Mars - Electric Atmosphere

Historic planetary instability and catastrophe. Evidence for electrical scarring on planets and moons. Electrical events in today's solar system. Electric Earth.

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Re: Aurora on Mars

Unread postby StefanR » Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:10 am

Rare high-altitude clouds found on Mars
Image
This true-colour view taken by NASA's Pathfinder rover in August 1997 shows clouds in the Martian eastern sky (30 degrees above the horizon), as imaged before sunrise. Observations of the Martian atmosphere by the SPICAM spectrometer on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft, have revealed for the first time that carbon dioxide clouds form and exist at very high atmospheric layers, between 80 and 100 kilometres above the Martian surface. This makes them the highest clouds ever observed above any planetary surface. These clouds may be of the same type observed by Pathfinder. Credits: NASA Pathfinder

Planetary scientists have discovered the highest clouds above any planetary surface. They found them above Mars using the SPICAM instrument on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft. The results are a new piece in the puzzle of how the Martian atmosphere works.
Until now, scientists had been aware only of the clouds that hug the Martian surface and lower reaches of the atmosphere. Thanks to data from the SPICAM Ultraviolet and Infrared Atmospheric Spectrometer onboard Mars Express, a fleeting layer of clouds have been discovered at an altitude between 80 and 100 kilometres. The clouds are most likely composed of carbon dioxide.

The first hints of the new cloud layer came when certain profiles showed that the star dimmed noticeably when it was behind the 90–100 kilometre high atmospheric layer. Although this happened in only one percent of the profiles, by the time the team had collected 600 profiles, they were confident that the effect was real.

"If you wanted to see these clouds from the surface of Mars, you would probably have to wait until after sunset" says Franck Montmessin, a SPICAM scientist with Service d'Aeronomie du CNRS, Verrières-le-Buisson, France, and lead author of the results. This is because the clouds are very faint and can only be seen reflecting sunlight against the darkness of the night sky. In that respect, they look similar to the mesospheric clouds, also known as noctilucent clouds, on Earth. These occur at 80 kilometres altitude above our planet, where the density of the atmosphere is similar to that of Mars’ at 35 kilometres. The newly discovered Martian clouds therefore occur in a much more rarefied atmospheric location.

At 90–100 kilometres above the Martian surface, the temperature is just –193° Celsius. This means that the clouds are unlikely to be made of water. "We observe the clouds in super-cold conditions where the main atmospheric component CO2 (carbon dioxide), cools below its condensation point. From that we infer that they are made of carbon dioxide," says Montmessin.

But how do these clouds form? SPICAM has revealed the answer by finding a previously unknown population of minuscule dust grains above 60 kilometres in the Martian atmosphere. The grains are just one hundred nanometres across (a nanometre is one thousand-millionth of a metre).

They are likely to be the 'nucleation centres' around which crystals of carbon dioxide form to make clouds. They are either microscopic chippings from the rocks on the surface on Mars that have been blown to extreme altitudes by the winds, or they are the debris from meteors that have burnt up in the Martian atmosphere.

The new high-altitude cloud layer has implications for landing on Mars as it suggests the upper layers of Mars' atmosphere can be denser than previously thought. This will be an important piece of information for future missions, when using friction in the outer atmosphere to slow down spacecraft (in a technique called 'aerobraking'), either for landing or going into orbit around the planet.

http://www.physorg.com/news75989971.html


MARS ATMOSPHERE AND CLIMALOGY WITH MARS-EXPRESS: MAIN RESULTS OF
EXPERIMENTS WITH RUSSIAN PARTICIPATION.

This paper highlights main
results on the Martian atmosphere and climate obtained
by three instruments, PFS, SPICAM and
OMEGA, and with Russian participation. Temperature
field, concentration of minor constitutes like
water vapor, ozone, methane and CO, H2O and CO2
ice clouds, opacity, aerosol content and vertical distribution,
were observed during almost one Martian
year. These data are critical in understanding the
dynamics, photochemical processes and history of
Martian atmosphere, challenging new theoretical
studies with general circulation models.


Vertical distribution of aerosol: All spectrometers
are capable of studying the distribution
and composition of Martian aerosols. Observations
of water ice clouds, insight into their microphysics
and the discovery of fine fraction of submicron particles
extending high up in atmosphere are among
the important results of Mars-Express. In particular,
vertical profiles of aerosols were observed by
are obtained by SPICAM IR channel in range 1274
micron. Lower north polar profile contrasts with
high extended south middle latitude extinctions.

We believe that the specific features of the vertical
distribution of high-altitude aerosols, including
evident depression near the poles and subtle inversions
in midlatitudes, have dynamical origin. This
conclusion is based on the numerical experiments
with the GFDL's Mars GCM including interactive
transport and coupled with ab initio microphysical
description of water ice clouds. In the equinox season,
Hadley cell circulation lifts dust and cloud particles
in the equatorial latitudes up to 35-50 km and
then advects them out of the equator in the two
symmetric branches. In midlatitudes (approximately
at 45-60^o) the advective poleward flow fades.
Larger particles settle out, while smaller ones are
accumulated in the convergent areas of the circulation
pattern. It is this location where SPICAM solar
occultation data suggest inversion of the vertical
dust profile. Upper polar latitudes are characterized
by very weak circulation with dominating downdraft
vertical air motion. Therefore those particles trapped
in the polar atmosphere are transported downwards
until they either precipitate at the surface or advected
back to low latitudes within the low-altitude closing
flow of the Hadley cell. These causes substantially
lower, relative to midlatitudes, vertical extension of
the aerosol layer.

Due to high spectral resolution, a fine structure
of temperature inversion in the polar region, related
to descending branch of Hadley cell (Ls=342°) was
observed as low as at 10-20 km. The winter temperature
inversion is caused by downdraft of the air
mass advected from the summer hemisphere by the
main Hadley cell branch, and subsequent adiabatic
heating. As the heating occurs at relatively high altitude
(30-60 km), lower atmosphere controlled by
radiative transfer processes appears colder, which
renders as sharp temperature inversion.

Seasonal distribution of water vapour measured
by SPICAM IR (orbits 8-1640), and
areographical distribution of water in Northern
spring by PFS (LS=330°-60°). Apparent zonal
structure revealing a strong equatorial maximum at
10°-45°E and a weaker maximum at 200°-240° suggests
contribution from stationary planetary waves to
the global water cycle on Mars.

A singlet oxygen O2 (1Δg) dayglow at 1.27 μm
was predicted just after the discovery of ozone on
Mars by Mariner 9 [5]. On Mars the situation is
similar to Earth, where a strong airglow arises from
O2 (1Δg) produced by ozone photolysis. For the first
time this emission was observed from the ground at
high resolution by Noxon et al.[6]. The mapping of
this emission was reported by Krasnopolsky and
Bjoracker [7]. Krasnopolsky [8] argues that the O2
emission provides even better insight to photochemistry
than ozone, since it is more sensitive to the
variations of the water vapour saturation level (10-
35 km) than total ozone, which remains nearly constant.

http://www.planetary.brown.edu/m42/m42_33.pdf

MAPPING CLOUDS MICROPHYSICS WITH OMEGA/MEX
http://www.rssd.esa.int/SYS/docs/ll_transfers/project=MarsEXPRESS&id=2799028.pdf

An express journey to
Mars

PFS
• Presence of methane in the atmosphere
(concurrent with ground observations), which
together with the formaldehyde (oxidation
product of methane) also found would indicate
that Mars either bears volcanic activity or
biological processes today.
• Clear correlation between water vapour in the
boundary layer and methane concentrations
observed from orbit, further illustrating the
volcanism vs. life debate.
• The correlation between water vapour,
methane and possible underground acquifers
(Mars Odyssey) points to a common
underground source for water and methane.

ASPERA
• Characterisation of the planetary wind
composition (atomic & molecular O+ )
away from the solar wind.
• Solar wind scavenging of the atmosphere
down to 270 km altitude, representing a
major mechanism in neutral atmospheric
degassing and past climate change.
• Planetary heavy ions accelerated up to
very high energies.
• For the first time, ”radiation” of fast atoms
is observed at Mars.
• CO2 also escapes from Mars. H2O ?

MaRS
• Build-up of the ionosphere shortly
before dawn.
• First successful bi-static radar
experiment by pointing of the high-gain
antenna towards Mars to infer surface
roughness and other soil properties in
regions of geological interest.
• Stable two layer structure of dayside
ionosphere; sporadic third layer due to
meteor interaction with ionosphere.
• Very cold atmosphere over the first few
kilometres (-143°C to -130°C).
• CO2 snow fall at high Southern latitudes.

http://www.astronomia.edu.uy/cospar2007/material/8%20-%20Angelo%20Pio%20Rossi%20-%20Mars/mars_journey_intro_pre-video.pdf
The illusion from which we are seeking to extricate ourselves is not that constituted by the realm of space and time, but that which comes from failing to know that realm from the standpoint of a higher vision. -L.H.
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Re: Aurora on Mars

Unread postby MGmirkin » Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:52 am

StefanR wrote:Plasma Acceleration above Martian Magnetic Anomalies
http://www.cosis.net/abstracts/EGU06/02847/EGU06-J-02847.pdf


Also:
http://www.irf.se/link/Science_paper_feb06

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Re: Aurora on Mars

Unread postby StefanR » Wed Jun 18, 2008 3:08 pm

Mmm, I did use that .pdf for that post. Something went wrong somehow :oops:
Thanks 8-)
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Re: Aurora on Mars

Unread postby MGmirkin » Wed Jun 18, 2008 5:21 pm

StefanR wrote:Mmm, I did use that .pdf for that post.


I figured... :D

Happened to run across the PDF while looking for resources for something else... ;)

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Re: Aurora on Mars

Unread postby StefanR » Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:36 am

MGmirkin wrote:Happened to run across the PDF

Aah, road kill. Have you been driving in Junglelord's Batmobile ?

Nice article, Michael. The Saturn one was also pretty good. 8-)

By the way, how about .... ? :

Image

Today, planet-covering dust storms can develop on a very dry Mars. In late June 2001, a small dust cloud erupted inside the Hellas Basin, a 9-km (5.6-mile) deep impact crater on the planet's southern hemisphere. By early July, the storm spilled out of the Basin and wrapped itself around the entire planet within three weeks, shrouding Mars in haze and warming the atmosphere by as much as 30° C.

One theory is that airborne dust particles warm the local atmosphere by absorbing sunlight. Then, wind is generated as warm air rushes toward colder regions. In a positive feedback loop, strong winds lift even more dust off the ground, which further heats the atmosphere and eventually transforms a small dust cloud into a planet-wide storm. However, once underway, Martian dust storms tend to last last for weeks or months.

http://www.solstation.com/stars/mars.htm
The illusion from which we are seeking to extricate ourselves is not that constituted by the realm of space and time, but that which comes from failing to know that realm from the standpoint of a higher vision. -L.H.
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Re: Aurora on Mars

Unread postby MGmirkin » Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:45 pm

In Mars' thin atmosphere? Hmmm... Maybe if they factor in electric fields... Aww darn, did I say that?

(Electric sand findings could lead to better climate models)
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/ ... 010708.php

(Desert mystery has electrifying answer)
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22593550/

(Blowing Desert Sand Highly Electrically Charged)
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,322585,00.html

From TPODs:

(Martian Dust Storms)
http://thunderbolts.info/tpod/2004/arch ... storms.htm

(When Dust Storms Engulf Mars)
http://thunderbolts.info/tpod/2005/arch ... stmars.htm

(Martian Global Warming)
http://thunderbolts.info/tpod/2007/arch ... arming.htm

(Martian Dust Devils—Prediction Confirmed)
http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/2007/ ... devils.htm

Just something to chew on, should it prove useful... :D

Cheers,
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"The purpose of science is to investigate the unexplained, not to explain the uninvestigated." ~Dr. Stephen Rorke
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Re: Aurora on Mars

Unread postby StefanR » Fri Jun 20, 2008 1:34 am

MGmirkin wrote:In Mars' thin atmosphere? Hmmm... Maybe if they factor in electric fields... Aww darn, did I say that?

That is a pretty bold statement, you must know that is very against the mainstream :o


We observe accelerated electrons and ions in the deep
nightside high altitude region of Mars that map geographically
to interface/cleft regions associated with Martian crustal

Conclusions
Auroral particle acceleration over Mars
• Upward accelerated ions and downward accelerated
electrons are observed near local midnight, on flux tubes
connecting to strong crustal magnetizations. Strong
similarities with auroral plasma acceleration near the Earth

This is very deep in the ionosphere, implying direct exposure of the martian topside atmosphere to solar wind plasma forcing. The low-altitude penetration of solar wind plasma and the energization of ionospheric plasma may be due to solar wind irregularities or perturbations, to magnetic anomalies at Mars, or both


Now where did you get the idea of electric fields, Michael?
It must be just hot gas from the solar wind heating particles in the athmosphere of Mars. The accelerated electrons and ions are just the effects of the collisions of those heated particles. It must be.
You must understand that electricity has no place in astronomy. :lol: ;)
The illusion from which we are seeking to extricate ourselves is not that constituted by the realm of space and time, but that which comes from failing to know that realm from the standpoint of a higher vision. -L.H.
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Re: Aurora on Mars

Unread postby MGmirkin » Fri Jun 20, 2008 8:51 am

StefanR wrote:Now where did you get the idea of electric fields, Michael?


I believe you've seen my references with respect to electrified dust. ;o)

Shall I repeat them?

Maybe if they factor in electric fields...

(Electric sand findings could lead to better climate models)
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/ ... 010708.php

(Desert mystery has electrifying answer)
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22593550/

(Blowing Desert Sand Highly Electrically Charged)
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,322585,00.html


Is there an echo in here?

*Tongue planted firmly in cheek...*

Heh. And yes, I've said for a while that Mars' thin atmosphere and lack of major magnetic fields other than those remnant crustal fields would probably mean a higher degree of solar relativistic charged particle bombardment, possibly leading to "charging" of the surface, not unlike the linear accelerator used by the Teslamania folks to make their acrylic "captured lightning" Lichtenberg figures. Might also lead to other electric effects. I think I'd also mentioned that the charged particles might be prone to flowing along the extant field lines in the southern hemisphere.

I really need to get back on the project of resurrecting the old forum as a static archive... I've just been going in about 5 directions for the last few months. ;) But, hopefully they've been a useful few directions.

Cheers,
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"The purpose of science is to investigate the unexplained, not to explain the uninvestigated." ~Dr. Stephen Rorke
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Re: Aurora on Mars

Unread postby Plasmatic » Fri Jun 20, 2008 9:06 am

Say you guys are doing great detective work. :) ;)
"Logic is the art of non-contradictory identification"......" I am therefore Ill think"
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Re: Aurora on Mars

Unread postby MGmirkin » Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:58 pm

You calling me a snoop? Or just a private d---... Nevermind. :P

Anywho, thx! :D

~Michael
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Re: Mars Antisymmetry

Unread postby runaro » Fri Jun 20, 2008 9:49 pm

StefanR wrote:
Maybe the question could be what was first, the distorted magnetic field or the topographical anti-symmetry?


It seems reasonable that the magnetic field would be generated by electric currents and the electric currents are flowing to the surface at the highest points, i.e. at the southern hemisphere, at Montes Tharsis and Elysium Mons. That's where I would expect the magnetic field to be strongest.
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Re: Mars Antisymmetry

Unread postby bdw000 » Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:23 pm

* The Hellas basin is directly on the opposite side of Mars from the Tharsis mountains (i.e. they are half a great circle away from each other in every direction).


I also wondered about that after seeing a recent pic of Mars' surface on this site.

Can't remember if anything has been written about that here. Seems like the sort of thing that has been commented on.

Could this be the effect of current passing through Mars?

Or, the current strike that created the mountains, maybe that had an effect on the other side of the planet? Seems possible if unlikely: that is one hell of a big lightning bolt ! Human minds probably just aren't used to thinking about what currents of that size can do.

Just speculating. Any of you experts have an opinion?
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Planetary Antisymmetry / Antipodes

Unread postby runaro » Wed Jun 25, 2008 11:45 am

Seems that "antipodal features" are well documented and often attributed to shock from impact. Are Tharsis Montes simultaneously volcanoes and antipodal impact features? Hardly.

See also:

Antipodal Earth:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antipodes
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/a ... /3741/1246

Antipodal earthquakes:
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1980JGR....85.2661R

Antipodal moon:
http://www.planetary-mag.net/moon/libra ... r_2005.pdf

Mercury antipodes:
http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-241986/Mercury

Venus relief map, showing clearly antipodal elevation features:
http://laps.noaa.gov/albers/sos/venus/venus_shaded.jpg

Mars:
http://www.google.com/search?q=antipodal+mars

Jupiter's moons have antipodal features:
http://www.ciclops.org/view/4257/Opposi ... mpact?js=1

Auroral emissions on Jupiter, antipodal to meteor impact:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comet_Shoemaker-Levy_9
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They did it again...

Unread postby FS3 » Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:56 pm

Right in time for that thread, we see emerging just another story about a giant "impact" on Mars in the media:

Asteroid smash turned Mars into 'takeaway pizza' planet
Kaboom! When a giant impact whacked into a young Mars around 4 billion years ago, the impact made such a huge dent in the northern hemisphere that it left the entire planet lop-sided...


...Andrews-Hanna and his team used computer modelling to 'remove' Tharsis from the martian landscape, to try and work out why the transition between thick and thin crusts was so marked. And there he saw it – a huge crater, 10,600 kilometres long and 8,500 kilometres wide. “The lowlands of Mars is an enormous elliptical projection,” says Andrews-Hanna. “There’s only one process we know of that causes this kind of depression" – a very big impact....


Missing the obvious. As always...
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Re: Mars Antisymmetry

Unread postby redeye » Wed Jun 25, 2008 4:43 pm

Are Tharsis Montes simultaneously volcanoes and antipodal impact features?


I think they are. A large impact sends shock waves through the planet which eventually come to a focus on the far side but below the surface creating a "hotspot". Only I don't think hotspot is the right way to look at it. When rock is subject to severe shock it has pizoelectric qualities, the waves traveling through the interior of the planet would basically be electric currents...or charge vectors???...sorry, I'm not too good with the words. The hotspot created at the point of antipodal focus is actually a body of hot, highly charged magma...plasma??? This body of charged, molten rock...or the charge it carries, then seeks equilibrium in the form of a volcanic plume,which raises the volcano above the surface. Convection might have a hand somewhere, but I don't think it's the driver behind volcanism in general. I see volcanism as underground lightning, charge equalisation along the gradient between two layers of differing charge potential.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Earth-crust-cutaway-english.svg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Rinjani_1994.jpg

http://www.geology.sdsu.edu/how_volcanoes_work/Images/Diagrams/plumezhang_s.jpg

Sorry for the crazy nonsense, but it's the only way I can make sense of things.

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