Observations of the Proton Aurora on Mars with SPICAM on Board Mars Express

Abstract : We report observations of the proton aurora at Mars, obtained with the SPICAM ultraviolet spectrograph on board Mars Express between 2004 and 2011. This is a third type of UV aurora that is discovered on Mars, in addition to the discrete and diffuse nightside aurora. It is observed only on the dayside as it is produced by the direct interaction of solar wind protons with the upper atmosphere. The auroral signature is an enhancement of the Lyman-α emission in the order of a few kiloRayleighs. The proton aurora features peak emissions around 120 to 150 km. From the full SPICAM database, limb observations have been investigated and six clear cases have been found. We identify either coronal mass ejections and/or corotating interaction regions as triggers for each of these events.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, January 2, 2018 - 4:35:07 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, April 13, 2019 - 2:52:02 PM

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B. Ritter, J.-C. Gérard, B. Hubert, L. Rodriguez, Franck Montmessin. Observations of the Proton Aurora on Mars with SPICAM on Board Mars Express. Geophysical Research Letters, American Geophysical Union, 2018, 45 (2), pp.612-619. ⟨10.1002/2017GL076235⟩. ⟨insu-01674408⟩

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