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See detailTime variations of O2(a1Delta) nightglow spots on the Venus nightside and dynamics of the upper mesosphere
Soret, Lauriane ULg; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg; Piccioni, Giuseppe et al

in Icarus (2014), 237

The dynamical regime of the Venus upper atmosphere is mainly decomposed into three regions. The first one, located below 65 km of altitude is governed by the retrograde superrotational zonal (RSZ ... [more ▼]

The dynamical regime of the Venus upper atmosphere is mainly decomposed into three regions. The first one, located below 65 km of altitude is governed by the retrograde superrotational zonal (RSZ) circulation. The second region above 130 km is dominated by the subsolar to antisolar (SS–AS) circulation. The dynamics of the transition region in between are still not fully understood. However, the O2(a1D) nightglow emission at 1.27 lm, whose emitting layer is located at 96 km, can be used as a tracer of the dynamics in this transition region and the imaging spectrometer VIRTIS-M on board Venus Express, orbiting Venus since April 2006, acquired a large amount of nadir observations at this wavelength. Several previous studies showed that the O2(a1D) nightglow emission is statistically located near the antisolar point. In this study, individual VIRTIS-M nadir observations have been analyzed to investigate the variability of the phenomenon. Bright patches of 1.27 lm airglow have been extracted from every observation. It appears that the location of the bright patch is highly variable, even though the brightest patches occur near the antisolar point. Nadir observations have also been divided into time series, allowing generating animations to follow the intensity and the displacement of bright patches over time. Apparent wind velocities and characteristic decay/rise times and have been deduced from these time series. The speed of the displacements varies from 0 up to 213 m s 1, with a mean value of 54 m s 1. Owing to the high variability of the direction of the displacements both in the short and the long terms, no clear trend of a global motion at 96 km can be deduced from these observations. The mean decay time is 750 min while the mean rise time is 1550 min. The decay time can be explained as a combination of radiative decay and atomic oxygen transport. [less ▲]

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See detailLatitudinal structure of the Venus O2 infrared airglow: A signature of small-scale dynamical processes in the upper atmosphere
Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg; Soret, Lauriane ULg; Piccioni, Giuseppe et al

in Icarus (2014), 236

Images of the nightside limb of Venus have been obtained in the northern hemisphere with the VIRTIS multispectral infrared imager on board Venus Express between April 2006 and October 2008. We analyze the ... [more ▼]

Images of the nightside limb of Venus have been obtained in the northern hemisphere with the VIRTIS multispectral infrared imager on board Venus Express between April 2006 and October 2008. We analyze the latitudinal distribution of the O2(a1D) airglow limb profiles at 1.27 lm to characterize its distribution and variability. We show that the instantaneous structure of the emission is very different from the statistical global view of an enhanced emission near the equator, decreasing in brightness and slightly increasing in altitude toward the poles. The peak intensity of the limb profiles varies by a factor up to 50 between the brightest spots and the darkest regions. The bright airglow spots correspond to regions of enhanced downward flow of oxygen atoms originating from the dayside. Considerable variations in brightness and morphology are observed in the altitude–latitudinal distribution over a 24-h period. Analysis of the limb profiles indicates that secondary airglow peaks located at altitudes higher than the mean value of 96 km are observed on about 30% of the latitudinal cuts, but they are concentrated in narrow latitude areas extending over a few hundred kilometers. Most of them occur in transition regions between two altitude regimes in the 50 to 60 N region, possibly associated with the drop of the cloud top altitude observed equatorward of the ‘‘cold collar’’. We interpret these results as an indication that the strength of vertical transport in this mesosphere–thermosphere transition region is very variable both in location and time. This variability, also observed in nadir airglow images and wind measurements, is a key characteristic of the mesosphere–thermosphere transition region. It may be caused by fluctuations of the global day-to-night circulation generated by gravity waves. We show with a one dimensional model that local enhancements of eddy transport is a possibility. This variability is currently not accounted for by global circulation models that predict a single stable region of enhanced airglow in the vicinity of the antisolar point. [less ▲]

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See detailThe time evolution of O2(a1Δ) individual observations acquired by VIRTIS-M on board Venus Express
Soret, Lauriane ULg; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg; Piccioni, Giuseppe et al

Poster (2013, June 10)

The O2(a1Δ) nightglow emission at 1.27 µm may be used as a tracer of the Venus upper mesosphere dynamics. This emission has been observed with VIRTIS-M-IR on board Venus Express. Previous studies showed ... [more ▼]

The O2(a1Δ) nightglow emission at 1.27 µm may be used as a tracer of the Venus upper mesosphere dynamics. This emission has been observed with VIRTIS-M-IR on board Venus Express. Previous studies showed that the emission maximum is statistically located close to the antisolar point at ∼96 km. This airglow results from the production of oxygen atoms on the Venus dayside by photodissociation and electron impact dissociation of CO2 and CO, which are then transported to the nightside by the subsolar to antisolar general circulation, where they recombine to create metastable O2(a1Δ) molecules. Their radiative deexcitation produces the O2(a1Δ) nightglow with a maximum near the antisolar point. However, VIRTIS individual observations indicate that the O2(a1Δ) nightglow emission is highly variable, both in intensity and location. Individual observations acquired every hour during a short period of time can also be grouped sequentially. Bright emission patches can thus be tracked and both their displacement and intensity variations can be analyzed. The peak intensity can vary from 1 to 6 megaRayleighs. We show that the emission peak moves with a mean value of ~80 m s-1, in good agreement with an earlier study by Hueso et al. (2008). The velocity vector in intensity and direction is evaluated approximately every 40 min. These displacements are highly variable, but some dynamical characteristics can be deduced from the observations. These results will be compared with other results of velocity determination in the upper mesosphere. [less ▲]

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See detailObservation de l’atmosphère de Vénus par le spectromètre imageur VIRTIS-M de Venus-Express : analyse des émissions nocturnes de O2 et OH
Soret, Lauriane ULg

Doctoral thesis (2013)

Venus, the second planet of the solar system, has a very dense CO2-dominated atmosphere. Above 50 km, its dynamics is usually decomposed into two main circulation patterns. The first one, the Retrograde ... [more ▼]

Venus, the second planet of the solar system, has a very dense CO2-dominated atmosphere. Above 50 km, its dynamics is usually decomposed into two main circulation patterns. The first one, the Retrograde Superrotating Zonal (RSZ) circulation, controls atmospheric layers below 65 km of altitude. This motion is related to the retrograde rotation of the planet. The second circulation operates above 120 km. This Subsolar-Antisolar (SS-AS) circulation generates a flux from the dayside to the nightside of Venus. It originates from the strong temperature gradients at the top of the atmospheric layer. Between 65 and 120km, the circulation is more complex and no in situ measurement has been performed to study this region of the atmosphere. However, it is possible to use minor atmospheric constituents and their spectral signatures as dynamic tracers to better understand this region. For example, oxygen atoms are produced by photodissociation of CO2 molecules which dominate the Venusian atmosphere. They are then carried by the SS-AS circulation to the planet nightside, where they recombine into O2 molecules in several metastable excited states. Their de-excitation produces measurable emissions, named nightglow which may be qualitatively investigated. This thesis focuses on the study of these emission phenomena. Data have been acquired by the Venus Express spacecraft, in a quasi-polar elliptical orbit around Venus since April 2006. More specifically, observations have been made with the VIRTIS-M instrument, a multispectral imager. As VIRTIS observes in the visible and near infrared domains, some molecular oxygen and hydroxyl transitions can be detected in the data. The main goal of this study has been to extract quantitative information from these observations and to analyze both the density of constituents (such as excited molecular oxygen, atomic oxygen and ozone) and the dynamical processes involved in this region of the Venusian atmosphere. In a first part, data acquired at 1.27 µm in nadir mode have been processed and analyzed in order to study the O2(a1Δg→X3Σg-) infrared atmospheric transition. Data processing consists in correcting the geometrical effects associated with the view angle, the cloud reflection and the thermal contribution. Data analysis following emission patches in individual data sets points out a large variability of the phenomenon, both in terms of brightness and localization. Emission peaks vary from 0.5 to 6 MegaRayleighs (MR) and may be observed over the entire southern hemisphere of the planet, which is the observable part in nadir mode. However, once the individual data are grouped together to generate a statistical map, our analysis shows that the emission at 1.27 µm is located around the antisolar point, which confirms the SS-AS circulation predominance. This map is improved in the northern hemisphere by adding vertical intensity profiles derived from limb images. These profiles are deconvolved to take into account VIRTIS-M spatial resolution and transformed by the Abel inversion to get a local profile of the volume emission rate. A vertical integration of these profiles simulates a nadir observation and completes the bidimensional statistical map of the O2(a1Δg) emission. The intensity reaches 1.6 MR at the antisolar point and the mean nightside value is 0.5 MR. This map, combined with limb profiles, allows to generate a tridimensional distribution of the emission. It shows that the emitting layer is located at ~96.5 km. These results, combined with a tridimensional distribution of the CO2 density (generated with the VTS3 model or measurements from the SPICAV spectrometer on board Venus Express) allows to generate a 3-D map of the atomic oxygen density. The mean nightside density value is 2.0x1011 cm-3 at 103.4 km. This empirical map validates the VTGCM model, as no measurements of the atomic oxygen density had ever been performed in this region of the Venus atmosphere. Other oxygen transitions have been detected in the visible domain (Migliorini et al., 2012): the Herzberg II (c1Σu-→X3Σg-) and Chamberlain (A’3Δu→a1Δg) transitions. Using CO2 and O density profiles derived from our previous study, these transitions have been modeled. Some reaction parameters, whose laboratory measurements are insufficient or inexistent, have thus been estimated. The distribution of the Herzberg I (A3Σu→X3Σg-) transition has also been simulated. Other emission limb profiles have also been extracted from the VIRTIS-M database: the OH(Δv=1) and OH(Δv=2) Meinel emission bands of the hydroxyl molecule. First, these profiles have been processed to subtract a stray signal. The simultaneous statistical study shows that IOH(Δv=1)= 0.60 MR and IOH(Δv=2)=0.23 MR at ~97 km and that their intensity are correlated. The spectral analysis with synthetic spectra demonstrates that only v’≤4 vibrational levels are populated. These emissions have been modeled taking into account excited OH production, deactivation by collisions and reaction and spontaneous emission loss. The CO2 and O density profiles derived from the oxygen study have been used. The quenching coefficients have been adjusted to consider the temperature of the emitting layer and two quenching mechanisms by CO2 have been implemented. This model showed that collisional quenching by single quantum jump (Δv=1) best reproduces the observations. Likewise, an ozone density of 5.8x106 cm-3 at 96.5 km (for the best case) is in good agreement with the recent SPICAV O3 detection. Finally, the study of simultaneous OH(Δv=1) and O2(a1Δg) limb profiles showed a very high spatial correlation of these two emissions. This result has been explained by the role of atomic oxygen as a common precursor for the formation of both molecular oxygen and hydroxyl. [less ▲]

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See detailOxygen nightglow emissions of Venus: Vertical distribution and collisional quenching
Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg; Soret, Lauriane ULg; Migliorini, Alessandra et al

in Icarus (2013)

We compare the altitude of three O2 night airglow emissions observed at the limb of Venus by the VIRTIS spectral imager with the values predicted by a model accounting for the different radiative ... [more ▼]

We compare the altitude of three O2 night airglow emissions observed at the limb of Venus by the VIRTIS spectral imager with the values predicted by a model accounting for the different radiative lifetimes and collisional deactivation of the upper O2 states. The O and CO2 density profiles are based on remote sensing observations from the Venus Express spacecraft. Effective production efficiencies of the involved O2 metastable states and quenching coefficients by oxygen and carbon dioxide are adjusted to provide the best match with the measured emission limb profiles. We find values in general good agreement with earlier studies for the c1Σ-u state which gives rise to the Herzberg II bands. In particular, we confirm the low net yield of the c state production and the importance of its deactivation by CO2, for which we derive a quenching coefficient of 3x10-16 cm-3 s-1. The ∼4.5 km higher altitude of the Chamberlain band emission also recently detected by VIRTIS and the ratio of the Herzberg II/Chamberlain bands observed with Venera are well reproduced. To reach agreement, we use a 12% yield for the A’3Δu production following O atom association and quenching coefficients by O and CO2 of 1.3x10-11 cm-3 s-1 and 4.5x10-13 cm-3 s-1 respectively. We conclude that the different peak altitudes of the IR Atmospheric, Herzberg II and the Chamberlain bands reflect the relative importance of radiative relaxation and collisional quenching by O and CO2. [less ▲]

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See detailThe characteristics of the O2 Herzberg II and Chamberlain bands observed with VIRTIS/Venus Express
Migliorini, A.; Piccioni, G.; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg et al

in Icarus (2013)

The oxygen Venus nightglow emissions in the visible spectral range have been known since the early observations from the Venera spacecraft. Recent observations with the VIRTIS instrument on board Venus ... [more ▼]

The oxygen Venus nightglow emissions in the visible spectral range have been known since the early observations from the Venera spacecraft. Recent observations with the VIRTIS instrument on board Venus Express allowed us to re-examine the Herzberg II system of O2 and to further study its vertical distribution, in particular the (0–m00 with m00 = 7–13) bands. The present work describes the vertical profile of the observed bands and relative intensities from limb observation data. The wavelength-integrated intensities of the Herzberg II bands, with m00 = 7–11, are inferred from the recorded spectra. The resulting values lie in the range of 84–116 kR at the altitudes of maximum intensity, which are found to lie in the range of 93–98 km. Three bands of the Chamberlain system, centered at 560 nm, 605 nm, and 657 nm have been identified as well. Their emission peak is located at about 100 km, 4 km higher than the Herzberg II bands. For the first time, the O2 nightglow emissions were investigated simultaneously in the visible and in the IR spectral range, showing a good agreement between the peak position for the Herzberg II and the O2ða1Dg—X3R g Þ bands. An airglow model, proposed by Gérard et al. (Gérard, J.C., Soret, L., Migliorini, A., Piccioni, G. [2012]. Icarus.) starting from realistic O and CO2 vertical distributions derived from Venus-Express observations, allows reproduction of the observed profiles for the three O2 systems. [less ▲]

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See detailThe OH Venus nightglow spectrum: intensity and vibrational composition from VIRTIS-Venus Express observations
Soret, Lauriane ULg; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg; Piccioni, Giuseppe et al

in Planetary and Space Science (2012), 73(1),

Limb spectra of the OH nightglow emission corresponding to the ∆v=1 and ∆v=2 sequences have been collected with the VIRTIS infrared imaging spectrograph on board Venus Express between April 2006 and ... [more ▼]

Limb spectra of the OH nightglow emission corresponding to the ∆v=1 and ∆v=2 sequences have been collected with the VIRTIS infrared imaging spectrograph on board Venus Express between April 2006 and October 2008. A detailed statistical analysis shows that the peak intensity and altitude of the two vibrational sequences are significantly correlated, with a mean intensity ratio of the two sequences of 0.38±0.37. The altitude of the maximum of the ∆v=2 emission is located ~1 km lower than ∆v=1. A spectral analysis shows that the Δv=1 sequence is composed at 44.6% by the (1–0) band, 9.3% by the (3–2) band and 7.1% by the (4–3) band. The Δv=2 emission is best fitted if solely including the (2–0) band. A non-LTE model of OH vibrational population by the O3+H reaction including radiative and collisional relaxation has been used to compare the expected spectral distribution, the altitude of the emission peak and the emission rate under different assumptions on the quenching processes to those observed with VIRTIS. The adopted carbon dioxide, atomic oxygen and ozone densities are based on recent Venus Express remote sensing measurements. We find that the “sudden death” quenching scheme by CO2 produces inadequate spectral distribution between the various bands and insufficient airglow brightness. Instead, the observed spectral distribution and the total emission intensity are reasonably well reproduced with the single quantum jump model, a O density profile peaking at 103.5 km with a maximum value of 1.9×1011 cm−3, a O3 density profile peaking at 5.8×106 cm−3 at 96.5 km and a H density profile close to 108 cm−3 between 90 and 120 km, in agreement with several photochemical models. [less ▲]

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See detailThe vertical distribution of the Venus NO nightglow: limb profiles inversion and one-dimensional modeling
Stiepen, Arnaud ULg; Soret, Lauriane ULg; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg et al

in Icarus (2012), 220

Ultraviolet (UV) spectra of the δ (190-240 nm) and γ (225-270 nm) bands of the nitric oxide (NO) molecule have been measured on the nightside of the atmosphere of Venus with the Spectroscopy for ... [more ▼]

Ultraviolet (UV) spectra of the δ (190-240 nm) and γ (225-270 nm) bands of the nitric oxide (NO) molecule have been measured on the nightside of the atmosphere of Venus with the Spectroscopy for Investigation of Characteristics of the Atmosphere of Venus (SPICAV) instrument on board Venus Express (VEX). Excited NO molecules on the nightside of the planet are created by radiative recombination of O(3P) and N(4S) atoms. The atoms are produced by photodissociation of CO2 and N2 molecules on the dayside and then transported on the nightside by the global circulation. We analyze all nightside limb profiles obtained since 2006 and provide a statistical study of the nitric oxide airglow layer and its variability. We also apply a spatial deconvolution and an Abel inversion method to the limb profiles to retrieve and quantify the volume emission rate distribution and its dependence on several factors. We also show that about 10% of the limb profiles exhibits a secondary peak located above or below the main airglow peak. Furthermore, a one-dimensional chemical-diffusive model is used to simultaneously model the globally averaged NO and O2(a1Δg) airglow vertical distributions using CO2 and O density profiles rooted in VIRTIS and SPICAV observations. We find that a downward flux of 2×10 9 N(4S) atoms cm−2s−1 and a eddy diffusion coefficient equal to 1 x10 11/sqrt(n) cm−2s−1, where n is the total number density, provide the best set of values to parametrize the one-dimensional representation of the complex 3-D dynamical processes. [less ▲]

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See detailInversion of Venus NO nightglow limb profiles
Stiepen, Arnaud ULg; Soret, Lauriane ULg; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg et al

Conference (2012, July)

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See detailUnderstanding of the Venus upper atmosphere dynamics with O2(a1 ) Venus Express observations
Soret, Lauriane ULg; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg; Piccioni, Giuseppe et al

Poster (2012, April)

The O2(a1 ) nightglow emission at 1.27 m may be used as a tracer of the dynamics prevailing in the Venusian upper mesosphere. This emission has thus been observed with ground-based telescopes and from ... [more ▼]

The O2(a1 ) nightglow emission at 1.27 m may be used as a tracer of the dynamics prevailing in the Venusian upper mesosphere. This emission has thus been observed with ground-based telescopes and from space with instruments such as VIRTIS on board Venus Express. Observations have shown that the emission maximum is statistically located close to the antisolar point at 96 km. As originally suggested by Connes et al. (1979), such an emission results from the production of oxygen atoms on the Venus dayside by photodissociation and electron impact dissociation of CO2 and CO, which are then transported to the nightside by the subsolar to antisolar general circulation, where they recombine to create excited O2(a1 ) molecules. Their radiative deexcitation produces the O2(a1 ) nightglow with a maximum near the antisolar point. However, VIRTIS observations indicate that the O2(a1 ) nightglow emission is highly variable, both in intensity and location. Actually, when considering individual observations, the patch of bright emission is rarely located at the antisolar point and the brighter area around this point is the result of statics accumulation. Also, when considering several individual observations acquired in a short period of time, it is possible to follow an individual emission patch and to deduce its displacement and its brightness variation due to activation or deactivation. In this study, we analyze several sequences of VIRTIS observations in order to understand the Venus upper mesosphere dynamics.We show that the intensity can vary by several megaRayleighs in a couple of hours with effective lifetimes on the order of several hours. The horizontal motion of the spots leads to the conclusion that winds in the 95-100 km region are in the range of 25 to 150 m s-1, in good agreement with the study by Hueso et al. (2008). [less ▲]

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See detailThe Venus nitric oxide nightglow vertical distribution : update, new features and modelling
Stiepen, Arnaud ULg; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg; Soret, Lauriane ULg et al

Poster (2012, April)

Ultraviolet (UV) spectra of the delta (190-240 nm) and gamma (225-270 nm) bands of the nitric oxide (NO) molecule have been measured in the atmosphere of the Venus night side with the Spectroscopy for ... [more ▼]

Ultraviolet (UV) spectra of the delta (190-240 nm) and gamma (225-270 nm) bands of the nitric oxide (NO) molecule have been measured in the atmosphere of the Venus night side with the Spectroscopy for Investigation of Characteristics of the Atmosphere of Venus (SPICAV) instrument on board Venus Express (VEX). Excited NO molecules on the night side of the planet find their source in the radiative recombinaison of O(3P) and N(4S) atoms produced on the dayside by Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) solar photons that cause photodissociation of CO2 and N2 molecules. We analyse with an improved statistics the behaviour of the vertical emission profile of the NO nightglow. We also present a method used to retrieve and analyse the volume emission rate. We describe the dependence of the vertical distribution with latitude and local time and its variability. New features in the vertical distribution of the NO emission such as double peaks are also exhibited. Furthermore, we use a one-dimensional chemical-diffusive model to compare the major features of the calculated O2 1.27 microm and NO UV emissions profiles with those observed with SPICAV. [less ▲]

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See detailThe oxygen nightglow emissions of Venus: vertical distribution and role of collisional quenching
Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg; Soret, Lauriane ULg; Migliorini, Alessandra et al

Conference (2012, April)

The oxygen nightglow emissions of Venus: vertical distribution and role of collisional quenching J.-C. Gérard (1), L. Soret (1), A. Migliorini (2), G. Piccioni (2), and P. Drossart (3) (1) LPAP ... [more ▼]

The oxygen nightglow emissions of Venus: vertical distribution and role of collisional quenching J.-C. Gérard (1), L. Soret (1), A. Migliorini (2), G. Piccioni (2), and P. Drossart (3) (1) LPAP - Université de Liège - Belgium (jc.gerard@ulg.ac.be, 0032 4 366 9711), (2) INAF - Rome, Italy, (3) LESIA, Observatoire de Paris - Meudon, France Three-body recombination of atomic oxygen produces O2 molecules excited in different electronic states such as a 1∆g, b 1 􏰀+g , A 3 􏰀+u , c 1 􏰀uand A’ 3∆u, each with a specific quantum efficiency. When they radiate, optical transitions are observed in a wide range of wavelengths extending from the ultraviolet to the near infrared. In planetary atmospheres, spontaneous radiative deexcitation compete with collisional quenching with ambient molecules and atoms. As a consequence, the corresponding airglow emission profiles may significantly differ from each other in brightness and altitude of the emitting layer. We model the volume emission rates and limb profiles of the O2 Atmospheric Infrared (a 1∆-X 3 􏰀), Herzberg I (A 3 􏰀-X 3 􏰀), Herzberg II (c 1 􏰀-X 3 􏰀), Chamberlain (A’ 3∆-a 1∆) bands expected on the Venus night side. The quenching rates are taken from laboratory and observational planetary data and we apply two different methods to determine the oxygen and CO2 density profiles. One is based on recent analysis of data collected by instruments on board the Venus Express mission. The second one uses a one-dimensional chemical-diffusive model where the free parameters are the strength of turbulent transport and the downward flux of O atoms. Both approaches indicate that the calculated intensities of each transition range over several orders of magnitude and that differences are expected in the altitude of the maximum emission. These predictions will be compared with VIRTIS/Venus Express limb observations, which make it possible to derive the vertical distribution of the O2 emissions in the visible and infrared. These measurements suggest that no difference is observed between the altitude of the peak of the IR Atmospheric and Herzberg II bands. Conclusions will be drawn about the validity of the current set of quenching coefficients used in the model. [less ▲]

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See detailSpatial correlation of OH Meinel and O2 Infrared Atmospheric nightglow emissions observed with VIRTIS-M on board Venus Express
Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg; Soret, Lauriane ULg; Piccioni, G. et al

in Icarus (2012)

We present the two-dimensional distribution of the O2 a1∆-X3Σ (0-0) band at 1.27 µm and the OH ∆v=1 Meinel airglow measured simultaneously with the Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer ... [more ▼]

We present the two-dimensional distribution of the O2 a1∆-X3Σ (0-0) band at 1.27 µm and the OH ∆v=1 Meinel airglow measured simultaneously with the Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) on board Venus Express. We show that the two emissions present very similar spatial structures. A cross-correlation analysis indicates that the highest level of correlation is reached with only very small relative shifts of the pairs of images. In spite of the strong spatial correlation between the morphology of the bright spots in the two emissions, we also show that their relative intensity is not constant, in agreement with earlier statistical studies of their limb profiles. We conclude that the two emissions have a common precursor that controls the production of both excited species. We argue that atomic oxygen, which produces O2(1∆) molecules by three-body recombination and is the precursor of ozone formation, also governs to a large extent the OH airglow morphology through the H + O3 → OH* + O2 reaction. [less ▲]

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See detailAtomic oxygen on the Venus nightside: Global distribution deduced from airglow mapping
Soret, Lauriane ULg; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg; Montmessin, Franck et al

in Icarus: International Journal of Solar System Studies (2012), 217

The Visible and Infra-Red Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) instrument on board the Venus Express spacecraft has measured the O2(a1[Delta]) nightglow distribution at 1.27 [mu]m in the Venus mesosphere ... [more ▼]

The Visible and Infra-Red Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) instrument on board the Venus Express spacecraft has measured the O2(a1[Delta]) nightglow distribution at 1.27 [mu]m in the Venus mesosphere for more than two years. Nadir observations have been used to create a statistical map of the emission on Venus nightside. It appears that the statistical 1.6 MR maximum of the emission is located around the antisolar point. Limb observations provide information on the altitude and on the shape of the emission layer. We combine nadir observations essentially covering the southern hemisphere, corrected for the thermal emission of the lower atmosphere, with limb profiles of the northern hemisphere to generate a global map of the Venus nightside emission at 1.27 [mu]m. Given all the O2(a1[Delta]) intensity profiles, O2(a1[Delta]) and O density profiles have been calculated and three-dimensional maps of metastable molecular and atomic oxygen densities have been generated. This global O density nightside distribution improves that available from the VTS3 model, which was based on measurements made above 145 km. The O2(a1[Delta]) hemispheric average density is 2.1 × 109 cm-3, with a maximum value of 6.5 × 109 cm-3 at 99.2 km. The O density profiles have been derived from the nightglow data using CO2 profiles from the empirical VTS3 model or from SPICAV stellar occultations. The O hemispheric average density is 1.9 × 1011 cm-3 in both cases, with a mean altitude of the peak located at 106.1 km and 103.4 km, respectively. These results tend to confirm the modeled values of 2.8 × 1011 cm-3 at 104 km and 2.0 × 1011 cm-3 at 110 km obtained by Brecht et al. [Brecht, A., Bougher, S.W., Gérard, J.-C., Parkinson, C.D., Rafkin, S., Foster, B., 2011a. J. Geophys. Res., in press] and Krasnopolsky [Krasnopolsky, V.A., 2010. Icarus 207, 17-27], respectively. Comparing the oxygen density map derived from the O2(a1[Delta]) nightglow observations, it appears that the morphology is very different and that the densities obtained in this study are about three times higher than those predicted by the VTS3 model. [less ▲]

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See detailThe OH Venus nightglow : morphology and relation to ozone in the upper atmosphere
Soret, Lauriane ULg; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg; Piccioni, G. et al

Conference (2011, October)

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See detailAtomic oxygen distributions in the Venus thermosphere: Comparisons between Venus Express observations and global model simulations
Brecht, A.; Bougher, S. W.; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg et al

in Icarus: International Journal of Solar System Studies (2011)

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See detailThe distributions of the OH (Δv=1) and (Δv=2) emissions on the Venus nightside
Soret, Lauriane ULg; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg; Piccioni, Giuseppe et al

Conference (2010, September)

The presence of OH was detected in the spectrum of the Venus mesosphere observed at the limb with the VIRTIS instrument on board the Venus Express spacecraft [3]. The (1-0) and (2-1) transitions at 2.80 ... [more ▼]

The presence of OH was detected in the spectrum of the Venus mesosphere observed at the limb with the VIRTIS instrument on board the Venus Express spacecraft [3]. The (1-0) and (2-1) transitions at 2.80 and 2.94 mm, respectively and the (2-0) band at 1.43 mm were clearly identified. The results of this study show that a correlation is observed between the emissions associated to the Δv=1 and the Δv=2 sequences. [less ▲]

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