such, it imposes important constraints on where the rovers can and cannot land. Unfortunately, as there are no meteorological instruments on the rovers, there is little atmospheric science that can be accomplished, and no scientific preference for landing sites. The atmosphere constrains landing site selection in two main areas, the entry descent and landing (EDL) process and the survivability of the rovers on the surface. EDL is influenced by the density profile and boundary layer winds (up to altitudes of 5 to 10 km). Surface survivability involves atmospheric dust, temperatures and winds. During EDL, the atmosphere is used to slow the lander down, both ballistically and on the parachute. This limits the maximum elevation of the landing site to -1.3 km below the MOLA reference aeroid. The landers need to encounter a sufficiently dense atmosphere to be able to stop, and the deeper the landing site, the more column integrated atmosphere the lander can pass through before reaching the surface. The current limit was determined both by a desire to be able to reach the hematite region and by a set of atmosphere models we developed for EDL simulations. These are based on Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) atmospheric profile measurements, Ames Mars General Circulation Model (MGCM) results, and the 1-D Ames GCM radiative/convective model by J. Murphy. The latter is used for the near surface diurnal cycle. The current version of our model encompasses representative latitude bands, but we intend to make specific models for the final candidate landing sites to insure that they fall within the general envelope. The second constraint imposed on potential landing sites through the EDL process is the near surface wind. The wind in the lower approximately 5 km determines the horizontal velocity that the landers have when they land. Due to the mechanics of

  12. Evaporites in Martian Paleolakes: Observations and Implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wray, J. J.; Milliken, R.; Swayze, G. A.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Dundas, C. M.; Baldridge, A. M.; Andrews-Hanna, J. C.; Murchie, S. L.

    2009-12-01

    Ancient lakes on Mars have long been inferred from morphologic evidence [e.g., 1], and are considered high-priority targets in the search for Martian biomarkers. Minerals precipitated from lake water reflect water chemistry and temperature, as well as the composition of the contemporaneous atmosphere, providing constraints on habitability. However, proposed paleolakes have until recently shown little evidence for evaporite minerals such as carbonates and sulfates. We previously reported CRISM detections of sulfates and phyllosilicates in finely bedded deposits within impact craters in Terra Sirenum [2]. Subsequent mapping reveals that Al-phyllosilicates are found not only within these ~10 craters, but also on the intercrater plains. Sulfates, however, are found only within the craters Columbus (29S, 166W) and Cross (30S, 158W). Cross contains the acid sulfate alunite [3], while Columbus has predominantly polyhydrated Ca and possibly Mg sulfates in a “bathtub ring” around its walls. Thermal infrared data are consistent with ~40% clay and ~16% sulfate abundances in the Columbus ring, suggesting strong alteration, possibly in a lacustrine setting. Since most craters in the region lack major inlet valleys, they may have been filled by groundwater. Indeed, global hydrologic models [4] predict enhanced Noachian/Hesperian groundwater upwelling in this region, and a new regional model predicts the greatest thicknesses of evaporites in Columbus and Cross craters specifically. Therefore, groundwater may have caused regional alteration, before ponding and evaporating in the largest craters to form sulfates. A new CRISM image reveals sulfate in another deep lacustrine setting. A depression within Shalbatana Vallis (3N, 43.3W) has been described as a Hesperian-aged paleolake based on topography and morphology, including inlet channels that feed six fan-shaped deposits interpreted as deltas, the largest of which preserves features inferred to be shorelines [5]. The valley

  13. The DYNAMO Orbiter Project: High Resolution Mapping of Gravity/Magnetic Fields and In Situ Investigation of Mars Atmospheric Escape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smrekar, S.; Chassefiere, E.; Forget, F.; Reme, H.; Mazelle, C.; Blelly, P. -L.; Acuna, M.; Connerney, J.; Purucker, M.; Lin, R.

    2000-01-01

    Dynamo is a small Mars orbiter planned to be launched in 2005 or 2007, in the frame of the NASA/CNES Mars exploration program. It is aimed at improving gravity and magnetic field resolution, in order to better understand the magnetic, geologic and thermal history of Mars, and at characterizing current atmospheric escape, which is still poorly constrained. These objectives are achieved by using a low periapsis orbit, similar to the one used by the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft during its aerobraking phases. The proposed periapsis altitude for Dynamo of 120-130 km, coupled with the global distribution of periapses to be obtained during one Martian year of operation, through about 5000 low passes, will produce a magnetic/gravity field data set with approximately five times the spatial resolution of MGS. Low periapsis provides a unique opportunity to investigate the chemical and dynamical properties of the deep ionosphere, thermosphere, and the interaction between the atmosphere and the solar wind, therefore atmospheric escape, which may have played a crucial role in removing atmosphere, and water, from the planet. There is much room for debate on the importance of current atmosphere escape processes in the evolution of the Martian atmosphere, as early "exotic" processes including hydrodynamic escape and impact erosion are traditionally invoked to explain the apparent sparse inventory of present-day volatiles. Yet, the combination of low surface gravity and the absence of a substantial internally generated magnetic field have undeniable effects on what we observe today. In addition to the current losses in the forms of Jeans and photochemical escape of neutrals, there are solar wind interaction-related erosion mechanisms because the upper atmosphere is directly exposed to the solar wind. The solar wind related loss rates, while now comparable to those of a modest comet, nonetheless occur continuously, with the intriguing possibility of important cumulative and

  14. Mars Atmosphere and Regolith COllector/PrOcessor for Lander Operations Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Martian atmospheric gases are a very important resource for surface missions on the red planet. However, their utilization for the production of hydrocarbons,...

  15. Temperature, current meter, and other data from moored buoy from the HUMBOLDT as part of the GARP (Global Atmospheric Research Program) Atlantic Tropical Experiment (GATE) project, 28 July 1974 - 18 August 1974 (NODC Accession 7601676)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Temperature, current meter, and other data were collected using moored buoy from the HUMBOLDT from July 28, 1974 to August 18, 1974. Data were submitted by US Coast...

  16. Temperature, current meter, and other data from moored buoy as part of the GARP (Global Atmospheric Research Program) Atlantic Tropical Experiment (GATE) project, 30 July 1974 - 14 August 1974 (NODC Accession 7601675)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Temperature, current meter, and other data were collected using moored buoy from the CAPRICORNE from July 30, 1974 to August 14, 1974. Data were collected as part of...

  17. Martian ionosphere response to solar wind variability during solar minimum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez-Cano, Beatriz; Lester, Mark; Witasse, Olivier; Mays, M. Leila; Hall, Benjamin E. S.; Milan, Stephen E.; Cartacci, Marco; Blelly, Pierre-Louis; Andrews, David; Opgenoorth, Hermann; Odstrcil, Dusan

    2016-04-01

    Solar cycle variations in solar radiation create notable density changes in the Martian ionosphere. In addition to this long-term variability, there are numerous short-term and non-recurrent solar events that hit Mars which need to be considered, such as Interplanetary Coronal Mass Ejections (ICMEs), Co-Rotation Interaction Regions (CIRs), solar flares, or solar wind high speed streams. The response of the Martian plasma system to each of these events is often unusual, especially during the long period of extreme low solar activity in 2008 and 2009. This work shows the long-term solar cycle impact on the ionosphere of Mars using data from The Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding (MARSIS), and The Analyzer of Space Plasma and Energetic Atoms (ASPERA-3), and with empirical and numerical models on Mars Express. Particular attention is given to the different ionospheric responses observed during the last, extended solar minimum. Mars' ionospheric response followed a similar pattern to the response observed in the Earth's ionosphere, despite the large differences related to the inner-origin of the magnetic field of both planets. The ionospheric temperature was cooler, the topside scale height was smaller and almost constant with altitude, the secondary ionospheric layer practically disappeared and the whole atmospheric total electron content (TEC) suffered an extreme reduction of about 30-40%, not predicted before by models. Moreover, there is a larger probability for the induced magnetic field to be present in the ionosphere, than in other phases of the solar cycle. The short-term variability is also addressed with the study of an ICME followed by a fast stream that hit Mars in March 2008, where solar wind data are provided by ACE and STEREO-B and supported by simulations using the WSA-ENLIL Model. The solar wind conditions lead to the formation of a CIR centred on the interface of the fast and the slow solar wind streams. Mars' system reacted to

  18. A spatial framework for assessing current conditions and monitoring future change in the chemistry of the Antarctic atmosphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. A. Dixon

    2011-03-01

    , Pb, Bi, As, and Li are enriched across Antarctica relative to both ocean and upper crust elemental ratios. Global volcanic outgassing accounts for the majority of the Bi measured in East and West Antarctica and for a significant fraction of the Cd in East Antarctica. Nonetheless, global volcanic outgassing cannot account for the enriched values of Pb or As. Local volcanic outgassing from Mount Erebus may account for a significant fraction of the As and Cd in West Antarctica and for a significant fraction in East Antarctic glaze/dune areas. However, despite potential contributions from local and global volcanic sources, significant concentrations of Pb, Cd, and As remain across much of Antarctica.

    Most importantly, this study provides a baseline from which changes in the chemistry of the atmosphere over Antarctica can be monitored under expected warming scenarios and continued intensification of industrial activities in the Southern Hemisphere.

  19. Martian Mixed Layer during Pathfinder Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, G. M.; Valero, F.; Vazquez, L.

    2008-09-01

    In situ measurements of the Martian Planetary Boundary Layer (MPBL) encompass only the sur- face layer. Therefore, in order to fully address the MPBL, it becomes necessary to simulate somehow the behaviour of the martian mixed layer. The small-scale processes that happen in the MPBL cause GCM's ([1], [2]) to describe only partially the turbulent statistics, height, convective scales, etc, of the surface layer and the mixed layer. For this reason, 2D and 3D martian mesoscale models ([4], [5]), and large eddy simulations ([4], [6], [7], [8]) have been designed in the last years. Although they are expected to simulate more accurately the MPBL, they take an extremely expensive compu- tational time. Alternatively, we have derived the main turbu- lent characteristics of the martian mixed layer by using surface layer and mixed layer similarity ([9], [10]). From in situ temperature and wind speed measurements, together with quality-tested simu- lated ground temperature [11], we have character- ized the martian mixed layer during the convective hours of Pathfinder mission Sol 25. Mean mixed layer turbulent statistics like tem- perature variance , horizontal wind speed variance , vertical wind speed variance , viscous dissipation rate , and turbu- lent kinetic energy have been calculated, as well as the mixed layer height zi, and the convective scales of wind w? and temperature θ?. Our values, obtained with negligible time cost, match quite well with some previously obtained results via LES's ([4] and [8]). A comparisson between the above obtained mar- tian values and the typical Earth values are shown in Table 1. Convective velocity scale w doubles its counterpart terrestrial typical value, as it does the mean wind speed variances and . On the other hand, the temperature scale θ? and the mean temperature variance are virtually around one order higher on Mars. The limitations of these results concern the va- lidity of the convective mixed layer similarity. This theory

  20. Effects of cathodic current density and temperature on morphology and microstructure of iridium coating prepared by electrodeposition in molten salt under the air atmosphere

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhu Li' an, E-mail: mr_zla@163.com [Department of Materials Engineering and Applied Chemistry, College of Aerospace and Materials Engineering, National University of Defence Technology, Changsha 410073 (China); Bai Shuxin; Zhang Hong; Ye Yicong [Department of Materials Engineering and Applied Chemistry, College of Aerospace and Materials Engineering, National University of Defence Technology, Changsha 410073 (China)

    2013-01-15

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The 'salt passivation' occurs on the anode surface at low temperatures. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The index of preferred growth crystal plane increases as increasing current density. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The <1 1 1> oriented coating is smoother and denser than <2 2 0>/<3 1 1> oriented coating. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The coating compactness improves as increasing current density/decreasing temperature. - Abstract: Iridium coating was prepared on a Re/C substrate (graphite substrate coated with rhenium coating by CVD) using electrodeposition in molten salt of chlorides in the air atmosphere. The effects of cathodic current density and temperature on both the morphology and microstructure of the coating were studied, respectively. The morphology and orientation of the coating were determined by scanning electron microscope and X-ray diffraction, respectively. The results showed that the cathodic current density and temperature both affected the surface morphology, roughness, grain size and compactness of the iridium coating. With increasing of current density from 5 to 50 mA/cm{sup 2}, the surface roughness of the coating increased from Ra 0.98 to Ra 6.29 {mu}m, while the grain size decreased. With temperature increasing from 520 to 640 Degree-Sign C, the surface roughness of the coating decreased from Ra 4.41 to Ra 1.16 {mu}m, while the grain size increased. The preferred orientations of the coatings changed in the row <111>-<220>-<311> with current density increasing. With the increase of temperature, the preferred orientation of the coating changed from <1 1 1> to <2 2 0>, and again to <1 1 1>. The coating with <1 1 1> orientation was smoother and denser than that with <2 2 0> orientation regardless of the grain size.

  1. Isotopic links between atmospheric chemistry and the deep sulphur cycle on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franz, Heather B; Kim, Sang-Tae; Farquhar, James; Day, James M D; Economos, Rita C; McKeegan, Kevin D; Schmitt, Axel K; Irving, Anthony J; Hoek, Joost; Dottin, James

    2014-04-17

    The geochemistry of Martian meteorites provides a wealth of information about the solid planet and the surface and atmospheric processes that occurred on Mars. The degree to which Martian magmas may have assimilated crustal material, thus altering the geochemical signatures acquired from their mantle sources, is unclear. This issue features prominently in efforts to understand whether the source of light rare-earth elements in enriched shergottites lies in crustal material incorporated into melts or in mixing between enriched and depleted mantle reservoirs. Sulphur isotope systematics offer insight into some aspects of crustal assimilation. The presence of igneous sulphides in Martian meteorites with sulphur isotope signatures indicative of mass-independent fractionation suggests the assimilation of sulphur both during passage of magmas through the crust of Mars and at sites of emplacement. Here we report isotopic analyses of 40 Martian meteorites that represent more than half of the distinct known Martian meteorites, including 30 shergottites (28 plus 2 pairs, where pairs are separate fragments of a single meteorite), 8 nakhlites (5 plus 3 pairs), Allan Hills 84001 and Chassigny. Our data provide strong evidence that assimilation of sulphur into Martian magmas was a common occurrence throughout much of the planet's history. The signature of mass-independent fractionation observed also indicates that the atmospheric imprint of photochemical processing preserved in Martian meteoritic sulphide and sulphate is distinct from that observed in terrestrial analogues, suggesting fundamental differences between the dominant sulphur chemistry in the atmosphere of Mars and that in the atmosphere of Earth.

  2. Escape of the martian protoatmosphere and initial water inventory

    CERN Document Server

    Erkaev, N V; Elkins-Tanton, L; Stökl, A; Odert, P; Marcq, E; Dorfi, E A; Kislyakova, K G; Kulikov, Yu N; Leitzinger, M; Güdel, M

    2013-01-01

    Latest research in planet formation indicate that Mars formed within a few million years (Myr) and remained a planetary embryo that never grew to a more massive planet. It can also be expected from dynamical models, that most of Mars' building blocks consisted of material that formed in orbital locations just beyond the ice line which could have contained ~0.1-0.2 wt. % of H2O. By using these constraints, we estimate the nebula-captured and catastrophically outgassed volatile contents during the solidification of Mars' magma ocean and apply a hydrodynamic upper atmosphere model for the study of the soft X-ray and extreme ultraviolet (XUV) driven thermal escape of the martian protoatmosphere during the early active epoch of the young Sun. The amount of gas that has been captured from the protoplanetary disk into the planetary atmosphere is calculated by solving the hydrostatic structure equations in the protoplanetary nebula. Depending on nebular properties such as the dust grain depletion factor, planetesimal...

  3. Evidence From Hydrogen Isotopes in Meteorites for a Martian Permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usui, T.; Alexander, C. M. O'D.; Wang, J.; Simon, J. I.; Jones, J. H.

    2014-01-01

    Fluvial landforms on Mars suggest that it was once warm enough to maintain persistent liquid water on its surface. The transition to the present cold and dry Mars is closely linked to the history of surface water, yet the evolution of surficial water is poorly constrained. We have investigated the evolution of surface water/ ice and its interaction with the atmosphere by measurements of hydrogen isotope ratios (D/H: deuterium/ hydrogen) of martian meteorites. Hydrogen is a major component of water (H2O) and its isotopes fractionate significantly during hydrological cycling between the atmosphere, surface waters, ground ice, and polar cap ice. Based on in situ ion microprobe analyses of three geochemically different shergottites, we reported that there is a water/ice reservoir with an intermediate D/H ratio (delta D = 1,000?2500 %) on Mars. Here we present the possibility that this water/ice reservoir represents a ground-ice/permafrost that has existed relatively intact over geologic time.

  4. Large sulfur isotope fractionations in Martian sediments at Gale crater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franz, H. B.; McAdam, A. C.; Ming, D. W.; Freissinet, C.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Eldridge, D. L.; Fischer, W. W.; Grotzinger, J. P.; House, C. H.; Hurowitz, J. A.; McLennan, S. M.; Schwenzer, S. P.; Vaniman, D. T.; Archer, P. D., Jr.; Atreya, S. K.; Conrad, P. G.; Dottin, J. W., III; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Farley, K. A.; Glavin, D. P.; Johnson, S. S.; Knudson, C. A.; Morris, R. V.; Navarro-González, R.; Pavlov, A. A.; Plummer, R.; Rampe, E. B.; Stern, J. C.; Steele, A.; Summons, R. E.; Sutter, B.

    2017-09-01

    Variability in the sulfur isotopic composition in sediments can reflect atmospheric, geologic and biological processes. Evidence for ancient fluvio-lacustrine environments at Gale crater on Mars and a lack of efficient crustal recycling mechanisms on the planet suggests a surface environment that was once warm enough to allow the presence of liquid water, at least for discrete periods of time, and implies a greenhouse effect that may have been influenced by sulfur-bearing volcanic gases. Here we report in situ analyses of the sulfur isotopic compositions of SO2 volatilized from ten sediment samples acquired by NASA’s Curiosity rover along a 13 km traverse of Gale crater. We find large variations in sulfur isotopic composition that exceed those measured for Martian meteorites and show both depletion and enrichment in 34S. Measured values of δ34S range from -47 +/- 14‰ to 28 +/- 7‰, similar to the range typical of terrestrial environments. Although limited geochronological constraints on the stratigraphy traversed by Curiosity are available, we propose that the observed sulfur isotopic signatures at Gale crater can be explained by equilibrium fractionation between sulfate and sulfide in an impact-driven hydrothermal system and atmospheric processing of sulfur-bearing gases during transient warm periods.

  5. Changes in gas exchange characteristics during the life span of giant sequoia: implications for response to current and future concentrations of atmospheric ozone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grulke, N. E.; Miller, P. R.

    1994-01-01

    Native stands of giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum Bucholz) are being exposed to relatively high concentrations of atmospheric ozone produced in urban and agricultural areas upwind. The expected change in environmental conditions over the next 100 years is likely to be unprecedented in the life span (about 2,500 years) of giant sequoia. We determined changes in physiological responses of three age classes of giant sequoia (current-year, 12-, and 125-year-old) to differing concentrations of ozone, and assessed age-related differences in sensitivity to pollutants by examining physiological changes (gas exchange, water use efficiency) across the life span of giant sequoia (current-year, 2-, 5-, 20-, 125-, and > 2,000-year-old trees). The CO(2) exchange rate (CER) was greater in current-year (12.1 micro mol CO(2) m(-2) s(-1)) and 2-year-old seedlings (4.8 micro mol CO(2) m(-2) s(-1)) than in all older trees (3.0 micro mol CO(2) m(-2) s(-1), averaged across the four older age classes). Dark respiration was highest for current-year seedlings (-6.5 +/- 0.7 micro mol CO(2) m(-2) s(-1)) and was increased twofold in symptomatic individuals exposed to elevated ozone concentrations. Stomatal conductance (g(s)) was greater in current-year (355 mmol H(2)O m(-2) s(-1)) and 2-year-old seedlings (200 mmol H(2)O m(-2) s(-1)) than in all older trees (50 mmol H(2)O m(-2) s(-1)), indicating that the ozone concentration in substomatal cavities is higher in young seedlings than in trees. Significant changes in water use efficiency, as indicated by C(i)/C(a), occurred in trees between ages 5 and 20 years. We conclude that giant sequoias seedlings are sensitive to atmospheric ozone until they are about 5 years old. Low conductance, high water use efficiency, and compact mesophyll all contribute to a natural ozone tolerance, or defense, or both, in foliage of older trees.

  6. Global Monitoring of Atmospheric Trace Gases, Clouds and Aerosols from UV/vis/NIR Satellite Instruments: Currents Status and Near Future Perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, T.; Beirle, S.; Deutschmann, T.; Frankenberg, C.; Grzegorski, M.; Khokhar, M. F.; Kühl, S.; Marbach, T.; Mies, K.; de Vries, M. Penning; Platt, U.; Pukite, J.; Sanghavi, S.

    2008-04-01

    A new generation of UV/vis/near-IR satellite instruments like GOME (since 1995), SCIAMACHY (since 2002), OMI (since 2004), and GOME-2 (since 2006) allows to measure several important stratospheric and tropospheric trace gases like O3, NO2, OClO, HCHO, SO2, BrO, and H2O as well as clouds and aerosols from space. Because of its extended spectral range, the SCIAMACHY instrument also allows the retrieval of Greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4) and CO in the near IR. Almost all of the tropospheric trace gases are observed by these instruments for the first time. From satellite data it is possible to investigate the temporal and spatial variation. Also different sources can be characterised and quantified. The derived global distributions can serve as input and for the validation of atmospheric models. Here we give an overview on the current status of these new instruments and data products and their recent applications to various atmospheric and oceanic phenomena.

  7. Geologic history of Martian regolith breccia Northwest Africa 7034: Evidence for hydrothermal activity and lithologic diversity in the Martian crust

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCubbin, Francis M.; Boyce, Jeremy W.; Novák-Szabó, Tímea; Santos, Alison R.; Tartèse, Romain; Muttik, Nele; Domokos, Gabor; Vazquez, Jorge; Keller, Lindsay P.; Moser, Desmond E.; Jerolmack, Douglas J.; Shearer, Charles K.; Steele, Andrew; Elardo, Stephen M.; Rahman, Zia; Anand, Mahesh; Delhaye, Thomas; Agee, Carl B.

    2016-10-01

    The timing and mode of deposition for Martian regolith breccia Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034 were determined by combining petrography, shape analysis, and thermochronology. NWA 7034 is composed of igneous, impact, and brecciated clasts within a thermally annealed submicron matrix of pulverized crustal rocks and devitrified impact/volcanic glass. The brecciated clasts are likely lithified portions of Martian regolith with some evidence of past hydrothermal activity. Represented lithologies are primarily ancient crustal materials with crystallization ages as old as 4.4 Ga. One ancient zircon was hosted by an alkali-rich basalt clast, confirming that alkalic volcanism occurred on Mars very early. NWA 7034 is composed of fragmented particles that do not exhibit evidence of having undergone bed load transport by wind or water. The clast size distribution is similar to terrestrial pyroclastic deposits. We infer that the clasts were deposited by atmospheric rainout subsequent to a pyroclastic eruption(s) and/or impact event(s), although the ancient ages of igneous components favor mobilization by impact(s). Despite ancient components, the breccia has undergone a single pervasive thermal event at 500-800°C, evident by groundmass texture and concordance of 1.5 Ga dates for bulk rock K-Ar, U-Pb in apatite, and U-Pb in metamict zircons. The 1.5 Ga age is likely a thermal event that coincides with rainout/breccia lithification. We infer that the episodic process of regolith lithification dominated sedimentary processes during the Amazonian Epoch. The absence of pre-Amazonian high-temperature metamorphic events recorded in ancient zircons indicates source domains of static southern highland crust punctuated by episodic impact modification.

  8. Nuclear rocket using indigenous Martian fuel NIMF

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zubrin, Robert

    1991-01-01

    In the 1960's, Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR) engines were developed and ground tested capable of yielding isp of up to 900 s at thrusts up to 250 klb. Numerous trade studies have shown that such traditional hydrogen fueled NTR engines can reduce the inertial mass low earth orbit (IMLEO) of lunar missions by 35 percent and Mars missions by 50 to 65 percent. The same personnel and facilities used to revive the hydrogen NTR can also be used to develop NTR engines capable of using indigenous Martian volatiles as propellant. By putting this capacity of the NTR to work in a Mars descent/acent vehicle, the Nuclear rocket using Indigenous Martian Fuel (NIMF) can greatly reduce the IMLEO of a manned Mars mission, while giving the mission unlimited planetwide mobility.

  9. Martian Dust Collected by Phoenix's Arm

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    This image from NASA's Phoenix Lander's Optical Microscope shows particles of Martian dust lying on the microscope's silicon substrate. The Robotic Arm sprinkled a sample of the soil from the Snow White trench onto the microscope on July 2, 2008, the 38th Martian day, or sol, of the mission after landing. Subsequently, the Atomic Force Microscope, or AFM, zoomed in one of the fine particles, creating the first-ever image of a particle of Mars' ubiquitous fine dust, the most highly magnified image ever seen from another world. The Atomic Force Microscope was developed by a Swiss-led consortium in collaboration with Imperial College London. The AFM is part of Phoenix's Microscopy, Electrochemistry and Conductivity Analyzer instrument. The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  10. Amino Acids in the Martian Meteorite Nakhla

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, Daniel P.; Bada, Jeffrey L.; Brinton, Karen L. F.; McDonald, Gene D.

    1999-08-01

    A suite of protein and nonprotein amino acids were detected with high-performance liquid chromatography in the water- and acid-soluble components of an interior fragment of the Martian meteorite Nakhla, which fell in Egypt in 1911. Aspartic and glutamic acids, glycine, alanine, β -alanine, and γ -amino-n-butyric acid (γ -ABA) were the most abundant amino acids detected and were found primarily in the 6 M HCl-hydrolyzed, hot water extract. The concentrations ranged from 20 to 330 parts per billion of bulk meteorite. The amino acid distribution in Nakhla, including the D/L ratios (values range from contamination of Martian meteorites after direct exposure to the terrestrial environment has important implications for Mars sample-return missions and the curation of the samples from the time of their delivery to Earth.

  11. Phoenix Conductivity Probe Inserted into Martian Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander inserted the four needles of its thermal and conductivity probe into Martian soil during the 98th Martian day, or sol, of the mission and left it in place until Sol 99 (Sept. 4, 2008). The Robotic Arm Camera on Phoenix took this image on the morning of Sol 99 while the probe's needles were in the ground. The science team informally named this soil target 'Gandalf.' The thermal and conductivity probe measures how fast heat and electricity move from one needle to an adjacent one through the soil or air between the needles. Conductivity readings can be indicators about water vapor, water ice and liquid water. The probe is part of Phoenix's Microscopy, Electrochemistry and Conductivity suite of instruments. The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  12. Ice sculpture in the Martian outflow channels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucchitta, B. K.

    1982-01-01

    Viking Orbiter and terrestrial satellite images are examined at similar resolution to compare features of the Martian outflow channels with features produced by the movement of ice on earth, and many resemblances are found. These include the anastomoses, sinuosities, and U-shaped cross profiles of valleys; hanging valleys; linear scour marks on valley walls; grooves and ridges on valley floors; and the streamlining of bedrock highs. Attention is given to the question whether ice could have moved in the Martian environment. It is envisaged that springs or small catastrophic outbursts discharged fluids from structural outlets or chaotic terrains. These fluids built icings that may have grown into substantial masses and eventually flowed like glaciers down preexisting valleys. An alternative is that the fluids formed rivers or floods that in turn formed ice jams and consolidated into icy masses in places where obstacles blocked their flow.

  13. Oxidant enhancement in martian dust devils and storms: implications for life and habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atreya, Sushil K; Wong, Ah-San; Renno, Nilton O; Farrell, William M; Delory, Gregory T; Sentman, Davis D; Cummer, Steven A; Marshall, John R; Rafkin, Scot C R; Catling, David C

    2006-06-01

    We investigate a new mechanism for producing oxidants, especially hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), on Mars. Large-scale electrostatic fields generated by charged sand and dust in the martian dust devils and storms, as well as during normal saltation, can induce chemical changes near and above the surface of Mars. The most dramatic effect is found in the production of H2O2 whose atmospheric abundance in the "vapor" phase can exceed 200 times that produced by photochemistry alone. With large electric fields, H2O2 abundance gets large enough for condensation to occur, followed by precipitation out of the atmosphere. Large quantities of H2O2 would then be adsorbed into the regolith, either as solid H2O2 "dust" or as re-evaporated vapor if the solid does not survive as it diffuses from its production region close to the surface. We suggest that this H2O2, or another superoxide processed from it in the surface, may be responsible for scavenging organic material from Mars. The presence of H2O2 in the surface could also accelerate the loss of methane from the atmosphere, thus requiring a larger source for maintaining a steady-state abundance of methane on Mars. The surface oxidants, together with storm electric fields and the harmful ultraviolet radiation that readily passes through the thin martian atmosphere, are likely to render the surface of Mars inhospitable to life as we know it.

  14. Study and Control of Various Corona Modes in an Atmospheric Pressure Weakly Ionized Plasma Reactor Using a Current Sensor Characterized by a Broad Frequency Band

    Science.gov (United States)

    Islam, Rokibul; Pedrow, Patrick; Lekobou, William; Englund, Karl

    2013-09-01

    A broad band current sensor is being used to monitor the various phenomena (primary streamers, secondary streamers, back corona, etc.) associated with an atmospheric pressure needle-array-to-grounded-screen corona discharge. The reactor consists of a PVC tube and the needle array consists of nickel coated steel electrodes with radius of curvature about 50 μ . The grounded screen is made from stainless steel mesh and applied voltage has a frequency of 60 Hz with an RMS value ranging from 0 to 10 kV. The voltage sensor is a resistive divider and the current sensor is a viewing resistor with value 50 Ω. The feed gas stream is presently (argon + acetylene) or (argon + oxygen) with the argon acting as carrier gas and the acetylene and oxygen acting as precursor gases. Voltage and current are captured with a LeCroy 9350AL 500MHz oscilloscope and analyzed with Matlab using digital signal processing algorithms. The goals of the research are 1) to measure reactor electrical power on a real time basis; 2) to provide real time control of the applied voltage and thus avoid spark conditions; and 3) to identify the various corona modes present in the reactor. Processing of substrates takes place downstream from the grounded screen, outside of the harsh corona discharge environment.

  15. Reactive spark plasma sintering of MgB2 in nitrogen atmosphere for the enhancement of the high-field critical current density

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badica, P.; Burdusel, M.; Popa, S.; Pasuk, I.; Ivan, I.; Borodianska, H.; Vasylkiv, O.; Kuncser, A.; Ionescu, A. M.; Miu, L.; Aldica, G.

    2016-10-01

    High density bulks (97%-99%) of MgB2 were prepared by spark plasma sintering (SPS) in nitrogen (N2) atmosphere for different heating rates (10, 20 and 100 °C min-1) and compared with reference samples processed in vacuum and Ar. N2 reacts with MgB2 and forms MgB9N along the MgB2 grain boundaries. The high-field critical current density is enhanced for the sample processed in N2 with a heating rate of 100 °C min-1. At 2-35 K, this sample shows the strongest contribution of the grain boundary pinning (GBP). All samples are in the point pinning (PP) limit and by increasing temperature the GBP contribution decreases.

  16. Current and Projected Capabilities of the Solar Tower Atmospheric Cherenkov Effect Experiment (STACEE) for gamma -ray Astronomy below 100 GeV

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chantell, M. C.; Covault, C. E.; Dragovan, M.; Ong, R. A.; Oser, S.; Bhattacharya, D.; Tumer, O. T.; Gregorich, D. T.; Hanna, D. S.; Williams, D. A.

    1997-05-01

    There are currently no experiments, either satellite or ground-based, that are sensitive to astrophysical gamma -rays in the energy range between 20 and 250 GeV. We are developing the Solar Tower Atmospheric Cherenkov Effect Experiment (STACEE) to explore this energy range. STACEE will use heliostat mirrors at the National Solar Thermal Test Facility, located at Sandia National Laboratorys near Albuquerque NM., to collect Cherenkov light produced by extensive air showers initiated by high energy gamma -rays. The STACEE collaboration has recently completed a series of tests at this site that demonstrate the ability of this experiment to operate with a gamma -ray energy threshold well below 100 GeV. We present the results of these tests and use them to predict the scientific potential of a 32 heliostat experiment operating for a full winter-spring observing season.

  17. Assessing levels and seasonal variations of current-use pesticides (CUPs) in the Tuscan atmosphere, Italy, using polyurethane foam disks (PUF) passive air samplers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estellano, Victor H; Pozo, Karla; Efstathiou, Christos; Pozo, Katerine; Corsolini, Simonetta; Focardi, Silvano

    2015-10-01

    Polyurethane foam disks (PUF) passive air samplers (PAS) were deployed over 4 sampling periods of 3-5-months (≥ 1 year) at ten urban and rural locations throughout the Tuscany Region. The purpose was to assess the occurrence and seasonal variations of ten current-use pesticides (CUPs). PUF disk extracts were analyzed using GC-MS. The organophosphates insecticides; chlorpyrifos (3-580 pg m(-3)) and chlorpyrifos-methyl (below detection limit - to 570 pg m(-3)) presented the highest levels in air, and showed seasonal fluctuation coinciding with the growing seasons. The relative proportion urban/(urban + rural) ranged from 0.4 to 0.7 showing no differences between urban and rural concentrations. Air back trajectories analysis showed air masses passing over agricultural fields and potentially enhancing the drift of pesticides into the urban sites. This study represents the first information regarding CUPs in the atmosphere of Tuscany region using PAS-PUF disk.

  18. Unusual Iron Redox Systematics of Martian Magmas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danielson, L.; Righter, K.; Pando, K.; Morris, R. V.; Graff, T.; Agresti, D.; Martin, A.; Sutton, S.; Newville, M.; Lanzirotti, A.

    2012-01-01

    Martian magmas are known to be FeO-rich and the dominant FeO-bearing mineral at many sites visited by the Mars Exploration rovers (MER) is magnetite. Morris et al. proposed that the magnetite appears to be igneous in origin, rather than of secondary origin. However, magnetite is not typically found in experimental studies of martian magmatic rocks. Magnetite stability in terrestrial magmas is well understood, as are the stabilities of FeO and Fe2O3 in terrestrial magmas. In order to better understand the variation of FeO and Fe2O3, and the stability of magnetite (and other FeO-bearing phases) in martian magmas, we have undertaken an experimental study with two emphases. First, we determine the FeO and Fe2O3 contents of super- and sub-liquidus glasses from a shergottite bulk composition at 1 bar to 4 GPa, and variable fO2. Second, we document the stability of magnetite with temperature and fO2 in a shergottite bulk composition.

  19. Iron Redox Systematics of Martian Magmas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Righter, K.; Danielson, L.; Martin, A.; Pando, K.; Sutton, S.; Newville, M.

    2011-01-01

    Martian magmas are known to be FeO-rich and the dominant FeO-bearing mineral at many sites visited by the Mars Exploration rovers (MER) is magnetite [1]. Morris et al. [1] propose that the magnetite appears to be igneous in origin, rather than of secondary origin. However, magnetite is not typically found in experimental studies of martian magmatic rocks [2,3]. Magnetite stability in terrestrial magmas is well understood, as are the stability of FeO and Fe2O3 in terrestrial magmas [4,5]. In order to better understand the variation of FeO and Fe2O3, and the stability of magnetite (and other FeO-bearing phases) in martian magmas we have undertaken an experimental study with two emphases. First we document the stability of magnetite with temperature and fO2 in a shergottite bulk composition. Second, we determine the FeO and Fe2O3 contents of the same shergottite bulk composition at 1 bar and variable fO2 at 1250 C, and at variable pressure. These two goals will help define not only magnetite stability, but pyroxene-melt equilibria that are also dependent upon fO2.

  20. Martian regolith geochemistry and sampling techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B. C.

    1988-01-01

    Laboratory study of samples of the intermediate and fine-grained regolith, including duricrust peds, is a fundamental prerequisite for understanding the types of physical and chemical weathering processes on Mars. The extraordinary importance of such samples is their relevance to understanding past changes in climate, availability (and possible physical state) of water, eolian forces, the thermal and chemical influences of volcanic and impact processes, and the inventory and fates of Martian volatiles. Fortunately, this regolith material appears to be ubiquitous over the Martian surface, and should be available at many different landing sites. Viking data has been interpreted to indicate a smectite-rich regolith material, implying extensive weathering involving aqueous activity and geochemical alteration. An all-igneous source of the Martian fines has also been proposed. The X-ray fluorescence measurement data set can now be fully explained in terms of a simple two-component model. The first component is silicate, having strong geochemical similarities with Shergottites, but not other SNC meteorites. The second component is salt. Variations in these components could produce silicate and salt-rich beds, the latter being of high potential importance for microenvironments in which liquid water (brines) could exist. It therefore would be desirable to scan the surface of the regolith for such prospects.

  1. The Germanium Dichotomy in Martian Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humayun, M.; Yang, S.; Righter, K.; Zanda, B.; Hewins, R. H.

    2016-01-01

    Germanium is a moderately volatile and siderophile element that follows silicon in its compatibility during partial melting of planetary mantles. Despite its obvious usefulness in planetary geochemistry germanium is not analyzed routinely, with there being only three prior studies reporting germanium abundances in Martian meteorites. The broad range (1-3 ppm) observed in Martian igneous rocks is in stark contrast to the narrow range of germanium observed in terrestrial basalts (1.5 plus or minus 0.1 ppm). The germanium data from these studies indicates that nakhlites contain 2-3 ppm germanium, while shergottites contain approximately 1 ppm germanium, a dichotomy with important implications for core formation models. There have been no reliable germanium abundances on chassignites. The ancient meteoritic breccia, NWA 7533 (and paired meteorites) contains numerous clasts, some pristine and some impact melt rocks, that are being studied individually. Because germanium is depleted in the Martian crust relative to chondritic impactors, it has proven useful as an indicator of meteoritic contamination of impact melt clasts in NWA 7533. The germanium/silicon ratio can be applied to minerals that might not partition nickel and iridium, like feldspars. We report germanium in minerals from the 3 known chassignites, 2 nakhlites and 5 shergottites by LAICP- MS using a method optimized for precise germanium analysis.

  2. Temporal and spatial mapping of surface albedo and atmospheric dust opacity on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, S. W.; Clancy, R. T.; Gladstone, G. R.

    1993-01-01

    The Mariner 9 and Viking provided abundant evidence that eolian processes are active over much of the surface of Mars. Past studies have demonstrated that variations in regional albedo and wind-streak patterns are indicative of sediment transport through a region, while thermal inertia data (derived from the Viking Infrared Thermal Mapper (IRTM) dataset) are indicative of the degree of surface mantling by dust deposits. The visual and thermal data are therefore diagnostic of whether net erosion or deposition of dust-storm fallout is taking place currently and whether such processes have been active in a region over the long term. These previous investigations, however, have not attempted to correct for the effects of atmospheric dust loading on observations of the martian surface, so quantitative studies of current sediment transport rates have included large errors due to uncertainty in the magnitude of this 'atmospheric component' of the observations. We have developed a radiative transfer model that allows the atmospheric dust opacity to be determined from IRTM thermal observations. Corrections for the effects of atmospheric dust loading on observations of surface albedo can also be modeled. This approach to determining 'dust-corrected surface albedo' incorporates the atmospheric dust opacity, the single-scattering albedo and particle phase function of atmospheric dust, and the bidirectional reflectance of the surface, and it accounts for variable lighting and viewing geometry.

  3. SNC Meteorites: Atmosphere Implantation Ages and the Climatic Evolution of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moyano-Cambero, C. E.; Trigo-Rodríguez, Josep M.; Martín-Torres, F. Javier

    SNC meteorites are Martian rocks that provide valuable information about the atmospheric composition of Mars over time. These meteorites experienced significant shock during the impact that released them from Mars, and during the flight through the Martian atmosphere some of the gases were retained in the melted shock-altered glasses. As using different radiogenic systems can precisely date such shock processes, SNC achondrites can be considered time capsules capable of providing significant insight into the atmospheric evolution of Mars. Different SNCs were released by impacts at different times, having then different atmosphere-implantation ages, so in practice we can obtain clues on the composition of Mars' atmosphere at different times. Taking this information into account, we have developed a 1D model of the evolution of Martian Mars' atmosphere mass, near surface temperature and pressure.

  4. Meteorological observations on Martian surface : met-packages of Mars-96 Small Stations and Penetrators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A.-M.; Linkin, V.; Polkko, J.; Marov, M.; Pommereau, J.-P.; Lipatov, A.; Siili, T.; Manuilov, K.; Lebedev, V.; Lehto, A.; Pellinen, R.; Pirjola, R.; Carpentier, T.; Malique, C.; Makarov, V.; Khloustova, L.; Esposito, L.; Maki, J.; Lawrence, G.; Lystsev, V.

    1998-02-01

    The scientific objectives of a meterological experiment on the Martian surface are defined, and the meteorological equipment of the landing elements of the Mars-96 mission are described with emphasis on the applicability for re-use in forthcoming Mars missions. The general strategy for atmospheric surface observations is discussed. Meteorological surface observations are of utmost value in studying the Martian atmosphere. The climatological cycles and atmospheric circulations, as well as the boundary layer phenomena can be understood thoroughly only, if the contribution of in situ surface measurements are amalgamated with the remote observations. The Mars-96 mission had an ambitious goal of deploying four versatile payloads at four Northern hemispheric sites. The observations of pressure, temperature, wind, atmospheric optical thickness and humidity, as well as pressure and temperature measurements during the atmospheric descent were included in the meteorology experiment. Even though the Mars-96 mission was unsuccessful, the objectives and implementation of the meteorology experiment are applicable to any forthcoming landing mission to Mars. This applies both to a mission having a number of observation sites spread all over the surface of Mars, and to a single lander or rover. The main operational objective of this meteorological experiment is to provide a regular time series of the meteorological parameters with accelerated measurement campaigns during dawn and dusk. Such a data set would substantially improve our understanding of the atmospheric structure, dynamics, climatological cycles, and the atmosphere-surface interactions. The implementation of the meteorology instrument features advanced sensor technology and flexible system design. The application on the Mars-96 landing elements was, however, severely constrained by the limited power supply. The usefulness of the system can be substantially enhanced by modest additional resources and with few or no

  5. Thermal conductivity measurements of particulate materials under Martian conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Presley, M. A.; Christensen, P. R.

    1993-01-01

    The mean particle diameter of surficial units on Mars has been approximated by applying thermal inertia determinations from the Mariner 9 Infrared Radiometer and the Viking Infrared Thermal Mapper data together with thermal conductivity measurement. Several studies have used this approximation to characterize surficial units and infer their nature and possible origin. Such interpretations are possible because previous measurements of the thermal conductivity of particulate materials have shown that particle size significantly affects thermal conductivity under martian atmospheric pressures. The transfer of thermal energy due to collisions of gas molecules is the predominant mechanism of thermal conductivity in porous systems for gas pressures above about 0.01 torr. At martian atmospheric pressures the mean free path of the gas molecules becomes greater than the effective distance over which conduction takes place between the particles. Gas particles are then more likely to collide with the solid particles than they are with each other. The average heat transfer distance between particles, which is related to particle size, shape and packing, thus determines how fast heat will flow through a particulate material.The derived one-to-one correspondence of thermal inertia to mean particle diameter implies a certain homogeneity in the materials analyzed. Yet the samples used were often characterized by fairly wide ranges of particle sizes with little information about the possible distribution of sizes within those ranges. Interpretation of thermal inertia data is further limited by the lack of data on other effects on the interparticle spacing relative to particle size, such as particle shape, bimodal or polymodal mixtures of grain sizes and formation of salt cements between grains. To address these limitations and to provide a more comprehensive set of thermal conductivities vs. particle size a linear heat source apparatus, similar to that of Cremers, was assembled to

  6. Determining the source locations of martian meteorites: Hapke mixture models applied to CRISM simulated data of igneous mineral mixtures and martian meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Jennifer; Grindrod, Peter

    2017-04-01

    At present, martian meteorites represent the only samples of Mars available for study in terrestrial laboratories. However, these samples have never been definitively tied to source locations on Mars, meaning that the fundamental geological context is missing. The goal of this work is to link the bulk mineralogical analyses of martian meteorites to the surface geology of Mars through spectral mixture analysis of hyperspectral imagery. Hapke radiation transfer modelling has been shown to provide accurate (within 5 - 10% absolute error) mineral abundance values from laboratory derived hyperspectral measurements of binary [1] and ternary [2] mixtures of plagioclase, pyroxene and olivine. These three minerals form the vast bulk of the SNC meteorites [3] and the bedrock of the Amazonian provinces on Mars that are inferred to be the source regions for these meteorites based on isotopic aging. Spectral unmixing through the Hapke model could be used to quantitatively analyse the Martian surface and pinpoint the exact craters from which the SNC meteorites originated. However the Hapke model is complex with numerous variables, many of which are determinable in laboratory conditions but not from remote measurements of a planetary surface. Using binary and tertiary spectral mixtures and martian meteorite spectra from the RELAB spectral library, the accuracy of Hapke abundance estimation is investigated in the face of increasing constraints and simplifications to simulate CRISM data. Constraints and simplifications include reduced spectral resolution, additional noise, unknown endmembers and unknown particle physical characteristics. CRISM operates in two spectral resolutions, the Full Resolution Targeted (FRT) with which it has imaged approximately 2% of the martian surface, and the lower spectral resolution MultiSpectral Survey mode (MSP) with which it has covered the vast majority of the surface. On resampling the RELAB spectral mixtures to these two wavelength ranges it was

  7. The investigation of active Martian dune fields using very high resolution photogrammetric measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jungrack; Kim, Younghwi; Park, Minseong

    2016-10-01

    At the present time, arguments continue regarding the migration speeds of Martian dune fields and their correlation with atmospheric circulation. However, precisely measuring the spatial translation of Martian dunes has succeeded only a very few times—for example, in the Nili Patera study (Bridges et al. 2012) using change-detection algorithms and orbital imagery. Therefore, in this study, we developed a generic procedure to precisely measure the migration of dune fields with recently introduced 25-cm resolution orbital imagery specifically using a high-accuracy photogrammetric processor. The processor was designed to trace estimated dune migration, albeit slight, over the Martian surface by 1) the introduction of very high resolution ortho images and stereo analysis based on hierarchical geodetic control for better initial point settings; 2) positioning error removal throughout the sensor model refinement with a non-rigorous bundle block adjustment, which makes possible the co-alignment of all images in a time series; and 3) improved sub-pixel co-registration algorithms using optical flow with a refinement stage conducted on a pyramidal grid processor and a blunder classifier. Moreover, volumetric changes of Martian dunes were additionally traced by means of stereo analysis and photoclinometry. The established algorithms have been tested using high-resolution HIRISE time-series images over several Martian dune fields. Dune migrations were iteratively processed both spatially and volumetrically, and the results were integrated to be compared to the Martian climate model. Migrations over well-known crater dune fields appeared to be almost static for the considerable temporal periods and were weakly correlated with wind directions estimated by the Mars Climate Database (Millour et al. 2015). As a result, a number of measurements over dune fields in the Mars Global Dune Database (Hayward et al. 2014) covering polar areas and mid-latitude will be demonstrated

  8. Global Climate Modeling of the Martian water cycle with improved microphysics and radiatively active water ice clouds

    CERN Document Server

    Navarro, Thomas; Forget, François; Spiga, Aymeric; Millour, Ehouarn; Montmessin, Franck

    2013-01-01

    Radiative effects of water ice clouds have noteworthy consequences on the Martian atmosphere, its thermal structure and circulation. Accordingly, the inclusion of such effects in the LMD Mars Global Climate Model (GCM) greatly modifies the simulated Martian water cycle. The intent of this paper is to address the impact of radiatively active clouds on atmospheric water vapor and ice in the GCM and improve its representation. We propose a new enhanced modeling of the water cycle, consisting of detailed cloud microphysics with dynamic condensation nuclei and a better implementation of perennial surface water ice. This physical modeling is based on tunable parameters. This new version of the GCM is compared to the Thermal Emission Spectrometer observations of the water cycle. Satisfying results are reached for both vapor and cloud opacities. However, simulations yield a lack of water vapor in the tropics after Ls=180{\\deg} which is persistent in simulatio