A Caltech Library Service

Modeling of observations of the OH nightglow in the venusian mesosphere

Parkinson, C. D. and Bougher, S. W. and Mills, F. P. and Yung, Y. L. and Brecht, A. and Shields, D. and Liemohn, M. (2021) Modeling of observations of the OH nightglow in the venusian mesosphere. Icarus, 368 . Art. No. 114580. ISSN 0019-1035. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2021.114580.

[img] MS Word - Supplemental Material
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Venus airglow emissions have been unambiguously detected in the wavelength ranges of 1.40–1.49 and 2.6–3.14 μm in limb observations by the Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) onboard the Venus Express (VEx) spacecraft and are attributed to the OH(2–0) and OH(1–0) Meinel band transitions. The integrated (limb slant path) emission rates for these bands were measured by Piccioni et al. (2008). Photochemical (Caltech/JPL KINETICS) and global circulation (Venus Thermospheric General Circulation Model - VTGCM) model calculations suggest the observed OH emission is produced primarily via the Bates-Nicolet mechanism, as on the Earth, although Venus' background atmosphere is different than that of the Earth, but the modeled contribution of the HO₂ + O → OH(v) + O₂ reaction increases in the lower portion of the OH airglow layer. An overall difference of ~2 km in the peak heights of the OH(1–0) and OH(2–0) layers is seen in both the KINETICS and VTGCM simulations as a result of this change in the relative importance of H + O₃ → OH(v) + O₂ versus HO₂ + O → OH(v) + O₂ reactions with altitude. First time 3-D simulations of the OH Δv = 1 nightglow limb slant emission calculate a peak intensity of ~0.6 ± 0.3 MegaRayleighs at ~102 km altitude, an intensity that is consistent with Venus Express VIRTIS observations (Gérard et al. 2010; Soret et al. 2010, 2012) and KINETICS results. Soret et al. (2010) reported the intensity of the peak OH airglow increased from 0.30 to 0.40 MR from dusk to dawn but noted the observations used are not uniformly distributed and the observed emission is extremely variable, so a more detailed assessment of the observations was not possible. Our simulations show a decrease in the average OH(1–0) emission is symmetric about the midnight meridian, but the simulations find an asymmetric decrease from the equator to the poles. Consideration of transport and chemical lifetimes suggests modeling of OH above ~96 km requires explicit description of transport and vibrational-state-dependent chemistry.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Parkinson, C. D.0000-0002-5722-2224
Yung, Y. L.0000-0002-4263-2562
Additional Information:© 2021 Published by Elsevier. Received 25 September 2020, Revised 24 May 2021, Accepted 7 June 2021, Available online 11 June 2021. This research was partially supported by NASA Grant NNX16AN03G to the Space Science Institute (SSI). We thank A. Garcia-Muñoz for reviewing the document and providing insightful comments. Y. L. Yung was supported in part by the University of Washington. This is University of Texas Center for Planetary Systems Habitability Contribution #0026 (F. Mills). Declaration of Competing Interest: None.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
University of WashingtonUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Venus; Chemistry and dynamics; Hydroxyl; Nightglow; Mesosphere
Other Numbering System:
Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Texas Center for Planetary Systems Habitability0026
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210908-225043680
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:C.D. Parkinson, S.W. Bougher, F.P. Mills, Y.L. Yung, A. Brecht, D. Shields, M. Liemohn, Modeling of observations of the OH nightglow in the venusian mesosphere, Icarus, Volume 368, 2021, 114580, ISSN 0019-1035,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:110790
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:09 Sep 2021 15:46
Last Modified:09 Sep 2021 15:46

Repository Staff Only: item control page