Probing the Martian atmosphere with MAVEN/IUVS stellar occultations

H. Gröller, R. V. Yelle, T. T. Koskinen, F. Montmessin, G. Lacombe, N. M. Schneider, J. Deighan, A. I.F. Stewart, S. K. Jain, M. S. Chaffin, M. M.J. Crismani, A. Stiepen, F. Lefèvre, W. E. McClintock, J. T. Clarke, G. M. Holsclaw, P. R. Mahaffy, S. W. Bougher, B. M. Jakosky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The first campaign of stellar occultations with the Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) instrument on board of Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission was executed between 24 and 26 March 2015. From this campaign 13 occultations are used to retrieve CO2 and O2 number densities in the altitude range between 100 and 150 km. Observations probe primarily the low-latitude regions on the nightside of the planet, just past the dawn and dusk terminator. Calculation of temperature from the CO2 density profiles reveals that the lower thermosphere is significantly cooler than predicted by the models in the Mars Climate Database. A systematically cold layer with temperatures of 105-120 K is seen in the occultations at a pressure level around 7 × 10-6 Pa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9064-9070
Number of pages7
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 16 2015


  • Atmosphere
  • CO and O Density
  • Mars
  • Stellar Occultation
  • Temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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