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Martian mesospheric cloud observations by IUVS on MAVEN: Thermal tides coupled to the upper atmosphere

Abstract : We report observations of Martian mesospheric ice clouds and thermospheric scale heights by the Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph on NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission. The clouds are observed between 6 AM and 8 AM local time using mid-UV limb observations between 60 and 80 km tangent altitude where ice particles that scatter sunlight can appear as detached layers near the equator. The equatorial longitudinal distribution shows populations of clouds near -110° E and -10° E as well as a population near 90° E, which does not have a clear precedent. The cloud populations indicate a wave 3 pattern near 70 km, which is confirmed by independent mesospheric temperature observations. Scale heights 100 km above the clouds derived from concurrent IUVS observations also reveal a wave 3 longitudinal structure, suggesting that the temperature oscillations enabling the formation of mesospheric clouds couple to the upper atmosphere.
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Michael H. Stevens, David E. Siskind, J. Scott Evans, Sonal K. Jain, Nicholas M. Schneider, et al.. Martian mesospheric cloud observations by IUVS on MAVEN: Thermal tides coupled to the upper atmosphere. Geophysical Research Letters, American Geophysical Union, 2017, 44 (10), pp.4709-4715. ⟨10.1002/2017GL072717⟩. ⟨insu-01519745⟩



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