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Study of minor species in the Venus night mesosphere

Daria Evdokimova 1
1 PLANETO - LATMOS
LATMOS - Laboratoire Atmosphères, Milieux, Observations Spatiales
Abstract : Chemical processes of the dense CO2-atmosphere of Venus are determined by trace gases such as SO2, O3, H2O, CO, etc. Among these atmospheric components, a group of sulfur and oxygen compounds occupies a central position. The objective of this thesis is a study of sulfur dioxide and ozone at the night side of Venus' upper mesosphere that is related to altitudes from 85 to 110 km. Chemistry and dynamics of this altitude range is very active. The sulfuric chemical cycle in the mesosphere leads to a formation of the thick cloud deck at 47-70 km globally enshrouding the planet. Furthermore, it has not yet been determined exactly which chemical interactions are responsible for stabilizing the equilibrium in the chemical cycles of the atmosphere, and maintaining a high mixing ratio of CO2. The difficulty of evaluating the oxidizing capacity of the atmosphere, due to the lack of direct measurements of the amount of molecular oxygen, is one reason for this. However, indirect O2 estimations can be made based on derivatives of this molecule, and one of them is ozone. This gas is involved in reactions with species, probably mainly chlorinated compounds, leading to the general chemical cycles.The research is based on the data obtained from the first stellar occultation experiment released for Venus. It was performed by the UV channel of the SPICAV spectrometer onboard Venus Express orbiter working in 2006-2014. This is a powerful instrument to measure absorption of CO2, SO2 and O3 at the night side of Venus’ atmosphere above the cloud layer. This study also includes a detailed assessment of the accuracy of the spectral data processing methods used to retrieve vertical atmospheric gas concentration distributions. Mainly it concerns a separation of a stellar light from UV emission signal originated from different spread sources, which is a parasitic light for the stellar occultation data investigation. A significant influence of a calibration assignment of wavelength to a digital pixel number was obtained. The required accuracy was achieved by a determination of stellar lines position for a large set of stars' spectra measuring in each observational session. Thus, it allowed to establish a profile of the SO2 content from 85 km to 100 km mainly devoted to mid-latitudinal range. On average, it shows a stable mixing ratio with altitude. For this gas, a prevailed short-period variability has been confirmed. However, a weak possible increase of SO2 abundance with local time is noticed from the morning to the evening terminator at 90-95 km. After the discovery of the ozone layer on Venus made by Montmessin et al. (2011), the ozone content was confirmed in more than 100 occultation sessions. The current study also shows that the detected ozone values correspond to its maximum values rather than to the thick stable layer. These results are the first detailed vertical distribution of the SO2 and O3 content in the upper mesosphere on the night side, which opens up new possibilities for the theoretical description of processes occurring in the atmosphere of Venus.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 19, 2021 - 2:59:08 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-03230093, version 1

Citation

Daria Evdokimova. Study of minor species in the Venus night mesosphere. Earth and Planetary Astrophysics [astro-ph.EP]. Université Paris-Saclay; Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IKI), 2021. English. ⟨NNT : 2021UPASP039⟩. ⟨tel-03230093⟩

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