Mapping of ozone and water in the atmosphere of Mars near the 1997 aphelion

Robert E. Novak, Michael J. Mumma, Michael A. DiSanti, Neil Dello Russo, Karen Magee-Sauer

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27 Scopus citations


We present absolute abundances and latitudinal variations of ozone and water in the atmosphere of Mars during its late northern spring (Ls = 67.3°) shortly before aphelion. Long-slit maps of the a1Δg state of molecular oxygen (O2) and HDO, an isotopic form of water, were acquired on UT January 21.6 1997 using a high-resolution infrared spectrometer (CSHELL) at the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility. O2(a1Δg) is produced by ozone photolysis, and the ensuing dayglow emission at 1.27 μm is used as a tracer for ozone. Retrieved vertical column densities for ozone above ∼20 km ranged between 1.5 and 2.8 μm-atm at mid- to low latitudes (30°S-60°N) and decreased outside that region. A significant decrease in ozone density is seen near 30°N (close to the subsolar latitude of 23.5°N). The rotational temperatures retrieved from O2(a-X) emissions show a mean of 172±2.5 K, confirming that the sensed ozone lies in the middle atmosphere (∼24 km). The ν1 fundamental band of HDO near 3.67 μm was used as a proxy for H2O. The retrieved vertical column abundance of water varies from 3 precipitable microns (pr-μm) at ∼30°S to 24 pr-μm at ∼60°N. We compare these results with current photochemical models and with measurements obtained by other methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-23
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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