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See detailA warm layer in Venus' cryosphere and high-altitude measurements of HF, HCl, H[SUB]2[/SUB]O and HDO
Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Vandaele, Ann-Carine; Korablev, Oleg et al

in Nature (2007), 450

Venus has thick clouds of H[SUB]2[/SUB]SO[SUB]4[/SUB] aerosol particles extending from altitudes of 40 to 60km. The 60-100km region (the mesosphere) is a transition region between the 4day retrograde ... [more ▼]

Venus has thick clouds of H[SUB]2[/SUB]SO[SUB]4[/SUB] aerosol particles extending from altitudes of 40 to 60km. The 60-100km region (the mesosphere) is a transition region between the 4day retrograde superrotation at the top of the thick clouds and the solar-antisolar circulation in the thermosphere (above 100km), which has upwelling over the subsolar point and transport to the nightside. The mesosphere has a light haze of variable optical thickness, with CO, SO[SUB]2[/SUB], HCl, HF, H[SUB]2[/SUB]O and HDO as the most important minor gaseous constituents, but the vertical distribution of the haze and molecules is poorly known because previous descent probes began their measurements at or below 60km. Here we report the detection of an extensive layer of warm air at altitudes 90-120km on the night side that we interpret as the result of adiabatic heating during air subsidence. Such a strong temperature inversion was not expected, because the night side of Venus was otherwise so cold that it was named the `cryosphere' above 100km. We also measured the mesospheric distributions of HF, HCl, H[SUB]2[/SUB]O and HDO. HCl is less abundant than reported 40years ago. HDO/H[SUB]2[/SUB]O is enhanced by a factor of ~2.5 with respect to the lower atmosphere, and there is a general depletion of H[SUB]2[/SUB]O around 80-90km for which we have no explanation. [less ▲]

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See detailDYNAMO: a Mars upper atmosphere package for investigating solar wind interaction and escape processes, and mapping Martian fields
Chassefière, E.; Nagy, A.; Mandea, M. et al

in Advances in Space Research (2004), 33

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 ... [more ▼]

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 arid 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 of periapsis 170 km), and in a lesser extent 2a, offers an unprecedented opportunity to investigate by in situ probing the chemical and dynamical properties of the deep ionosphere, thermosphere, and the interaction between the atmosphere and the solar wind, and therefore the present atmospheric escape rate. 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, which should be made before the end of 2002, will depend on available funding resources at CNES. [less ▲]

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