The Martian ionosphere

The ionospheres of the planets (those regions with a significant fraction of free electrons and ions) provide interesting clues about the interaction of the solar radiation and the solar energetic particles with the planetary atmospheres.They can also be used to gain information about the density and temperature of the neutral upper atmospheres, a region that in the Martian case has traditionally eluded observation. In this talk I will sketch the main features of the Martian ionosphere, focusing on those regions dominated by the  photochemistry (below about 200 km), and emphasizing the differences and similarities with the terrestrial ionosphere. I will discuss its formation mechanisms and  the different strategies that have been used to measure it. Then I will summarize the work that has been done at the GAPT group of the IAA to simulate this atmospheric region with a 3-D General Circulation Model, discussing the effects of the solar variability and  presenting comparisons  with the different available observations.

17/10/2013 - 14:30
Dr. Francisco González Galindo